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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted this morning that he was glad his Chief of Staff John Kelly fired "that dog" Omarosa Manigault Newman, who released a tape this morning in which members of Trump's staff discussed how they might respond to rumors of him being recorded using a racial slur.

The big picture: This is not the first time Trump has invoked a "dog" metaphor to insult someone, but its direct use to attack a woman of color has prompted Twitter outrage and debate from prominent figures on both the right and left.

What they're saying:

  • Editor-at-large of The Weekly Standard Bill Kristol: "Has Trump called any of the fine white men who've worked for him in the White House — who include abusers, liars, grifters and bigots — a dog?"
  • FOX News contributor Geraldo Rivera: "Fear my friend @realDonaldTrump undermines himself by using intemperate, boorish language to describe his enemies. I can't stand @OMAROSA a bully, back stabber & big mouth. But to call her a 'dog' & 'low life' is beneath dignity of the office of @POTUS & open to ugly connotation."
  • Conservative radio host and former Rep. Joe Walsh: "The President of the United States just called a woman a 'dog.' He just called a black woman a 'dog.' Not good."
  • Former CIA director John Brennan: "It’s astounding how often you fail to live up to minimum standards of decency, civility, & probity. Seems like you will never understand what it means to be president, nor what it takes to be a good, decent, & honest person. So disheartening, so dangerous for our Nation."
  • Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.): "This kind of language is unbecoming of a President of the United States. There is no excuse for it, and Republicans should not be okay with it."
  • Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.): "Mr. President, it is beneath you and the office of the presidency to call any woman a dog. It is degrading and demeaning, and I pray that you will stop this vulgar behavior. Our country is better than this."
  • CNN analyst April Ryan: "Let me be clear! Calling a Black woman a dog is unacceptable. This is a pattern. We saw it with the black football players moms. They were called sons of B*tches."

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”