Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Welcome to the next season of the Trump Show, featuring televised Oval Office debates, cheap shots behind closed doors and the next generation nipping at Democrats' heels.

Driving the news: The president hosted Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi at the Oval Office today, with VP Mike Pence sitting silently by Trump's side.

Newsiest lines:

  • Trump: “If we don’t have border security, we’ll shut down the government ... I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it."
  • Schumer: "When the president brags that he won North Dakota and Indiana, he's in real trouble."
  • Pelosi: “Please don’t characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting as the leader of the House Democrats who just won a big victory."

Immediately after the meeting:

  • Schumer told reporters that Trump had a "temper tantrum."
  • Pelosi told Democrats behind closed doors: “It’s like a manhood thing for him. As if manhood could ever be associated with him. This wall thing."
  • More Pelosi: “I was trying to be the mom. I can’t explain it to you. It was so wild. It goes to show you: you get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you.”

Between the lines: It's unclear how much, if any, Democrats will work with Trump — especially if the Senate doesn't feel like cooperating with the end result. It's also unclear how often Chuck and Nancy will return to the White House if Trump has these debates, without resolution, on camera.

Be smart: A lot of attention goes to the more outspoken, hyper-progressive members like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Axios' Alexi McCammond explains.

  • But the reality is that working with Republicans — which of course includes Trump — is something most Democratic freshman are demanding.
  • In fact, they even asked house leadership to prioritize bipartisan legislation over investigating the Trump administration.
  • In a letter to House leadership, 46 of the 66 new Democratic House members wrote: "We are united in the belief that ... we have a mandate to debate, draft, and work across the aisle to pass legislation."

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

5 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.