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Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

With #TrumpRecession trending on Twitter, a source close to President Trump told Axios, "I’m very worried about the latest economic data. A lot of us are concerned. Without the narrative on the economy, he can't win."

The big picture: A senior administration official said the administration was getting a lot of blowback from retailers who were worried about the China tariffs coming in September. The delay until Dec. 15, announced this week, was to stave off these concerns, the source said.

  • When Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on CNBC it was to help consumers for Christmas, he let the cat out of the bag: Tariffs hurt consumers.
  • If Trump were correct that China pays the entirety of his tariffs, as he has repeatedly claimed, why would the commerce secretary say the decision to delay tariffs was made to protect U.S. consumers for holiday shopping?

The backdrop to all of this is that Trump knows he needs a strong economic run into November 2020.

  • His team is worried about polling data from Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, amid the economic signals.
  • That's why Trump is getting even more agitated about the Federal Reserve. As one former senior White House official put it: "He’s running out of tools" to juice the economy.
  • Tax reform is in the rear view mirror. Infrastructure isn’t happening. What else has he got besides a possible China trade deal?

The bottom line: A former senior White House official told me, "Continued economic expansion is not a given. Most of the benefits from Trump’s tax cuts and regulatory relief have already taken effect."

  • "Rather than attack the global system that has produced so much prosperity for America, Trump would do well to harness its potential for economic growth."
  • "The consequences of further isolating ourselves from the world may turn out to be quite severe."

Go deeper: The synchronized global slump

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Yellen wants business to help foot infrastructure bill

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is heading into the belly of the beast Tuesday and asking the business community to support President Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan during a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Why it matters: By trying to persuade a skeptical and targeted audience, Yellen is signaling the president’s commitment to raising corporate taxes to pay for his plan. Republican senators, critical to a potential bipartisan deal, oppose any corporate tax increase.

3 hours ago - World

Schumer's Israel vise

Sen. Chuck Schumer addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March 2014. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's longtime support for Israel puts him on a collision course with the progressive wing of his party as the conflict between Israel and Hamas worsens.

Why it matters: This is the toughest political position the New York Democrat has been in since becoming majority leader. The fighting in the Middle East is dividing his party — and creating a clear rift among its different wings.

DOJ signals scrutiny of popular fundraising gimmick

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

A little-noticed line in a recent criminal filing suggests federal prosecutors consider a popular political fundraising tactic to be legally questionable.

Why it matters: Fundraisers often boast of "5x" or other contribution matches to coax small-dollar donations. The Justice Department indicated in a court filing Monday this could amount to "material misrepresentations" if, as critics often contend, there's no evidence the match ever occurs.