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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Podcast: Fracking in focus

Fracking is big business in many swing states, but several Democratic presidential candidates have pledged to end the controversial energy extraction process if elected. Dan and Axios' Ben Gemen dig into the politics and practicality of a fracking ban.

Ad spending on 2020 primary tops $1 billion

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Spending on the 2020 presidential primary has officially surpassed the $1 billion mark, with more than half of that total coming from billionaire Michael Bloomberg, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

Why it matters: It's the most money that has been spent this early on in an election cycle in U.S. history.

Preview: “Axios on HBO” interviews Roger Stone

On the next episode of “Axios on HBO,” Roger Stone opens up about his desire to be “right with God.”

Watch the full interview on March 1 at 6 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.

Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee on Wednesday, including the gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at a Wednesday evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Report: Hillary Clinton to launch podcast

Hillary Clinton at the 70th Berlinale International Film Festival on Feb. 25 in Berlin, Germany. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to launch a podcast in late spring, Politico reports.

Details: The currently untitled show will be co-produced by iHeartMedia and is expected feature Clinton holding conversations with guests, from world leaders to celebrities, many of whom she hopes will fit the theme of her novel "The Book of Gutsy Women," per Politico.

Go deeper: Hillary Clinton on Bernie Sanders: "Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him"

Mike Bloomberg apologizes for calling transgender people "it"

Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized in a call with transgender leaders on Thursday for previously referring to transgender people as "it" after more than a week of silence on the issue, per NewNowNext.

Driving the news: BuzzFeed reported on the ex-mayor's 2019 remarks earlier this month, citing a recently uncovered video in which Bloomberg stated: "If your conversation during a presidential election is about some guy wearing a dress and whether he, she or it can go to the locker room with their daughter, that’s not a winning formula for most people."

Rep. Matt Gaetz makes no-PAC pledge

Rep. Matt Gaetz. Photo: Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said he will no longer accept campaign donations from political action committees in a speech Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Why it matters: Pushback against super PACs has largely been concentrated on the left — with Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders serving as vocal critics of special interests on the 2020 campaign trail. But on Thursday, Gaetz painted himself as "a different kind of Republican" while linking his decision to President Trump's "America First movement."

Obama Ebola czar rips Pence for controlling health officials' statements

Ronald Klain with President Obama in 2014. Photo: Drew Angerer/Bloomberg

The Obama administration's Ebola response coordinator Ronald Klain tore into the White House Thursday over a report in the New York Times that all public statements and appearances by health officials must be coordinated with the office of Vice President Mike Pence.

What they're saying: "I was the WH Ebola Response Coordinator in 2014-15," Klain tweeted. "We never told the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or National Institutes of Health what they could say, or ever censored their medical statements. If the WH is doing that now, it is a danger to public health."

Watchdog opens probe into VA secretary over handling of sexual assault claim

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie on Fox Business Network’s "The Evening Edit" on Jan. 7. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

The Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General Michael Missal said Thursday he had opened an investigation into VA Secretary Robert Wilkie after lawmakers demanded an inquiry into his handling of a sexual misconduct report, the Washington Post reports.

Context: Wilkie allegedly "worked to discredit" the credibility of Democratic aide and veteran Andrea Goldstein after she reported last fall "that a man groped and propositioned her in the main lobby of the agency's D.C. Medical Center," a senior VA official told the Post.

Bloomberg releases heart health data, says Sanders should do the same

Mike Bloomberg and Bernie Sanders. Photos: Joe Raedle/Getty Images; Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg released new information on his heart health Thursday and called on his rival Bernie Sanders to do so as well.

Why it matters: The development, first reported by CNN, continues a public feud between the two candidates, both of whom are 78 years old. The move appears to be an attempt by Bloomberg to make Sanders' health a central issue in the Democratic contest.

Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh sentenced to 3 years in prison

Photo: Paul Marotta/Getty Images

Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh received a 3-year prison sentence for fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy on Thursday, the Washington Post reports.

The state of play: Pugh, 69, resigned in May 2019 as she faced state and federal investigations in a years-long scheme in which she sold her self-published "Healthy Holly" children’s books to nonprofits and foundations to promote her political career and fund her mayoral campaign. She apologized in a video submitted on Wednesday to U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow, per the Baltimore Sun.

Daniel Goldman to depart House Intelligence Committee

Goldman and House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff. Photo: Shawn Thew/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Daniel Goldman, the former federal prosecutor who questioned witnesses during the impeachment inquiry as counsel to Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, is stepping down, CNN reports.

Why it matters: The departure reflects the de-escalation of House Democrats' investigations into President Trump in the aftermath of his impeachment acquittal. Democratic leaders have left open the question of whether they will continue their Ukraine probe, including by subpoenaing former national security adviser John Bolton.

Democrats lay out demands for coronavirus funding

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement Thursday outlining their demands for coronavirus funding, including a guarantee that the eventual vaccine is affordable.

The big picture: Pelosi criticized the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus outbreak, calling it "chaotic" and chiding President Trump for "name-calling" and "playing politics." She added at a press conference that bipartisan congressional leaders are nearing an agreement on emergency funding.

Trump wants to charge immigrants $1,000 to legally fight deportation

Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

The Justice Department wants to dramatically increase fees for immigrants trying to fight deportation— including nearly $1,000 to appeal an immigration judge decision, according to a proposed Executive Office for Immigration Review rule.

Between the lines: It currently costs around $100 for immigrants to begin to legally fight deportation orders. If implemented, the new rule would raise fees to at least $305 and as much as $975, depending on the appeal.

Trump assigns Pence to lead U.S. coronavirus response

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced at a press briefing Wednesday evening that he'll be putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of leading the administration's response to the coronavirus.

The big picture: In the wake of a market sell-off and warnings from health officials that there's a real threat of the coronavirus spreading in the U.S., Trump sought to reassure the nation and Wall Street that the U.S. is "ready" for whatever comes next.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy
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