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President Trump touted how crucial his presidency is to the markets' gains, in an interview today with Fox News:

"If I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash. I think everybody would be very poor."

History as guide: Stocks continued to rise during and after Bill Clinton's impeachment, which occurred a bit earlier in a long bull market than where we're at today. Stocks fell when Richard Nixon resigned, but markets were reacting to a confluence of other events like a global oil crisis.

What analysts are saying:

  • Christopher Mistal, director of research at Stock Trader's Almanac, tells Axios:
"Because impeachment of Trump has been talked about for so long I would not expect it to not have any real impact on the market even if it does happen. Why? Because VP [Mike] Pence would become President and the majority of the policies that Trump has put in place would stay in place."
  • Jeremy Siegel, a market historian and Wharton School of Business professor, last year told CNBC if Trump was no longer in office, the Dow would go up 1,000 points: "One has to remember that the rally since Trump’s election has been based not on Trump’s agenda [but] on the Republican agenda."

More context:

The markets have seen large gains since President Trump took office, with the S&P 500 climbing over 25% since his inauguration.

  • Giving Trump credit for the surge is a matter of perspective.
  • Much of it is tied to improved corporate profits, a lot of which are being boosted by Trump policies like tax cuts and deregulation.
  • But the markets and economy were already strengthening before his election, both in the U.S. and globally.
  • Markets had no major reaction to the guilty plea by Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen or in the charges against Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
  • Stocks did sink late last year after an erroneous ABC News report that, had it been accurate, may have set the stage for impeachment. But that also was before the big tax cut bill was passed and, as the market analysts note, there is no indication that a President Pence would change course.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”

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