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White House staffers sound dejected and deflated. They're not surprised; they're not mad. They just realize that President Trump, self-indulgent and self-destructive, has wound up in a cul-de-sac of his own making.

Their new fear: An erratic Trump — with few friends, and fires all around — will get nothing of consequence done legislatively and roil markets, thus undoing the one consistently good indicator of '17.

  • After folding its other two business groups, the White House on Day 210 threw in the towel on forming a President's Advisory Council on Infrastructure — giving up a key tool for building outside support for the legislative priority with the most prayer of drawing some Democratic support.
  • In the last week, Trump has attacked more Republican senators than Democrats — including the party leader.
  • Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who was a possibility to be Trump's vice president, called for a "radical" White House shakeup, the latest sign of Republicans willing to go to war with their president.
  • Then Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only black Republican in the Senate, told Vice News that Trump's "moral authority is compromised": "I'm not going to defend the indefensible."

That's one day. When he's on vacation:

  • CNN's Steve Collinson: "Trump drives his few political friends away."
  • L.A. Times lead story: "Trump puts shrinking base before healing."
  • N.Y. Times, top of col. 1, "Volume Rising In Nativist Talk From President."

On the stock market's worst day since May (Dow off 274 points, or 1.2%), CNBC and Bloomberg TV speculated all day about whether economic adviser Gary Cohn might resign because of Trump's Charlottesville remarks:

  • Swan moved markets when he reported authoritatively that Cohn was staying.
  • The Cohn obsession is a proxy for doubts about Trump. One guru called Cohn "the security blanket for Wall Street … the alpha adult in the room": "There's this fear that if he leaves, there'll be a domino effect."

Sound smart: The markets are so fragile that the mere rumor of a senior staffer leaving rattles confidence and prices.

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Go deeper

Biden speaks to Mexican president about reversing Trump's "draconian immigration policies"

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

President Biden told his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on a phone call Friday that he plans to reverse former President Trump’s “draconian immigration policies.”

The big picture: The Biden administration has already started repealing several of Trump’s immigration policies, including ordering a 100-day freeze on deporting many unauthorized immigrants, halting work on the southern border wall, and reversing plans to exclude undocumented people from being included in the 2020 census.

Muslim families hope to reunite following Biden's travel ban repeal

Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Muslim Americans across the U.S. are celebrating President Biden's day-1 reversal of former President Trump's travel ban that targeted several Muslim-majority countries.

The big picture: The repeal of what many critics called the "Muslim ban" renews hope for thousands of families separated by Trump's order.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  4. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  5. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries.
  6. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.