Last Tuesday night, just after 8 p.m., Steve Bannon's cellphone started lighting up. Colleagues and friends were sending him the link to the column by the New York Post's Michael Goodwin quoting President Trump as saying "I like Steve, but... ." They wanted to know if the story was as bad as it looked.
As part of our "Trump 101" series on this president's style and decision making, Axios' Jonathan Swan writes that the stunning episode illuminates Trump's improvisational management style:
He's always been more of a creative deal-maker and salesman than a manager. In his business career, he oversaw a very lean executive team, and he preferred his deals to be mano-a-mano. He made phone calls from early morning to late into the night. He stayed loose, always open to next idea.
The bigger the concept, the more potential for glamor, the better. And he always, always — as Bannon, Reince and the rest now keenly know — kept his associates on edge.
In a one-paragraph statement for this story, trusted Trump aide Hope Hicks described him with the words "unbelievably successful," "incredibly effective," "great," "leadership," "ingenuity" and "high energy."
Click here to read the 7 elements of Trump's management style.
The brutal but foreseeable banishment of Bill O'Reilly pushes aside all other global events and gets a two-column lead splash from the N.Y. Times, "Fox News Ousts O'Reilly, A Host Central to Its Rise."
It's partly a victory lap by the paper that lit the fuse with rat-tat revelations of cascading harassment allegations, triggering an advertiser exodus. But it's also a reflection of the change as a signal moment in the converging worlds of business, media, culture and politics. Your quick read on the aftermath:
Facebook's new interests in technology for reading brain waves — and mixed reality that barely exist today — shows that it wants to compete with Google when it comes to tech moonshots, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva writes.
The big news from the closing day of this year's Facebook developers' conference:
The "America First" president who vowed to extricate the U.S. from onerous overseas commitments is warming to global agreements, AP's Matt Lee and Josh Lederman write:
P.S. WashPost top of column 1, "U.S. sows confusion on foreign affairs," by David Nakamura and Karen DeYoung: "[T]he normally meticulous care that goes into formulating and coordinating U.S. government policy positions or even simple statements is often absent. Institutional memory is lacking, ... former officials said, and mistakes and contradictions easily slip through the cracks."
President Trump plans to issue a memo today calling for the Commerce Department to investigate whether steel imports hinder national security. Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs broke the story on Twitter. Jonathan Swan confirmed it and reads between the lines:
"AP Exclusive: Pesticide maker tries to kill risk study," by AP's Michael Biesecker: "Dow Chemical is pushing the Trump administration to scrap the findings of federal scientists who point to a family of widely used pesticides as harmful to about 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species."
P.S. Wall Street Journal 2-column lead, "Exxon Seeks Waiver for Russia Deal," by Jay Solomon and Brad Olson: "Exxon Mobil Corp. has applied to the Treasury Department for a waiver from U.S. sanctions on Russia in a bid to resume its joint venture with state oil giant PAO Rosneft."
After a series of embarrassing jumper incidents, the Secret Service announced that the sidewalk along the White House south fence closed permanently at 11 last night, WTOP and other outlets reported:
The Census Bureau yesterday released a study, "The Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood From 1975-2016," concluding that today's 18-to-34-year-olds "look different from prior generations in almost every regard: how much education they have, their work experiences, when they start a family":
The May issue of GQ has a four-page spread on CNN's Jake Tapper as "The Hardest-Working Brow in the Business," by Taffy Brodesser-Akner:
[T]he Jake Tapper WTF Face [is] that unique look through which he transmits his seeming disbelief and outrage ... There is the JTWTFF that is a mere frown ... a hood over his downward-turning, disappointed eyes. ... My favorite Jake Tapper WTF Face is the one where his eyebrows arch but also corrugate into small bowl-shaped caterpillars ...
Tapper allows an incredulousness, and maybe even a smidge of disgust, to sneak on through. In those moments, when he augments the standard newsman persona to include his own come-off-it realness, he has a way of embodying all of us.
The colorful, controversial Roger Stone — author of "The Making of the President 2016: How Donald Trump Orchestrated a Revolution" — is the WashPost Style section cover story, "A bedrock of dark politics," by Manuel Roig-Franzia in Oakland Park, Fla.:
Stone, a prolific author who hosts a radio program and runs a website, StoneColdTruth.com, never really went away. He's been talking nonstop for decades, pointing an accusing finger at Lyndon Johnson for alleged complicity in the Kennedy assassination, rooting around in Bill Clinton's extramarital misdeeds, depicting the Bushes as a "crime family." It's just that now there are more people listening.
His studio — a man-cave-style haunt slathered floor to ceiling with Nixon memorabilia and conspiracy books — has been stocked with professional lighting and a broadcast-quality audio line by Stone's 19-year-old grandson, Nick. ...
Stone met his Cuban American wife, Nydia, during one of Ronald Reagan's presidential campaigns, where she was working as a photographer. In a Polaroid picture taped to her computer monitor, the future married couple are slender and stylish with deep 1980s tans.