Sam Jayne / Axios

President Trump blasted his Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the NYT yesterday. Republicans are speculating about whether Trump is laying the ground to get rid of him, or prodding him to resign, but the reality is Trump has almost zero leverage over Sessions. Trump's aides will surely help the President understand what would come next after such a decision, and it's not pretty.

A longtime Republican operative plays out the tape for us:

  • If Sessions resigns, Rod Rosenstein is acting AG. Does Trump want him to resign too? Then it would be Rachel Brand. She's no puppet, either.
  • And good luck, Mr. President, in getting your new AG nominee through the Senate. Moderate Republicans would feel a lot more pressure this time around. Remember who introduced Sessions at his confirmation hearing? Susan Collins. 1 out of 3 senators who could easily vote against confirming a new AG.
  • Lastly, what would all the other AG nominees do? And US attorney nominees? It would be a political disaster.

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The new buyout barons

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Last month I wrote that SPACs are the new IPOs. But I may have understated it, because SPACs are also becoming the new private equity.

By the numbers: Short for "special purpose acquisition company," SPACs have raised $24 billion so far in 2020, with a loaded pipeline of upcoming offerings. U.S. buyout firms raised nearly $102 billion through the end of June — a much larger amount, but not so much larger that the two can't play on the same field.

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Macron visits the hard-hit Gemmayzeh neighborhood. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron walked through the blast-damaged streets of Beirut on Thursday, swarmed by people chanting for the fall of Lebanon's government and pleading for international aid.

Why it matters: Lebanon is at a breaking point. Its economy was collapsing and its government hardly functioning — all before a massive explosion destroyed swathes of the capital city, including its vital port.

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The PGA Championship is golf's first major in over a year

Photo: Gary Kellner/PGA of America via Getty Images

The 2020 PGA Championship tees off Thursday at San Francisco's TPC Harding Park, which is hosting its first-ever major.

Why it matters: It's the first major in more than a year — and the first of seven majors in the next 12 months. Though there won't be any fans in attendance, the excitement is palpable.