Feb 22, 2020

Axios AM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

🎰 Happy Saturday! It's Nevada caucus day. With Iowa's results still in dispute, the Democratic Party won’t commit to same-day release of today's results.

  • What could go wrong?

📱 Get the latest dope and data all day/night from the smart screen at the top of Axios.com.

1 big thing: America's future looks like Nevada

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The U.S. in 2045 will look a lot like Nevada in 2020, Axios demographics reporter Stef Kight writes.

  • The U.S. is on track to become minority white by 2045. Nevada is one of just 4 states that is already there.
  • Hispanic people are expected to make up 25% of the American population by 2045. They're 29% of Nevada's population.
  • Immigration will likely be the backbone of the U.S. future population growth, and will likely hit record levels by 2045. Today, immigrants' share of the Nevada population is the 5th largest of any state.
  • The vast majority of Nevadans live in urban areas — like 89% of Americans by 2050, according to UN projections.
  • At 10% of the population, Nevada's black voting bloc is significant. The U.S. will be 13% black in 2045.

The big picture: This'll be American's first general election in which eligible Hispanic voters outnumber eligible black voters.

2. U.S. says Russia also meddles for Sanders
Sen. Bernie Sanders greets supporters at his "Get Out the Early Vote" rally in Santa Ana, ahead of California's March 3 primary. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders said he was briefed by U.S. officials "about a month ago" that Russia has been trying to help his campaign as part of Moscow's efforts to interfere in the 2020 election, AP reports.

  • "We were told that Russia, maybe other countries, are going to get involved in this campaign," Sanders said at a campaign stop in Santa Ana, Calif.
  • "Here's the message to Russia: Stay out of American elections."

Campaigning in Vegas minutes before Sanders condemned the Russians, Trump told supporters that he heard Democrats were trying to "start a rumor ... that Putin wants to make sure I get elected."

  • "Wouldn't he rather have, let's say Bernie?"

Sanders, who complains about mainstream coverage of his campaign, said of the revelation, first reported by the WashPost:

  • "One day before the Nevada caucus, why do you think it came out? ... It was The Washington Post? Good friends."
3. Boss of bin Laden raid: "We should be frightened"

Retired Navy Admiral William McRaven — U.S. special forces commander from 2011 to 2014, including the 2011 SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden — writes a WashPost op-ed condemning President Trump's treatment of retired Vice Admiral Joe Maguire, acting director of national intelligence until this week:

As Americans, we should be frightened — deeply afraid for the future of the nation. When good men and women can’t speak the truth, when facts are inconvenient, when integrity and character no longer matter, when presidential ego and self-preservation are more important than national security — then there is nothing left to stop the triumph of evil.

📚 P.S. Marie Yovanovitch, former ambassador to Ukraine, has a seven-figure deal (Javelin) for a memoir due in spring 2021 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

4. Weinstein jury splits on most serious charges
Harvey Weinstein listens to testimony being read back during jury deliberations yesterday. Courtroom sketch: Jane Rosenberg for Reuters

The jury (seven men, five women) "in Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault trial in New York said ... they were deadlocked on the most serious criminal charges and suggested they were unanimous on the others," per Reuters.

  • "The jurors asked Justice James Burke ... whether they could be hung on the two counts of predatory sexual assault and unanimous on the other three, which include first-degree rape," Reuters adds.
  • Burke told them it is common for juries to have trouble reaching unanimity, but that most are eventually able to: "Please resume your deliberations."
5. Wells Fargo to pay $3 billion for fake accounts

"Wells Fargo & Co. will pay $3 billion to settle U.S. investigations into more than a decade of widespread consumer abuses," the L.A. Times reports.

  • Why it matters: The deferred-prosecution deal with the Department of Justice spares the San Francisco lender a potential criminal conviction that could create serious complications for banks."

The context, from N.Y. Times (subscription): "Including Friday’s penalty, the bank has paid more than $18 billion in fines for misconduct since the financial crisis."

6. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps
Customs and Border Protection agents board a Greyhound bus in Spokane, Wash., on Feb. 13. Photo: Nicholas K. Geranios/AP

Greyhound said it will stop allowing Border Patrol agents without a warrant to board its buses to conduct routine immigration checks, AP reports.

  • The company said it'll notify the Department of Homeland Security that it does not consent to unwarranted searches on its buses or in areas of terminals that are not open to the public.

The context: Greyhound has faced pressure from the ACLU, immigrant rights activists and Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

  • In many cases, the buses being checked were not crossing or even approaching an international boundary.
7. Pics du jour
Photo: Marc Caputo/Twitter

Above, a Mike Bloomberg ad on the Las Vegas Strip.

Below, a Mike Bloomberg ad in Phoenix for President Trump's visit.

Photo: Bloomberg campaign/Twitter

⚡ Mike Bloomberg said his company will release three women who signed nondisclosure agreements, to publicly discuss their allegations against him.

  • Why it matters, from Axios' Margaret Talev: This concession is an effort to separate the total harassment and culture complaints at the large company from those directed at Bloomberg personally. That could reframe criticism of him, and protect the company from having all past NDAs in jeopardy.

Go deeper.

8. First look: Pleading for a Sanders takedown
Screenshot via MSNBC


TO: Vice President Biden; Mayor Bloomberg; Mayor Buttigieg; Senator Klobuchar; and Senator Warren

FR: Jon Cowan and Matt Bennett [two of the co-founders of Third Way, the think tank]

RE: Stand up to Bernie or You — and We — All Lose

At the Las Vegas debate, each of you took aim at one another, often to withering effect. But with few exceptions, you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November. ...
We have seen this movie before. While there is no moral equivalence between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders (none whatsoever), there is similarity between this moment and the 2016 Republican race. When Chris Christie took on Marco Rubio in their debate, it mortally wounded both candidacies and gave Trump a clear path to the nomination.

Full memo.

9. 🏒 40 years ago today: Miracle on ice
The U.S. hockey team pounces on goalie Jim Craig. Photo: AP

How the win was covered by sportswriter Hal Bock on Feb. 22, 1980:

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — Driven by their own emotion and the cheers of a frenzied, star-spangled crowd, the United States hockey team has delivered what may well be the most stunning upset in Olympic history and stands on the verge of a medal at the 1980 Winter Games. ...
This ambitious, energetic squad of college kids ignored adversity and bounced from behind on third period goals by Mark Johnson and Mike Eruzione to score a stunning 4-3 upset victory over the defending champion Soviet Union ...
With roars of "USA! USA! USA!" ringing in their ears, America’s comeback kids rode the red-hot, 36-save goaltending of Jim Craig to a sensational victory.

Keep reading.

U.S. goalie Jim Craig leaps in the final second of the 4-3 win. Photo: AP
10. 📺 The one where "Friends" stars get $2.5 million each
Photo via Courtenay Cox's Instagram

As "Friends" celebrates its 25th anniversary, the six core stars have "closed a deal to reunite for a one-off HBO Max special," The Hollywood Reporter's Lesley Gould writes.

  • The special, which will be unscripted (so it'll be reminiscing, backstory and such), along with the entire 236-episode, 10-season library of Friends, will be available in May when HBO Max launches.

"Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the cast, who all negotiated together, will [each] earn more than double their former per-episode fee for the reunion and be paid between $2.5 million and $3 million for the special."

Mike Allen

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