☕️ Happy Friday!
Situational awareness: "Millions of people covered under the Affordable Care Act will see only modest premium increases next year, and some will get a price cut," AP reports.
President Trump will not voluntary answer questions about obstruction of justice, gambling that Robert Mueller won’t have the stomach for a court fight.
Wait! Bob Woodward's book (which won't even be in stores for four more days) ... the anonymous Times op-ed ... the confirmation hearing for a change-the-balance Supreme Court justice ... have been momentarily eclipsed?
Giuliani later seemed to backtrack, telling NBC News that those questions are "not ruled in or out."
Jonathan Swan reads between the lines:
A source with direct knowledge of the Trump’s legal team machinations said "there is no strategy" beyond the PR tactic of threatening Mueller, and attempting to bruise him as much as possible.
President Trump escalated his attacks on the N.Y. Times during an interview last night in Montana with Pete Hegseth of "Fox & Friends":
"Well, number one, The Times should have never have done that [printed the anonymous Op-Ed] because really what they’ve done, virtually, it’s treason. You can call it a lot of things ..."
"They’re all saying, you know, it’s got to be at a fairly low level. ... I see all the people that are saying such great things. There’s a lot of love in the administration, and the White House is truly, as you would say, a well-oiled machine — it is working so well."
Inside the West Wing: I'm told that officials rapidly shifted from trying to smoke out the author of the anonymous N.Y. Times op-ed, to using the guessing game to knife people they already hated — whispering the names of rivals and enemies as potential authors.
Here's my bet, which is contrarian to a lot of what you'll hear: There's a lot of speculation that The Times puffed up the person's importance, but I think the official actually is indisputably "senior."
How many suspects? "Paul Light, a New York University professor and expert on the federal bureaucracy, said about 50 people could have legitimately written the column," per AP.
P.S. "Trump especially liked the statement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo," per the WashPost:
Go deeper: List of deniers.
"Record-breaking 100 women candidates may be bound for the House," David Wasserman writes for NBC News:
10 years on ... "Banks are safer, but too much of what has gone wrong since 2008 could happen again," The Economist writes in its lead editorial:
"[I]n one way or another, [the next financial crisis] is likely to involve property":
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
When Amazon invited cities to compete for its second global headquarters a year ago today, it got reams of data from the 238 entrants — enough to learn details of the cities' future plans that a lot of their residents don't even know about, Axios' Erica Pandey reports.
Amazon's warehouses are within 20 miles of 31% of the U.S. population, while Walmart owns stores within 20 miles of 98% of the population, says Cooper Smith, an industry analyst at Gartner L2.
"Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh wrapped up what is likely to be the toughest part of his confirmation process Thursday, completing two 13-hour days of public questioning in which senators often spent their time sparring with one another," The Wall Street Journal's Jess Bravin and Byron Tau report:
2020 came roaring into the hearing, with a pair of prospective Democratic candidates trying to tear Kavanaugh down to build their own profiles, the WashPost's Sean Sullivan writes:
"Staying power ... Loathed by the right, under fire from the left. Nancy Pelosi says she isn’t going anywhere" — TIME cover story by Molly Ball:
The House districts with the closest races tend to be more educated than the rest of the country, Axios' Chris Canipe and Alexi McCammond report:
Why it matters: It's yet another sign of potential midterm trouble for Republicans, since 28 of those races have a Republican incumbent and President Trump did best among people without college degrees.
Academy cancels new Oscars category for best popular film, announced less than a month ago, per L.A. Times' Josh Rottenberg:
Thanks for reading. See you all day — and all weekend — on Axios.com.