White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Deputy Chief of Staff Kirstjen Nielsen speak together as they walk across the South Lawn of the White House. Andrew Harnik / AP

Chief of Staff John Kelly has had one, very public mission since he assumed his role in the White House: keep Trump in line and run a tight ship. But after just six weeks on the job, it's become clear he needs backup — so he appointed Kirstjen Nielsen as his No. 2 last Wednesday, per NYT.

His thinking: Appoint someone "who is willing to be hated," NYT's Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush write.

What she'll be doing:

  • Her official role is assistant to the president and Kelly's principal deputy.
  • Maintaining a list of the aides Kelly deems unfit to attend "serious" meetings — most notably Omarosa Manigault, who reportedly frequently drops in various meetings uninvited.
  • Sending "principals only" emails that announce internal policy and planning and, like the above, keeping unwanted folks out.

Why now: Trump's seven months in office have been anything but quiet, and Kelly recognizes he can only do so much. And as the sudden resignations and terminations continue (think: James Comey, Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon), Kelly will have to make some tough decisions moving forward to keep things tame. This is easier done by adding people like Nielsen, Kelly's "brusque, no-nonsense longtime aide."

The winning strategy: "Slowly and methodically, Kelly is replacing the bomb-throwing reality-TV types Mr. Trump feels most comfortable around with competent professionals capable of stabilizing the West Wing."

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Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 18,185,015 — Total deaths: 691,303 — Total recoveries — 10,836,439Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 4,711,323 — Total deaths: 155,366 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  5. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.

In photos: Thousands evacuated as Southern California fire grows

A plane makes a retardant drop on a ridge at the Apple Fire north of Banning in Riverside County, which "doubled in size" Saturday, per KTLA. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A massive wildfire that prompted mandatory evacuations in Southern California over the weekend burned 26,450 acres and was 5% contained by Monday afternoon, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The big picture: As California remains an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., some 15 separate fires are raging across the state. About 7,800 people were under evacuation orders from the Apple Fire, about 75 miles east of Los Angeles, as hundreds of firefighters battled the blaze. CalFire said Monday that a malfunction involving a "diesel-fueled vehicle emitting burning carbon from the exhaust system" started the Apple Fire.

Twitter faces FTC fine of up to $250 million over alleged privacy violations

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket

The Federal Trade Commission has accused Twitter of using phone numbers and emails from its users to make targeted ads between 2013 and 2019, Twitter said in an SEC filing published Monday.

Why it matters: Twitter estimates that the FTC's draft complaint, which was sent a few days after its Q2 earnings report, could cost the company between $150 million and $250 million. The complaint is unrelated to the recent Twitter hack involving a bitcoin scam.