Cover: Center Street

Madeleine Westerhout, who spent 2½ years as President Trump's Oval Office gatekeeper, will release a frank memoir on Aug. 11 about one mistake that cost her one of the world's most fascinating jobs.

Details: Westerhout, former Director of Oval Office Operations, plans a searing description of a "momentary lapse in judgment that occurred because of too much wine at a dinner."

Westerhout will recount an "off-the-record" dinner with reporters on the road — an age-old White House tradition. Hers had a disastrous fallout when word of what was discussed over drinks got back to the West Wing.

  • Center Street, the publisher, said she plans to hold "accountable the reporters who, according to the author, broke their agreement."
  • The title: "Off the Record."

Westerhout said: "With so many books out there that have attacked President Trump, I feel it is important to share what I see as the other side — the truth —about the man who is a kind and generous boss, a great leader for our country, and someone I grew to deeply admire."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.