Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

President Trump during greets Kim Jong-un in Singapore. Photo: Kevin Lim/The Straits Times/Handout via Getty Images

In an interview with Fox News immediately after their summit in Singapore, President Trump seemed to dismiss North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's brutality, and instead lavished him in praise, calling him "a very smart guy" and "a great negotiator."

Why it matters: Trump's stunningly abrupt 180 is all part of his schtick. "There's no nuance with Trump," Axios' Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan write. "He oscillates between extremes, embracing and banishing people, even without real changes in their behavior."

The big quote, from Trump's interview with Fox News' Bret Baier:

“Hey, he’s a tough guy. When you take over a country—a tough country, tough people—and you take it over from your father, I don’t care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have. If you can do that at 27 years old, I mean, that’s one in 10,000 that could do that. So he’s a very smart guy. He’s a great negotiator.”

Other memorable moments:

  • “I think we have a very good relationship. We understand each other.”
  • When pressed on Kim's human rights abuses: “Yeah, but so have other people done some really bad things. I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done.”
  • “I would love to get the military out [of South Korea] as soon as we can because it costs a lot of money and a lot of money for us ... I would like to get them home. I would like to, but it is not on the table right now. At the appropriate time, it will be.”
  • Following up on his statement that Russia should be back in the G-7: "You know, we spend probably 25 percent of our time talking about Russia and I said wouldn't it be better if they were here ... I'm not for Russia. I'm for the United States .. but yes I think we're better off with a G-8 than a G-7."
  • "I think I'd probably have a good relationship with [Vladimir Putin] ... If he were at that meeting [G-7 summit], I could ask him to do things that are good for the world, that are good for the country, that are good for him."

Go deeper: Inside Trump's playbook for dealing with foreign leaders, The Washington Post's deep dive on life in North Korea

Go deeper

Updated 14 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

Biden delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the Capitol. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: The Celebrate America event, with remarks by Biden and Harris.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
38 mins ago - Politics & Policy

President Biden faces a deeply broken America

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As President Biden begins his term in office today, he'll be tasked with leading a country beset with deep, long-term problems.

Why it matters: Though the pandemic has made them worse, existential challenges around inequality, social alienation and political division in the U.S. were in place well before SARS-CoV-2 arrived on American shores. The country's future will depend in large part on whether the choices made over the next four years can flatten the curve of American decline.

Facebook, Instagram transfer accounts, followers to Biden administration

Screenshot of official White House Facebook account.

Facebook on Wednesday confirmed that it is transferring the millions of followers of the official Facebook and Instagram White House accounts to the Biden administration.

Details: The accounts for "@POTUS," "@VicePresident" ("@VP" on Instagram) and "@FLOTUS" are having the followers from their personal Pages and accounts be transferred over. It's unclear when that transition process will be complete.