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Instant classic from this year's State of the Union Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Speaker Pelosi, who used to treat President Trump like a naughty grandchild, last week adopted a notably more confrontational public posture, as she tried to defuse the impeachment fever rising among House Democrats.

Why it matters: "Pelosi’s allies said her taunting of Trump now is intentional, designed to get under his skin and elicit an angry reaction," per the WashPost.

  • "I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country," Pelosi said Thursday at her weekly press conference.
  • "There’s no question, the White House is just crying out for impeachment," Pelosi added. "That’s why he flipped yesterday."
  • Asked about her "intervention" dig, Pelosi warmed to it: "That’s up to his family and his Cabinet and his staff in the White House. This is not behavior that rises to the dignity of the office of president of the United States."

A senior Democratic aide told me: "She’s succeeded in making three things very clear: 1) She’s interested in getting things done and he walked away again; 2) She’s the only adult in Washington and is leading Dems with precision; 3) He’s a toddler who pays a price for attacking her because he resorts to such publicly infantile lows to attack her." 

  • Even Trump allies can't believe he keeps falling for it: "I do this with my dog," one of them said.
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Go deeper

FBI, Homeland Security warn of increasing threat to Capitol

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security predict violent domestic extremists attacks will increase in 2021, according to a report reviewed by Axios.

Driving the news: The joint report says an unidentified group of extremists discussed plans to take control of the Capitol and "remove Democratic lawmakers" on or about March 4. The House canceled its plans for Thursday votes as word of the possible threats spread.

19 mins ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).