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.

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Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 18,139,438 — Total deaths: 690,452 — Total recoveries — 10,751,618Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 4,682,461 — Total deaths: 154,965 — Total recoveries: 1,468,689 — Total tests: 56,812,162Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Business: Virtual school is another setback for retail — The pandemic hasn't hampered health care.
  5. Public health: Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.

House Democrats subpoena top Pompeo aides in probe of IG firing

Mike Pompeo. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images

The Democratic chairs of the House Oversight and House Foreign Affairs committees announced subpoenas Monday for four State Department officials as part of their investigation into the firing of former Inspector General Steve Linick.

Why it matters: The two committees, in addition to Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, are investigating whether Linick was fired because he was probing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the State Department's attempts to bypass Congress to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

2 hours ago - Health

Pelosi: Birx "enabled" Trump on coronavirus misinformation

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN on Monday she does not have confidence in White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx because "she has enabled" President Trump to spread coronavirus misinformation.

What she's saying: "I don't have confidence in anyone who stands there while the president says, 'Swallow Lysol and it's going to cure your virus,'" Pelosi told host Jim Sciutto.