Nov 7, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Situational awareness: Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned today at the request of President Trump. Statement here.

1 big thing: Trump's two universes

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

No post-election honeymoon here: Fresh off losing the House, President Trump foreshadowed today what to expect over the next two years.

On the House side, he's spoiling for a fight versus an expected flood of subpoenas.

  • He's going after the House Democrats on Twitter, threatening leak investigations if they start investigating him.
  • He's complimenting Rep. Nancy Pelosi. He told reporters today: "I think I would very easily be able to supply her the necessary votes."
  • That included saying he was open to raising corporate taxes as part of a hypothetical compromise with Democrats.
  • But he also made clear in today's 87 minute press conference that Democratic investigations into him would kill opportunities for bipartisan cooperation.

On the Senate side, Republicans gaining seats has freed him to get even more conservative.

  • He pushed out Jeff Sessions on Election Day +1, and administration nominations should be much easier come January. Trump said today that he's "looking at" Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who has been plagued by ethics probes.
  • He's also got an increasingly free rein to keep flooding the zone on judicial nominations.
  • And in acting AG Matt Whitaker, Jonathan Swan notes, he's got someone the Trump team views as a loyalist in place to oversee the Mueller investigation.

The bottom line: Same Trump, different circumstances. The president now gets a taste of the divided government, and the influx of politicians elected to be hostile to his interests, that Obama experienced after his first midterms.

Go deeper:

Bonus: Pics du jour
Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Above: President Trump at a press conference.

Below: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at a press conference.

Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images
2. What you missed
  1. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up more than 540 points today, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both rose over 2%. Per CNBC, this was because "Trump indicated he is willing to work with Democrats on policy initiatives that would help the economy keep growing."
  2. Voting in America: Some key states overwhelmingly approved ballot initiatives that will expand access to voting and curtail excessive partisan gerrymandering. Go deeper.
  3. Scoop: Ford has agreed to buy electric scooter startup Spin. One source puts the price tag in the range of $40 million. Go deeper.
  4. Samsung showed developers a vision of the future of the smartphone: a device with a narrow “cover display” that unfolds into a tablet-like screen thanks to a flexible display. Go deeper.
3. 1 film thing

Here comes "The Grinch," voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch and expected to make more than $55 million in theaters this weekend, Variety reports.

  • "The voice cast also includes Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Angela Lansbury, and Pharrell Williams. Frequent Illumination collaborator Yarrow Cheney took on directing duties with Scott Mosier."
  • "'The Grinch' is the second Dr. Seuss story that Illumination... has brought to the big screen. In 2012, the animators produced 'The Lorax,' which launched with $70 million and went on to pick up over $348 million globally. Both 'Grinch' and 'Lorax' carried production budgets around $75 million."
Mike Allen