Politics & Policy

Why it matters: While Democrats fight to convince voters that they should be the ones tasked with taking down President Trump, the current administration is powering ahead on efforts to restrict immigration, unleash business and reshape the U.S. role in the world.

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Former Mueller prosecutor to detail investigation in new book

Robert Mueller. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Random House announced Monday that Andrew Weissmann, a former prosecutor for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, will release a new book, titled "Where Law Ends: Inside the Mueller Investigation," about the probe on Sept. 29.

Why it matters: Weissmann helped Mueller lead the case against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who ultimately pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in 2018. Random House says the book will showcase "the painful deliberations, and mistakes of the team — not to mention the external efforts by the president and Attorney General William Barr to manipulate the investigation to their political ends."

2 hours ago - Health

More than 1,000 CDC employees call out "ongoing and recurring acts of racism"

Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

More than 1,000 employees at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have signed a letter highlighting "ongoing and recurring acts of racism and discrimination" against Black employees at the agency, NPR reports.

The state of play: By Sunday evening, about 9% of the agency's workers had signed the letter, which claims the CDC has fostered an "oppressive monoculture that stifles the growth of Black professionals and inhibits their ability to fully contribute their talents and skills."

Washington Redskins will change team name

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins announced Monday that the NFL team plans to change its name.

Why it matters: It brings an end to decades of debate around the name — considered by many to be racist toward Native Americans. The change was jumpstarted by nationwide protests against systemic racism in the U.S. this summer.

3 hours ago - Sports

DeSean Jackson's anti-Semitic posts kick off weeklong firestorm

Photo: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

When Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson posted an anti-Semitic quote on Instagram last week, falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler, it set off a firestorm that built over a week.

What happened: Jackson first apologized within a day, claiming he "didn't realize what this passage was saying," but plenty of people jumped into the fray from various sports leagues to both defend and criticize him over the incident.

5 hours ago - World

China bans Cruz and Rubio over Xinjiang criticism

Photos: Graeme Jennings/Pool/Getty Images; Al Drago/Pool/Getty Images

China said Monday that it will ban entry to Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) over their criticisms of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the AP reports.

The big picture: The move seems to be retaliatory after the U.S. announced sanctions on four Chinese officials for human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in the region last week.

Roger Stone says he plans to campaign for Trump

Roger Stone appears yesterday outside his home in Fort Lauderdale. Photo: Johnny Louis/Getty Images

Roger Stone told Axios in a phone interview that he plans to write and speak for President Trump's re-election now that Stone "won't die in a squalid hellhole of corona-19 virus."

"I'm asthmatic," said Stone, 67. "Sending me to a prison where I could not be socially distanced ... would, I think, be a death sentence."

Planned Parenthood launches digital ad campaign for Biden

Photo: Erik McGregor / Contributor

Planned Parenthood Votes, the political arm of the national reproductive rights group, is ramping up its general election efforts, launching five-figure digital ad campaigns across nine battleground states.

Why it matters: This is the group's biggest election cycle effort yet, part of a larger $45 million investment ahead of November's election, and provides a glimpse of how Democrats are trying to take down President Trump on women's health issues while boosting Joe Biden as the alternative.

Pro-Trump PAC drops $23 million on summer anti-Biden ads

Screenshot: America First Action

America First Action, a leading pro-Trump super PAC, will focus on Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in a $23 million anti-Biden summer ad campaign beginning next week.

Why it matters: The ad buy signals which swing states the groups sees as most vulnerable for President Trump. Arizona and Wisconsin were not included earlier this year in the core battleground strategy.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 12,945,828 — Total deaths: 569,878 — Total recoveries — 7,147,807Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 3,308,165— Total deaths: 135,219 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. Public health: Houston public health system CEO says situation is "dire."
  4. Eduction: College fraternity houses could become hotbeds.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: PPE shortages strike again amid surge.

Trump campaign aims to capitalize on AMLO's visit

López Obrador and Trump at the White House on July 8. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Pool/Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's White House visit was catnip for the Trump campaign. Campaign officials tell Axios they plan to use some of his comments to try to court Hispanic voters.

Behind the scenes: A source familiar with the campaign's plans specifically said they will likely use one quote from López Obrador in TV ads aimed at Hispanic voters later this year. "I'm here to express to the people of the United States that their President has behaved with us with kindness and respect. You have treated us just as what we are: a country and a dignified people; a free, democratic, and sovereign people."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

17 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Appeals court clears way for first federal execution since 2003

Lethal injection facility in San Quentin, California. Photo: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via Getty Images

A federal appeals court has lifted a lower court injunction that had temporarily blocked the first federal execution since 2003 from proceeding on Monday.

The big picture: Attorney General Bill Barr instructed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to reinstate the death penalty last year after a 17-year informal moratorium, which was first established so the Justice Department could review its lethal injection protocols.

Polling increasingly suggests Texas will be a swing state in November

Photo: Spencer Platt/Win McNamee/Getty Images

Eight polls released publicly and rated by FiveThirtyEight since the beginning of June indicate that President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are in a dead heat in Texas, with Biden up by an average of 0.3% with 114 days to go until the election, CNN reports.

Why it matters: The once-Republican stronghold has become more competitive in recent years and is likely to be a presidential swing state in November. A Democratic candidate for president has not won Texas since 1976.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.

Anti-Trump "Lincoln Project" raised $16.8 million this quarter

Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Advisers to the Lincoln Project, a group of anti-Trump Republicans that has produced a number of the election cycle's most viral political attack ads, tell the Washington Post that it has raised $16.8 million this quarter.

Why it matters: The group, along with Republican Voters Against Trump, has launched a campaign against Trump with a "particular emphasis on persuading white suburban voters who consider themselves true Republicans to break from the president," the Post writes.

Lindsey Graham says he will ask Mueller to testify before Senate

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted Sunday that he will grant Democrats' request to call former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before his committee.

The big picture: The announcement comes on the heels of Mueller publishing an op-ed in the Washington Post that defended the Russia investigation and conviction of Roger Stone, whose sentence was commuted by President Trump on Friday.

Pelosi: Trump is "messing with the health of our children" with push to open schools

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' aggressive push to fully reopen schools this fall is "malfeasance and dereliction of duty," accusing the Trump administration of "messing with the health of our children."

Why it matters: Trump has demanded that schools reopen as part of his efforts to juice the economy by allowing parents to return to work, despite caution from health officials that little is known about how the virus impacts children.

Updated Jul 12, 2020 - Health

Betsy DeVos: Schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told "Fox News Sunday" that public schools that don't reopen in the fall should not get federal funds, and that the money should be redirected to families who can use it to find another option for their children.

Why it matters: The Trump administration is engaged in a full-court press to reopen schools this fall, despite warnings from some public health officials that the coronavirus outbreak is out of control in many states and that it will be difficult for many schools to reopen safely.

Adam Schiff: "Republicans won't stand up for the rule of law"

House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) criticized Republicans for not speaking out against President Trump's commutation of Roger Stone's prison sentence, pointing out on ABC's "This Week" that Stone was convicted for lying to a GOP-led committee.

The big picture: Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) are the only Republican senators who have condemned the move, with Romney calling it "unprecedented, historic corruption" and Toomey noting that Stone was "duly convicted" by a jury.

The push to remove statues honoring Spanish conquistadors

Workers for the City of Albuquerque remove a sculpture of Spanish conquistador Don Juan de Oñate, a colonial governor of what today is New Mexico. Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images

Native Americans are pushing for the removal of statues memorializing conquistadors, particularly in the Southwest, as the country continues to reckon with systemic racism in the aftermath of George Floyd's death.

The big picture: Native Americans have long claimed the statues honor colonizers who ravaged their communities, enslaved their people and committed other atrocities, AP reports. Some Hispanic and Latino communities argue against removing the statues, however, claiming that doing so erases history and expunges Hispanic culture, The Guardian reports.

Jul 12, 2020 - Sports

ESPN suspends star NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski for profane Hawley email

Photo: Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

ESPN has suspended star NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski after he sent a profane email to Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Outkick first reported. The New York Post reports that the suspension is without pay.

Catch up fast: Hawley sent a letter to NBA commissioner Adam Silver criticizing the league for allowing players to wear pre-approved social justice messages on their uniforms, without allowing criticism of the Chinese Communist Party or support for Hong Kong. Wojnarowski, one of ESPN's most prominent reporters, responded with an email that read “F–k you.”

Biden's doctrine: Erase Trump, re-embrace the world

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto, and Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Foreign policy will look drastically different if Joe Biden defeats President Trump in November, advisers tell Axios — starting with a Day One announcement that the U.S. is re-entering the Paris Climate Agreement and new global coordination of the coronavirus response.

The big picture: If Trump's presidency started the "America First" era of withdrawal from global alliances, Biden's team says his presidency would be the opposite: a re-engagement with the world and an effort to rebuild those alliances — fast.

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