Good Thursday morning.
Situational awareness: "Michael Cohen, the longtime personal attorney for President Donald Trump, filed court papers ... indicating he would assert his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination regarding his involvement in a hush money deal involving porn star Stormy Daniels and the President." (CNN)
Expressive Macron during yesterday's speech at the Capitol (Collage: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron said at a remarkably candid postgame for a small group of reporters last evening that his State Visit left him convinced President Trump will withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran, and that the U.S. president wants to create "a series of new Trump's deals":
Hours after addressing Congress — and after two dinners, a press conference and several meetings with Trump — Macron sat down with a dozen or so journalists on couches in the George Washington University student center.
Macron and Trump had such playful, touchy-feely interactions for cameras that a New York Times headline called it "Le Bromance."
Macron thinks Trump will get out of the Obama-era deal with Iran by a May 12 deadline "for domestic reasons":
When a columnist asked if Trump will have a "much more difficult time persuading North Korea to accept a deal if he does not honor the Iran deal," Macron replied:
Be smart ... Macron had this take on U.S. vacillation on international agreements, including the Iran deal and the Paris climate accord: "It can work [in] the short term, but it's very insane [in] the mid- to long-term."
White House sources tell Axios' Jonathan Swan that they expect White House physician Ronny Jackson to withdraw as President Trump's nominee to run the Veterans Affairs Department, after Democrats on Capitol Hill circulated harsh new allegations.
Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, the top Democrat on the Veterans Affairs Committee, said Jackson was known as "the candy man" for dispensing drugs. Tester's staff circulated a "Summary of Allegations Against Admiral Jackson" that included "hostile work environment" and "drunkenness."
Why the White House held on so long:
Be smart: A U.S. senator is giving credence to these allegations. Tester has a tough reelection race in a red state, and may have some incentive not to cause problems for the administration. So the fact that he’s putting his reputation behind these claims is significant, though it certainly doesn’t prove they’re true.
After rapper Kanye West tweeted support for President Trump and Trump tweeted back, an administration official told me:
A White House official added: "From Kanye's move, other boldness will flow."
"Giving Voice To the Victims Of Racist Terror ... A Lynching Memorial Is Opening ... The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, opening [today] in Montgomery, Ala., is dedicated to victims of white supremacy" — N.Y. Times' Campbell Robertson:
Democrats have a real shot at winning two of the three Senate seats where Republicans are most vulnerable in the midterm elections, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.
Drill down, and you see other reasons for Rs to worry:
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Facebook, despite years of outreach to conservatives, remains a punching bag for the right, Axios' David McCabe writes:
P.S. from Axios' Sara Fischer ... Big Tech crushes earnings despite backlash.
"Extremist propaganda, dangerous hoaxes — YouTube is having its worst year ever. Except financially," Bloomberg Businessweek's Lucas Shaw and Mark Bergen write:
"The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age," by David E. Sanger, national security correspondent for The New York Times, will be out June 19 from Crown:
Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
"As a light rain trickled down Wednesday, Republican members of Congress returned to a baseball field where a gunman critically wounded teammate Rep. Steve Scalise and shattered their sense of security nearly a year ago," USA Today's Deborah Barfield Barry reports:
"Portrait of the South, Served Up One Waffle House Order at a Time" — N.Y. Times' Alan Blinder: