Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A Trump campaign tale that never made it into the papers... Jason Miller was excited. The legendary college basketball coach Bobby Knight was visiting Trump Tower and the campaign's senior communications adviser thought it would be a great opportunity to get Knight in front of the beleaguered Trump team for one of Knight's inspirational halftime talks.

Behind the scenes: About 30 Trump communications staff and volunteers were gathered in the war room. Cable news blared on eight TVs that never switched off. Miller came out of his office to give the team a rare "ra ra speech," a "let's go get 'em speech... let's fight hard today and here's what we're pushing," according to two sources who were in the room for the occasion.

"Jason says, 'We've got Coach Knight here, the legendary Coach Knight. Coach, why don't you say a few words to the team here'," one of the sources recalled.

"Sure, sure. Happy to, Jason," Knight replied, in the recollection of the source. "You know, I love Donald Trump. He's a great man. He's gonna be a great president. I'm confident that he's gonna win.

  • "But really the one thing, the one thing I just can't understand is... Well, he's just got to stop talking about this f---ing wall."

Knight kept going, attacking the centerpiece of the Trump campaign, as Miller stood by agog and staff tried to suppress their laughter.

"I go everywhere," Knight said, "all over the country. And people tell me 'Donald Trump is awesome but I don't understand the wall.'"

  • "I'm telling you," Knight continued, "people don't understand the wall and you've got to stop talking about the wall. Trump's gonna win. But you've got to stop talking about the wall.
  • "So go get 'em guys."

Miller appeared befuddled. "Jason was like, 'Uh, thanks for that coach. Alright everybody, let's get back to work'," the source recalled. Then everybody returned to their desks for another day in an office that often resembled The Office.

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Deadly Hurricane Zeta slams U.S. Gulf Coast

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a 55-year-old man was "electrocuted by a downed power line" in Louisiana as the storm caused widespread power outages Wednesday night, per AP.

What's happening: Zeta made landfall south of New Orleans as a Category 2 hurricane earlier Wednesday before weakening to Category 1. But it was still "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi with life-threatening storm surge, high winds, and heavy rain" late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

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Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, testifies during a September Senate hearing on COVID-19 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association on Wednesday he doesn't expect a COVID-19 vaccine to be ready until January 2021 or later.

What he's saying: Fauci said during the interview that the U.S. was in a "bad position" after failing to keep case numbers down post-summer. "We should have been way down in baseline and daily cases and we’re not," he said.

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