Dec 2, 2017

Trump's worst day and his best night

Michael Flynn arrives at the courthouse. Photo: Susan Walsh / AP

The APNewsAlert came at 1:51 a.m.: "Senate narrowly OKs near-$1.5 trillion tax bill, pushing President Trump and GOP close to year's biggest legislative win."

Being there: "Presiding over the Senate, Vice President Pence announced the 51-49 vote to applause from Republicans."

"Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) was the only lawmaker to cross party lines, joining the Democrats in opposition."

"The measure focuses its tax reductions on businesses and higher-earning individuals, gives more modest breaks to others and offers the boldest rewrite of the nation's tax system since 1986."

And yet, this huge accomplishment — even many Republicans long doubted that the Senate would finish its version this year — will be a footnote in news coverage and the national consciousness, blotted out by the massive new legal threat to the White House.

  • Be smart: The White House talking point has been that special counsel Bob Mueller is running a narrow probe that'll be done by Thanksgiving, or for sure by the end of the year. With many choices for offenses that former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn could have pleaded to, Mueller picked the bullseye: Russia.

Inside the West Wing, conversations by Jonathan Swan and me show there's anxiety and fear among Trump confidants:

  • Flynn is clearly desperate, legally, personally and financially. He has been broken by Mueller. And he was at Trump's side during both the campaign and the first three weeks in the White House.
  • No one knows what the decorated Army general will unload. And despite Flynn's credibility problems, Mueller clearly believes he has something substantial to offer, possibly going to the heart of the White House.

N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... Michael Flynn statement: "I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right."

Go deeper

Pentagon watchdog sidelined by Trump resigns

Fine testiying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Glenn Fine, the Pentagon's principal deputy inspector general, submitted his resignation on Tuesday.

Why it matters: President Trump removed Fine as the Pentagon's acting inspector general in April 7 after a group of independent federal watchdogs selected him to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, which was set up to oversee the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 5,534,728 — Total deaths: 347,587 — Total recoveries — 2,260,945Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 1,667,154 — Total deaths: 98,371 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. 2020: Trump pushes for a polarized pandemic election.
  4. States: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says "I can’t for the life of me understand" Trump’s antagonism toward her state — New York reports lowest number of new coronavirus deaths since March.
  5. Public health: The final data for remdesivir is in and its benefits are rather limited.
  6. Education: A closer look at how colleges can reopenNotre Dame president says science alone "cannot provide the answer" to reopening.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, 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.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

New York reports lowest number of daily coronavirus deaths since March

The number of daily new coronavirus cases and deaths reported in New York was the lowest since the state started its lockdown in March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday, calling Memorial Day a "pivot point" for New York.

By the numbers: 73 New Yorkers died from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 200 people tested positive. Hospitalizations and intubations also decreased.