Happy Friday. Welcome to June, and Pride Month.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
By any historical measure, it’s highly unusual for President Trump to repeatedly pressure his attorney general to intervene in an investigation of the White House, as Jonathan Swan scooped late yesterday. (Trump urged Jeff Sessions "to reclaim control of the Russia investigation on at least four separate occasions, three times in person and once over the phone.")
Be smart: Maybe these three events are mere coincidence. But almost no one
around Trump, even his closest allies, thinks this is the case.
Why Trump loves pardons, per Jonathan Swan:
Pardon flurry ahead, per WashPost: "A senior White House official said that as many as a dozen other pardons are under consideration by Trump, adding that most are likely to happen."
Haphazard process .... "Trump’s pardon of D’Souza was his sixth act of clemency as president. Each was issued unilaterally, subverting the traditional Justice Department process of reviewing thousands of pardon requests," per WashPost.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Pope Francis is hosting a gathering next week at the Vatican with executives of major oil producers and investment firms to talk about how the companies can address climate change, Axios' Amy Harder scoops:
Situational awareness: One year ago today, Trump announced his intention to withdraw America from the Paris climate deal, which now has support from every country except the United States.
Here are some of the expected participants in the private conference:
The big picture ... The Pope, BlackRock and big oil companies are increasingly focusing on climate change: Cleaner sources of energy have become more competitive, the impacts of a warmer world have become more apparent, and public pressure to address the issue mounts. This meeting reflects this convergence.
The details: The focus of the gathering is similar to the encyclical (“On Care For Our Common Home”) with an emphasis on the energy transition of a “shared home,” according to people familiar with it. The event is occurring late next week, with two people saying the Pope is likely to talk Saturday.
Be smart: While it’s a significant meeting, it’s still just a meeting. Deep political stalemate persists in the United States on the issue. Tensions are flaring over lawsuits alleging big oil companies are liable for climate change and some environmentalists say the industry’s greener moves aren’t big or fast enough.
President Trump told Reuters' Steve Holland aboard Air Force One yesterday that it may take more than one meeting with North Korean's Kim Jong-un to seal a denuclearization deal.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
What Trump was thinking when he imposed tariffs on imports from the closest U.S. neighbors and allies ...
Jonathan Swan has this priceless insight from a source who has worked closely with the president, and has a first-hand understanding of his negotiating tactics:
Be smart: President Trump is now confronting two nuclear standoffs (North Korea and Iran) and fighting a trade war on multiple fronts — all at the same time, Axios World editor David Lawler points out.
Democrats have overperformed by an average of 9 points in each of the eight special elections since President Trump took office — giving us a sense of what a blue wave might look like in November.
14% of U.S. adults in a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll say they're likely to go electric with their next car purchase or lease, while a combined 62% said they would probably steer clear, Axios energy reporter Ben Geman writes:
The data: Sales of pure electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars in the U.S. last year were close to 200,000 combined. That's a little more than 1% of the country's roughly 17 million auto sales.
The catch: There are still plenty of factors that can prevent pro-electric consumers from making the leap, including limits on vehicle availability in some regions, and the number of models to choose.
Wall Street Journal tech columnist Christopher Mims, "Tech’s Titans Tiptoe Toward Monopoly: Amazon, Facebook and Google may be repeating the history of steel, utility, rail and telegraph empires past — while Apple appears vulnerable" (subscription):
"Under an authoritarian government such as China’s, digital monitoring is turning a nasty police state into a terrifying, all-knowing one. Especially in the western region of Xinjiang, China is applying artificial intelligence," per The Economist's cover editorial:
"ESPN managers are telling their most outspoken broadcasters and writers to be careful on social media in light of Disney axing Roseanne Barr’s TV show over her racist tweets," per the N.Y. Post:
Karthik Nemmani, 14, of Texas, became the champion Scripps National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., after "koinonia," which means Christian fellowship or communion, AP's Ben Nuckols reports.
Getting their spell on.
Sravanth Malla, 14, from Haverstraw, N.Y.
Paul Hamrick, 14, from Monterey, Calif.
Medina Miranda, 13, from Long Beach, Calif.
Rohan Raja, 12, from Irving, Texas.