Jun 22, 2017

Axios PM

Trump's tape saga ends

Never mind.

Forty-one days after teasing the possibility of tapes of conversations with his former FBI director, Trump today admitted it was all a bluff.

  • Trump undid his tweet with a pair of tweets: "With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea ... whether there are 'tapes' or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings."
  • Even his friends can't understand why Trump would antagonize Comey, or add Nixonian atmospherics to an already problematic situation.
  • The month of mystery was classic Trump, who relishes the theatrics of a big reveal, at least as much as he did during his reality-show days. It was also a classic Trump mistake: an unforced error that set in motion a new, more dangerous phase of the investigation.

So today's pièce de résistance was injecting the idea today that perhaps someone else had made tapes.

What you missed
  1. Conservatives prep the barricades: The Senate's health bill is here, and conservative Republicans are already threatening to defect. Speed read ... Potential "no" votes. ... Obama weighs in.
  2. About those jobs Trump saved: Carrier announced today that it's shipping another 600 jobs from Indiana to Mexico. Quick refresher.
  3. More leaks from classified Senate briefings: The latest round of news from behind-closed-door meetings comes brings news from Trump's intel chiefs. Details.
  4. Florida man faces $120 million fine: His offense? Robocalling, and the FCC wants to slap on him the largest-ever fine of this kind. Yikes.
  5. Kalanick loyalists go public: More than 1,000 Uber employees have joined a call to bring back the CEO who resigned on Tuesday night. Updates.
1 fact we can't ignore

Drug overdoses have killed about as many Americans this year as died fighting the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan... combined.