Jan 18, 2018

John Kelly: White House didn't tell Bannon to use executive privilege

Steve Bannon leaves after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee. Photo: Zach Gibson / Bloomberg via Getty Images

"Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly told Fox News ... the White House did not tell former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon to invoke executive privilege in closed testimony before Congress on its probe of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election," via Reuters.

Bannon's lawyer, Bill Burck, tells Jonathan Swan: "We were told by White House lawyers that Mr. Bannon was not authorized to speak about his time on the transition or in the White House until the Committee and the White House agreed on the proper scope of questioning.  ... Perhaps [Kelly is] saying that the White House did not ask Mr. Bannon to invoke executive privilege in the formal legal sense."

  • "The White House instructed Mr. Bannon not to talk about the transition and the White House until the President decides what information he will invoke executive privilege over and what information he will not.  That had not happened as of yesterday or today. "

Why it matters, from Axios PM: Bannon instantly becomes Trump’s most dangerous man. Other campaign or White House alumni want to preserve access to Trump. But Bannon has already burned every bridge, and now has zero attachments to Trump’s inner circle. Bannon saw and knows a lot, and his team has signaled he'll tell Mueller anything he's asked.

  • Go deeper: Jonathan Swan, "Inside the room: What Steve Bannon told Congress."

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Coronavirus stress tests drug industry's dependence on China

A Hong Kong commuter wears a face mask. Photo: Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

It's unclear whether the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus will actually result in prescription drug shortages, but it has undoubtedly highlighted the potential vulnerabilities of having the supply chain for American drugs so dependent on China.

Driving the news: About 150 prescription drugs — including antibiotics, generics and some branded drugs without alternatives — are at risk of shortage if the coronavirus outbreak in China worsens, per two sources familiar with a list of at-risk drugs compiled by the Food and Drug Administration.

Go deeperArrow28 mins ago - Health

Bernie's path to the presidency

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks yesterday during a rally at Houston University. Photo: Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

Lots of Democrats are in full panic that Bernie Sanders will win the nomination and get clobbered in the general election — and bring the party down, too. But the evidence, particularly the polling, doesn't back those doomsday warnings.

Why it matters: Virtually every national and swing state poll shows Sanders tied with or beating President Trump.  And, unlike every rival, he has a huge base of fervent, unshakable supporters he can only grow.

These swing voters don't like Trump’s environmental rollbacks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Swing voters in four battleground states decisively oppose President Trump’s sweeping rollbacks of environmental regulations — but it’s unlikely to sway their votes.

Why it matters: It’s voters living in states like these, including Florida and Pennsylvania, who fill pivotal roles electing America’s presidents, so we should listen.