Jun 9, 2017

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen
Trump's theory on Comey defense

President Trump's combative press conference this afternoon, in which he declared his "100 percent" willingness to rebut Jim Comey under oath, reflects the White House's new take-no-prisoners war footing.

  • The Trump theory: The best way to defend is to attack. If you're explaining, you're losing. White House officials, while recognizing the optics were devastating, tell us they were relieved that the substance of Comey's testimony lacked a smoking gun. But they know that special counsel Bob Mueller poses a dire threat to Trump's hold on the office.
  • Behind the curtain: The widely held view in Republican circles, according to Axios' Jonathan Swan, is that Trump's aggressiveness explodes the notion that there are tapes. Trump clearly sees this as his word against Comey's.

Trump's key quote on Comey: "No collusion, no obstruction, he's a leaker... we were very happy and frankly James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said, and some of the things just weren't true."

Go deeper: The whirlwind of news from the Trump press conference.

What you missed
  1. Infrastructure week ends: Earlier today, President Trump wrapped up his week of infrastructure push. Toplines.
  2. Rex's warning: The secretary of state called today for an end to the recent blockade of Qatar, which has been praised by the president. Excerpts.
  3. Today's trash talking: "Mr. Brexit" Nigel Farage told Axios that Theresa May's days are numbered, and it's because of Brexit. His reasoning.
  4. Busted: Dan Scavino Jr., the White House's social media director, has been issued a warning for violating the Hatch Act. Read the letter.
  5. Hackers wanted: Driverless cars are "data centers on wheels," and now they're hiring hackers to find vulnerabilities in their own code.
1 American thing

Stay put, young man: MIT economist Daron Acemoglu makes the case against leaving economically distressed areas like the Rust Belt. Chart and quotes.

Mike Allen