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White House Chief of Staff John Kelly waits off to the side before speaking to the media during the White House daily briefing. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Chief of Staff John Kelly called Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke on Monday to expel tens of thousands of Honduran immigrants with temporary protected status, the Washington Post reports citing "current and former administration officials." The residency permits for the 57,000 Hondurans were initially granted after a 1998 hurricane.

The backdrop: Duke had been planning to extend the permits, and "was angered by what she felt was a politically driven intrusion," per the Post. She reportedly told Kelly she would resign. Jonathan Hoffman, a DHS spokesman, said there is "zero factual basis" to that claim.

Tom Bossert, the White House homeland security advisor, also called her about the issue. An anonymous White House official told the Post the calls resulted from "Duke's lack of decisiveness." White House officials confirmed the calls, although the White House publicly has hedged on the issue.

Behind the scenes:

  • Kelly reportedly said extending residency permits "prevents our wider strategic goal" on immigration — Trump's administration has long said temporary protected status should not be used as long-term justification for residing in the U.S.
  • Kelly also reportedly said that leaving the temporary status issue on the table could hurt Trump's nominee for DHS, Kirstjen M. Nielsen (although she faced no question on the topic at her confirmation hearing Wednesday).
  • Duke eventually decided to grant a six month extension.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The digital dollar is now high priority for the Fed

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. is starting to get serious about a central-bank-backed digital currency, with recent comments from top officials laying out the strongest support yet.

Driving the news: On Tuesday Fed chair Jerome Powell told Congress that developing a digital dollar is a "high priority project for us," but added that there are "significant technical and policy questions."

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Coinbase files to go public via direct listing

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase on Thursday filed to go public via a direct listing. It includes a placeholder figure of $1 billion, but that's likely to change.

Why it matters: Coinbase could go public at a higher initial valuation than any other U.S. tech company since Facebook.

Trump’s blunt weapon: State GOP leaders

Trump supporters rally near Mar-a-Lago on Feb. 15. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Trump didn't have to punish his critics in Congress — his allies back in the states instantly and eagerly did the dirty work.

Why it matters: Virtually every Republican who supported impeachment was censured back home, or threatened with a primary challenge.