May 18, 2017

Trump considers cancelling daily Spicer show


Several officials familiar with Trump's thinking claim POTUS is considering cancelling Spicer's daily press briefings despite his high ratings, Politico reports. Trump has told aides Spicer has developed a "belligerent persona" behind the podium and the briefing is now one of the most dreaded parts of Trump's day.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders will likely stand in for Spicer, according to one official. Rumors about Fox News Anchor Kim Guilfoyle taking over are "not real," the officials said.

Why downsize Spicer's role? Spicer has been serving as the mouthpiece of the White House since January, but the recent drama about the Comey firing, intel disclosure to Russia, and revelations about the probe into Flynn and Trump-Russia ties has Spicer trapped in Trump's ire, the officials say.

  • Spicer has had his own slip-ups as well (think: that Adolf Hitler contrast he made with Bashar al-Assad about chemical weapons).
  • Plus, Trump is trying to root out a problem within his comms staff.

Don't forget: This idea is still up in the air, and Trump's been mulling different comms team setups for a while now. Just last week he said he would do briefings once every two weeks instead.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 1,506,936 — Total deaths: 90,057 — Total recoveries: 340,112Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 432,596 — Total deaths: 14,831 — Total recoveries: 24,235Map.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump is preparing to launch a second coronavirus task force focused on reviving the U.S. economy.
  4. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under coronavirus public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  5. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — Another 6.6 million jobless claims were filed last week.
  6. World update: Boris Johnson is moved out of ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Your hydroxychloroquine questions answered.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Boris Johnson moved out of ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus

Johnson last December. Photo: Kate Green/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved out of intensive care but is continuing to be monitored at St. Thomas' Hospital in London, according to a Downing Street spokesperson.

Why it matters: It's a sign of improvement after Johnson spent three nights in intensive care for coronavirus. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab remains in charge of the government.

Go deeperArrow18 mins ago - World

A pause button for debts

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Governments have forcibly put much of the U.S. and the global economy on pause in recent weeks, for very good reason. Factories, offices, sporting arenas, restaurants, airports and myriad other institutions have closed down. But one thing hasn't been paused: monthly debt-service obligations.

The big picture: The less movement and activity there is in an economy, the more the coronavirus curve is flattened. But the obligations in bond and loan contracts can't be paused. That's worrying CEOs who fear a wave of business failures if economic activity doesn't pick up next month.