Apr 2, 2019

Valerie Jarrett confronted Obama about "macho" White House

Valerie Jarrett in the Oval Office in Year 1. Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Obama, writes in "Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward" (out Tuesday from Viking Press) that she confronted him about a "general macho atmosphere" in his West Wing that "was causing women to feel uncomfortable":

What they're saying: "If you notice," Jarrett told Obama, "in meetings the women rarely talk. And when you aren't there to ask their opinion, they are becoming increasingly mute." Jarrett writes that in response, Obama invited "over a dozen of the senior women for dinner at the White House to discuss what was going on."

  • "[H]e gave us his undivided attention for two and a half hours."
  • "[H]aving the president himself assure [the women] of their value ... gave us the courage and confidence we needed to make our voices heard."

Between the lines: "Since the night Donald Trump became president," Jarrett writes, "I've been going through the five stages of grief, sometimes all five in the same day."

  • "In the beginning, denial and anger were high on the list; I still haven't embraced acceptance."
  • "To me, the thousands of what-ifs of that election all come down to one fact: nearly 43 percent of eligible voters did not vote."

Go deeper: Details on Jarrett's book tour

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Scoop: Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates will be reassigned as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, the National Security Council said Thursday — and a senior White House official said that the administration "rejects" the rumors that she is "Anonymous."

Why it matters: Coates has battled claims that she is the still-unknown Trump administration official that penned a New York Times op-ed and book critical of President Trump.

The Fed may be setting the table for 2020 rate cuts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Fed looks to be laying the groundwork to lower U.S. interest rates this year, just as they did in April 2019 before cutting rates in July, September and October.

Why it matters: A Fed rate cut makes taking on debt more attractive for U.S. consumers and businesses, helping to juice the economy, but also puts the central bank in a weaker position to fight off a potential recession.

Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in a $13 billion deal

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Morgan Stanley is planning to buy E*Trade Financial Corp. in a $13 billion all-stock deal, the Wall Street Journal reports, with plans to acquire the company known for helping everyday Americans manage their money.

Why it matters: The deal, which would be the largest by a major American bank since the financial crisis, signals Morgan Stanley‘s desire to bulk up in wealth management.