Feb 22, 2018

Axios PM

Breaking: Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed new tax charges against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. [Read the indictment]

1 big thing: Where Trump and Congress stand on guns

After a long day of meetings and tweets, a rough sketch of a gun agenda has emerged from President Trump.

His pitches:

  1. Tightening background checks "with an emphasis on Mental Health."
  2. Banning bump stocks, which were used in Las Vegas and dramatically speed up the rate of fire for semi-automatic rifles.
  3. Raising the age to buy some guns from 18 to 21. The law is currently 18 for long rifles, and 21 for handguns.
  4. Allowing concealed carry permits for some teachers, which he described as those who are "highly adept people people that understand weaponry..." Trump said such teachers should get a "little bit of a bonus" for this, and proposed training them with federal funds. [Go deeper]
  5. Trump does not favor active shooter drills, saying he wouldn't want to subject his son Baron to such drills. He instead wants to harden schools from attack.

What they're saying:

  • Trump on the NRA: "I don't think I'll be going up against them. I really think the NRA wants to do what's right. I mean, they're very close to me, I'm very close to them, they're very, very great people. They love this country."
  • The NRA's Wayne LaPierre at CPAC: "The N.R.A. will not only speak out... we will speak out louder and we will speak out stronger than ever before.”

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill:

  • The leading Senate contender is a bipartisan bill sponsored by Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn and Sen. Chris Murphy, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.
  • It would improve reporting under the existing background check system and reporting of domestic violence records.
  • Yes, but: It's really hard to see a path forward for the bill to become law... The House has already passed it, but paired with a concealed carry provision that Democrats would never support, and separating the two endangers conservative House support.
  • What we're watching: Next week's Senate caucus lunches are going to be key. If there is action on a gun bill, it's going to be a political shift largely thanks to the high school kids who have spoken up about gun violence.
2. What you missed

Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on school safety today. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (C) and Attorney General Jeff Sessions look on. Photo: Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

  1. Trump threatened today to pull ICE agents from California, saying he's "thinking about" such an action in response to sanctuary cities in the state.
  2. Oprah reworked "60 Minutes" segment after called out by Trump. Details.
  3. Michelle Wolf will be the comedian at the White House Correspondents Association dinner on April 28. More.
  4. The Golden State Warriors plan to skip the traditional celebratory White House visit as NBA champs. They'll visit with D.C. children instead. Backstory.
  5. North Korea will send its head of national intelligence to the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics. He once led the spy agency accused of carrying out attacks that killed scores of South Koreans. More.
  6. Researchers have successfully incorporated human cells into a sheep embryo — the first step in a process that they hope may one day allow them to grow replacement organs in other animals. Learn more.
3. 1 Olympics thing

The AP's deep dive into the messy politics of flags at the Olympics, including:

  • Koreans angering the Japanese by including disputed territory on a Unified Korea flag.
  • The delicate way Taiwan is handled by the IOCC.
  • The attempt in 1968 to do away with flags and anthems from the games .
  • How the fans of "Olympic Athlete from Russia" mocked the ban on participating under the Russian flag by labeling themselves "Olympic Fan from Russia."

P.S. ... "Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir to host NBC’s coverage of Olympics closing ceremony." [NBC]