May 23, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Situational awareness: Uber continued to shrink its losses in the first quarter of 2018, according to financial documents the company shared with Axios. Go deeper.

1 big thing: NFL cracks down on National Anthem kneeling

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The NFL has officially come out against protesting during the National Anthem.

  • Details: The league issued new rules today that allow protesters to remain in the locker room until after the anthem, and penalizes teams for any personnel who kneel on the field.

Why it matters: NFL owners are siding with some of its fans and President Trump over its protesting black players.

The big picture, from Axios' Sara Fischer: NFL games may still be the most popular content on television, but the league has seen ratings declines in response to both sinking television viewership and drama on and off the field.

The instant reactions:

  • From NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: “It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case.”
  • From the NFL Players Association: "The NFL chose not to consult the union in the development of this new 'policy.'"
  • Vice President Mike Pence on Twitter: "#Winning 🇺🇸..."

Go deeper:

Be smart: This is a notable win for conservatives in the culture wars.

  • But, but, but: What happens if players ignore the new rules?
2. What you missed

Paul Manafort leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse after a hearing. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

  1. Jared Kushner has received a permanent security clearance, after it was downgraded in February from "Interim Top Secret" to "Interim Secret." The big picture.
  2. Congress is moving along bills that will make it tougher for Chinese firms to invest in the U.S. Go deeper.
  3. Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking critics on Twitter, a federal judge ruled today, explaining Trump should have muted them instead. Details.
  4. Trump says White House has given the speculation on an FBI informant into Trump 2016 a name: "Spygate."
  5. Prosecutors have launched a sex-abuse probe into Harvey Weinstein, the WSJ's Nicole Hong and Zolan Kanno-Youngs report. More.
  6. U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman told Axios contributor Barak Ravid today that it will be another few months before the White House launches its long awaited Middle East peace plan. Go deeper.
1 fun thing

The latest Star Wars movie is set to knock superhero movies off their box office pedestal, Variety's Rebecca Rubin reports:

  • "'Solo: A Star Wars Story' is looking to lift off with $130 million to $150 million at 4,380 locations over Memorial Day weekend."
  • "While that is down significantly from tracking earlier in May that suggested the film would open between $165 million and $175 million, some are still projecting the 'Star Wars' prequel could make as much as $180 million over the four-day holiday weekend."
Mike Allen