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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

On Saturday, the president of the United States retweeted a conspiracy theory video claiming Bill and Hillary Clinton had a hand in the death of pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The big picture: The news media did not treat this as a major story; the Sunday New York Times editors found a few inches for it on page 21. Times' columnist Ross Douthat captured the collective shrug in his tweet: "Dear God, next thing you know the president will accuse a political rival's family of being implicated in the JFK assassination!" (A reference to Trump's 2016 smear of Ted Cruz's father.)

Behind the scenes: I asked a senior White House official whether anybody internally did anything about the Clinton tweet. "I think we're beyond the point of trying to control these things," the official said.

  • White House officials, including press staff, say they rarely receive any forewarning before the president tweets something incendiary.
  • On the occasions they do get a heads-up, it's from Dan Scavino, the White House social media director who manages Trump's Twitter account.
  • Two sources familiar told me that on at least a few occasions, Scavino has taken dictation on an incendiary tweet from Trump, saved the tweet to drafts and given a small number of his colleagues advanced warning that this particular tweet might be coming.
  • But it's just a heads-up. Two and a half years into his presidency, Trump has kept his @realDonaldTrump Twitter account entirely his own.

Go deeper

Rep. Rice demands Cuomo resign after 3rd woman accuses him of misconduct

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February news conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) on Monday evening called for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign, after a third woman accused him of inappropriate behavior.

Driving the news: Anna Ruch, a former member of the Obama administration and the 2020 Biden campaign, told the New York Times Monday that Cuomo asked to kiss her at a New York City wedding reception in September 2019.

Scoop: Inside the GOP's plan to retake the House

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Republicans will reclaim their majority in 2022 by offering candidates who are women, minorities or veterans, a memo obtained by Axios says.

Why it matters: The document, drafted by a super PAC blessed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, names top Democrats to target — Jared Golden of Maine, Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania and Ron Kind of Wisconsin — and the type of Republican candidates to beat them.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Trump talked out of early Ohio endorsement

Jane Timken at a 2017 Trump rally. Photo: Kyle Mazza/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Donald Trump had to be talked out of making an early endorsement in Ohio's 2022 U.S. Senate race, a sign of his eagerness to reengage politically, people familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

What we're hearing: The former president discussed endorsing former state GOP chair Jane Timken last week during a meeting at Mar-a-Lago with RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, but top advisers — including Donald Trump Jr. — urged him to wait.