Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Axios on your phone

Get breaking news and scoops on the go with the Axios app.

Download for free.

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The White House's Thursday "social media summit," gathering conservative critics of social media platforms, will also highlight how Trump-era politics have split the right on tech issues.

Why it matters: As with trade, tech is an area where Trump's ascendancy has scrambled traditional power dynamics and policy positions. Free-market thinkers who drove the conservative side of the conversation for years have lost ground to social media personalities who are more open to government intervention against Big Tech — and have the ear of people in power.

Details: Invites have gone out to a wide range of pro-Trump players for the Thursday meeting, which the president is expected to address. (Elements of the guest list were first reported by the Washington Post.)

  • Invitees range from the Media Research Center, which has drawn attention by claiming anti-conservative bias at platforms like YouTube and Facebook, to activists like Ryan Fournier, the chairman of Students for Trump, to social media stars like the pseudonymous "CarpeDonktum."
  • Facebook wasn't invited nor, reportedly, was Twitter.

Yes, but: Conservative charges of censorship have never been backed by more than anecdotal evidence. The president has praised Twitter in the past and still uses it heavily.

Flashback: For years, conversations about tech policy have been dominated by deregulatory rhetoric from free market experts and think tanks, and their positions have helped to shape a business climate that gave tech companies a free hand to grow massive and massively profitable.

The big picture: As Trump has transformed the Republican Party in his nationalist and pugnacious image, the tech policy debate on the right has followed.

  • Republicans have increasingly seized on the charges of anti-conservative censorship as a sign something must be done about Silicon Valley's giants.
  • That idea is taking root. Last month, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) released a proposal to strip large web platforms of their immunity against lawsuits for user-generated content if the Federal Trade Commission judges that their content moderation practices aren't politically neutral.

"The intellectual currents that are filling the void in the post-Trump era, it's hard to see exactly which direction they'll take, but it seems to not be going in a libertarian direction," said Zach Graves, the head of policy for Lincoln Network, who co-wrote a piece recently saying that tech companies should be willing to work with more than just libertarian conservatives.

  • He and his co-author said that tech companies "engage in a more robust dialogue with groups on the right they aren't comfortable talking to, particularly those who have expressed grievances with them."
  • Berin Szoka, the president of the free-market group TechFreedom, tweeted in response to Graves' piece that "there's no one left in the 'conservative movement' to 'hold back the growing tide of anti-tech populism' because today's GOP is ENTIRELY about anti-elite populism and 'owning the libs.'"

There are overlaps between this new coalition on tech issues and the far right.

  • BuzzFeed News reported last month that Mark Epstein, a lawyer who had been writing opinion pieces critical of Big Tech for years, is Marcus Epstein, an activist with links to white nationalists who was previously charged with assaulting a black woman. (Epstein told BuzzFeed he had submitted his opinion pieces with an "accurate bio" and expressing his "honest opinions.")
  • Bill Mitchell, a social media personality who says he's been invited to Thursday's summit, has spoken approvingly of the QAnon conspiracy theory.

The other side: More traditional conservative players are pushing back.

  • The Koch political network has been financing efforts to fight drastic regulation of tech companies, for example.

Our thought bubble: The real test of the right's new "regulate Big Tech" wing will come not in White House theatrics but in attempts to pass actual legislation. Doing that will require them to work with Democrats motivated by very different beefs with the tech platforms.

Go deeper

Senate Democrats demand answers on FBI's Kavanaugh probe

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Democrats are demanding that the FBI hand over "all records and communications" related to the FBI tip line set up to investigate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh when he was a nominee in 2018.

Why it matters: The ask comes after the FBI revealed it received more than 4,500 tips about Kavanaugh when he was awaiting Senate confirmation amid sexual assault allegations. Only the most "relevant" of these tips were forwarded to the Trump White House.

Chip relief on the horizon

Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Good news: The worst of the chip supply crunch might be near.

The other side: Here's the bad news... CEOs say chips totally flowing like normal is still a ways out.

Trump ally Tom Barrack pays $250 million bond to get out of jail

Tom Barrack speaking at a symposium in Tokyo in March 2019. Photo: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Real estate investor Tom Barrack paid a federal court a bond of $250 million to get out of jail on Friday while awaiting trial after he was arrested and charged with acting as an unregistered foreign agent for the United Arab Emirates earlier this week, AP reports.

Driving the news: A federal judge also ordered Barrack, a longtime ally of former President Trump and chair of his inaugural committee, to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet at all times and barred him from transferring funds overseas.