Jul 28, 2017

AP

Donald Trump just said on Twitter he's replaced Chief of Staff Reince Priebus with Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly.

The argument for Kelly, per Republican sources: He has a reputation for efficient management of complex organizations — one of the reasons he was picked as Secretary of Homeland Security. He has lots of experience leading large groups, and is a no-nonsense guy who can make the trains run on time. And he looks the part, always big with President Trump.

  • Big Change 1: The change puts Vice President Mike Pence and his team — including his new chief of staff, Nick Ayers, and longtime aide Marc Short, who heads White House legislative affairs — at the center of the managing the Capitol Hill agenda. Republican lawmakers like Pence and will be pleased by this.
  • Big Change 2: Kelly won't tolerate a disruptive environment, which has been the very definition of this West Wing. Kelly also can be expected to try to normalize many of the reporting lines that usually would go to the White House chief of staff but have been going directly to this president.
  • Big Challenge 1: Kelly will have to organize the White House around this president's unique style, rather than the more traditional structure under recent presidents.
  • Big Challenge 2: President Trump doesn't like to be told what to do, even by people he respects. Kelly will have to find a way to guide and advise this president — but understand that he won't always be heeded.

Context:

  • Trump tweeted an acknowledgement of Priebus' service to him: "I would like to thank Reince Priebus for his service and dedication to his country. We accomplished a lot together and I am proud of him!"
  • Priebus' job had been threatened ever since Anthony Scaramucci took over as WH communications director; the two do not get along. (More on that here.)
  • Many in Trump's administration hadn't come to Priebus' defense in the last two weeks since Scaramucci joined the team. A source close to the president told Axios: "We're getting to the point in the fight where a referee needs to wave his hands."
  • Mooch made it clear he was going to act as more of a chief of staff than a comms director when he threatened to fire any WH official who leaked info — which he thought Priebus had done. (It's not yet clear what role Scaramucci played in this.)
  • Earlier today, Trump praised Kelly during his MS-13 speech, seemingly foreshadowing the move. "John Kelly is one of our great stars."

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 857,957 — Total deaths: 42,139 — Total recoveries: 178,091.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 188,547 — Total deaths: 3,899 — Total recoveries: 7,068.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  6. Coronavirus in custody: Inmates in all U.S. federal prisons are set to enter a 14-day quarantine on April 1. A federal judge on Tuesday ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release 10 detained immigrants who are at risk of contracting COVID-19 while in confinement.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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World coronavirus updates: UN warns of recession with "no parallel" to recent past

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced together since the formation of the United Nations just after the Second World War ended in 1945, UN chief António Guterres said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 856,000 and the death toll exceeded 42,000 Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 12,000 deaths.

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White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths

President Trump said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the next two weeks in the U.S. will be "very painful" and that he wants "every American to be prepared for the days that lie ahead," before giving way to Deborah Birx to explain the models informing the White House's new guidance on the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's a somber new tone from the president that comes after his medical advisers showed him data projecting that the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health