Jan 17, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 459 words, a 2 minute read.

Situational awareness: Trump's impeachment team for the Senate trial will include Ken Starr, Robert Ray and Alan Dershowitz — in addition to lawyers Jane Raskin, Pat Cipollone, Jay Sekulow and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Go deeper.

1 big thing: Trump's regrets

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump told his health secretary yesterday that he regrets getting involved in the administration's policy on vaping, two sources familiar with the conversation tell Axios' Jonathan Swan and Caitlin Owens.

  • "I should never have done that f*cking vaping thing," Trump said during an impromptu call on speakerphone in an Oval Office meeting.

Why it matters: The administration's ban on flavored vapes is one of its most prominent health policy decisions, but trying to find a compromise between public health groups and the pro-vaping community caused massive political headaches.

Behind the scenes: Trump decided to call HHS Secretary Alex Azar during a campaign meeting, while discussing health care with his political team.

  • He sometimes does that with cabinet secretaries, in an impromptu fashion, during meetings when their issues come up.
  • Azar got defensive after Trump expressed regret for the vaping policy, per a source familiar.
  • Both sources familiar with the conversation said Trump wasn't expressing regret for the specific vaping policy outcome, but rather for personally wading into vaping and e-cigarette policy in the first place rather than leaving it up to the Food and Drug Administration.

Go deeper.

Bonus: Pics du jour
Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Above: President Trump welcomes the LSU Tigers to the White House to honor their national title.

Below: Trump accepts a jersey from Heisman winner Joe Burrow.

Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
2. What you missed
  1. The U.S. will begin screening for a virus originally found in Wuhan, China, at three American airports — San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. Go deeper.
  2. A federal appeals court threw out a climate lawsuit brought by 21 young people against the U.S. government. Go deeper.
  3. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro fired his culture minister over an address in which he used phrases and ideas similar to an infamous Joseph Goebbels speech. Go deeper.
  4. China's birth rate is the lowest since 1961, with 14.6 million babies born in 2019, signaling struggles for families in a country with an underdeveloped social safety net. Go deeper.
  5. Scoop: Cargo, a New York-based startup that sells snack boxes and other amenities to ride-hail passengers, has laid off around two dozen employees. Go deeper.
3. 1 ❄️ thing
Photo: AP

An Alaska man carrying garbage to his shed had to take cover inside when a curious bull decided to join him, the AP reports.

  • A home security camera captured Curtis Phelps trapped inside the shed while the bull moose, with just one antler, tried to push his way inside.
  • Phelps escaped after calling his wife, Amy, with his cellphone.
  • “He’s like, let me know when I can get out of the shed,” she said Friday. “I’m stuck in the shed.”

Moose and man are fine.


Mike Allen