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Carolyn Kaster / AP

Two White House factions trashed their rivals in mirror-image stories on the Sunday front pages. We have talked to both sides, and they think they know with dead certainty who the sources are. And they're going to react. So this Kremlinology is just beginning to play out.

The feud was at the top the WashPost front page, "Inside White House, a class war brews: Trump's populist aides tangle with N.Y. executives," by Phil Rucker and Bob Costa:

  • "[T]hey are dismissed by their rivals as 'the Democrats.' ... Led by Gary Cohn and Dina Powell — two former Goldman Sachs executives often aligned with Trump's eldest daughter and his son-in-law — the group and its broad network of allies are the targets of suspicion, loathing and jealousy from their more ideological West Wing colleagues."
  • "On the other side are the Republican populists, ... led by chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who has grown closer to Chief of Staff Reince Priebus in part to counter the New Yorkers."
  • "For the most part so far, the ideologues are winning."
  • "Cohn, Powell and other aides have chafed at Priebus's protocols because he and Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh tried to exert complete control over the president's daily schedule. ... Priebus recently started giving other senior staffers and Cabinet members more influence over ... face time with Trump."

Here's the view from the other faction, in the 12th graf of a New York Times front-pager by Julie Davis and Maggie Haberman:

"Gary Cohn ... is on the rise, and has the ear of the president's powerful son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Mr. Kushner also gained an ally on the National Security Council with the appointment of Dina Powell, a Republican and another former Goldman official who worked with Mr. Cohn, as a deputy for strategy."

Be smart: This is a White House of many factions — by design. Trump likes the chaos but it creates insane levels of rivalry, backstabbing and leaking. This is the rare instance where the hour-to-hour reality is even worse than what you read.

Be even smarter: You think it's a coincidence that every story about Ivanka, Jared and Dina portray them as the sane, soft ones? They want the world to know Operation Normal is underway.

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Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

7 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.