May 30, 2017

Axios PM

Let's get ready to rumble

With the long-anticipated West Wing shakeup finally under way, President Trump's skittish staff claims it is rallying around a new mentality: "It's us against the world," a White House source told Axios' Jonathan Swan.

Of course, that's until someone gets the boot, or the next crisis hits. But with Trump back from his overseas trip, crisis is shifting the power dynamics a bit:

  • A source close to Steve Bannon told Swan that the strategist has his mojo back: "He's talking like he's giving orders again. … This is the [stuff] we love — being under attack."
  • Even Bannon and Jared Kushner, who have been in open warfare for months, were working together to fashion the crisis-response apparatus. Nothing unites like crisis!

Sound smart: Michael Cohen, a longtime lawyer for the president, has gotten a Russia-related document request from congressional investigators. He's declining, calling it a "total fishing expedition."

But that's the problem: That's what investigators do. And that makes six people close to Trump who are under the microscope of investigators.

What you missed
  1. Spicer dodged, ducked, dipped, dived and dodged: The press secretary's first briefing since Trump returned featured questions on Kushner, climate change, Trump's tweets... and those shakeup rumors. Highlights.
  2. Speaking of Trump's tweets: Today's targets included Germany's trade deficit and defense spending, "FAKE NEWS" and the Democrats and the Senate's stubborn filibuster. Roundup to catch your breath.
  3. If you like your in-flight laptop, you can keep it: The rumored laptop ban on flights between the U.S. and Europe won't be happening. Details from the conference call.
  4. Amazon beats Google to $1K: The internet giant is now worth twice as much as Wal-Mart. Chart of Amazon's rise.
  5. The newest FBI director candidates: John Pistole and Chris Wray. Meet them.
  6. Uber's high-profile firing: The self-driving car exec at the center of Uber's legal battle with Waymo has been fired. Context, and why it matters.
1 promising thing

The Democratic Republic of Congo has approved a new Ebola vaccine, known as rVSV-ZEBOV, which has shown positive movement in a clinical trial in Guinea.

Thanks for reading! We'll see you in the AM.