Nov 13, 2017

Trump adviser says Silicon Valley relationship not as strained as it seems

Trump is seated between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, in the State Dinning Room during yesterday's tech summit (AP's Alex Brandon)

While many tech CEOs dropped their formal advisory roles with the Trump administration after Charlottesville, the dialogue both ways continues even amid areas of disagreement, White House adviser Reed Cordish said Monday.

The bottom line: Tech isn't going to agree with everything Trump has to say, nor vice versa. But there are areas of commonality, especially around tax and business issues.

Speaking at an Internet Association event in San Francisco, Cordish said the current one-on-one conversations are more productive than the now-dissolved public advisory councils.

"Those became too politicized and no longer could be a frank exchange of ideas where we were able to learn," Cordish said.

As for the challenges from the tech industry over issues like the travel ban and LGBT rights, Cordish said "they have fundamental right to disagree" and a "right to represent their employees' views."

One more thing: Cordish said plans for a $200 billion infrastructure bill remain on track, with its introduction set to follow tax reform. He said that unlike earlier legislative efforts, he sees bipartisan support for the infrastructure package. That said, he said that if tax reform fails that the infrastructure bill isn't dead, but probably will have to be scaled back.

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Sign of the times: A pro-Warren super PAC

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a rally in Nevada. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of women progressives who back Sen. Elizabeth Warren has formed Persist PAC, a super PAC airing pro-Warren ads starting Wednesday in an effort to boost her performance ahead of Saturday's crucial Nevada caucuses, a spokesman told Axios.

Why it matters: Warren has spoken adamantly against the influence of unlimited spending and dark money in politics. But these supporters have concluded that before Warren can reform the system, she must win under the rules that exist — and that whether she likes it or not, their uncoordinated help may be needed to keep her viable through this weekend's contest and into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

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Pentagon policy chief resigns amid reported discord with Trump

John Rood. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

John Rood, the Pentagon's top policy official, will resign from his post at the end of the month, CNN first reported and President Trump confirmed.

The state of play: CNN said Rood "was perceived as not embracing some of the changes in policy the White House and senior Pentagon officials wanted," such as peace talks in Afghanistan with the Taliban and a decision to cut back on military exercises with South Korea as the president courted North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Coronavirus cases rise, as warnings of global pandemic grow

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

We may be "at the brink" of a global pandemic, warns a top U.S. public health official, as cases continue to spread despite containment efforts. Meanwhile, the global economy is being affected, including the tech manufacturing industry.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 136 new deaths since Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health