Apr 7, 2017

Bannon's allies are scrambling to save him

Win McNamee /Pool Photo / AP

Steve Bannon's allies both inside and outside the White House are worried Trump is going to fire him. They're scrambling this afternoon to figure out a way to persuade the president he'd be making a grave mistake. They argue that getting rid of Bannon will cost Trump among his "America First" constituency, and gain nothing among Democrats or the press.

They say Trump's key to victory is to keep his base motivated. And that means keeping Bannon.

Here are the arguments his supporters are making, per one of Bannon's allies in the White House:

Abandon Bannon and move towards squishy conventionalism and you'll forever alienate your diehard base of supporters.

  • "These are the people that ... didn't vote for 20 years because they thought the whole thing, you know, was a waste," says a White House ally of Bannon's. "This is what put Trump over the edge. He brought in all these people into a political system that were frigging distraught and disgusted with how things were, and they were sitting on the sidelines ... if you alienate those people, he's in big trouble because these are the people that won him the election."

Upscale Democrats will never like Trump and it's foolish to think that he could make any policy changes to win them over.

  • "There are people that think Trump can be loved in Manhattan; and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that will never happen because the Democrats — the Democrats have already decided," Bannon's ally says. "The left thinks Trump is Hitler, you know? You can't go from thinking someone is Hitler to deciding, 'Oh, well, they're not that bad because they instituted a carbon tax.'"

The good press for firing Bannon would only be temporary.

  • "At the end of the day, the media wants to tear down Donald Trump ... The media is loving this right now because it's not like the media is suddenly going to become the big guy's friend. They are lulling him into a false — you know, the Cohns of the world are bringing him down a path where he is getting lulled into a false sense of security because he's starting to get some positive media press on Syria."

Why the White House says this doesn't matter: On-the-record, the White House is saying stories about a staff shakeup is "completely false ... The only thing we are shaking up is the way Washington operates."

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World coronavirus updates: Global death toll surpasses 34,000

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 has now killed more than 34,000 people and infected over 723,000 others globally, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 10,700 deaths early Monday.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Sunday that his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30,

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 722,435 — Total deaths: 33,997 — Total recoveries: 151,991.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m.. ET: 142,502 — Total deaths: 2,506 — Total recoveries: 4,856.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump says his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "panicked" some people into fleeing New York
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reports 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reports almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Infections number tops 140,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now infected over 142,000 people in the U.S. — more than any other country in the world, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: COVID-19 had killed over 2,400 people in the U.S. by Sunday night. That's far fewer than in Italy, where over 10,000 people have died — accounting for a third of the global death toll. The number of people who've recovered from the virus in the U.S. exceeded 2,600 Sunday evening.

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