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Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President Trump is so furious about Michael Wolff's book, "Fire and Fury," that some aides are just trying to avoid him. Key aides tried to talk him out of legal threats against the author and Steve Bannon, the key source.

Lawyers laughed: Does Trump really want to give discovery to Michael Wolff?

  • But Trump was insistent on following a tactic he frequently used in business — rattling cages with lawyers' letters that resulted in no actual legal action.
  • His demand that the publisher withhold the book (POTUS needs to see "The Post," with its takeaway on prior restraint) was a publisher's impossible dream that had the predictable effect: more publicity and presales.
  • The publisher issued this statement: "Henry Holt confirms that we received a cease and desist letter from an attorney for President Trump. We see 'Fire and Fury' as an extraordinary contribution to our national discourse, and are proceeding with the publication of the book."
  • Not only that: "Due to unprecedented demand, we are moving the on-sale date for all formats ... to [today] from the [previous] on-sale date of [next] Tuesday."
  • In D.C., Kramerbooks started selling copies at midnight.

Below is a screenshot of a letter from Trump's lawyer to Wolff and Steve Rubin, president and publisher of Henry Holt:

P.S. WashPost Style front, "Breitbart may see a Bannon backlash," by Paul Farhi:

  • "The website and its chairman found themselves isolated ... after Bannon's comments ... caused a backlash inside the White House, among rival conservative media outlets and among Trump supporters."
  • "Bannon's comments ... prompted a key backer, the billionaire Mercer family, to withdraw financial support for Bannon's political activities. So far, however, the Mercers have not signaled that they will walk away from Breitbart itself, which would be a crippling blow."

Be smart: Key conservatives tell us Bannon could wind up being ousted from Breitbart.

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Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
54 mins ago - Technology

The smart city comes of age

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Better sensors, more intelligent AI, and the coming wave of 5G wireless could finally fulfill the promise of the smart city.

Why it matters: How we organize, run and power our cities will be increasingly important in the years ahead, as urbanization expands and the damaging effects of climate change compound.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
9 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 12 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

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