Jan 27, 2018

Trump's two reality shows

Trump speaking at World Economic Forum. Photo: Xinhua/Xu Jinquan via Getty Images

Imagine a world without Twitter and "Fox & Friends." Imagine a more restrained President Trump, like we saw onstage in Davos — sans the impulsive and offensive rants against Muslims, immigrants and women.

Be smart: Everything from the 2018 elections to potential impeachment proceedings will be determined by the clash of the two Trump shows.  

We might be talking about a resurgent Golden Age for America:

  • Record low unemployment.
  • Economic growth here and abroad.
  • Economic optimism so strong that Democrats feel better about the economy than they did during the Obama years.
  • Employers handing out bonuses, pay raises and new benefits, thanks to a new spirit of America First for our economy.
  • Companies bringing back jobs and money too long parked overseas.
  • Bank forecasters say a robust 4% growth is possible.

Alas, the other Trump show runs just as hot, often blotting out the other: Special counsel Robert Mueller is picking up more and more evidence of obstruction, with the case looking increasingly ominous — and broad — for POTUS.

  • "At least half a dozen times, President Trump by his actions has invited scrutiny for possible obstruction of justice in the Russia probe." (L.A. Times)
  • "Congressional Democrats ... demanded that lawmakers act to protect ... Mueller ... after revelations President Trump sought to oust him." (WashPost)
  • Sen. Mark Warner, vice chairman of Senate Intelligence: "[F]iring the Special Counsel is a red line that the President cannot cross."
  • "[T]here is likely little that Mueller doesn’t already know about events in the White House. More than 20 White House employees have given interviews to the special counsel's team."(AP)
  • Jeffrey Toobin, for The New Yorker: "Trump’s position looks perilous ... The portrait is of a President using every resource at his disposal to shut down an investigation — of Trump himself. And now it has become clear that Trump’s own White House counsel rebelled at the President’s rationale for his actions."

Go deeper

Tech can't remember what to do in a down market

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Wall Street's two-day-old coronavirus crash is a wakeup alarm for Silicon Valley.

The big picture: Tech has been booming for so long the industry barely remembers what a down market feels like — and most companies are ill-prepared for one.

Brace yourself for a coronavirus outbreak

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Public-health officials’ warnings about the coronavirus are sounding increasingly urgent, with one top CDC official asking the public yesterday "to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad."

Reality check: Other administration officials, including President Trump himself, were more subdued in their assessments. But underneath those tonal differences, the reality of the coronavirus is the same: It spreads quickly, and has already spread to many countries, making it likely to start spreading here, too.

Go deeperArrow54 mins ago - Health

Exclusive: Pro-Trump group plans post-Super Tuesday blitz on Democrats

Democratic presidential hopefuls take the debate stage in South Carolina. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Pro-Trump super PAC America First Action is preparing to unleash a series of targeted, swing-state attacks on the Democrats most likely to face President Trump after Super Tuesday, people familiar with the group's plans tell me in an exclusive preview of its strategy.

The state of play: The group has been tracking favorable/unfavorable ratings in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania for 2020 candidates Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg — under the theory that if Trump wins each of these six states he would win re-election.