Aug 28, 2018

Axios AM

☕️ Good Tuesday morning ...

1 big thing: Trump calls Big Tech "RIGGED"

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A pair of tweets by President Trump this morning add high drama to a joint Capitol Hill appearance next week by Facebook, Google and Twitter:

  • "Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good," Trump tweeted.
  • "They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!"

In a 5:24 a.m. wake-up call for Big Tech, Trump began:

  • "Google search results for 'Trump News' shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal?"
  • "96% of ... results on 'Trump News' are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous."

Be smart: Trump has been whacking social media, on social media, to shift next week's hearings to how he’s a victim of social media.

Big Tech testifies a week from tomorrow (Sept. 5) about censorship and election interference.

  • The platforms are better prepared than they were for a joint appearance a year ago, Axios' Sara Fischer writes.
  • The companies are bringing in higher level witnesses: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is coming, and Twitter will send CEO Jack Dorsey. Google so far has offered SVP and general counsel Kent Walker, which Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr rejected.
2. Outsiders fund "local" races
Expand chart
Data: Individual contributions from FEC; ZIP Code coordinates from U.S. Census Bureau. Map includes candidates who received at least 500 contributions as of Aug. 27. Graphic: Harry Stevens and Lazaro Gamio/Axios

All politics may be local, but the money comes from afar:

  • More than two-thirds of individual contributions to 2018 House candidates so far has come from donors outside the candidates' districts, Axios visual journalist Harry Stevens found using FEC data.
  • Why it matters, from Axios' Alexi McCammond: Candidates have to build a brand that transcends their district if they want to run a competitive campaign and thwart outside groups' spending against them.

What we found:

  • Of the total amount given to House candidates — $509 million — 73% came from outside the district.
  • Of the total number of contributions — 866,000 — 69% came from outside the district.
  • Most contributions still come from within the state — just not from within the district.

Amid anticipation of a blue wave that could give Democrats control of the House, Dems are raising slightly more from outside their districts this cycle than GOP candidates — 70% for Ds; 63% for Rs.

  • Stephen Spaulding of Common Cause, a nonpartisan government reform group, said: "We've seen a massive wave of energy," particularly in online donations.

Most and least:

  • House Speaker Paul Ryan, who isn't running for reelection, is the least local candidate: 99.5% of his 11,000 contributions came from outside Wisconsin's 1st district, and 99.9% of the $51 million he raised came from outside his district.
  • The most local candidate award goes to South Dakota's Dusty Johnson, a Republican. He received just 7% of his contributions from contributors outside his district — the entirety of South Dakota.

Search the graphic by candidate.

3. Stat du jour

Struggling in a strong economy ... 40% of American families struggled to meet a basic need last year — food, health care, housing or utilities — according to an Urban Institute survey of 7,600 adults (reported by AP's Sarah Skidmore Sell):

  • 23% of households struggled to feed their family at some point during the year.
  • 18% didn't seek care for a medical need because of the cost.
  • 13% missed a utility payment.
  • 10% didn't pay the full amount of their rent or mortgage, or paid it late.
4. Pic du jour
Trump speaks to reporters after a phone call with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto on trade in the Oval Office. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq set record highs after Trump announced a preliminary United States-Mexico Trade Agreement, saying he's getting rid of the name "NAFTA."

  • The White House is pushing Canada to sign next.

Be smart, from Jonathan Swan: The Trump administration is trying to bully Canada into agreeing quickly to its demands and wants to use the press, and the spectacle of the Mexico announcement, to get Canada to comply.

  • But a quick trilateral deal would be a remarkable lift for the Canadians.
  • Is Justin Trudeau really going to sign a deal with the appearance that he was frogmarched to the signing ceremony and completely caved to Trump, who is utterly toxic in Canada?
5. Poll of the day
Expand chart
Data: Survey Monkey online poll conducted Aug. 22-24 among 4,362 U.S. adults. Total margin of error: ±3.0 percentage points. Modeled error estimates: African-American women: ±7.0; age 18 to 34: ±4.5; white suburban women: ±5.0; Never Hillary independents: ±8.0; rural voters ±4.0. Poll methodology. Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

In an Axios/SurveyMonkey poll, almost two-thirds of Americans (64%) believe Michael Cohen's claim that President Trump ordered him to make illegal payments to two women to keep them quiet.

  • But less than half of Americans (44%) believe Congress should start impeachment proceedings.

Three key subgroups — white suburban women, "Never Hillary" independents and rural voters — are strongly against impeachment.

  • Two subgroups — millennials and African-American women — strongly favor it.

Go deeper.

6. You should be aware
Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. (Altaf Qadri/AP)

U.N. investigators said the military in Myanmar (borders Thailand) "carried out mass killings and gang rapes of Muslim Rohingya with 'genocidal intent,' and the commander-in-chief and five generals should be prosecuted ... under international law," Reuters reports from Geneva:

  • "The U.N. investigators blamed Myanmar’s de facto civilian leader, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, for failing to use her 'moral authority' to protect civilians."

The report "could serve as a major catalyst for change in how the world’s big social media companies [blamed for incitement] handle hate speech in parts of the world where they have limited direct presence but their platforms command huge influence."

7. Stormy gets glam
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue: Michael Avenatti and Stormy Daniels, in New York. Zac Posen dress. Tiffany & Co. earrings.

Amy Chozick — N.Y. Times writer-at-large, and author of "Chasing Hillary" — writes in the October issue of Vogue that Stormy Daniels is "globally known by a single name: Stormy, the unlikely, embattled symbol of our tempestuous times."

"Daniels argues that her nondisclosure agreement is invalid because Trump himself didn’t sign it. ... Daniels’s individual case — who signed what; who defamed whom — could be a catalyst of historic proportions."
"'Not once did I ever feel like I was in any sort of physical danger. I’m sure if I would’ve taken off running, he wouldn’t have given chase. And even if I had, there’s no way he could’ve caught me.' Avenatti laughs in the background at this. Then Daniels says, 'He’s even less likely to catch me now.'"

Keep reading.

8. Court's ballot bite

One of the fall's great political dramas will be the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation votes by Democratic senators up for reelection in red states.

A polling memo from WPA Intelligence and Definers Public Affairs, "Political Peril Facing Red State Democrats On SCOTUS Obstruction," shows how Republicans will try to make the issue an albatross:

  • In 10 states polled, "support for Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination is highest in four states that President Trump won by double-digits in 2016 and where incumbent Democratic senators are particularly vulnerable" — North Dakota, Montana, West Virginia and Missouri.

Read the memo.

9. An 11-year-old with book deal
(Penguin Young Readers via AP)

Alice Paul Tapper, daughter of author and CNN anchor Jake Tapper, has a picture book coming in March, AP reports:

  • Alice, who turned 11 yesterday, has collaborated with illustrator Marta Kissi on "Raise Your Hand."
  • "The book originates from an idea Alice and fellow Girl Scouts developed after Alice noticed that on a school trip the boys spoke up and girls remained quiet."
  • "Girl Scouts can receive a 'Raise Your Hand' patch by promising to raise their hands in class and get at least three others to do the same."

Alice, "whose father contributes 'spot illustrations,' said ... she hoped her book would inspire girls 'to be bold and brave.'"

10. 1 🏈 thing
Courtesy N.Y. Post

Trump and the NFL ... The N.Y. Times Magazine just posted an adaptation from Mark Leibovich's forthcoming "Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times," out next Tuesday from Penguin Press:

"The roiling politicization of the game ... seems ... unlikely to abate as long as Trump remains in office. As a Trump hobbyhorse, the anthem protests pack all the key elements: They provide a grand spectacle, undercut an institution that Trump feels personal spite toward and highlight an issue that he believes he can exploit for political gain. ...
"As with so many of Trump’s fixations, this one came with a back story of personal grievance: repeated rejection in his efforts across four decades to buy an N.F.L. team. ...
"A collision between Trump and pro football was probably inevitable: There was only so much room in the national head space for these dueling soap operas of American carnage. Now Trump gets to terrorize the club that would not have him as a member.
"It must give him immense satisfaction to know that the N.F.L. — on the eve of a new season — has no clue how to handle him or what to do about the national-anthem protests that a few players are still engaging in. ...
"It’s an interesting thought experiment: What if Trump had got a team after all? Would he still have felt the need to run for president?"

Savor the nuggets.

Thanks for reading. See you all day on