Apr 27, 2017

Trump's unconventional Oval Office interview

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Trump's interview with a pair of Politico reporters last Friday gives us a peek into the administration's unconventional style. From White House infighting to the president's "War Room" to his unorthodox decision-making style, it's clear that Trump has made waves in Washington.

Our thought bubble: Trump's record-low approval rating suggests people aren't happy with his presidential style, but his core base of supporters have remained loyal — 93% of Trump voters approve of the job he's done so far. Trump knows his unconventional approach worked on the campaign trail, so he's maintaining that unique style in the oval office. (See also: Trump's campaign rallies, even as president, which continue to bolster support from his base.)

Highlights from the Politico interview: On WH infighting: Trump called his senior aides in one by one — chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon, and senior adviser Jared Kushner to prove "the team gets along really, really well." Steve Bannon's "war room," what he calls his office in the West Wing, is a scorekeeping hub: it features a whiteboard on which he has written more than 200 of Trump's campaign promises, tracking the president's fulfillments. Kushner refers to the presidency as "entrepreneurial" and in "beta mode," likening it to a business. The media influences his decision: "You don't walk in with a traditional presentation, like a binder or a PowerPoint. He doesn't care. He doesn't consume information that way," said one senior WH official. "You go in and tell him the pros and cons, and what the media coverage is going to be like."

Go deeper

"It was 30 years ago, get over it": Mike Bloomberg's partner brushes off NDA concerns

Diana Taylor at a Mike Bloomberg event last month. Photo: Ron Adar/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Diana Taylor, Mike Bloomberg's longtime partner, dismissed the concerns surrounding non-disclosure agreements used at his company, Bloomberg LP, telling CBS News that she would say to those bothered by the allegations, "It was 30 years ago, get over it."

Why it matters: Democratic candidates have used the NDAs as a talking point against Bloomberg, calling on him to allow women to speak about the reported sexual harassment and gender discrimination they faced while working for him.

Trump's opportunity to use Bernie as an economic scapegoat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Zach Gibson/Stringer, The Washington Post/Getty Contributor

Bernie Sanders is poised to become an economic scapegoat for both the White House and Corporate America, assuming that Sanders comes through Super Tuesday unscathed.

The big picture: If the U.S. economy remains strong, President Trump and CEOs will claim credit (as they've been doing for three years). If it turns sour, they'll blame Bernie (even though it's a largely baseless charge).

Why big banks are breaking up with some fossil fuels

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

JPMorgan Chase is the latest financial giant to unveil new climate commitments, and like its peers, it is hard to disentangle how much is motivated by pressure, conscience or making a virtue of necessity.

Why it matters: The move comes as grassroots and shareholder activists are targeting the financial sector's fossil energy finance, especially amid federal inaction on climate.