Nov 3, 2017

Trump on State nominees: "I'm the only one that matters"

Photo: Susan Walsh / AP

President Trump addressed his administration's lack of nominees at critical posts in the State Department in an interview on Fox News' The Ingraham Angle last night, asserting that the vacancies don't matter given his place in the White House:

Let me tell you, the one that matters is me. I'm the only one that matters because when it comes to it that's what the policy is going to be.

Trump outlined his reasoning, saying, "We don't need all the people that they want. Don't forget, I'm a business person and I tell my people 'well you don't need to fill slots, don't fill them.'" He added, "We have to get our people in. But in addition to that, we don't need all of the people, you know, it's called cost saving. ... There's nothing wrong with cost saving."

He mostly blamed the lack of nominees on Democrats, telling Ingraham, "We're filling up roles. And, don't forget, Schumer and the Democrats are just obstructing. You can't get anything through. We have almost about half the number of people coming through as Obama had. They are obstructing."

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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.

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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.