May 29, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Happy Wednesday. Today's PM is 550 words. (2 minute read!)

Hot new promo: “Axios on HBO” Season 2 will feature exclusive interviews with Sundar Pichai, Jared Kushner, Lisa Monaco, Janet Napolitano and Leon Panetta. Tune in Sunday 6:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO!

Situational awareness: "CBS Evening News" exclusive airing tonight with Norah O'Donnell... "Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg apologized to the families of those killed in the two crashes."

  • "He also acknowledged that the incidents had 'damaged the public trust and the confidence in flying.'"
1 big thing: Mueller speaks!

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Robert Mueller has finally spoken on camera for the first time since the start of the Russia investigation, making waves for what he emphasized rather than saying anything new.

Why it matters: Mueller used his time today to make clear he won't be more forthcoming if called to testify before Congress, and that he considers his report the final say on the matter.

  • Mueller today: "If we had confidence that the president did not commit a crime, we would have said so."
  • "[U]nder long-standing department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that too is prohibited."

Axios' Zachary Basu emails: Not a word of Mueller’s statement strayed beyond the text of his 400-page report. But the special counsel's confirmation that his team would have said something if they were confident Trump did not commit a crime — a charge all the more explosive coming from his elusive voice — has ignited a new round of calls for impeachment.

What they're saying:

  • Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg both called it an "impeachment referral."
  • Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker came out in favor of impeachment, despite Mueller saying nothing today that wasn't in the report.
  • HuffPost's top editor Lydia Polgreen: "With most of the major 2020 contenders calling for impeachment, how much longer can the House leadership hold out?"
  • Trump: "Nothing changes from the Mueller Report. There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! Thank you."

The bottom line: The ball is now entirely in Nancy Pelosi's court, even if she appears in no rush to do anything with it.

Go deeper: Full Mueller transcript

Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

Lightning strikes on either side of One World Trade Center.

2. What you missed
  1. Apple debuted its first iPod since 2015: It includes a faster processor and support for augmented reality and group FaceTime chat. Details.
  2. Lindsey Graham's new challenger has used his launch video to accuse Graham of "comical" hypocrisy on Trump. Go deeper.
  3. Trump said he won't support a 2020 Senate run by Alabama's Roy Moore. The tweets.
  4. The DNC will double the requirements for candidates to reach the debate stage in September. [AP]
  5. P.S. Sovereign governments are increasingly driving the evolution of the auto industry. Go deeper.
3. 1 🍻 thing

Delightful from the AP: "Anyone for steak and onion Kolsch? Or a macaroni and cheese pale ale?"

  • "Those were among the flavors at the Strange Brew Festival in Reno, Nevada."
  • "Visitors ... could sample a peanut butter and pickle pilsner, a tamale lager and a smoked carrot stout ... sweet beers brewed with Jolly Ranchers and spicy ones that tasted like garlic bread or mango salsa."
  • "Jess Lebow, the author of The Beer Devotional and The United States of Craft Beer, says the high level of experimentation is what makes craft beer so special. Lebow said he might only try a steak and onion beer once. It might be great, but even if it’s not, it might lead to a beer that’s a big hit."
Mike Allen