Apr 14, 2018

Trump's distractions won't go away

Photo: Chris Kleponis - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump is skipping this weekend's Summit of the Americas to deliberate with advisers on how to respond to the latest chemical weapons attacks in Syria. But on his television, he faces a growing list of distractions and potential provocations.

Be smart: Trump already has a major decision on his hands in the coming days. Add a TV-addicted president and the situation becomes even more tenuous.

Screenshot: Maggie Haberman/Twitter
Consider the topics likely to dominate weekend coverage:
  • Longtime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is under criminal investigation, per court documents.
  • Trump called Cohen today to "check in," the NYTimes reports.
  • Cohen also negotiated a $1.6 million settlement between a former Playboy Playmate and RNC deputy finance chairman Elliott Broidy, according to a story today by the WSJ.
  • James Comey's book comes out Tuesday. His George Stephanopoulos interview arrives on ABC on Sunday night, and the excerpts have been landing all week, including several in Axios AM. [Juiciest excerpts]
  • Trump punched back at Comey on Twitter today, calling him a "slime ball" liar and leaker.
  • Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has told friends he's at peace with being fired, NBC News' Julia Ainsleyreported this afternoon.
  • Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe misled investigators about his role in a news media disclosure, per the Associated Press.
  • Trump tweets on McCabe: "He LIED! LIED! LIED! McCabe was totally controlled by Comey - McCabe is Comey!! No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!"

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Today's Nevada caucus will foreshadow the future of American politics well beyond 2020.

Why it matters: The U.S. is in the midst of a demographic transformation, and the country's future looks a lot like Nevada's present. Today's results, in addition to shaping the 2020 race, will help tell us where politics is headed in a rapidly changing country.

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

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