Trump and McConnell give a joint press conference at the White House. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

If you thought you were tired of Roy Moore, you'll still love these insights into the thought bubbles of both President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, from the formidable N.Y. Times trio of Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman and Alex Burns:

  • "Trump's decision to reject every long-shot plan to save the Senate seat reflects the imperative that an unpopular president faces to retain his political base, a determination that he should follow his own instincts after having felt steered into a disastrous earlier endorsement in the Alabama race, and even his insistence that he himself has been the victim of false accusations of sexual misconduct."
  • "McConnell and his allies have been particularly infuriated as Mr. Trump has reacted with indifference to a series of ideas they have floated to try to block Mr. Moore."
  • Key fact: "McConnell ... enlisted Washington campaign lawyers with experience in Alabama elections to devise a four-page memo outlining a legal avenue to block Mr. Moore's path."
  • Why it matters: "The accusations against Mr. Moore have lifted Democrats' hopes of notching a rare victory in the Deep South in [the Dec. 12] special election, which would narrow the Republican Senate majority to a single seat."
  • "Just as significantly, the president has handed the Democrats a political weapon with which to batter Republicans going into the midterm elections: that they tolerate child predation."

Be smart ... Scott Jennings, a Republican strategist close to McConnell: "Either we're saddled with a Democrat in a seat that ought to be Republican, ... or we're saddled with a brand anvil that's going to drag down the president, drag down the Senate, drag down the party and plunge the Senate into immediate turmoil when he gets there."

Go deeper

Jeff Sessions loses Alabama Senate primary runoff

Jeff Sessions. Photo: Michael DeMocker/Getty Images

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has lost the Republican nomination for Senate to Tommy Tuberville in Alabama in Tuesday night’s primary runoff, AP reports.

Why it matters: Sessions had been the underdog in the race against former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who had the backing of President Trump. Tuberville will now face off against Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) in November, who is considered to have one of the most vulnerable Democratic Senate seats in the country.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 13,273,537 — Total deaths: 577,006 — Total recoveries — 7,367,106Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 3,424,304 — Total deaths: 136,432 — Total recoveries: 1,049,098 — Total tested: 41,764,557Map.
  3. Politics: Biden welcomes Trump wearing mask in public but warns "it’s not enough"
  4. Public health: Four former CDC heads say Trump's undermining of agency puts lives at risk — CDC director: U.S. could get coronavirus "under control" in 4–8 weeks if all wear masks.

Bank CEOs brace for worsening economic scenario

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: J. Lawler Duggan/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Wells Fargo swung to its first loss since the financial crisis — while JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup reported significantly lower profits from a year earlier — as the banks set aside billions of dollars more in the second quarter for loans that may go bad.

Why it matters: The cumulative $28 billion in loan loss provisions that banks have so far announced they’re reserving serves as a signal they’re preparing for a colossal wave of loan defaults as the economy slogs through a coronavirus-driven downturn.