Mar 18, 2017

Trump faces a tipping point

Mike Allen, author of AM

Evan Vucci / AP

Trump's unwillingness to back off his wiretapping tweet (now two weeks old!) is exacerbating differences with allies abroad and exasperating allies on the Hill, while heightening the risk of embarrassment when investigations are complete.

Until now, Trump and his team have been able to lob claims with impunity or even to advantage — distracting the opposition and media, or adding to the rogue image that enthralls his voters.

Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017

But the tipping point may be the White House suggestion that British spies were involved in surveilling Trump Tower — with the White House citing a Fox News commentary when even Fox says, via Shep Smith:

"Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now-president of the United States was surveilled at any time, any way. Full stop."

Shep Smith: "Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that POTUS was surveilled at any time in any way, full stop." pic.twitter.com/GxKSJJGD7D— Axios (@axios) March 17, 2017

The lead of today's N.Y. Times says British officials are "livid."

Sean Spicer told reporters during a brief gaggle in the East Room: "I don't think we regret anything. We literally listed a litany of media reports that are in the public domain."

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The big picture: Floyd's fatal run-in with police is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,968,693— Total deaths: 365,796 — Total recoveries — 2,520,587Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,749,846 — Total deaths: 102,900 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Economy: The future of mobility in the post-pandemic worldGeorge Floyd's killing and economic calamity are both part of America's unfinished business.
  4. Supreme Court: Chief Justice Roberts sides with liberals in denying challenge to California's pandemic worship rules.
  5. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March.
  6. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  7. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.