Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump's attacks are spreading to sports that are cornerstones of rural, conservative white American life.

Why it matters: The culture war that engulfed the NBA and NFL is reaching other major leagues, with teams that stonewalled activists for years suddenly showing a willingness to listen.

Among Trump's targets Monday:

  1. Bubba Wallace, NASCAR's only Black driver at its top level, who Trump tweeted should apologize after a "hoax" noose was found in his garage. Wallace neither found the noose nor reported it to NASCAR — and while the noose had been hanging prior to Wallace's team using the garage, NASCAR took it seriously and called it "real."
  2. NASCAR itself, who Trump said shouldn't have banned the "Flag," a reference to the organization forbidding the display of the Confederate battle flag that was flown by men who killed U.S. Army soldiers.
  3. The Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians, who Trump said would be weak and "politically correct" to change their name. He tossed in a dig at Sen. Elizabeth Warren for good measure.

Between the lines: Sen. Lindsey Graham disagreed with Trump.

  • "I don’t think Bubba Wallace has anything to apologize for," Graham said on Fox News host Brian Kilmeade's radio show, per Mediaite.
  • "I’ve lived in South Carolina all my life and if you’re in business, the Confederate flag is not a good way to grow your business," he told CNN.

The bottom line: Trump is "pitting himself against the Black Lives Matter racial justice movement. It's really that simple. He is going to say that he is for law and order. That he is for defending the streets," Axios' Jonathan Swan said on this morning's Axios Today podcast.

  • The "ugly reality of this election is that in some instances it's going to look like a race war."

Go deeper: Trump's Tucker Carlson mind-meld

Go deeper

Trump goes all in on vaccines and therapeutics

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Top Trump advisers and GOP leadership have told the president in recent weeks that he needs to switch gears on the coronavirus and go all in on messaging about progress on vaccines and therapeutics.

The big picture: The goal is to try to shift the focus of the election conversation to who would be better at reviving the economy. Administration officials say this is a key reason Trump restarted his briefings this week and that this rhetoric will only accelerate in the weeks to come.

Pelosi, Schumer demand postmaster general reverse USPS cuts ahead of election

Schumer and Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Thursday calling for the recent Trump appointee to reverse operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service that "threaten the timely delivery of mail" ahead of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: U.S. mail and election infrastructure are facing a test like no other this November, with a record-breaking number of mail-in ballots expected as Americans attempt to vote in the midst of a pandemic.

2 hours ago - Science

CRISPR co-discoverer on the gene editor's pandemic push

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired and BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the development of CRISPR-based tests for detecting disease — and highlighting how gene-editing tools might one day fight pandemics, one of its discoverers, Jennifer Doudna, tells Axios.

Why it matters: Testing shortages and backlogs underscore a need for improved mass testing for COVID-19. Diagnostic tests based on CRISPR — which Doudna and colleagues identified in 2012, ushering in the "CRISPR revolution" in genome editing — are being developed for dengue, Zika and other diseases, but a global pandemic is a proving ground for these tools that hold promise for speed and lower costs.