Mar 20, 2017

The White House looks for a trifecta

Alex Brandon / AP

It's the first day of spring, and the White House hopes that a trifecta this week of trade, health care and the Supreme Court will be the start of a points-on-the-board phase — after a spate of tempests that helped push Trump's Gallup approval rating to a low of 37%, down 8 points from the week before:

  • White House officials tell me that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago this weekend to walk POTUS through an aggressive trade agenda for the coming weeks, including five executive orders that are slated to begin rolling out this week.
  • Thursday night is the epic House vote on health care. The votes aren't there yet, but a Republican lobbyist tells me Speaker Ryan had to be The Gambler: "It was either call the hand, or fold."
  • And today at 11 a.m. is the start of an expected four days of Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. Opponents admit it was a savvy pick that already looks like a win for the White House.

What it means: Trump has a new runway for showing capacity to lead, govern and cut deals — a chance for the Art of the Donald to prevail over the self-inflicted din. Allies pray that past performance is not an indicator of future outcomes.

Go deeper

Joe Biden places second in Nevada caucuses, ahead of Pete Buttigieg

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden a Nevada Caucus watch party in Las Vegas on Saturday. Photo: Ronda Churchill/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden secured second place in the Nevada Democratic caucuses with former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg third, according to NBC News projections Sunday.

Why it matters: It's a boost for Biden, who's widely tipped to be endorsed by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) on Wednesday, ahead of this week's South Carolina primary.

By the numbers: With almost 88% of precincts reporting, Biden has 20.9% of the Nevada votes and Buttigieg has 13.6%.

Flashback: Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucuses

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Sanders reveals free childcare plan for preschoolers

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally on Saturday in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday a new plan to guarantee free child care and pre-kindergarten to all American children from infancy to age four.

Details: In the wide-ranging interview, Sanders told Anderson Cooper he planned to pay for universal childcare with a wealth tax. "It's taxes on billionaires," he said.

Exclusive: Trump's "Deep State" hit list

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: WPA Pool/Getty Pool, Drew Angerer/Getty Staff

The Trump White House and its allies, over the past 18 months, assembled detailed lists of disloyal government officials to oust — and trusted pro-Trump people to replace them — according to more than a dozen sources familiar with the effort who spoke to Axios.

Driving the news: By the time President Trump instructed his 29-year-old former body man and new head of presidential personnel to rid his government of anti-Trump officials, he'd gathered reams of material to support his suspicions.