Jun 1, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 500 words, a 2-minute read.

⚡️ Situational awareness: Louisville's mayor fired its police chief today after learning that police officers didn't record body-camera footage of the fatal shooting last night of David McAtee, a black man.

1 big thing: The split screen for history

Photos via Getty Images: Jim Watson/AFP (L); Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency (R)

The distinction between Joe Biden and Donald Trump has never been more clear.

  • Trump today at the White House: "It's a movement. If you don't put it down, it will get worse and worse. The only time it's successful is when you're weak, and most of you are weak."
  • Biden yesterday at a campaign site: "The only way to bear this pain is to turn all that anguish to purpose. And as president, I will help lead this conversation — and more importantly, I will listen."

Why it matters: Americans are seeing firsthand how each presidential nominee responds to a national crisis happening during a global pandemic, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.

Biden seems ready for revolution:

  • During a virtual roundtable today with four mayors, Biden led a discussion on how the country can move forward after George Floyd's killing.
  • "I hope collectively we can keep the pressure up because I don’t think this can continue without the public, across the board, just rising up," he said during a virtual roundtable with four mayors.
  • He was talking about Trump's handling of the coronavirus, but in the larger context of how the country can move forward after the deep racial divisions further revealed by Floyd's death.

Trump has chosen another path, as leaked audio revealed today:

  • “Most of you are weak,” Trump told state governors today. “You have to arrest people.”
  • “You have to dominate, if you don’t dominate, you’re wasting your time — they’re going to run over you, you’re going to look like a bunch of jerks.”
  • “You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff again."

The bottom line: Voters are moving toward Biden in this moment. The most recent Washington Post/ABC poll has Biden with a 10-point lead over Trump among all registered voters. Just two months ago, Biden led by only 2 points.

2. Pics du jour
Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Above: Shop owners survey the damage to their store after looting and vandalism in Philadelphia.

Below: A makeshift memorial honoring George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters
2. Catch up quick
  1. Preliminary results from an independent autopsy commissioned by George Floyd's family found that his death was "homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain."
  2. "Dozens" of Facebook employees staged a "virtual walkout" over the company's decision not to take action against President Trump's provocative messages in the face of nationwide protests against police violence, the N.Y. Times reports.
  3. Russian President Vladimir Putin has set July 1 as the new date for a constitutional referendum that could allow him to remain in power through 2036.
  4. Anthony Fauci's meetings with President Trump about the coronavirus have "dramatically decreased," he told Stat News.
3. 1 pioneering kid superhero
PBS Kids via AP

The new crop of superheroes coming to our TV this summer includes AJ Gadgets, a boy with an array of cool gadgets who is on the autism spectrum, AP notes.

  • AJ doesn’t like loud noises or wet clothes or to be apart from his beloved backpack. But he’s part of the team and always comes to the rescue.
  • The PBS Kids’ animated series "Hero Elementary" is set inside a grade school where a diverse group of four superhero students are learning to master their special powers.

Why it matters: “We feel like there is so much strength in the idea of portraying a kid on the spectrum as just one of the kids and not making a huge deal about his autism,” said Christine Ferraro, who co-created the series with Carol-Lynn Parente.

Mike Allen