Aug 31, 2020

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 500 words, a 2-minute read.

🚨Tonight on "Axios on HBO": Hawkfish — the data firm funded by Michael Bloomberg — reveals 2020's "red mirage" to Margaret Talev. (See a clip.)

  • In an emotional interview, Jaime Harrison, Sen. Lindsey Graham's Democratic challenger, opens up to Alexi McCammond about his vision for a "New South."
  • Tune in tonight at 11 p.m. ET/PT on all HBO platforms.
1 big thing: Biden hits Trump on law and order

Biden at Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin, Pa. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Joe Biden emerged for a rare in-person event today to accuse President Trump of failing "to protect America, so now he’s trying to scare America."

  • "These are not images of some imagined Joe Biden's America of the future. These are images of Donald Trump's America today," Biden said.
  • "Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is re-elected?"

Why it matters: This is a direct rebuttal to Trump, whose campaign has run ads claiming people "won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America," Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.

  • Biden today: "I want to be very clear: Rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting. It’s lawlessness. Plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted."
  • "You know me. You know my heart. You know my story. Ask yourself: Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really? I want a safe America."

The big picture: It's rare for Biden to do an in-person event in the COVID era.

  • Biden's measured tone grew more forceful when reiterating certain points to correct the record about his candidacy: "I am not banning fracking," he said at one point. "Let me say that again: I am not banning fracking, no matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me." (Go deeper).
  • The former vice president listed what he wants to keep America safe from: the pandemic, "bad cops," looting, rioting and "four more years of Donald Trump."
  • "He may believe mouthing the words 'law and order' makes him strong, but his failure to call on his own supporters to stop acting as an armed militia in this country shows you how weak he is."
2. RIP to a legend

Coach Thompson and Patrick Ewing after Georgetown won the national title in 1984. Photo: AP

John Thompson, the imposing Hall of Famer who turned Georgetown into a “Hoya Paranoia” powerhouse and became the first Black coach to lead a team to the NCAA men’s basketball championship, has died at 78, reports AP's Joseph White.

  • Among the legends he coached: Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning and Allen Iverson.
3. Catch up quick
  1. 6 states set new single-day COVID highs last week: Kentucky, Indiana, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Virginia. Go deeper.
  2. The full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals denied former national security adviser Michael Flynn's petition to force a federal judge to immediately drop his criminal case, as requested by the Justice Department. Go deeper.
  3. Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon will stand trial next May along with the other defendants in the alleged border wall fundraising scheme.
  4. Jennifer Jarrett is out at Uber, which she joined in early 2019 as head of corporate development and capital markets.
  5. 🎧 Axios Re:Cap talks with professor Rashawn Ray, who's spent more than a decade interviewing officers and running implicit bias trainings for police departments. Listen.
4. 1 smile to go
Photo: Justin Green

Camping in the time of COVID: Many humans are braving the outdoors for lack of better recreational options, and some talked to the Wall Street Journal about how it went:

  • The "equally indoorsy" friends who decided not to bring sleeping bags while backpacking in the Ozarks.
  • The Eagle Scout who didn't put on his tent's rain fly.
  • The "very online" Brooklyn 20-something whose feet blistered up when he hiked in hip leather boots.

The big picture: "AllTrails, a hiking trails and maps database, reported that people are hitting the trails at three times the rate of previous years. The app saw 150% growth in daily active users in May."