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All habits, good and bad — in all organizations, big and small — flow down fast from the top.
Trump’s lifelong habits — to improvise, to attack, the deny the undeniable, to leak — spread fast through the White House, metastasized in the agencies, and infected Republicans in Congress. They are Republican habits now:
A senior administration official told me: "It's the Donald Trump culture. It's every man for himself — do what's best for me, not for the organization."
Why it matters: Trump has spent his life creating his own reality inside his head. Spend enough time working with him, and it becomes hard to resist seeing the world his way. Those who refuse to do so wind up lashing and leaking.
The malignant atmosphere was captured by the N.Y. Times' Peter Baker: "Trump is presiding over a staff in turmoil, one with a 34 percent turnover rate, higher than any White House in decades."
Be smart: Staffers tell me they go through a cycle of being enamored of Trump's larger-than life persona, but then become frustrated by the environment he creates and allows, followed by anger at his self-destructive tendencies.
Kicker ... Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, the "Wizard of Westwood," who won 10 national championships in 12 years: “The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example."
N.Y. Times' Maggie Haberman tweets: "Several White House officials are now prefacing or concluding their sentences in convos w reporters by making clear they can't swear by the information they've just given."
"Leaders of U.S. intelligence agencies warned ... that Russia will try to interfere in the 2018 U.S. midterm elections by using social media to spread propaganda and misleading reports," per Reuters:
P.S. "Aging polling stations and outdated software are prime targets
for a foreign attack, security experts warn," per the L.A. Times lead story:
N.Y. Times Quote of the Day, from "Men’s Skating Has an Open Secret: Starvation" ... Adam Rippon, a figure skater on the U.S. Olympic team, on pressures he faced related to body image and eating:
If you click only one thing ... 6 finalists for World Press Photo of the Year, via N.Y. Times.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios
Happening today ... The tech industry hopes to use a House hearing to educate Congress on the benefits of artificial intelligence, while downplaying many concerns as science fiction, Axios chief tech correspondent Ina Fried writes:
Sign up free for Ina Fried's morning newsletter, Login, written from San Francisco.
Axios Expert Voices ... Tige Savage, managing partner at Revolution Ventures:
As part of Trump's continuing message on border security, in coming weeks, look for him to visit the border-wall prototypes that contractors have built in San Diego.
Axios broke this news last night ... A senior administration official said President Trump "will veto any bill that doesn’t advance his common-sense immigration reforms" — a hardening of the White House bargaining position as the Senate begins an epic debate.
Read more of the White House's strategic thinking, and the Senate Dem retort.
"Over the course of many months, Israeli prosecutors investigating alleged corruption worked their way into the inner sanctum of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu," Bloomberg reports:
"[H]aving ... watched Israel shoot down an Iranian drone from Syria, bomb an Iranian base in Syria and lose one of its own F-16s to a Syrian missile; and after U.S. jets killed a bunch of Russian 'contractors' who got too close to our forces in Syria, I now think the Syria-Israel-Lebanon front is the most dangerous corner in the world."— N.Y. Times columnist Thomas Friedman, "Syria: You Own It, You Fix It, So Just Rent It"
"Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee has been reconsidering his decision to retire this year, but Mr. Corker’s hopes for retaining his seat are running into a potentially insurmountable object: President Trump," per the N.Y. Times' Jonathan Martin:
Doris Kearns Goodwin has a book, "Leadership," coming in September (Simon & Schuster) that will focus on four presidents she has written about before: Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, LBJ and FDR, according to AP's Hillel Italie:
Thanks for reading! Have fun tonight, and get updates all day long on Axios ...