Sep 28, 2017

Price on thin ice

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price is, to put it mildly, not having a great week. The failure of Republicans' repeal-and-replace effort, coupled with the ongoing reporting about the private flights he took on taxpayers' dime, has weakened his stature within the Trump administration.

Be smart: The uproar over Price's charter travel is real, and it's not going away. Democrats smell blood. Republicans will have a hard time ignoring $400,000 in luxury travel. Trump has just suffered a stinging legislative defeat, and Trump loves a scapegoat.

  • A source who has watched President Trump and Price interact at length told my colleague Jonathan Swan that Price burned his credibility when health care failed to get across the finish line in Congress.
  • Early in the administration, Trump, House and Senate leaders, Price and then-chief of staff Reince Priebus met in the Roosevelt Room to discuss health care. Trump asked whether a deal would pass, and both Priebus and Price emphatically said "yes."
  • The two have never really gelled, Swan's sources tell him. Price is wonky, and Trump seems to endure their meetings more than enjoy them.
  • "I'm not saying the president will fire him but at the very least he doesn't care if he resigns," Swan's source said.

Go deeper

Situational awareness

Photos: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images; Alex Wong/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Bloomberg campaign says Tennessee vandalism "echoes language" from Bernie supporters
  2. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  3. Trump misrepresents 2020 Russia briefing as Democratic "misinformation"
  4. Bernie Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"
  5. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone
  6. Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders told CBS "60 Minutes" that he was surprised by Mike Bloomberg's lackluster performance at Wednesday's Democratic debate.

What he's saying: "If that's what happened in a Democratic debate, you know, I think it's quite likely that Trump will chew him up and spit him out."

Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lyft has acquired Halo Cars, a small startup that lets ride-hailing drivers earn money via ad displays mounted atop their cars. Lyft confirmed the deal but declined to share any details.

Why it matters: Ride-hailing companies are increasingly eyeing additional ways to generate revenue, and Lyft rival Uber has been quietly testing a partnership with New York-based Cargo that gives it a cut of the advertising revenue, as I previously reported.