Sep 24, 2018

Axios PM

If you're in D.C. ... Please join me at 8 a.m. tomorrow for breakfast and an Axios News Shapers conversation about vaping and other hot issues with FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. A high-school student will join us to give a reality check. RSVP here

1 big thing: The big Rosenstein question

Illustration: Axios Visuals

Will Rod Rosenstein be fired, or will he quit, or... ?

Those questions were at the center of a frantic drama today involving the Justice Department, White House and Capitol Hill.

  • Driving the news: Axios' Jonathan Swan reported today that Rosenstein offered his verbal resignation to John Kelly, and went to the White House today expecting to get fired.

What we know: Rosenstein is still the deputy attorney general and he'll meet with Trump on Thursday.

  • Sarah Sanders statement: “At the request of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he and President Trump had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories. Because the President is at the United Nations General Assembly and has a full schedule with leaders from around the world, they will meet on Thursday when the President returns to Washington, D.C.”

What we don't know: Whether Rosenstein's resignation offer has been accepted — and if so, under what terms and when it would be announced.

The bottom line: The direction of the Mueller investigation is at stake.

Bonus: List du jour
Screenshot: Fortune

Here's the top 10 from Fortune's 50 most powerful women of 2018:

  1. Marillyn Hewson, Chairman, President, and CEO, Lockheed Martin 
  2. Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO, General Motors
  3. Abigail Johnson, Chairman and CEO, Fidelity Investments
  4. Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President, and CEO, IBM
  5. Gail Boudreaux, President and CEO, Anthem
  6. Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
  7. Safra Catz, Co-CEO, Oracle
  8. Phebe Novakovic, Chairman and CEO, General Dynamics
  9. Ruth Porat, SVP and CFO, Google, Alphabet 
  10. Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, Google, Alphabet 
2. What you missed
  1. Trump reiterated his defense of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh following a new report of his alleged sexual misconduct, telling reporters the allegations are "totally political." Go deeper.
  2. And Kavanaugh himself vowed to never withdraw from the confirmation process. He'll also appear on Fox News tonight at 7 p.m. Read Kavanaugh's letter.
  3. Russia has announced it will supply the Syrian army with sophisticated S-300 surface-to-air missiles. Go deeper.
  4. Chief executives are still optimistic about the economy, but uncertainty (and in some cases, negative effects) from the trade war are weighing on sentiment, according to the Business Roundtable's most recent economic outlook survey of 141 CEOs. Go deeper.
  5. Companies and governments have been paying their employees more in benefits and less in cash wages and salaries, and that's especially the case among people who work in the highly unionized public sector. Go deeper.
3. 1 fun thing

The list of 300 new words in the Scrabble dictionary includes "OK" and "ew," the Guardian reports.

  • “'OK is something Scrabble players have been waiting for, for a long time,' said lexicographer Peter Sokolowski, editor at large at Merriam-Webster. 'Basically two- and three-letter words are the lifeblood of the game.'"
  • More words on the list: "Sriracha, beatdown, zomboid, twerk, sheeple, wayback, bibimbap, botnet, emoji, facepalm, frowny, hivemind, puggle and yowza."