Mar 28, 2018

Trump wants the Pentagon to fund his border wall

Photo: Michael Reynolds, Pool / Getty Images

In a meeting last Wednesday in the White House residence, President Trump told Speaker Ryan that the U.S. military should pay for his border wall, the WashPost's Josh Dawsey and Mike DeBonis report and a source familiar confirms to Axios.

Why it's happening: "Trump has told advisers that he was spurned in a large spending bill last week when lawmakers appropriated only $1.6 billion for the border wall."

  • "Ryan offered little ­reaction to the idea ... [S]enior Capitol Hill officials later said it was an unlikely prospect."
  • "He has suggested to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis ... that the Pentagon could fund the sprawling project, citing a 'national security' risk."

Be smart: Trump has to think of something. Some top alumni of his campaign think that the wall was such a centerpiece promise, it's the one issue the base might desert over. So Trump has to come up with some plausible "wall" by 2020.

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Coronavirus cases rise, as more Americans on cruise confirmed ill

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A U.S. public health official confirms more than 40 Americans on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan have coronavirus, while the remaining U.S. citizens without symptoms are being evacuated.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Scoop: Inside the Trump campaign's big hedge on Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump campaign has invested most of its advertising budget to date on Facebook, testing thousands of versions of ads per day to maximize its spending.

But behind the scenes, a source familiar with the campaign tells Axios, the thinking has shifted: "As everyone can see, we still have strong spending on Facebook, but the percentage of our total media budget [on Facebook] is shrinking."

Trump's revenge tour has the House in its sights

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Contributor

In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections — buoyed by Republican control of both chambers — President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate.

But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November, several people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.