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Keith Schiller wrangles the press pool in the Oval Office in May. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

The N.Y. Times' Maggie Haberman once called longtime aide Keith Schiller "the ultimate emotional binky for Trump."

Why it matters: Schiller's closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee yesterday was one of the most vivid signs yet of how deeply the Russia investigations are penetrating the president's inner circle.

The details:

  • Schiller was Trump's bodyguard in New York and became White House director of Oval Office operations, but left in September.
  • Per CNN, Schiller yesterday denied "the salacious claims about Trump's 2013 trip to Moscow that appeared in the opposition research Russia dossier about Trump."
  • "Schiller ... [told] lawmakers repeatedly that he could not recall or was not aware a number of potential Russia connections with Trump associates."
  • Why he matters, from Politico's Annie Karni: "When friends and advisers outside the West Wing wanted to share a news article, gossip or advice with ... Trump, they would be advised to 'send it to Keith, he'll get it to me.'"
  • Schiller knows "how to manage the president's moods, his diet, what triggers him and what soothes him."

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

U.S. and NATO answer Putin in writing while bracing for Ukraine invasion

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty

The U.S. and NATO provided Russia with written proposals on Wednesday to advance a "diplomatic path forward," even as they warned that Russia could invade Ukraine within days.

Why it matters: This is a delicate diplomatic balancing act. The U.S. and NATO want to show they're serious about diplomacy but unwilling to compromise on "core principles" — all without providing Vladimir Putin with an additional pretext for escalation.

The political leanings of the Supreme Court justices

Data: Martin-Quinn scores; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Supreme Court will continue to have a solid conservative majority even with Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement.

How to read the chart: An analysis by political scientists Andrew Martin and Kevin Quinn, known as the Martin-Quinn Score, places judges on an ideological spectrum. A lower score indicates a more liberal justice, whereas a higher score indicates a more conservative justice.

The front-runners for Biden's Supreme Court pick

Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson (left) and Justice Leondra Kruger (right) Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images and Lonnie Tague, US Department of Justice

Two highly accomplished Black female judges — Ketanji Brown Jackson, a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals; and Leondra Kruger, a justice on the California Supreme Court — are seen as the early front-runners to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

The big picture: Jackson is a powerful federal judge with a record that progressives feel they can trust. Kruger was a highly regarded litigator and has carved out a reputation for working well with conservative judges.