Nov 6, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 451 words — a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: Impeachment's coming PR war

Rep. Jim Jordan talks to reporters. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The public impeachment hearings will start next week, allowing TV cameras to zoom in on the Trump administration officials who've accused him of a quid pro quo on Ukraine.

Why it matters: The impeachment process will now move away from fact-finding and into a giant public relations war.

  • “Those open hearings will be an opportunity for the American people to evaluate the witnesses for themselves," Rep. Adam Schiff said today.

Expect another tack from Republicans, who have openly questioned the motivations of the whistleblower and other officials who have given testimony.

  • Sen. Rand Paul has called on the media to print the whistleblower's name, and earlier today, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a purported name. (The White House said it wasn't aware he was planning to send that tweet.)
  • The president hasn't gone that far, but he has repeatedly accused those who testified of being Never Trumpers.

Between the lines: Rudy "Giuliani was cited by name 480 times during [Gordon] Sondland’s and [Kurt] Volker’s depositions — more than any Trump White House or Cabinet official," the WashPost's Josh Dawsey reports.

  • "'He was always swirling around somewhere,' Sondland said of Giuliani."
  • Flashback: Axios' Margaret Talev and Alayna Treene reported last month that Trump officials were deeply concerned by Giuliani's shadow involvement in Ukraine.

What's next:

  • Next Wednesday: Top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine Bill Taylor and State Department official George Kent.
  • Next Friday: Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

Go deeper: Pam Bondi and Tony Sayegh to join White House to assist impeachment strategy

Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Sam Tarling/Getty Images

Anti-government protesters place candles alongside razor wire outside the government headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon.

  • Lebanon has now seen 21 days of unrest as citizens protest against government corruption and economic hardship.
2. What you missed
  1. Rep. Ayanna Pressley is endorsing Elizabeth Warren for president, breaking ranks with other members of "The Squad." Go deeper.
  2. SoftBank’s second Vision Fund “is going to be launched as scheduled” and be roughly the same size as the first, chairman Masayoshi Son said today. Go deeper.
  3. Trump rejected a request by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to allow U.S. aid to be transferred to Palestinian security forces and told aides that Netanyahu should pay for it. Go deeper.
  4. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg plans to contribute a substantial amount of the "tens of millions of dollars" he's forgoing in pay to funds the company has set up for the families of the 346 victims of the two 737 MAX crashes. Go deeper.
3. 1 fur thing

Photo: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

New outfits designed for Queen Elizabeth II will not use real fur, the AP reports.

  • A palace statement says “the queen will continue to re-wear existing outfits in her wardrobe.”
  • The decision pleased animal rights activists, who have sometimes criticized the monarch for the fur pieces in her collection of designer clothes.

Why it matters: The British royals are generally considered fashion icons.

Mike Allen