Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Carlyle Group's David Rubenstein has called capital one of America's greatest exports, particularly in regards to China. Now there's talk of a blockade.

The big picture: Bloomberg reported on Friday that the White House is considering limitations on U.S. investments in Chinese companies. Several other news outlets reported the same, including Axios. The White House itself did not confirm or deny the reports.

Details: Discussions included the possibilities of de-listing Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges and banning federal employee pensions funds from investing in Chinese equities.

  • There is no known talk of making similar restrictions on state or municipal pension funds' direct of indirect investments. But, were it to expand there, it could create major headaches for venture and private equity firms that invest in Chinese companies (even private ones, since hold periods usually extend post-IPO).

What they're saying: A Treasury Department spokesperson subsequently said the administration is not contemplating changes to listing rules for Chinese companies "at this time," and Trump economic advisor Peter Navarro today told CNBC that the original Bloomberg story was "fake news."

  • Again, the original reporting was legit.

The bottom line: The trade war may be moving well beyond tariffs, even if those involved are struggling to keep their stories straight.

Go deeper: China seems unfazed by U.S. threats to limit investor access

Go deeper

Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse — The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes cable and satellite TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.

Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.

Federal judge blocks DOJ from defending Trump in Carroll rape defamation case

E. Jean Carroll in Warwick, New York. Photo: Eva Deitch for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed the Justice Department's attempted intervention on behalf of President Trump in writer E. Jean Carroll's defamation lawsuit against him, after she accused him of raping her in a dressing room in the mid-1990s.

Catch up quick: The agency argued that Trump was "acting within the scope of his office" as president when he said in 2019 that Carroll was "lying" about her claim.