May 21, 2019

Trump aide DeStefano to finish at White House this week

DeStefano (second from right) walks to Marine One in February 2018 with Trump aide Dan Scavino, then-White House chief of staff John Kelly, and National Security Council chief of staff Keith Kellogg. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

John DeStefano, a top aide to President Trump for the past two and a half years, is finishing up at the White House this week, per sources with direct knowledge. DeStefano officially resigned to the president yesterday, these sources said, and his last day in the office will be Friday.

Why it matters: DeStefano’s role expanded substantially during his tenure. He was originally hired to run the Office of Presidential Personnel (PPO). By the end of his tenure he was tasked with overseeing PPO, the Office of Public Liaison, the Office of Political Affairs, and Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

What's next: Sources who have spoken to DeStefano say he will leave government and will likely go to the private sector. These sources say he has met with executives at the electronic cigarette company Juul, among other companies. He’s told friends he won’t be lobbying the administration.

  • The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey was the first to report the news of his departure. 

DeStefano has a long background in Republican politics. He worked for former House Speaker John Boehner after working for the House Republican Conference and the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign organization for House Republicans. 

  • He also ran The Data Trust, which became the preferred outside data firm of the Republican Party.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 5,931,112 — Total deaths: 357,929 — Total recoveries — 2,388,172Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,711,313 — Total deaths: 101,129 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. States: New York to allow private businesses to deny entry to customers without masks.
  4. Public health: Louisiana Sen. Cassidy wants more frequent testing of nursing home workers.
  5. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Chinese official's claims that coronavirus originated in U.S.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Twitter fact-checks Chinese official's claims that coronavirus originated in U.S.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S. and was brought to Wuhan by the U.S. military, directing users to "get the facts about COVID-19."

Why it matters: The labels were added after criticism that Twitter had fact-checked tweets from President Trump about mail-in voting, but not other false claims from Chinese Communist Party officials and other U.S. adversaries.

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