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This morning we published a joint exit interview with outgoing U.S. chief technology officer Megan Smith (ex-Google) and her deputy Alex Macgillivray (ex-Twitter), in which they discussed their experiences, legacies and the incoming administration. Two items that didn't make the post:

  1. Smith hasn't yet decided on her next job, but it sounds like she's leaning against a return to the private sector. She says that she's become taken with public/advocacy service, particularly around issues of diversity.
  2. Trump has not yet named anyone to the CTO role (which was created by Obama), nor to run the parent Office of Science and Technology. That said, both offices do have career civil servants who will remain in place, and Smith says her office has had conversations with the Trump transition. Unfortunately, our chat occurred before Trump named Reed Cordish (a real estate and restaurant developer) as Assistant to the President for Intragovernmental and Technology Initiatives. The transition team has not responded to requests for comment as to how Cordish's appointment will affect the CTO's office, nor why such an explicitly non-technical person was named to this role.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear. Read episode 1.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

Fringe right plots new attacks out of sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Domestic extremists are using obscure and private corners of the internet to plot new attacks ahead of Inauguration Day. Their plans are also hidden in plain sight, buried in podcasts and online video platforms.

Why it matters: Because law enforcement was caught flat-footed during last week's Capitol siege, researchers and intelligence agencies are paying more attention to online threats that could turn into real-world violence.