Good Thursday morning — inauguration eve. Thanks for the fantastic feedback about yesterday's launch of Axios, and thanks to all of you who came to our launch party last night, including Vice President Biden, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, Josh Earnest, Gary Cohn, Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, Marc Short, Gerrit Lansing, Bob Woodward, Walter Isaacson, WashPost publisher Fred Ryan, Goldman Sachs chief of staff John Rogers, U.K. Ambassador Kim Darroch, Steve Rattner, Peter Lattman, Dan Bartlett, NBC News President Andy Lack, CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker, Chuck Todd, Jake Tapper, Jonathan Karl, Wolf Blitzer, Greta Van Susteren, Sally Quinn, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, Senators Klobuchar and Warner, actress Debra Messing, QB Tony Romo and so many more.
Tomorrow morning, Axios and NBC will co-host a livestreamed pre-inauguration panel from the set of "Morning Joe," moderated by Joe, Mika, Jim VandeHei and me.
The 1 thing: Trump on deck, unplugged
Trump, who flew down to D.C. last evening for a fancy dinner honoring his prospective Cabinet, showed up unannounced at the Vice President's Dinner, a fundraiser starring Mike Pence (entree was duck) at the National Portrait Gallery. Trump gave lengthy, no-teleprompter remarks that were closed to the press. But an Axios AM reader sent us a partial tape. (Don't forget to do that.) Trump was feisty, funny and all over the place.
A sampler of what was on his mind, 36 hours before show time:
- "I chose Mike, and we went out on the trail, and I'll tell you: From Day 1, we started hitting it. We had our little ups and downs. You might have known there were some little canyons there [laughter] on occasion. … We don't give up, do we, folks? We never give up." [Applause.]
- "A lot of you are political people. A lot of you are just rich people … " [Laughter]
- "And we put out a tweet: Tweet! Tweet! [Laughter, applause.] I mean, you know, when I get all that dishonest stuff, one tweet can straighten it all out." [Laughter.]
- "We could not have done it without the people in this room. The people in this room are very special. Everyone is special. [Applause.] They're friends of mine. Sheldon Adelson is here someplace. … I think he only gave $125 million." [Applause.]
- "I think we ought to straighten out the PACs — right, folks? I think they should be able to give to a campaign and expose it and everything. But I think this PAC stuff — maybe we can get it straightened out, because it's a little ridiculous. [Laughter.] You have no idea. It's like the great sinkhole. You have no idea who's doing it, who's running them. I think people get very rich running PACs, but we're going to try and get that straightened out because it's crazy."
- "We're going to cut your taxes. We're going to get rid of the regulations that are strangling the economy. [Applause.] … I know the biggest businessmen and the small ones that love me and voted for me, and I love them. … Almost every single person that I ask was more excited about the regulations being cut than the taxes, which is surprising. [Applause.] So, we're going to do that."
- "Any Never Trumpers in this room? [Laughter.] No. … These people were angry. They didn't even know me. I never met them. … They're really right now on a respirator. … And we actually do have some Never Trumpers that are fantastic people. They just didn't understand me."
2. Trump 101: Our inside guide
At the top of the Axios STREAM, you'll find a scouting report on the Trump solar system by VandeHei and me, based on our conversations with the top players. Meet … The Inside Man: Jared Kushner … The Broker: Gary Cohn … The Brain: Stephen Miller … The Architect: Steve Bannon … The Doer: Reince Priebus … The Voice: Kellyanne Conway … The One: Ivanka Trump.
3. "Washington's smallest party in years"
Per WashPost Style front's "D.C. gears up for a raging weekend of inauguration parties? Not so much": "Trump [is] hosting only three official balls — far fewer than his predecessors at their first inaugurals … Trump's high-profile struggle to attract celebrities to perform at his inauguration has trickled down to the unofficial balls. … Bars aren't expecting a wild night."
- One area where it may be busy: Georgetown.
- WashPost Style p. 3, "Trump to restrict access for official inaugural balls," by Paul Farhi: "The two officially sanctioned inaugural balls, … at the Washington Convention Center, will be 'pool only, which means that only a handful of reporters and photographers will be allowed in when Trump appears … The official inaugural balls … have historically been 'open press.'" The Armed Services Ball will be open press.
4. Obama's closing words to press …
… at his final presser, which lasted 59 minutes in the Brady Press Briefing Room yesterday afternoon: "Thank you very much, press corps. Good luck."
(Above, POTUS taps podium as he concludes last news conference.)
5. Suddenly free for brunch
A final wave of West Wing staffers will "roll off" at 6 p.m. today, leaving just a few aides to staff POTUS tomorrow morning. A story slugged "Obama-Closing Shop," by AP's Josh Lederman has worthy color: "Before they leave the building for the final time, they'll go through a checklist that completes their formal separation from the White House: cell phones handed in, computers locked and papers properly filed to be archived. The last step, aides said, is the hardest: handing in the badge that provides access to the complex day or night."
6. The only story that matters?
Two-column lead of N.Y. Times, "FOR THIRD YEAR, THE EARTH IN 2016 SET HEAT RECORD: Threat to Society and Nature is Rising — Scale of Shift Startles Scientists."
—Mr. President-elect, please Sharpie this: "NASA's calculations suggested that the planet had warmed by well over a half-degree Fahrenheit from 2013 to 2016 … the largest temperature increase over a three-year period in the NASA record, which begins in 1880 …
"NOAA's records show only one other instance when global temperature records were set three years in a row: in 1939, 1940 and 1941. … 1941 now ranks as only the 37th-warmest year on record."
7. Tops in media trends
An engrossing graphic from Pew Research: "Fox News was the main source for 40% of Trump voters. … The next most-common main source among Trump voters, CNN, was named by only 8% of his voters. … Clinton voters … did not coalesce around any one source. CNN was named more than any other, ... at 18%."
"New NBC News/MSNBC National Security Analyst: Jeremy Bash, of Beacon Global Strategies, and former Chief of Staff at CIA and Pentagon. You've seen him a lot recently on TODAY, Nightly News and across MSNBC, now it's official. We hear he'll be on set for the main event on Friday." Jeremy was drinking water at our party because he had to do an 11 p.m. hit with Brian Williams.
8. Davos dope
THIS is a trend to pay attention to, with possible ripple effects in every major economy for years to come … "Davos CEOs 'go local' on supply chain in Trump era" — Reuters: "Business leaders in Davos, traditionally the high priests of globalization, are talking up the benefits of local production this week to shield themselves from criticism from … Trump. … 'The basic message is to be more national, don't just be global,' Richard Edelman, CEO of communications marketing firm Edelman, told Reuters. 'Let's try and pre-empt that tweet by having a long-term discussion about the supply chain.'"
9. Trending in business
- WSJ front pager, "U.S. Races To Finish Probes, Wring Payouts From Firms": "U.S. reaches settlements worth around $20 billion in the past week alone with megabanks, auto makers, drug companies and others."
- "Inauguration Is Sell Sign for Investors Riding Bromance Wave" — Bloomberg: "Buy Russian assets on Donald Trump's election, sell on his inauguration. … A U-turn in U.S.-Russian relations … could prove hard to achieve in practice."
- Goldman Sachs to slash London presence due to Brexit, per AFP: "Goldman Sachs will move 1,000 staff from London to Frankfurt as part of a post-Brexit reorganization that will reduce its City headcount by half, German business daily Handelsblatt reported … Goldman Sachs will cut its headcount in London from 6,000 to around 3,000. … Other London-based posts will be moved to New York, France, Spain and Poland. British bank HSBC confirmed Wednesday that 1,000 of its investment banking jobs would leave London for Paris … Cities across the EU, including Frankfurt, Paris and Dublin, have been jostling to attract banks mulling moves away from the City of London."
10. 1 fun thing
In London, Madame Tussauds unveils wax figure of Trump.
Video, "Life Accordion To Trump," has some fun with a Trump tic.
WHAT'D I MISS? Just reply to this email to send me your links, tips and thoughts.