Welcome to Sneak Peek, our weekly lookahead from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, plus our best scoops.
Tonight's newsletter is 1,794 words, a 7-minute read.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
Over the past couple of days, numerous advisers both inside and outside the White House have urged the president to tone down his violent rhetoric, which many worry could escalate racial tensions and hurt him politically.
Behind the scenes: After not going to sleep until the early hours of Friday morning, President Trump woke to a string of conversations with advisers who told him he had a problem.
Between the lines: Even aides who usually laugh or shrug their shoulders at Trump's more outrageous tweets considered this one a problem. Some said they saw direct political implications.
Why it matters: After so long working for him, Trump's inner circle usually shrugs at his tweets. So it's a rare moment when they sound the alarm.
Yes, but: After walking back his looting/shooting tweet, Trump tripled down on this incendiary tone in a series of Saturday morning tweets, suggesting that protesters outside the White House would have been "greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons" if they breached the fence.
What to watch: Over the past 24 hours, there’s been a vigorous debate in Trump’s inner circle about whether the president should do an Oval Office address to the nation.
President Trump speaks at NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building following the successful launch at the Kennedy Space Center. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Trump's aides saw the president's trip to Florida to watch the SpaceX-NASA launch as an opportunity to reset his message and to distinguish between righteous protests of the murder of George Floyd and senseless riots.
His advisers were relieved — at least temporarily.
What's next: "You're definitely going to see the law and order, tough guy rhetoric amp up in the coming days," the official continued. "But you're also going to see that laced with sympathy for legitimate protesters and for those actually mourning Floyd's death."
As recently as Saturday night, senior administration officials told me that the designation of a violent cohort of far-left activists, antifa, as a terrorist organization was not being seriously discussed at the White House. But that was Saturday.
Behind the scenes: The situation changed dramatically a few hours later, after prominent conservative allies of the president, such as his friend media commentator Dan Bongino, publicly urged a tough response against people associated with antifa (short for "anti-fascist").
Yes, but: There currently is no law under which Trump could formally designate antifa, a loosely defined and domestic movement, as a terrorist organization. Only the State Department can designate foreign groups as terrorist organizations.
About an hour after Trump's tweet, Barr said in a statement that antifa protesters were engaged in domestic terrorism.
Jim Siteman talks to his 98-year-old mother through an opening in a window at the Daggett-Crandall-Newcomb Home in Norton, Massachusetts, May 9. Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Watch for the Trump administration to pile more pressure on states to increase COVID-19 testing in nursing homes.
Behind the scenes: Sources familiar with the internal deliberations said this will likely be a focus of the White House's call with governors on Monday.
Why it matters: "A New York Times analysis as of May 21 showed that more than 34,000 deaths — 37 percent of the nation’s fatalities from Covid-19 — occurred among residents and staff in long-term care facilities. In 15 states, long-term care accounted for more than half of all Covid-19 deaths."
Courtesy Goldman Sachs
A Goldman Sachs survey of 1,447 participants (55% women) in the firm's 10,000 Small Businesses program, conducted by Babson College and David Binder Research, found that 53% of their small businesses are now fully open (compared to 39% in the same survey a month ago).
Other noteworthy findings:
What's next: From June 10 to 11, more than 2,000 of the small business owners involved in the program are expected to meet virtually with members of Congress to discuss its COVID-19 response.
Capitol Police look on as demonstrators hold a protest in response to the police killing of George Floyd near the US Capitol, May 29. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
The House will hold remote hearings and committee meetings throughout June. Members are not scheduled to meet again for votes until June 30, but that could change for legislation to respond to COVID-19, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.
Tuesday: Govs. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.) and Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) will participate in a remote House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on how governors are battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wednesday: The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on voting rights during COVID-19.
Thursday: CDC director Robert Redfield will testify before the House Appropriations Committee.
Friday: The Congressional Black Caucus will host a town hall titled "Living while black in America."
The Senate will vote on the following nominees, per a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:
Tuesday: The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing to examine the implementation of Title IV of the CARES Act, which provides $500 billion in emergency funding to eligible businesses, states, municipalities and tribes.
Thursday: The Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee will hold a hearing on going back to college safely.
The White House did not provide a week-ahead schedule for President Trump.
Some happy news ... because Lord knows we need it.
Driving the news: "When Jennie Stejna tested positive for coronavirus in late April, her family began preparing for the worst, granddaughter Shelley Gunn said."
The twist: "But instead of a grim phone call from Stejna's nursing home, on May 8 they received the news that she had tested negative, and was symptom-free, the family said."