Jun 17, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 515 words, a 2-minute read.

⚡️ Situational awareness: Former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe faces 11 charges, including felony murder, for the killing of Rayshard Brooks. Go deeper.

Mark your 🗓: Join Axios' Dan Primack and Sara Fischer tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. ET for a live, virtual event on the impact of the coronavirus and how millennials will shape trends in finance and entrepreneurship.

  • Guests: Danielle Bernstein, Tim Chen and Lauryn Williams.
  • Register here.
1 big thing: Bolton's revenge

Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Early details are here from the John Bolton book that President Trump's legal threats are sending to the top of the bestseller lists.

The big picture: Bolton claims Trump asked China to help him win in 2020. He also throws his former colleagues under the bus and taunts Democrats for committing “impeachment malpractice.”

  • Bolton had a reputation as a prolific note taker, filling yellow legal pad after yellow legal pad with notes.

Highlights from a copy obtained by the N.Y. Times' Peter Baker:

  • Impeachment: Bolton says Democrats failed by focusing the probe on Ukraine rather than on other cases involving China and Turkey.
  • Gossip: Bolton alleges Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slipped him a note calling Trump "full of shit" during a 2018 meeting with Kim Jong-un.
  • Trump gaffes: Bolton alleges Trump didn't know Great Britain was a nuclear power and claims Trump asked if Finland was part of Russia.
  • Journalists: Bolton alleges Trump privately told him reporters deserve prison. "These people should be executed. They are scumbags."

Bolton's own words, via an excerpt published in the WSJ:

  • "Trump then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability and pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win. He stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome."
  • "I would print Trump’s exact words, but the government’s prepublication review process has decided otherwise."
  • "At the opening dinner of the Osaka G-20 meeting in June 2019, with only interpreters present, Xi had explained to Trump why he was basically building concentration camps in Xinjiang. According to our interpreter, Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do."
  • "One of Trump’s favorite comparisons was to point to the tip of one of his Sharpies and say, 'This is Taiwan,' then point to the historic Resolute desk in the Oval Office and say, 'This is China.'”

Between the lines: House intel chair Adam Schiff, who led the Democratic impeachment probe, tweeted his commentary on the book: "When Bolton was asked, he refused, and said he’d sue if subpoenaed. Instead, he saved it for a book. Bolton may be an author, but he’s no patriot."

The bottom line: Bolton's book is scheduled to go public on June 23. The House impeachment vote was on Dec. 18.

2. Pic du jour
Photo: Lucas Uebel/Getty Images

A son hugs his father in Gravataí, Brazil.

  • The Túnel do Abraço (hug tunnel) is for elderly residents to be able to hug relatives during the coronavirus pandemic.
3. Catch up quick
  1. SoftBank Group will sell most of its $30 billion stake in T-Mobile US. Go deeper.
  2. Some of the House's highest-ranking Republicans have moved to actively distance themselves from a primary winner who believes in QAnon and posted Facebook videos expressing racist beliefs. Go deeper.
  3. Target will hike its hourly minimum wage from $13 to $15 beginning July 5. Go deeper.
  4. Big donation: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife Patty Quillin are giving $120 million to the United Negro College Fund, Spelman College and Morehouse College.
4. 1 solidarity thing
Screenshot: NBC

Players and referees took a knee today at the opening whistle of the English Premier League's first game since the coronavirus hiatus, Axios' Rashaan Ayesh reports.

  • With the support of the Premier League, the players also wore jerseys that had the words "Black Lives Matter" instead of their last names.


Mike Allen