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Kris Kobach in Emporia, Kansas, in October 2018. Photo: Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach told the New York Times last year that President Trump gave his "blessing" to a Steve Bannon-guided campaign to privately fund a wall along the southern border.

Why it matters: The "We Build the Wall" project ultimately resulted in Bannon's arrest on fraud charges on Thursday, alongside three others, and Kobach's statement over a year ago highlights the president's closeness to many involved with it.

  • There is nothing to indicate that Trump knew anything about the alleged fraud carried out by Bannon and his associates.
  • The White House did not respond to requests for comment from the Times last year about the claims from Kobach, who served as the project's general counsel on its advisory board and has run failed campaigns in Kansas for both Senate and governor.
  • "President Trump has not been involved with Steve Bannon since the campaign and the early part of the administration, and he does not know the people involved with this project," White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement on Thursday.

The big picture: "We Built the Wall" counted a number of conservatives in Trump's orbit on its advisory board, including Bannon, Kobach, Blackwater founder Erik Prince and Sheriff David Clarke.

Go deeper

Kayleigh McEnany: Trump will accept "free and fair" election, no answer on if he loses

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday that President Trump will "accept the results of a free and fair election," but did not specify whether he will commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses to Joe Biden.

Why it matters: Trump refused to say on Wednesday whether he would commit to a peaceful transition of power, instead remarking, "we're going to have to see what happens."

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

What's really going on with the labor market

Source: YCharts

The labor market is showing some signs of improvement: Jobless claims fell to 730,000 — a dramatic drop from 841,000 the previous week. And the latest jobs report showed a pandemic-era low unemployment rate of 6.3%

But, but, but: That's not the full story, experts say.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Markets see rare convergence milestone

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals

A milestone was reached in the markets Thursday: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to match the dividend yield on the S&P 500

Why it matters: The two yields have been inverted since the beginning of last year, which is historically unusual.

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