Dec 23, 2018

"The red line": Trump lashes out at his acting attorney general

Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

President Trump lashed out at acting attorney general Matt Whitaker twice in the past few weeks when he found out Whitaker is overseeing the Trump-related charges Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to, CNN's Laura Jarrett and Pamela Brown report.

Why it matters, from an email to Axios by MSNBC analyst Matt Miller: "It is Trump’s worst intervention at DOJ since he took office. Far worse than his interventions with Comey. He is both a subject of this investigation ... and he’s pressuring an official he hand-picked and whose entire future depends on him."

  • Sources told CNN that Trump did not ask Whitaker to stop the investigation, but instead felt the situation was unfair.
  • "It is really the red line," Miller told Axios. "But I think people have gotten so used to him doing inappropriate things with DOJ that they don’t even recognize it."

Go deeper: Acting AG advised not to recuse himself from Russia investigation

Go deeper

Hospitals are starting to get their coronavirus cash infusion

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The federal government is sending $64 billion to hospitals, post-acute facilities and other medical providers to help cope with the coronavirus fallout.

Yes, but: Even though more funding is coming, safety net and rural hospitals fear they are getting a raw deal from the way some of the money is being distributed.

Biden, Sanders work toward truce on big issues

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden isn’t about to become Bernie Sanders, but he’s signaling that there’s potential for more common ground on issues such as health care, student debt, climate change and more in the weeks ahead.

What to watch: As Biden courts Sanders' endorsement, their teams will hold policy discussions in the next few weeks with the expectation that Biden will incorporate some elements of Sanders' agenda, a person familiar with those plans tells Axios.

Some Trump aides eye May 1 start to coronavirus reopening

President Trump was flanked at yesterday's briefing by HHS Secretary Alex Azar (far left), Vice President Pence and Dr. Deborah Birx. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump's aides, encouraged by virus data showing fewer deaths than once projected, are working behind the scenes to deliver on his vow to reopen America "sooner rather than later."

What to watch for: A senior White House official said there’s a lot of internal energy pushing for May 1, because that's the end of the White House's "30 Days to Slow the Spread."