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Excerpt from Josh Green's "Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency," out July 18 from Penguin Press...

Bloomberg Businessweek adaptation: "The Remaking of Donald Trump: In the multicultural days of The Apprentice, he rose to a level of popularity with minorities that the GOP could only dream of. Then he torched it all to prepare for a hard-right run at the presidency":

  • "It's almost impossible to imagine now, but in the period just before he entered politics, Trump's appeal to blacks and Hispanics was powerful enough to make him the darling of corporate America. ... Trump's multicultural appeal was an achievement that a sclerotic Republican Party was increasingly desperate to match."
  • "The Apprentice drew a mass audience that pulled in an especially high proportion of black and Hispanic viewers."
  • "Inside Trump's circle, the power of illegal immigration to manipulate popular sentiment was readily apparent, and his advisers brainstormed methods for keeping their attention-addled boss on message. They needed a trick, a mnemonic device. In the summer of 2014, they found one that clicked. 'Roger Stone and I came up with the idea of "the Wall,'' and we talked to Steve [Bannon] about it,' says [early Trump campaign aide Sam] Nunberg. 'It was to make sure he talked about immigration.'"
  • "Initially, Trump seemed indifferent to the idea. But in January 2015, he tried it out at the Iowa Freedom Summit, a presidential cattle call put on by David Bossie's group, Citizens United. 'One of his pledges was, "I will build a wall," and the place just went nuts,' says Nunberg. ... Trump waited a beat and then added a flourish that brought down the house. 'Nobody builds like Trump.'"
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Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Google is investigating the actions of another top AI ethicist

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is investigating recent actions by Margaret Mitchell, who helps lead the company's ethical AI team, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The probe follows the forced exit of Timnit Gebru, a prominent researcher also on the AI ethics team at Google whose ouster ignited a firestorm among Google employees.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.