Good morning. Today's AM is 1,140 words, a >5-minute read.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
He's bluffing — 'til he's not, Axios World editor Dave Lawler writes:
Between the lines: Trump does frequently back down from threats. But in other cases, he defies expectations by doubling down. Even threats that seem to expire — a national emergency on the border, blanket tariffs on China — can rear their heads once again.
The bottom line: Trump often vows to do things no other president would consider. But he's followed through on enough of them that ... you never know.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
U.S. politics have teed up twin reckonings — one a sudden threat against the gargantuan power accumulated by Big Tech, and the second a challenge to the decades-long rise of China, Axios Future editor Steve LeVine writes.
The bottom line: Allies and companies are having to make a difficult choice between the U.S. and China.
François Delattre, France’s ambassador to the UN, leaves this parting thought in a New York Times op-ed before returning to Paris after almost 20 years as a diplomat in North America:
[T]he world is growing more dangerous and less predictable by the day. ... [T]he tectonic plates of power are shifting under our feet, driven ... by the combined effects of a technology revolution and the rise of China ...
The situation today is objectively dangerous. Each serious international crisis has the potential to spin out of control. That is what we saw happen in Syria and what we need to prevent with Iran and North Korea, and in the South China Sea.
Pierce Bush, grandson of President George H.W. Bush, unveils a stamp issued in his honor in College Station, Texas, on what would have been his 95th birthday.
Chase Untermeyer, a longtime friend who was director of presidential personnel in the Bush administration, said:
Life lesson: Not a bad example to follow.
President Trump told ABC's George Stephanopoulos, during two days of interviews that will air as a prime-time special, that he might not alert the FBI if a foreign government offered damaging info on 2020 rivals.
How it's playing ... Lead of CNN.com: "Trump throws open 2020 election to foreign spies."
L.A. Times front page today: "Trump campaign crushing it on web." Noah Bierman and Evan Halper report:
Flashback ... Axios' Sara Fischer on March 19: Another Trump Facebook election
A new poll of 1,003 black Americans, from the Black Economic Alliance, found that one-quarter to one-third of those surveyed "have reservations" about or are "very uncomfortable" with Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, and Pete Buttigieg as presidential candidates, Axios' Alexi McCammond writes.
Michael Wolff's "Siege" sold just 17,756 copies in its first week, according to NPD BookScan figures reported by AP.
In September, Bob Woodward's "Fear" sold 1.1 million copies in its first week in all formats (hardback, digital and audio).
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
At a Business Roundtable event yesterday, executives of major companies said that the trade conflict with China is already prompting decisions with long-term consequences — like how to shift supply chains, Axios' Courtenay Brown reports.
The backdrop: The trade war is ramping up just as the jolt from tax cuts is fading, and the economic cycle may be nearing an end.
"The wait is over, the curse lifted. After more than a half-century of futility, the [St. Louis] Blues are Stanley Cup champions by virtue of their 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 7." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
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