White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer personally picked up the phone and connected outside officials with reporters to try to discredit a New York Times article about Trump campaign aides' contact with Russia, then remained on the line for the brief conversations, Axios has learned. Ten key points:
What you need to know about the right-wing movement consuming Europe: The rise of nationalism and right-wing populism is the story of the decade in America and across Europe. The global movement delivered Donald Trump the presidency and formed the core of his inaugural address. In coming years, it could fundamentally reshape the European Union as we know it.
See our 12 cards — by Shane Savitsky Alex Duner Rebecca Zisser — showing how populism has made its mark across the continent, and what might happen next.
... of Trump's address to a Joint Session of Congress tomorrow at 9 p.m., per Jonathan Swan: safety, sovereignty and economic opportunity.
Chris Krueger of Cowen Washington Research Group has this sly preview: "We believe the speech will be best described as American First (with more of a smile) along with a greatest hits collection of Trump's achievements thus far and the big goals remaining for the Congress: tax reform/relief, border security, health care, and infrastructure."
"We would not be surprised to see further language in sync with Friday's CPAC address, where Trump stated 'the GOP will be from now on the party of the American worker.' So language more geared towards the proletariat as opposed to the owners of the means of production."
A WashPost front-pager, "Mixed feelings in Trump land," takes a turn from the "attaboy" theme of most recent dispatches from Trump country. Jenna Johnson, who covered last year's Iowa caucuses, talked to more than 100 Iowans on a 370-mile drive across the state last week. She writes from Clinton, Iowa, under the online headline, "These Iowans voted for Trump. Many of them are already disappointed":
"While Iowa is still home to many strong supporters who say it's too early to judge him, there are others who say they voted for Trump simply because he wasn't Clinton. Many Iowans worry Trump might cut support for wind-energy and ethanol programs; that his trade policies could hurt farms that export their crops; that mass deportations would empty the state's factories and meat-packing plants; and that a repeal of the Affordable Care Act would yank health insurance away from thousands.
"While the hyper-simplicity of Trump's campaign promises helped him win over voters, they are no match for the hyper-complexity of Iowa's economy and values."
Today, a progressive "Shadow Cabinet" starts tweeting @ShadowingTrump to rebut the administration's statements, actions and tweets in real time.
The "cabinet" includes scholars, authors and former Democratic officials, assembled by former New York City Public Advocate Mark Green in six weeks of frantic phoning, emailing and fundraising:
Wendy's is installing self-help kiosks at 1,000 restaurants this year.
The automation paradox, per Axios' Chris Matthews: This is the sort of anecdote brandished by those who warn of the effects of automation on the labor market, and the theoretical case for why recent advances in computer science will greatly increase number of automatable jobs is strong.
But actual labor productivity growth has been at historically low levels lately. If automation were overtaking the American labor market, business would be producing more with fewer workers, and the data is saying they're not — at least yet.
Wall Street Journal front-pager, "Markets Flash Warning Sign," by Min Zeng: "Stocks and bonds are again moving in tandem after diverging in recent months—a sign some investors may be losing faith in the so-called reflation trade."
The Recode headline says it all: "Chart of the day: The BlackBerry's fall to 0.0 percent market share. A decade after the iPhone launched, the BlackBerry platform is all but dead."
Will be quite a block party ...
The WashPost's Style banner is: "CHAOS IN THE MOONLIGHT."
The last-minute Oscars debacle ... The L.A. Times Josh Rottenberg captures the scene in "'Moonlight' wins in unprecedented upset during a night of many firsts":
"In one of the most surprising upsets and shocking moments in Oscar history, the poetic coming-of-age drama 'Moonlight' [about a poor gay African American boy growing up in Miami] took home the top prize for best picture at the 89th Academy Awards, beating out the heavily favored 'La La Land,' which was actually announced as the winner.
"The win for 'Moonlight' came in a chaotic and confused moment that played out live in front of an audience of millions, as presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway initially presented the ... final award to 'La La Land,' only to have one of the film's producers announce that 'Moonlight' had, in fact, won. ...
"'Oh my God, he got the wrong envelope,' said a stage hand in the wings. When 'La La Land' producer Jordan Horowitz revealed the mistake — 'this is not a joke, "Moonlight" won' — the audience in the Dolby Theatre erupted in gasps."
See Vanity Fair's full list of winners.