Happy Friday! Situational awareness: Trump's stunning shift on guns left lawmakers scrambling, per AP: "Any movement on legislation has skidded to a halt in Congress. Late [last night], Trump tweeted that he'd had a 'Good (Great) meeting in the Oval Office tonight with the NRA!'" The NRA agreed.
President Trump has long mused about doing what he wants, when he wants, how he wants. He wanted tariffs on steel and aluminum — big ones — now. He wanted to negotiate with Congress — in public, on his court, surprise and shock, all for the cameras. He wanted to ditch any P.C. pretenses and consider Singapore-style death for all drug dealers. He wanted to play by his rules alone.
But his staff at times managed to talk him off the ledge. No more. Tired of the restraints, tired of his staff, Trump is reveling in ticking off just about every person who serves him:
Trump loves his reality-TV negotiating sessions with lawmakers, where cameras and reporters witness what would usually be private conversations:
You can’t accuse him of springing a tariffs surprise on the American people — this is what he campaigned on, day in and day out, Jonathan Swan points out:
Trump’s trade actions yesterday raise an important question:
Be smart: Right now, Trump is feeling like a man of steel on tariffs and guns. But history shows his actions are often a very malleable cut of aluminum.
Trump meets with steel-industry leaders in the Cabinet Room yesterday. (Win McNamee / Getty Images)
White House staff, most of whom were in the dark about Trump's planned tariffs announcement, are referring to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the victor in the policy coup, as "Chief Ross," Jonathan Swan hears:
P.S. Paragraph du jour, from N.Y. Times' Mark Landler and Maggie Haberman:
President Trump, who wants to bring feuding Persian Gulf monarchies to Camp David for a spring summit, plans to tell them next week: No breakthrough in the Qatar crisis, no Camp David, AP's Josh Lederman writes:
Jordan Peterson, a University of Toronto psychology professor who has 506,000 Twitter followers, published his book, "12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos," in January.
Axios video team
Axios managing editor Kim Hart spoke with Microsoft president Brad Smith, who says 2017 was a "wake up call" and that the tech community will need to put more focus on working together to fight the security breaches.
"If your response to the question, 'Have you ever been asked by your boss to lie for him?' is to take two time outs [to talk to your lawyer], we already know the answer to the question."— Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), on the House Intelligence Committee's questioning of Hope Hicks (CBS News)
"Turmoil on Madison Avenue as Marketers Push for Change ... P&G slashes digital ad spending, calls for disrupting 'archaic Mad Men model'" — Wall Street Journal front page:
NBC's Megyn Kelly to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow yesterday, after his aggressive speech to the nation bragging about an "invincible" nuclear missile:
As candidates and party groups hone their midterm messages, here's an interesting takeaway from a national online survey of 3,000 Hispanic adults, by Civis Analytics, Deep Root Analytics and WPA Intelligence:
Hispanic-friendly issues for Republicans:
Hispanic-friendly issues for Democrats:
From memo by Deep Root CEO Brent McGoldrick and WPAi CEO Chris Wilson:
"The retail revolution shifting sales from stores to laptops to smartphones could be on the verge of its next sea change — when shoppers will ask Amazon's Alexa and other voice-driven speakers to order just about everything," USA Today's Charisse Jones writes on the front page:
Thanks for reading. Enjoy Oscars weekend, and see you on Axios ...