☕️ Good Wednesday morning ...
Exclusive palace intrigue: How Cohn told POTUS ... In early February, after President Trump's well-received State of the Union address and Davos trip, economic adviser Gary Cohn was having lunch with the president and Chief of Staff John Kelly, in the small dining room off the Oval Office.
Then Trump announced this week that he planned to impose sweeping tariffs on steel and aluminum — an embarrassment to Cohn, who had boasted to his Wall Street and Hamptons buddies that he had kept the president on the right track on trade.
Why it matters: The Trump White House is bleeding talent, losing a half dozen or more officials who helped advise and contain the president. Worse, warn several officials, there is little to no succession planning to quickly fill vacancies with top-flight talent.
Be smart: So increasingly, the restraints are off. In this midterm year, and looking ahead to the reelection race, look for Trump to be more Trump — more Trump, The Nationalist.
The White House hasn't done any succession planning, but here's who Jonathan Swan and I are hearing as possible Gary Cohn replacements:
P.S. Trump at a press conference yesterday, before the Cohn announcement, on finding new talent:
On a Europe swing, Steve Bannon speaks in Zurich yesterday at an event hosted by the weekly right-wing Swiss magazine Die Weltwoche. (Adrian Bretscher / Getty Images)
Why the populist wave isn't breaking any time soon ...
President Trump's tariffs, and Italy's lurch to chaotic populism in Sunday's election, are of one piece, Axios future editor Steve LeVine writes:
Almost spring (March 20) in D.C. ... The sky lights up as the sun rises behind the Capitol yesterday.
A third of US. major metro areas — nearly 100 communities— are shedding a greater proportion of white-collar than blue-collar jobs, AP's Josh Boak finds:
"Women running for Congress surged to big wins and Democrats smashed recent turnout levels in Texas' first-in-the-nation 2018 primary elections, giving Republicans a potential glimpse of what's ahead in the first midterms under President Donald Trump," AP reports from Austin:
P.S. Land Commissioner George P. Bush, eldest son of Jeb, fended off a stiff challenge to win his Republican primary and advance toward almost-certain victory in the November general election. (Dallas Morning News)
The Three-Comma Club ... A record 2,208 billionaires made Forbes’ 32nd annual ranking of the world’s richest.
Centi-billionaire Jeff Bezos seizes the top spot for the first time:
Go deeper: See the full list.
Michael Bloomberg spends $20 million to launch a new global watchdog agency to monitor the tobacco industry, The Guardian reports:
George Nader, an "adviser to the United Arab Emirates with ties to current and former aides to President Trump, is cooperating with the special counsel ... and gave testimony last week to a grand jury," per the N.Y. Times:
First look ... On Sunday, March 18, CBS News' “60 Minutes” will air a Norah O’Donnell interview with Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, two days before the young leader is to meet President Trump.
"Nothing's off limits" ... See the promo for George Stephanopoulos' interview with James Comey, the former FBI director's first since being fired, as part of a "20/20" prime-time special on Sunday, April 15.
Accessible sport ... Curling clubs across the country are struggling to keep up with the demand for ice and learn-to-play sessions since the U.S. men's team made its run to a gold medal in the Winter Olympics, AP's Eric Olson writes:
Thanks for reading! See you on Axios.com.