☕️ Good Saturday morning.
Situational awareness: Florence's damage to the Carolinas puts it seventh among the worst U.S. hurricanes, but far below last year’s cyclone trio, per The Wall Street Journal:
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
We’re starting to see the consequences of President Trump's war with his own Justice Department and the intelligence community, sources tell Jonathan Swan and me.
Yesterday's astonishing leak: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "suggested last year that he secretly record President Trump in the White House to expose the chaos consuming the administration," and discussed the possible invocation of the 25th amendment, per the N.Y. Times.
Why it matters, from a top Republican: “There is not a cohesive Executive Branch that is carrying out the president’s orders and that is focused on the president’s policy goals. That doesn’t exist.”
The fallout ... Rosenstein's denial, which convinced no one: "I never pursued or authorized recording the President and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false."
Be smart: The leak is a tiny indication of how much special counsel Robert Mueller knows that we don't — and has known for months.
"Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) gave [Christine Blasey] Ford one more day to respond to his offer for her and [Brett] Kavanaugh to testify before his panel on Wednesday," per the WashPost.
The conversation ... Patti Davis, novelist and daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, writing in the WashPost, "I was sexually assaulted. Here’s why I don’t remember many of the details":
N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, reassuring a meeting of religious conservatives of Republicans’ resolve to confirm Kavanaugh:
Shot: "Saddled with an unpopular president and getting little or no traction from a robust economy, Republicans have settled on a blunt-force strategy as they struggle to hang onto the House in November: Paint the opposition as wild-eyed and dangerous," the L.A. Times' Mark Z. Barabak reports.
Chaser ... "Overconfident? Dem optimism surges as midterms approach," by AP's Steve People's and Juana Summers:
P.S. "China has called off planned trade talks with the U.S. and is unlikely to sit down with Washington until after the mid-term elections." (Bloomberg)
Former President Obama working a campaign rally in Philadelphia yesterday.
"Google bosses have forced employees to delete a confidential memo circulating inside the company that revealed explosive details about a plan to launch a censored search engine in China," The Intercept reports:
"The memo was shared earlier this month among a group of Google employees who have been organizing internal protests over the censored search system."
"Google did not respond to a request for comment."
Illustration: Sarah Grillo, Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Major U.S. carriers plan to deploy mobile 5G networks by early next year, with some early efforts planned for later this year, Axios' Ina Fried reports.
Watch your email later today for an Axios AM Deep Dive on "The 5G Future."
"The Black Eyed Peas tackle gun violence at schools and immigration in two new music videos for their song, 'Big Love,'" AP Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu reports: