President Trump's top trade advisor, economist Peter Navarro, is arguing that it is imperative for U.S. national security interests to reduce the trade deficit, in both a new Wall Street Journal op-ed and during a talk Monday at the National Association of Business Economics.

"Running large and persistent trade deficits facilitates a pattern of wealth transfers offshore," Navarro writes, arguing that if this wealth comes in the form of industries critical to national defense, it could be devastating to security.

Make America safer, but poorer: Navarro notes that the U.S. doesn't house a "single company that can make flat-panel displays for military aircraft or night-vision goggles," as an example of how free-trade globalism has hurt national security. But in order for this to become the case, the U.S. would have to be suffering under trade embargoes from every nation that makes flat-panel displays, and all of their trade partners too. If military experts see this as likely, passing laws to require domestic production of flat-panel displays would be prudent. But it will cost taxpayers more for such an arrangement, right at the time when the President is trying to increase the efficiency of defense spending.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.