March 29, 2022
Happy Tuesday. Today's PM — edited by Kate Nocera — is 564 words, a 2-minute read.
⚡️Breaking: President Biden will sign a historic bill this afternoon to make lynching a federal hate crime in the U.S. for the first time.
- The new law, named for Emmett Till, comes after 200 attempts to codify federal anti-lynching legislation.
1 big thing: Biden boosts bills that hit Big Tech
The Justice Department endorsed congressional bills that would keep big platforms — Meta, Google, Apple and Amazon — from giving preferential treatment to their own products, Axios' Ashley Gold reports.
- Why it matters: The DOJ support shows the Biden administration thinks the bipartisan bills can be enforced and will help encourage tech competition.
What's next: The Senate's American Competition and Innovation Act, and its companion bill in the House, await full passage. And there's a packed congressional agenda and bitter partisanship to contend with.
- But the forceful administration endorsement shows "the seriousness of the DOJ’s antitrust concerns in the technology sector," Jeffrey Jacobovitz, senior counsel at law firm Arnall Golden Gregory LLP and former FTC attorney, told Axios.
Go deeper: Read the three-page DOJ letter via The Wall Street Journal, which broke the story.
2. 🏛️ Trump's 7-hour gap
White House records turned over to the House's Jan. 6 committee show a seven-hour, 37-minute gap in President Trump’s phone logs for the day, including the time the Capitol was being stormed, The Washington Post's Bob Woodward and Robert Costa report.
- Why it matters: "The lack of an official White House notation of any calls placed to or by Trump for 457 minutes on Jan. 6, 2021 — from 11:17 a.m. to 6:54 p.m. — means the committee has no record of his phone conversations as his supporters descended on the Capitol."
Our thought bubble: We knew there was a hole in the log. But the extent of this gap is a huge deal for the investigation.
👀 Also notable from the story: An aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "McConnell declined Trump's call on Jan. 6."
📱 In a statement to The Post, Trump said, "I have no idea what a burner phone is, to the best of my knowledge I have never even heard the term."
- Trump had nothing to do with the records and assumed his calls were recorded and preserved, a Trump spokeswoman told the Post.
Video: Woodward, Costa on "CBS Mornings."
3. Catch up quick
- 🇺🇦 After several hours of peace talks on Tuesday, Russia claims it will scale back fighting near Kyiv to "increase mutual trust." Moscow portrayed it as a goodwill gesture, but its ground troops have taken heavy losses. Go deeper.
- 💉 The FDA authorized a second COVID vaccine booster for those aged 50 and up, as experts warn that another wave could be coming soon. Go deeper.
- 💰 Scoop: OnlyFans has held talks with multiple blank check companies, or SPACs, about a merger to take it public, sources tell Axios Media Trends author Sara Fischer. Go deeper.
4. 🍔 1 food thing: Robot burgers
A company called RoboBurger is out with a machine that will make you a burger with custom toppings in six minutes for $6.99, Axios' Jennifer A. Kingson reports in What's Next.
- In the food courts of the future, you could avoid human interaction by ordering from a hamburger vending machine, a pizza vending machine and, of course, cupcake vending machines.
The first RoboBurger machine was just installed in the Newport Centre Mall in Jersey City, New Jersey.