Oct 9, 2017

The Trump staff crisis

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

The biggest threat to the Trump presidency, the markets and our ability to deal with future crises is the coming staff exodus. We cannot stress enough how many essential staff and officials want out — if not this quarter, then soon after the new year:

  • Watch for Gary Cohn to bolt after tax reform, which we think slips into Q1 of 2018.
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's situation is untenable: We hear he's likely to leave by the new year. Many insiders think U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley will replace him. Then Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell may take Haley's job in New York. Another possible successor in case of a Rexit: CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
  • Chief of Staff John Kelly is the one to watch closest. He doesn't get enough credit for the discipline he has enforced inside the White House. He bristles at the boss's loose, erratic ways, though. The average tenure of a COS who likes his job is roughly a year. A weak chief of staff replacing Kelly would be hugely problematic.

Go deeper

The EU makes its move on a green coronavirus recovery

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The European Commission this morning proposed a $825 billion package of economic responses to the coronavirus pandemic that includes financing for renewable energy, electric vehicle charging and other emissions-friendly projects.

Why it matters: The energy components of the "Next Generation EU" plan, part of a wider multi-year budget proposal, appear to be the most substantial attempt yet to stitch low-carbon investments into economic recovery plans.

Zipline drones deliver masks to hospitals; vaccines could be next

Zipline's drone drops medical supplies via parachute. Image courtesy of Zipline.

Zipline, a California drone company, has made its U.S. debut by delivering medical supplies to hospitals in North Carolina under a pilot program honed in Africa.

Why it matters: The effort, made possible by a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration to Novant Health, is the nation's longest-range drone delivery operation and could demonstrate how drones could be used in future pandemics, Zipline officials said.

NHL unveils 24-team playoff plan to return from coronavirus hiatus

Data: NHL; Table: Axios Visuals

The NHL unveiled its return-to-play plan on Tuesday, formally announcing that 24 of its 31 teams will return for a playoff tournament in two hub cities, if and when medically cleared.

Why it matters: Hockey is the first major North American sports league to sketch out its plans to return from a coronavirus-driven hiatus in such detail, and it's also the first one to officially pull the plug on its regular season, which will trigger ticket refunds.