Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's all-caps war threat against Iran President Hassan Rouhani is a way for Trump to look like a tough guy at a time when that's being questioned because of his handling of Vladimir Putin.

The big picture: But it also builds a Trump comfort zone with Republican lawmakers, who remain publicly supportive of him while privately expressing frustration with his handling of a host of issues. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — an on-again, off-again critic of Trump — is off-again because of the administration's Iran offensive, especially a tough speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

  • Graham told Fox News' Martha MacCallum last night: "The Trump doctrine when it comes to Iran was the Reagan doctrine when it came to the Soviets."
  • Graham said Trump "is letting the Iranian president know there's a new sheriff in town."

Graham told me in the green room before his appearance that he plans to introduce a resolution of support for the Iranian people that he believes will draw support from almost all Republican lawmakers, plus many Democrats: "This is a moment in history."

  • Graham said the sense of the resolution will be: "We're all going on record to say we stand with you in your desire to determine your own destiny, pick your own leaders, express yourself and live in peace with your neighbors."

Go deeper

Updated 32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months — Trump claims COVID "will go away" during debate.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: How to help save 130,000 livesFDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.
48 mins ago - Health

Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump has not attended a White House coronavirus task force meeting in “several months,” NIAID director Anthony Fauci told MSNBC on Friday.

Why it matters: At the beginning of the pandemic, the task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, met every day, but in the "last several weeks," members have held virtual meetings once a week, Fauci said, even as the number of new cases continues to surge in the country.

1 hour ago - Health

How to help save 130,000 lives

People wear face masks outside Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Nearly 130,000 fewer people will die of COVID-19 this winter if 95% of Americans wear face masks in public, according to research published Friday.

Why it matters: “Increasing mask use is one of the best strategies that we have right now to delay the imposition of social distancing mandates," Dr. Christopher Murray of the University of Washington told the N.Y. Times.