Nov 17, 2019

White House plans counterprogramming to distract from impeachment hearings

Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

President Trump's public schedule next week is designed to keep him distracted from the televised hearings — and to counterprogram Week 2 of those hearings.

The big picture: Trump's schedule for the coming week shows him governing, promoting U.S. jobs and highlighting the arts and pop culture.

  • On Tuesday, as Democrats question Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, Trump will be meeting with his Cabinet.
  • On Wednesday, as Democrats grill Trump megadonor turned EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Trump will he visiting Apple's manufacturing plant in Texas.
  • And on Thursday, after Democrats question Fiona Hill, Trump will be presenting the national medals of arts and humanities.

The bottom line: Trump, who'll cap the week by welcoming college athletes, will have built-in opportunities to address the cameras at all of these events. If he shows discipline, he can convey that he is carrying out the range of duties of the presidency while Democrats are focused on impeachment. But if last week is any guide, that's a big if. 

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Inside Democrats' Week 2 impeachment strategy

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff hears from staff members during a break in Friday's impeachment hearing. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Democrats are approaching Week 2 of impeachment hearings with one key goal: show more of President Trump's direct involvement in the scheme to tie Ukrainian aid to an investigation of Joe Biden's son.

What to watch: Of the eight officials testifying next week, the one with the most known direct interactions with Trump is EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland. The Trump megadonor already had to amend his testimony once. He may be the most legally vulnerable, and he has spoken with Trump about the investigations.

Go deeperArrowNov 17, 2019

Trump Inc. leaks on itself

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As televised impeachment hearings roll into Week 2, one surprise has been how many of the Trump team's wounds have been self-inflicted, because of his allies' curious habit of leaking on themselves.

Why it matters: The leaks and revelations have thrown President Trump into a constant state of defensiveness, and turned a growing number of Republicans into frustrated, sometimes bewildered, defenders.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019

Highlights from Gordon Sondland's impeachment testimony

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified Wednesday in one of the week's most-anticipated impeachment hearings.

Driving the news: In his opening statement, Sondland said that he worked with Rudy Giuliani "at the express direction" of President Trump on matters involving Ukraine.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 20, 2019