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Peter Navarro at the 'Death By China' in 2012. Photo: Andy Kropa/Getty Images

President Trump's spirit animal Peter Navarro is telling associates he wants Gary Cohn's job as the president's chief economic adviser.

What we're hearing: Publicly, Navarro has been coy, telling Bloomberg TV he's not in the running for the job. But privately, the hardcore nationalist trade adviser is all in for the job. 

Sources familiar with Navarro's thinking tell me he believes there are too many people inside the White House perimeter who oppose the president's agenda. Cohn, in particular, obstructed Navarro, telling colleagues that the nationalist trade adviser had no idea what he was doing, had no grasp of economics, and constantly "lied" to the president. 

Why this matters: Choosing Navarro would be the path of least resistance for Trump's trade agenda, but it would cause something approaching a riot on Capitol Hill and within the White House. Senior officials tell me they expect the entire National Economic Council staff would quit their posts immediately if Trump appoints Navarro; and Republicans on the Hill would go crazy. Republican leaders view Navarro as a menace and a danger to both the U.S. and world economies.

  • The problem for them: Trump loves Navarro, and Navarro reflects the president's hardwired beliefs on trade far more closely than Cohn ever did, or did any of the other top officials involved in the trade debate besides Wilbur Ross. "Where's Peter?" Trump would sometimes say, when senior staff had "forgotten" to include Navarro in a meeting. 

Bottom line: Trump is spitballing up to a dozen names for Cohn's replacement. Cohn has been advocating for Shahira Knight — a senior figure on the NEC who is well-regarded on the Hill and played a crucial role in passing tax reform. The chances that Trump will appoint Navarro currently seem low, but you'd be a fool to totally count him out. 

Go deeper

34 mins ago - Technology

Exclusive: Facebook's blackout didn't dent political ad reach

Photo: Valera Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Americans saw more political ads on Facebook in the week before the 2020 election than they did the prior week despite the company's blackout on new political ads during that period, according to Global Witness, a human rights group that espouses tech regulation.

Why it matters: The presidential election was a key stress test for Facebook and other leading online platforms looking to prove that they can curb misinformation. Critics contend measures like the ad blackout barely made a dent.

Wall Street wonders how bad it has to get

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wall Street is working out how bad the economy will have to get for Congress to feel motivated to move on economic support.

Why it matters: A pre-Thanksgiving data dump showed more evidence of a floundering economic recovery. But the slow drip of crumbling economic data may not be enough to push Washington past a gridlock to halt the economic backslide.

3 hours ago - Health

Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine

Photo illustration by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Moderna announced that it plans to file with the FDA Monday for an emergency use authorization for its coronavirus vaccine, which the company said has an efficacy rate of 94.1%.

Why it matters: Moderna will become the second company to file for a vaccine EUA after Pfizer did the same earlier this month, potentially paving the way for the U.S. to have two COVID-19 vaccines in distribution by the end of the year. The company said its vaccine has a 100% efficacy rate against severe COVID cases.