Evan Vucci / AP

There was a familiar ring to this week's revelation that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in Trump's doghouse (provoking a torrent of leaks that Sessions had threatened to resign).

  • Flip back through the clips, and you find: Reince in the doghouse ... Sean in the doghouse ... Bannon in the doghouse ... National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster in the doghouse ... White House Counsel Don McGahn in the doghouse.
  • Even son-in-law Jared Kushner, who's pretty close to untouchable, got a little chin music yesterday as the press pool got a glimpse of Trump's meeting with congressional leaders. Trump said, to laughter: "Jared has actually become much more famous than me — I'm a little upset at that."

So what's with the constant needling and belittling?

  • A person who has experienced Trump's moods said: "He feels some sort of deep--seated emotional need to assert his primacy over people he has very clear primacy over. These are people you need to trust, and to be loyal to you."
  • Trump's treatment of his aides is a factor in the unwillingness of some top talent to go into the White House, according to an official involved in the search: "You never know when you're going to get thrown under the bus. He has this constant need for reassurance and affirmation that he takes out on the staff."
  • An irony: It's people who were with Trump on the earlier side (Sessions, Priebus, Spicer) who seem to take the brunt of his fickleness, while later arrivals like Gary Cohn and Dina Powell (so far) have escaped Trump's crowded doghouse.
  • Sound smart: Quick! Name a top-titled White House official — not named Ivanka or Jared — who authentically likes or feels sincere loyalty toward Trump. Then, quick, name a top-titled official — not named Jared or Ivanka — who Trump genuinely likes or feels loyalty toward. This is a problem.

Go deeper: Axios' Shannon Vavra's guide to Trump's doghouse

Go deeper

Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 20,724,799 — Total deaths: 751,399— Total recoveries: 12,873,188Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,234,800 — Total deaths: 166,750 — Total recoveries: 1,755,225 — Total tests: 63,731,305Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Axios-SurveyMonkey poll: Harris boosting Biden ticket with key voters

Data: SurveyMonkey poll of 2,847 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 11–12, 2020 with ±3% margin of error; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Kamala Harris is accomplishing what Joe Biden's campaign hoped she would in her first two days as his running mate — doing no harm, while exciting parts of the base with whom Biden needs the most help.

The big picture: Black women especially, but also Black men, Hispanics and Democrats and independents across the board say they are more likely to vote for Biden with Harris on the ticket, according to a new Axios-SurveyMonkey poll.

52 mins ago - Technology

Epic sues Apple over developer tax as Fortnite is pulled from App Store

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Fortnite maker Epic Games on Thursday escalated its battle over Apple's App Store tactics, suing the tech giant over antitrust claims while also baiting Apple into dropping Fortnite from the App Store.

The big picture: Epic is just one of several developers clashing with Apple. They argue the company harms competition by taking a cut of up to 30% on in-app purchases and subscriptions and blocking most developers from getting around the tax by charging their users directly.