Oct 4, 2017

Axios PM

1 big thing: Trump and Tillerson

Cabinet-level intrigue dominated the day after NBC News reported this morning that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called President Trump a "moron" this summer, adding VP Mike Pence talked Tillerson out of resigning.

  • MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle dialed it up on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, saying it was "f***ing moron."
  • Tillerson in a televised statement: "The vice president has never had to persuade me to remain as Secretary of State because I have never considered leaving this post."
  • State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tillerson did not call Trump a moron: "The secretary does not use that kind of language..."
  • Trump turned it on NBC: "The @NBCNews story has just been totally refuted by Sec. Tillerson and @VPPence. It is #FakeNews. They should issue an apology to AMERICA!"
  • Trump added: "[I have] total confidence in Rex."

Go deeper: Axios' Jonathan Swan reads between the lines.

2. What you missed
  1. Following private equity's gun money: Axios' Dan Primack on the private equity firms that invest in guns. Details.
  2. Facebook and Twitter will testify in Russian election meddling probe: They'll be on the Hill in November.
  3. Google's new goods: Axios' Ina Fried on their latest parade of new hardware products. See it all.
  4. Americans don't fear robots: Nearly two-thirds of Americans expect humans to struggle finding work in a future of robots — all humans except themselves, that is. Read up.
  5. The EU handed Amazon a big one: The tech giant will owe $294 million in back taxes. The story.
First look: Three personnel moves
  1. Former Secretary of State John Kerry is joining Bank of America's Global Advisory Council as chairman.
  2. Retired Gen. John Allen will become the 8th president of the Brookings Institution. He will succeed Strobe Talbott, who will step down in November.
  3. ⚡️: The American Bankers Association has hired Rob Engstrom, currently at the Chamber of Commerce. He'll be the ABA's chief political strategist in addition to providing guidance to the Chamber.
1 big chart

Go deeper: Axios' Christopher Matthews on how, so far, the numbers are going against Trump.