Mar 31, 2018

WaPo: Trump running show without aides to reel him in

Interviews with 23 senior White House officials and outside advisers depict a West Wing where President Trump — without aides to reel him in — is "calling his own shots," report the Washington Post's Phil Rucker and Robert Costa.

The big picture: This past week, as Trump went about his days, "nowhere to be seen was John Kelly, the beleaguered White House chief of staff and overall disciplinarian — nor were the handful of advisers regarded as moderating forces eager to restrain the president from acting impulsively, who have resigned or been fired."

More from the Post:

  • "The president is replacing aides who have tended toward caution and consensus with figures far more likely to encourage his more rash instincts and execute upon them, and he is frequently soliciting advice from loyalists outside the government."
  • "As he shakes up his administration, Trump is prioritizing personal chemistry above all else, as evidenced by his controversial selection of Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs."
  • Economic adviser Larry Kudlow told the Post: “I don’t see anything under siege; I see it as the ‘Big Red Machine' [referring to the 1970s champion Cincinnati Reds] ... The only people under siege are reporters who don’t like President Trump — and those guys need some significant therapy. I could recommend some awful good people in New York.”
  • Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said: “The president is in an action mood and doesn’t want to slow-roll things, from trade to the border to staffing changes. He wants to make things that he’s been discussing for a while happen. He’s tired of the wait game.”

Go deeper: The full Trump, unconstrained

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 5,653,821 — Total deaths: 353,414 — Total recoveries — 2,325,989Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 1,694,599 — Total deaths: 100,047 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine — Nearly half of Americans say someone in their household has delayed medical care.
  4. Business: African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs saysDisney plans phased reopening on July 11Author Ann Patchett says bookstores are innovating to stay connected with customers.
  5. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  6. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump administration to eliminate nuclear waivers tied to Iran deal

Pompeo testifies on Iran in February. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The U.S. is ending waivers that had allowed foreign companies to work at Iran's civilian nuclear facilities, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday.

Why it matters: This will eliminate most elements of U.S. sanctions relief still in place two years after President Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Pompeo said "continued nuclear escalation" made the move necessary, but critics warn it will encourage further Iranian enrichment.

Top Senate Democrat says State Dept. is working on new Saudi arms deal

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefs reporters on May 20. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/pool/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) wrote in a CNN op-ed on Wednesday that he learned that the State Department is currently working to sell thousands of additional precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia.

Why it matters: Democrats say that Steve Linick, the State Department inspector general who was ousted on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recommendation, was investigating the administration's previous effort to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia without congressional approval.