Apr 12, 2017

Trump on Bannon, Xi and United Airlines

AP

President Trump has sparked another round of palace intrigue by telling the Wall St Journal that Steve Bannon is just "a guy who works for me," and that he is his own strategist. Other highlights from the 70-minute interview:

  • North Korean-Chinese relations are "not what you would think": Xi Jinping explained the shared history of China and Korea, and "after listening for 10 minutes, I realized it's not so easy…I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremendous power over North Korea…But it's not what you would think."
  • On United's passenger removal: "Horrible." Trump thinks carriers should remove ceilings on voucher limits, saying there's even a point at which billionaires like him will give up their seats.
  • On Spicer: He "made a mistake" by making comments about Hitler in relation to Syria's chemical weapons.

Money updates:

  • On the dollar: "I think our dollar is getting too strong."
  • But China's not a currency manipulator: "They're not currency manipulators."
  • On interest rates: "I do like a low-interest rate policy, I must be honest with you."
  • Policy reversals: Trump will support the U.S. Export-Import bank despite campaigning against it, and is now open to re-nominating Fed chief Janet Yellen.

Foreign policy updates

  • On China, trade, and North Korea: Trump told Xi on trade, "'You want to make a great deal? Solve the problem in North Korea.' That's worth having deficits."
  • On solutions for Syria: He said it is "possible" to imagine a solution with Assad in power, breaking with U.S. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, but said he still thought Assad would go.

Go deeper

Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in a $13 billion deal

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Morgan Stanley is planning to buy E*Trade Financial Corp. in a $13 billion all stock deal, the Wall Street Journal reports, with plans to restructure the company known for helping everyday Americans manage their money.

Why it matters: The deal, which would be the largest by a major American bank since the financial crisis, signals Morgan Stanley‘s desire to bulk up in wealth management.

Go deeper: Six of the biggest U.S. banks have weaknesses in their crisis plans

The new not-normal: The Trump state

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Donald Trump changed how to run for president. Next, he changed the Republican Party. Now, he’s changing the presidency and the boundaries of executive power. 

In the past week, Trump has purged internal dissenters, imported loyalists, pardoned political and financial criminals and continued a running commentary on live Justice Department criminal cases — despite an unprecedented public brushback from his attorney general.

Bloomberg's rough debut

Photo: John Locher/AP

Mike Bloomberg was booed during his debut debate as a Democratic presidential candidate — indicative of a rusty outing where the former New York mayor looked unprepared to respond to obvious lines of attack.

Why it matters ... The debate underscored the Bloomberg’s campaign biggest fear: It's hard to hide to his prickly demeanor. Bloomberg had all the time, practice and forewarning money could buy — and still struggled mightily on the public stage.