President Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

A trio of major updates have punctuated an otherwise quiet week for President Trump, setting up major fall drama in D.C.

The big picture Senators weighing the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation now know exactly where Trump stands, and notwithstanding a firm denial, Trumpworld has found a new rallying cry to axe Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein.

Driving the news:

  1. Trump tweeted doubts about Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, saying her parents would have gone to law enforcement at the time if the accusations were legit. This broke his previous message discipline on the topic, as staffers were hoping he'd last until next week without going after the accuser.
  2. Trump slow-walked his request for declassification of documents related to the Russia investigation, noting concerns by allies. The Justice Department's inspector general will now review the documents. Go deeper.
  3. N.Y. Times headline published this afternoon: "Rosenstein Suggested Secretly Recording Trump and Discussed 25th Amendment..." (In a statement, Rosenstein called the story factually incorrect and said there are no grounds for using the 25th.)

The bottom line: This presents on the fence Republicans with a nightmarish week ahead, while red state Democrats might have a chance to breathe easier.

Go deeper

Postal slowdown threatens election breakdown

In 24 hours, signs of a pre-election postal slowdown have moved from the shadows to the spotlight, with evidence emerging all over the country that this isn't a just a potential threat, but is happening before our eyes.

Why it matters: If you're the Trump administration, and you're in charge of the federal government, remember that a Pew poll published in April found the Postal Service was viewed favorably by 91% of Americans.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 21,280,608 — Total deaths: 767,422— Total recoveries: 13,290,879Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 5,335,398 — Total deaths: 168,903 — Total recoveries: 1,796,326 — Total tests: 65,676,624Map.
  3. Health: The coronavirus-connected heart ailment that could lead to sudden death in athletes — Patients grow more open with their health data during pandemic.
  4. States: New York to reopen gyms, bowling alleys, museums.
  5. Podcasts: The rise of learning podsSpecial ed under pressure — Not enough laptops — The loss of learning.

USPS pushes election officials to pay more for mail ballots

Protesters gather in Kalorama Park in D.C. today before demonstrating outside the condo of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Photo: Cheriss May/Reuters

The Postal Service has urged state election officials to pay first class for mail ballots, which Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer says could nearly triple the cost.

Why it matters: Senate Democrats claim that "it has been the practice of USPS to treat all election mail as First Class mail regardless of the paid class of service."