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President Trump was frustrated about leaks — specifically leaks attributed to "White House officials" — that were critical of him.
As recounted in Sims' memoir — "Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House," out Jan. 29 from Thomas Dunne Books — the minister's son from Alabama was soon sitting face to face with the man he still referred to as "DJT," in leftover campaign lingo.
As recounted in a passage from "Team of Vipers" you're seeing first on Axios:
“Give me their names,” he said, his eyes narrowing. “I want these people out of here. I’m going to take care of this. We’re going to get rid of all the snakes, even the bottom-feeders.”
Only in retrospect did I see how remarkable this was. I was sitting there with the President of the United States basically compiling an enemies list — but these enemies were within his own administration. If it had been a horror movie, this would have been the moment when everyone suddenly realizes the call is coming from inside the house.
The President proceeded to name White House staffer after White House staffer. Almost no one was deemed beyond reproach—not his chief of staff, not senior aides, almost no one other than those with whom he shared a last name. He wanted me to help him judge their loyalty. How, I wondered, had it come to this?
Trump took out one of the black Sharpies that he usually carries in his coat pocket.
The leakers formed Trump's unofficial Enemies List — all on his own staff. Most of the targets survived, at least for a while. But Trump seemed to revel in his new inside knowledge:
Sims portrays what he describes in his author's note as "the unvarnished Donald Trump, a man whose gifts and flaws are both larger than life, written by someone with an appreciation of both."
Two years ago, the Women's March sparked a movement that propelled a record number of women into politics. Ahead of tomorrow's march in D.C. and 280 other places around the country, it is fractured and so controversial that prominent Democratic women are steering clear, Axios' Caitlin Owens and Stef Kight report.
The big picture: Democrats still see women as key to their chances of claiming the White House in 2020. They largely credit the 2017 Women's March — which drew between 3.3 and 5.2 million people — as the spark that ignited the left's political backlash against President Trump and helped elect a record number of women to Congress in November.
Rachel Carmona, COO of the Women's March, told Axios:
It's a Catch-22 for Democratic candidates: Women voters are crucial for their 2020 prospects, and that the Women's March was a significant force in driving them to the polls. But the group's chaos and factions have made candidates reluctant to align themselves with this year's events.
The bottom line: "Big social movements are always complicated and messy," Cecile Richards, former president of Planned Parenthood, who spoke at the 2017 march, told Axios. "That’s the history of social movements. I think what’s really important is that the takeaway from all this is that women aren’t going back."
"Democratic leaders reacted with fury and demanded an investigation [late last night] following a new report that President Trump personally directed his former attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about the president’s push for a lucrative condo project in Moscow in the lead-up to the 2016 election," per the WashPost:
From BuzzFeed: "Trump vehemently denied having any business interests in Russia. But behind the scenes, he was pushing the Moscow project, which he hoped could bring his company profits in excess of $300 million."
"Make it happen," the sources said Trump told Cohen.
Over the past year, The Boston Globe tracked down 93 of the 113 valedictorians who appeared in the paper’s "Faces of Excellence" features from 2005 to 2007.
The findings were sad and scary:
Four have been homeless: "[T]he Globe interviewed four who experienced homelessness after high school."
Why it matters: This represents a stunning "epidemic of untapped potential."
This is amazing: "Despite the many obstacles to success they encountered, Boston valedictorians themselves generally did not complain about their disadvantages."
"Thousands of federal employees and their families are applying for unemployment and food stamps to get by as the longest government shutdown in U.S. history drags on with no end in sight," AP's Michelle Smith reports:
N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... Kirk Skinner, acting federal security director at Tampa International Airport, on public sympathy for TSA officers, who are working without pay:
P.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell op-ed in today's Washington Post, "H.R. 1 is really the Democrat Politician Protection Act."
The cover of The New Yorker next week is "Walled In," by John Cuneo.
The New Yorker's "Cover Story" notes that Cuneo last year depicted the President enjoying a day of golfing in the swamp.
The HHS inspector general said yesterday that "more migrant children may have been split from their families than the Trump administration previously reported," AP's Colleen Long and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar report:
Facebook investor Roger McNamee uses a new book, "Zucked," out Feb. 5, to escalate his claims that the social network is bad for society, Axios' David McCabe writes.
Facebook is pushing back: "The reality is Roger McNamee hasn’t been involved with Facebook for a decade," said a spokesperson.
McNamee is a longtime investor who founded his last firm, Elevation, with Bono as a partner; he says he still holds shares of Facebook.
The book’s seven pages of acknowledgments namecheck 15 Senate staffers and eight from the House, as well as a large swath of the media — from the makeup team at MSNBC to some of the outlets that broke the Cambridge Analytica story.
"Monday's observance of what would have been Martin Luther King Jr.'s 90th birthday is emerging as an important moment for Democrats eyeing the White House to talk about one of the most divisive issues in American politics: race," AP's Errin Haines Whack writes:
"The King holiday marks the first time in the early days of the Democratic primary that so many White House hopefuls are holding public events on the same day."
Raising a glass to Axios' second anniversary ... A hot trend in restaurants: Smart Brevity for wine lists.
"Micro lists are less intimidating and easier to navigate."
And all the people said: Amen!