Jan 7, 2018

Trump: choose Bannon or me

President Donald Trump at Camp David, Md. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

President Trump has been working the phones over the past several days telling allies they need to choose between him and former adviser Steve Bannon. For almost everyone it’s been an easy choice: Trump.

What's next: Look for senior policy adviser Stephen Miller to make a rare appearance on Jake Tapper's Sunday CNN Show "State of the Union" tomorrow. Miller has for the longest time been described in the press as a Bannon ally, but that’s not quite true and I expect he will perform a public evisceration of Bannon for a gleeful audience of one. 

The White House has been encouraging its surrogates to go on TV and tear into Bannon; Trump has enjoyed the spectacle and the White House has kept close tabs on these performances. Hence the re-emergence of Anthony Scaramucci, who did a victory lap on TV this week ripping Bannon apart.

For Miller, the reality is he turned against Bannon months ago, despite continuing to share his hardline nationalism views on trade and immigration. Miller told associates that Bannon was a leaker and a self-promoter; though he’s never said so publicly. The White House denied this was happening when the Daily Beast accurately reported this story months ago.

Update: When I told WH press shop I was reporting that Miller would be gutting Bannon on CNN tomorrow, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders replied: “Stephen is going on to give a recap of the Thursday immigration meeting, weekend meetings at Camp David and a preview of the bi-partisan immigration meeting on Tuesday. However, I've never known anyone or any topic that Stephen couldn't handle so if other topics come up I have no doubt he will easily handle those as well.”

Go deeper

Situational awareness

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren supporters form super PAC
  2. We may be on "the brink" of coronavirus pandemic
  3. Pentagon policy chief resigns
  4. National polls show Bernie in control ahead of Nevada
  5. How a Chinese think tank rates all 50 U.S. governors
  6. Sanders and Bloomberg battle over heart health

Trump has declared war on sanctuary cities

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Armed with subpoenas, lawsuits and immigration SWAT teams, the Trump administration has declared war on sanctuary cities.

The big picture: President Trump and his administration have used every available tool to try to crack down on local governments that refuse to hold immigrants in criminal custody, block immigration agents from working in county jails or deny federal authorities access to immigrants' records.

Peter Thiel's Founders Fund isn't really Peter Thiel's Founders Fund

Illustration: Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Charles Eshelman, Steve Jennings, and Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Founders Fund has raised $3 billion for a pair of new funds, so expect a slew of headlines about how "Peter Thiel's venture capital firm" is now flush with cash.

Behind the scenes: Thiel is essential to Founders Fund, but he's not autocratic. Instead, Axios has learned that he's one of three people with veto power over most FF investments, and is unable to do a deal without approval of the other two.