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Lewandowsi at Trump Tower. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Two days before President Trump gave his unchained, campaign-style speech at CPAC, he had a secret visitor in the Oval Office.

You didn't see it on the president's schedule, and the news hasn't leaked out until now, but Trump's first campaign manager Corey Lewandowski met with the president and Chief of Staff John Kelly in the Oval Office early afternoon on Wednesday.

Lewandowski has publicly criticized Kelly over his handling of the Rob Porter crisis, and the two haven't seen eye to eye on many things.

  • Lewandowski often tells Trump that he's the best campaigner in the world and he should be out there, unscripted and off the Teleprompter, letting rip like he did on the campaign trail.
  • Kelly and others inside the White House would rather Trump focus on governing and stick to his prepared remarks. Kelly often draws a bright line between campaigning and governing, and pushes Trump to "evolve" from some of his blunter rhetoric on the campaign trail.
  • Lewandowski and others on the outside have argued the opposite: "let Trump be Trump." That approach appeals to very few people in the White House, but one of the people who likes that idea is Donald J. Trump.

Trump has told confidants he wants to spend lots of time campaigning in competitive House districts and Senate states to help Republicans keep control of Congress in 2018.

Trump loves campaigning and was back in his element at CPAC on Friday, abandoning a speech he described as "boring" to crack jokes about his bald spot, mock the "fake news" and read the inflammatory anti-immigrant poem titled "The Snake."

Trump loved it and much to the chagrin of some people inside the White House who view Lewandowski as a destructive force, Trump still talks on the phone to his former campaign manager and associates him with a time when he enjoyed campaigning.

Go deeper

50 mins ago - World

Scottish first minister vows independence referendum after election win

Scotland's First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party, Nicola Sturgeon, reacts after being declared the winner of the Glasgow Southside seat at Glasgow counting centre in the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on Friday. Photo: Andy Buchanan /AFP via Getty Images

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans Saturday for a second independence referendum once the pandemic has abated following the country's parliamentary elections.

The big picture: Sturgeon's Scottish National Party won 64 seats, one seat short of an outright majority in the 129-seat Parliament. But most seats went to pro-independence parties.

4 hours ago - World

India records its deadliest day of the pandemic

A health worker moving an oxygen cylinder in a coronavirus ward of a hospital in New Delhi on May 8. Photo: Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India saw its deadliest day of the pandemic yet with more than 4,180 confirmed COVID-19 deaths reported Saturday.

Why it matters: The country has recorded more than 21.8 million coronavirus cases and 238,270 deaths since the pandemic began. The true numbers, however, are likely much higher, experts say, as the country battles a continued surge in cases that has left hospitals and health workers overwhelmed.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: The end of quarantine — CDC updates guidance on airborne COVID-19.
  2. Politics: Oklahoma secures $2.6 million refund for hydroxychloroquine purchase — Why Biden's latest vaccine goal is his hardest yet.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations.
  5. World: Asia faces massive new COVID surgeIndia records its deadliest day of the pandemic.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.