Good Thursday morning! On Sunday evening, we're launching a new newsletter, Axios Sneak Peek, by Jonathan Swan, one of the best-wired reporters on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. Jonathan will help us navigate the political climate in D.C. by previewing the week ahead on Capitol Hill and at the White House. (Bonus: best bits from the Sunday shows!)
With the press in full frenzy, Jim VandeHei and I just posted a big-picture piece you'll want to read in full:
"Trump claims traditional media represent a stronger, more effective opposition party than the Democrats. So far, he's undeniably correct. This has only a little to do with the Democrats.
"It has a lot to do with the media, which was unambiguously anti-Trump during and after the presidential campaign, but is now legitimately hammering away on administration scandals and missteps. A snarling press corps is turning ravenous."
Mood music ... Wall Street Journal front-page tease, "Is This Trump's Watergate?," to column by Dan Henninger: "Unless Team Trump gets back to the basics of the 2016 election, 1974 could return ... A president's blood is in the water and another White House staff can only look out the windows as the sharks arrive."
"[A] good question is whether they'll drain the swamp before the swamp swallows them. ... Trump and Bannon should give an older member of the Washington establishment a temporary Oval Office visa to talk about what it was like during Watergate."
Who should that be? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll share your suggestions tomorrow.
"Trump's F-35 Calls Came With a Surprise: Rival CEO Was Listening," by Bloomberg's Anthony Capaccio: "Days before taking office, President-elect Donald Trump made two surprise calls to the Air Force general managing the Pentagon's largest weapons program, the Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 jet. [In the room for] one of those calls was Dennis Muilenburg -- the CEO of Lockheed's chief rival, Boeing Co. ...
"Spies Keep Intelligence From Trump" -- Wall Street Journal, top of front page, by Shane Harris and Carol Lee:
The conversation ... On "Morning Joe," Scarborough dismisses the story as thin.
Since becoming president 27 days ago, Trump has tweeted 109 times from his phone -- just over 4 per day, Axios found in a deep dive @realDonaldTrump. Monday was the first day since the inauguration that Trump didn't tweet before 8:15 a.m. Among the trends Shane Savitsky discovered:
Bloomberg Businessweek cover story goes inside Elon Musk's Trump connection: "[A]fter the election, Musk made several trips to Trump Tower, impressing the president and, especially, Bannon."
"Facebook is going after LinkedIn," by Recode's Kurt Wagner: "The social network will now let employers post jobs directly to their Page, and users can apply for those jobs on Facebook. Applications are pre-populated with a user's Facebook data ... then sent to the employer via Messenger. Facebook hopes employers and prospective employees will then use Messenger to communicate throughout the courting process."
"Snap Inc. Sets Valuation at $19.5 Billion to $22.2 Billion as IPO Approaches," per WSJ: "The valuation range, which equates to $14 to $16 a share, is near the low end of the $20 billion to $25 billion range the Snapchat parent company had earlier targeted."
Jerusalem Post on yesterday's White House visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: 'From Obama to Trump, a change in tone and substance," by diplomatic correspondent Herb Keinon:
N.Y. Times 1-col. lead story, "Trump, Meeting With Netanyahu, Backs Away From Palestinian State," by Peter Baker and Mark Landler: "
"Exclusive: EU preparing early China summit in message to Trump" -- Reuters/Brussels: "The European Union is preparing an early summit with China in April or May in Brussels to promote free trade and international cooperation in the face of a more protectionist and inward-looking Washington."
"Only five countries meet NATO military requirements," per Axios' Shannon Vavra: "NATO countries are supposed to spend 2% of their GDP on defense."
Trump's SecState on first overseas trip ... AP Diplomatic Writer Matt Lee in Bonn: Rex Tillerson "will face a blizzard of questions about the Trump administration's foreign policy from nervous Asian and European allies."
"Eiffel Tower to be surrounded by $20M bulletproof glass wall by year's end" -- USA Today front page: "Trump isn't the only leader building a wall, and this one is just as controversial. The French government is constructing an 8.2-foot-high, bulletproof glass enclosure around the base of the Eiffel Tower to protect the iconic structure from a terrorist attack. But many French are offended by what they describe as a tasteless design that will be an eyesore. ...
Sponsor-player politics: "Experts say recent moves by Under Armour and Nike to respond to or get ahead of political statements from athletes show the sponsor-athlete relationship is changing" -- AP's Eddie Pells: