A White House source has leaked nearly every day of President Trump’s private schedule for the past three months.
Why it matters: This unusually voluminous leak gives us unprecedented visibility into how this president spends his days. The schedules, which cover nearly every working day since the midterms, show that Trump has spent around 60% of his scheduled time over the past 3 months in unstructured “Executive Time.”
A big leak rattles the White House
The massive leak of President Trump’s private schedules, which dropped yesterday in the weekly Axios Sneak Peek newsletter, set off internal finger-pointing and speculation more fevered than any since the New York Times’ anonymous op-ed.
The big picture: White House insiders said the leak sowed chaos. Cliff Sims, the former White House official who wrote the dishy “Team of Vipers,” told me: “There are leaks, and then there are leaks. If most are involuntary manslaughter, this was premeditated murder. People inside are genuinely scared.”
Column / Harder Line
More money, more problems: carbon tax edition
What to do with the money raised from a carbon tax looms as the biggest sticking point to the policy as it slowly emerges from political purgatory in Washington.
The big picture: I know, we’re talking about a fantasy here because Republicans controlling most of Washington right now, including President Trump, categorically oppose carbon taxes. But the policy is slowly gaining support in pockets across the political spectrum, which could pick up momentum after the 2020 elections. So let’s suspend our disbelief and look at this tussle over the cash, which is central to everything.
Super Bowl ads highlight Big Tech debate
This year’s Super Bowl ads highlighted how torn society is over the promise of Big Tech. Some spots showed dystopian fears surrounding robots and automation, while others highlighted ways new technologies can improve health care, employment and connectivity.
Why it matters: The conflicting messages underscore the debate happening right now about whether automation and artificial intelligence will displace humanity or save it.
Study: Millennials face greater risk of some cancers due to obesity
Millennials are facing a much higher risk of obesity-related cancers than baby boomers did at their age, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health Monday.
Why it matters: The steepest increases for obesity-related cancers were in the youngest age group (aged 25–34 years) and are a warning that steps need to be taken by this generation to get rid of excess body weight. “The change in cancer trends among young adults is often considered as a bellwether for future disease burden,” study author Hyuna Sung tells Axios.
Facebook users in the U.S. and Canada are the most valuable
Facebook makes the majority of its revenue off of users in the U.S. and Canada, but its user growth in those countries has slowed dramatically.
By the numbers: A Facebook user in the U.S. is three times more valuable than a Facebook user in Europe, 10 times more valuable than a Facebook user in the Asia-Pacific region, and 15 times more valuable than a user in the rest of the world. The U.S. is by far the world’s most lucrative ad market, worth over $200 billion, per estimates from Zenith, a global media agency. China, where Facebook is blocked, is the second biggest, at $87 billion. Japan is a distant third at $43 billion.
Pentagon says it’ll deploy 3,750 more troops to border
The Pentagon announced Sunday that it’s sending 3,750 additional troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to support efforts to improve security at ports of entry and deploy mobile surveillance units, AP reports.
Details: This puts the total number of active-duty troops already stationed on the border to 4,350. CNN, citing defense officials, reported last week that the administration would send more than 3,000 troops. Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security said the agency is tracking three migrant caravans currently in route to the U.S., one of which it claims has more than 12,000 people.
Trump’s favorite compliment
Kevin Warsh had prepared deeply for his interview with President Trump. It was the fall of 2017, and Trump had narrowed his search for the next chairman of the Federal Reserve down to four candidates. Warsh was one of them.
What happened: The former Federal Reserve governor arrived at the White House with a set of sharp points to make to Trump about monetary policy, according to a friend of his. But that’s not quite how the conversation went. “You’re a really handsome guy, aren’t you?” Trump said, per the friend. “How old are you?”
Why Trump swears off planning
Trump’s fancy-free scheduling approach is no mistake. In “The Art of the Deal,” he explained that he thought too much planning curbed his creativity and impeded his thinking. That philosophy is alive and well in the White House, according to more than half a dozen current and former officials.
Between the lines: Trump believes to his core, one former senior White House official told Axios, that he’s better off not preparing for some meetings. He thinks preparation hinders his ability to read the room and act with spontaneity, this former aide said.