Dec 27, 2017

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Situational awareness: "President Trump's legal team plans to cast former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn as a liar seeking to protect himself if he accuses the president or his senior aides of any wrongdoing," three people familiar tell WashPost's Carol Leonnig.

1 big thing: Obama still more admired than Trump

Barack Obama has retained the title of world's most admired man in a Gallup survey for the 10th year in a row. He was followed by President Trump at 14%, the only finisher even close to Obama's 17%.

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, is the most admired woman for the 16th year in a row.

Men:

  1. Barack Obama
  2. Donald Trump
  3. Pope Francis
  4. Rev. Billy Graham
  5. John McCain
  6. Elon Musk
  7. Bernie Sanders
  8. Bill Gates
  9. Benjamin Netanyahu
  10. Jeff Bezos
  11. The Dalai Lama
  12. Mike Pence

Women:

  1. Hillary Clinton
  2. Michelle Obama
  3. Oprah Winfrey
  4. Elizabeth Warren
  5. Angela Merkel
  6. Queen Elizabeth II
  7. Condoleezza Rice
  8. Melania Trump
  9. Nikki Haley
  10. Duchess Kate Middleton
  11. Beyonce Knowles
2. What you missed
  1. Chinese companies have reportedly been caught secretly selling oil to North Korea. Axios' Jonathan Swan, fresh off vacation, has more.
  2. Almost half of Americans in a new poll say health care is their top concern going into 2018.
  3. A future train station along the Western Wall will reportedly be named after Trump, a result of his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. More.
  4. Facebook will no longer use "Disputed Flags" — red flags next to fake news articles — to identify fake news for users. It found that the flags had the reverse effect, getting people to click even more. Details.
  5. Trend watch: HQ Trivia — the daily live quiz game for iPhones, which gives winners cash rewards — announced plans to roll out its app for Android users by January 1st.
  6. Bonus: Snapchat is working on "Stories Everywhere," a new project that will let its Stories be displayed outside the app, Cheddar's Alex Heath scoops.
3. 1 fun thing

Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen reminisce to the New York Times about when a friend attempted to set them up on a blind date more than two decades ago:

COOPER "Within 45 seconds, he said, 'Your mom is Gloria Vanderbilt."'

COHEN "So bad. I wanted to date the Vanderbilt boy."

COOPER "I imagined him on a Bluetooth headset, walking around, gesticulating a lot."

COHEN "By the way, you weren't exactly Mr. Personality on that call, either."

Read their full exchange...

Mike Allen