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Dennis Cook, Kathy Willens, Darren Hauck, Evan Vucci / AP

Presidents frequently have to change their tactics or message at some point during their presidency, as D.C. lobbying firm Mehlman Castagnetti points out in their "Understanding Trump's Washington" overview:

  • George H. W. Bush relented to the Democratic Congress and agreed to tax increases to pass a budget in 1990.
  • Bill Clinton reformed welfare and agreed to a more balanced budget after a disastrous 1994 midterm election for Dems.
  • George W. Bush sent more troops to Iraq and backed an immigration bill allowing easier paths to citizenship after a bad 2006 midterm election for the GOP.
  • Barack Obama, in 2014, used an Executive Order to pass DACA and promoted Clean Power Plan and the Paris Accord after failing to pass bipartisan legislation.

Four possible Trump pivots that they point out:

  1. Pushing policies that Dems will agree to. Trump already plans to work on infrastructure and tax reform simultaneously, hoping to win some Democratic support, as Jonathan Swan reported here.
  2. Full Bannon populism. This doesn't seem to be happening (as Mike Allen and Swan point out here), but he could jettison the NYC influence and go for his base.
  3. Take on the Freedom Caucus and let the more moderate GOP work with Dems. Tump failed at winning over the more conservative Freedom Caucus when it came to the Obamacare repeal bill, which still had zero Democratic support.
  4. Focus on military and foreign policy success. Just this past week, he has sent harsh warning to North Korea via Twitter, met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, managing to get his promise of help with North Korea and signed off on an airstrike on Syria after Assad's chemical weapon attack on civilians. Now's the time for Trump to pivot in this direction.

And 7 positions he's changed in recent days:

  • Russia
  • NATO
  • Chinese currency manipulation
  • His tax plan
  • The national debt
  • The Export-Import Bank
  • Janet Yellen's future at the Federal Reserve

Go deeper

DOJ cites discrimination in lawsuit against Texas over voting districts

Attorney General Merrick Garland delivers remarks at the 2021 Tribal Nations Summit at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Nov. 15, 2021. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Department of Justice on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas, alleging Republican state lawmakers discriminated against Black and Latino voters and "again.. diluted the voting strength of minority Texans" when they approved new redistricting maps.

Why it matters: A DOJ assessment of the new districts found that they violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference.

55 mins ago - World

Biden to warn Putin U.S. will add troops in Eastern Europe if Russia invades Ukraine

Putin meets Biden in Geneva. Photo: Peter Klaunzer - Pool/Keystone via Getty

President Biden will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin when they speak on Tuesday that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. is prepared to increase its troop presence, capabilities and military exercises on NATO's "eastern flank," a senior administration official told reporters.

Why it matters: The administration believes it's increasingly likely that Putin will order an invasion.

1 hour ago - World

U.S. announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

An Olympic-themed sculpture in Beijing on Dec. 1. Photo: Hou Yu/China News Service via Getty Images

The U.S. announced Monday that it will not send officials to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Why it matters: The diplomatic boycott — which won't prevent American athletes from competing — marks a major escalation between the U.S. and China amid already heightened tensions over the CCP's treatment of Muslim minorities, military threats to Taiwan and economic tariffs.