Apr 18, 2017

Outside Trump group hires Brian Walsh

America First Policies has named Brian O. Walsh, a partner at RedPrint Strategy and former president of the American Action Network and Congressional Leadership Fund, as its new president.

Walsh told Axios he was "honored to have the opportunity" to work with the group to have a "strong presence in the policy debate" on administration priorities such as tax and health care reform. Politico's Alex Isenstadt had it first.

Walsh will join former White House deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh, who departed the Trump administration late last month to give "badly needed air cover for the President's agenda."

Background: America First Policies is led by longtime figures like former Pence advisers Nick Ayers (chairman of the board) and Marty Obst, in addition to Trumpworld figures Brad Parscale and Katrina Pierson. David Bossie and Rick Gates, the other founders of the group, have already departed.

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Virginia governor announces removal of Richmond's Robert E. Lee statue

Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Thursday that the state will remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Richmond's historic Monument Avenue.

Why it matters: It's a watershed moment for Virginia, which has been at the center of a years-long national debate about whether Confederate monuments should be displayed publicly. That discussion reached a boiling point when protests about a statue of Lee in Charlottesville turned violent in 2017.

RNC expands convention search across the Sun Belt

Donald Trump, Mike Pence and their families on the last night of the Republican National Convention in Ohio in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images.

The Republican National Committee is planning site visits over the next 10 days to more than a half-dozen cities — across the South and into Texas and Arizona — as it scrambles for a new convention host, people familiar with the internal discussions tell Axios.

Driving the news: The RNC's executive committee voted Wednesday night to allow most of the convention to move — with only a smaller, official portion remaining in Charlotte — after North Carolina's governor said the coronavirus pandemic would mean a scaled-back event with social distancing and face coverings.

Oil faces tough road back from coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Oil companies in the battered shale patch are starting to bring back some production as prices climb, but a new report underscores how the pandemic is taking a heavy financial toll despite signs of revival.

Driving the news: Fourteen North American producers have filed for bankruptcy thus far during the second quarter, per a tally from the law firm Haynes and Boone, which closely tracks the sector's finances.