Jul 21, 2017

Axios PM

Inside the West Wing: It’s war

Spicer out, Anthony Scaramucci and Sarah Huckabee in, a shakeup on the legal team.

In a stunning series of aggressive moves, President Trump is surrounding himself with junkyard dogs who are fine with his freelancing.

  • Establishment insiders see the West Wing earthquake as a sign of a brutal season to come: President Trump has talked openly about firing special counsel Bob Mueller. West Wing confidants, arguing that Mueller is on a witch hunt, are starting to make the case for pardons.
  • Scaramucci, widely known as "Mooch," is instantly empowered: Trump took a chance on him, rolling top advisers to offer him the job.
  • So the brash financier will be a Trump favorite, at least temporarily – the fighter the president has wanted on his comms team from Day 1.

Now go inside the West Wing: Axios' Jonathan Swan, who broke the Scaramucci news last night, has a verbatim account of this morning's drama.

Catching up: Scaramucci named comms directorSpicer resignsSarah Huckabee Sanders promotedA dozen facts about "Mooch."

What you missed
  1. Trump's social top 5: Behold, the 5 most engaged Trump stories on Facebook during his first six months. Via SocialFlow.
  2. Y Combinator's billion: The startup accelerator is launching a new fund. Kia and Dan scoop.
  3. Mueller's letter to the White House: Preserve those Don Jr. documents. The letter.
  4. Tech spends big in DC: The last three months brought record-high lobbying spending from four major tech companies. Totals.
  5. Think student debt isn't blowing up? The average U.S. household has 828% more student debt than in 1999. Chart.
1 thing to watch

New WH comms director Anthony Scaramucci, on how Trump keeps reminding him about that "hack politician" comment from 2015. Video.