Jul 19, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Situational awareness: President Trump wants Vladimir Putin to visit the White House in the fall, Sarah Sanders said today.

  • The White House today rejected Putin's proposal that Russia be allowed to question several U.S. citizens, including former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, in exchange for cooperation with the Mueller probe. Read the statement.
  • In a formal rebuke to Trump, the Senate — 98-0 — approved a resolution against allowing Russia to question U.S. officials like McFaul.
1 big thing: Trump's "not normal" file

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump broke a 25-year precedent today by complaining about Federal Reserve interest rates, telling CNBC he's "not thrilled" by rate increases under Chairman Jerome Powell.

  • "I am not happy about it. But at the same time, I’m letting them do what they feel is best. But I don’t like all of this work that goes into doing what we’re doing ... and then I see rates going up."

Why it matters, by Axios' Dan Primack: Presidents are usually loathe to credit or criticize the Fed, believing there should be a separation between monetary and fiscal policy.

  • Trump even acknowledged in the interview that he was setting himself up for criticism, but said that he "couldn't care less" because his views haven't changed from when he was a private citizen.
  • The precedent dates back to the Clinton administration, according to the WSJ's Nick Timiraos.
  • Flashback 1.0... Larry Kudlow in June: The Fed should be very cautious about rates, and if raising them, should do so "very slowly."
  • Flashback 2.0... Kudlow predecessor Gary Cohn in 2017: "The Fed will do what they need to do, and we respect the powers of the Fed."
  • White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters today: “Of course the president respects the independence of the Fed... The President’s views on interest rates are well known and his comments today are a reiteration of those long held positions, and public comments.”
2. What you missed

A truck dumps approximately 3,500 confiscated guns to be destroyed into a pile in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

  1. The war for 21st Century Fox ended today, with Comcast declining to outbid Disney's latest $71.5 billion offer. Attention now turns to Sky.
  2. U.S. crude oil production hit a new high last week, averaging an estimated 11 million barrels per day. It'll keep going.
  3. Scoop: Axios has learned that GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, for years has used an algorithm "The Machine" that effectively permits or prohibits both new and follow-on investments. Go deeper.
  4. There were 40.3 million people in modern slavery in 2016 — including 400,000 in the U.S., according to estimates in the 2018 Global Slavery Index that were presented at the United Nations by the Walk Free Foundation. Go deeper.
  5. Uber is losing its head of strategic finance, as Prabir Adarkar will step down in order to become CFO of on-demand meal delivery company DoorDash.
3. 1 fun thing

The home featured in the opening and closing scenes of "The Brady Bunch" in Los Angeles. The home is for sale for $1.885 million. Photo: Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP

"The Brady Bunch" house is for sale for $1.885 million, the AP reports.

  • "Real estate agent Ernie Carswell tells the Los Angeles Times the house has been updated and upgraded, but the interior layout does not resemble what was featured on the show, which ran from 1969 to 1974. Interior scenes were shot in a studio."
  • "Carswell says a rock-wall fireplace, wood-paneled walls and floral wallpaper are vintage touches of what homes looked like in the 1970s."
Mike Allen