Andy Kropa, Noah Berger, Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Vianney Le Caer, Evan Agostini / AP

Trump is testing the CEO President theory, and has inspired Silicon Valley stars and other high-powered executives to look ahead to 2020.

  • Disney CEO Bob Iger has been telling friends he's considering a run, according to the Hollywood Reporter. But Iger would have to find someone to take over Disney first.
  • Mark Zuckerberg hired Obama's former campaign manager to help with philanthropy, pledged to visit all 50 states in 2017 and publicly renounced his atheism, plus Facebook has said he can take a leave for government service while retaining control of the company. But Zuckerberg has denied that he plans to run in 2020.
  • Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg has interviewed potential campaign aides, per Real Clear Politics which reports it's "common knowledge" to Democrats that she's considering running.
  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has become more involved in Washington since purchasing the WaPo, buying a home in DC and expanding Amazon's lobbying efforts. But after speculation started to build Bezos told Billboard, "No. I love my life. I love being an inventor."
  • Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz told CNN "never say never" on running for President back in September of last year. His company has been outspoken against Trump's immigration executive order.
  • And then there's billionaire investor Mark Cuban, who told Business Insider "we will see," last month when asked about challenging Trump in 2020.

Celebrities are also among the White House possibilities:

  • Oprah had a Trump-inspired epiphany in an interview with Bloomberg. She realized she doesn't need political experience to become President.
  • Katy Perry posted a photo with George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to her Instagram with the caption, "42, 43 46?!" after Trump announced his candidacy.
  • Will Smith told CBS, "If people keep saying all the crazy kinds of stuff they've been saying on the news lately about walls and Muslims, they're going to force me into the political arena. I mean, I gotta be the president... What else would I run for?"
  • Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson told Vanity Fair "I wouldn't rule it out," when asked about running for President last November.
  • And of course, there's Kanye West, who announced in 2015 that he'd be running for president in 2020 during his speech at the MTV Video Music awards. He brought it up again with BBC last November.

Go deeper

Senate passes bill funding government through December

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Where it stands: The legislation will avert a government shutdown before funding expires Wednesday night and before the Nov. 3 election. The House passed the same measure last week by a vote of 359-57 after House Democrats and the Trump administration agreed on the resolution.

  • Both sides agreed early in negotiations that the bill should be a "clean" continuing resolution — meaning each party would only make small changes to existing funding levels so the measure would pass through both chambers quickly, Axios' Alayna Treene reported last week. The bill now goes to President Trump for signature.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
27 mins ago - Technology

The age of engineering life begins

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Synthetic biology startups raised some $3 billion through the first half of 2020, up from $1.9 billion for all of 2019, as the field brings the science of engineering to the art of life.

The big picture: Synthetic biologists are gradually learning how to program the code of life the way that computer experts have learned to program machines. If they can succeed — and if the public accepts their work — synthetic biology stands to fundamentally transform how we live.

Biden will allow lobbyists to join transition team

Biden speaks at a campaign stop at Pittsburgh Union Station Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden's presidential transition office will allow lobbyists to help shape his potential administration, but will require them to receive a waiver to participate if they engaged in lobbying activity in the last twelve months.

Why it matters: Presidential transition teams are instrumental in establishing a new administration, and the rules that govern them are often a template for the ethics guidelines that the new administration imposes after the inauguration.

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