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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.

Go deeper

2 mins ago - World

Top general: China's hypersonic missile test "very close" to a "Sputnik moment"

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Wednesday that China's test of a hypersonic missile is "very concerning" and "very close" to the kind of "Sputnik moment" that triggered the Space Race during the 20th century Cold War.

Why it matters: The comments by America's top uniformed general underscore the depths of U.S. concerns about China's rapid military expansion and development of advanced weaponry.

Climate reckoning for oil and gas CEOs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Top executives from ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Shell will face a reckoning on Capitol Hill Thursday, as they're grilled on evidence that their companies knew for years that their products were driving climate change but chose to downplay or deny it.

Why it matters: The hearing before the House Oversight Committee will be the first time these executives have been brought together to provide sworn testimony regarding what they knew about the ties between their company's products and climate change, and when they knew it.

Updated 3 hours ago - Science

Nor'easter slams East Coast with flooding rain and powerful winds

A residential area in Middlesex County as floodwater from the nor'easter covers streets in New Jersey on Tuesday. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A monster storm was slamming the Northeast with record rainfall and powerful winds over Tuesday night — causing flash flooding that resulted in people having to be rescued in New Jersey and New York roads to close.

Threat level: All of southern New England westward to New York City and northern New Jersey was under the threat of flash flooding and coastal flooding from the nor'easter through Tuesday night into early Wednesday, per the National Weather Service.

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