Happy Friday! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,198 words ... 4 minutes.
Trump's most demonstrably false claim is that, as he put it in May, "we will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions."
Trump's claim that he has lowered drug prices for the first time in 51 years is murky at best. The timeframe is definitely wrong, as the WashPost reports, though the recent realities of drug pricing are more nuanced.
What's next: There's still a lot of time left before 2020, particularly for Trump to do something major on drug prices.
U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland is expected to testify next Wednesday before the House committees investigating President Trump and Ukraine, despite being blocked by the State Department from appearing at a closed-door deposition this week, four congressional sources tell Axios' Alayna Treene.
The big picture: On Thursday, the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees sent out the following schedule to committee members and staffers outlining the officials who are expected to testify over the next week:
Our sources acknowledge that they can't say with 100% certainty that the Trump administration will allow these officials to testify.
"At least four national security officials were so alarmed by the Trump administration’s attempts to pressure Ukraine for political purposes that they raised concerns with a White House lawyer both before and immediately after President Trump’s July 25 call," the WashPost's Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe report.
⚡ The whistleblower's lawyers "have asked Congress whether their client could submit testimony in writing instead of appearing in person," The Wall Street Journal reports.
Pro-Turkish Syrian fighters gather today along the border with Syria as they prepare to take part in the Turkish-led assault.
There's a double standard in corporate America, Axios' Erica Pandey writes:
Why it matters: The same companies that extol high-minded principles on U.S. soil will abide by censorship rules set by the Chinese Communist Party — and are even happy to travel to Riyadh to butter up the murderous Saudi royal family.
The bottom line, from N.Y. Times columnist Farhad Manjoo:
Jeff Bezos, the master of cutthroat capitalism, is ready to fight back as politicians try to rein in Amazon, Charles Duhigg — author of "The Power of Habit" and host of the new "How To!" podcast — writes for The New Yorker:
Silicon Valley is filled with product companies. ... Amazon is a process company. ... No other tech company does as many unrelated things, on such a scale, as Amazon.
Amazon is special not because of any asset or technology but because of its culture — its Leadership Principles and internal habits. Bezos refers to the company’s management style as Day One Thinking: a willingness to treat every morning as if it were the first day of business, to constantly re-examine even the most closely held beliefs. "Day Two is stasis," Bezos wrote, in a 2017 letter to shareholders. "Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day One."
White House officials are concerned about what former national security adviser John Bolton might reveal in his coming book about President Trump and his national security decision-making.
From a memo by GQR's Jeremy Rosner and Brina Malachowski, about a nationwide survey sponsored by Stand Up America and Need to Impeach:
Axios has obtained a lobbying disclosure form showing President Trump's former Pennsylvania campaign director, David Urban, will be working pro bono to free Paul Whelan, an American who has been detained in Russia since December 2018, Axios' Jonathan Swan reports.
Between the lines: In Urban, the Whelan family now has one of the best-connected advocates in Trumpworld.
Porsche and Boeing yesterday announced a partnership to explore the air taxi market with a flying sports car.
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