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Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik / Evan Vucci, AP

Bloomberg reports that the Kremlin has ordered Russian media "to cut way back" on their complimentary coverage of Trump in light of the uncertainty around whether Trump's administration will be as friendly as they originally thought. The order comes amid the increasingly loud anti-Russian sentiment in Washington, where government agencies are digging deeper into suspected connections between Trumpworld and Russia.

Putin is apparently defending the the decision as a result of Russian viewers' decreased interest in Trump's rise to power, but Bloomberg also points out that some of the most popular TV segments on Trump focus on ideas that Russia would rather not promote, such as Trump's pledge to "drain the swamp."

P.S.: Bloomberg also notes that Trump got more mentions than Putin from Russian state media in January.

Also of note, the media was pushed out of the room when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov were delivering remarks, and the the Foreign Minister was not happy about it.

Here's what went down: Lavrov fielded a question about ousted National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, and said, "You should know we do not interfere in the domestic matters of other countries." Then as soon as Tillerson started speaking, the media was signaled to leave the room. Lavrov reportedly turned to Tillerson and asked him, "Why did you shush them out?"

As Bloomberg put it: "awkward."

Go deeper

Changing the inflation conversation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Inflation looks like it’ll run hot for longer than plenty of smart people thought it would. The conversation over just how much more Americans will have to pay for their stuff has taken on a new intensity, as supply problems show few signs of fading.

Why it matters: The rate of price growth has remained consistently strong in recent months — a time that some thought would bring cooling prices after an initial reopening spike. What goes on with prices will influence the decisions made by Congress, the Biden Administration, and the Federal Reserve.

The biggest headline from Biden's town hall

President Biden greets attendees during a commercial break in Baltimore last night. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

What matters from President Biden's town hall with CNN's Anderson Cooper at Baltimore Center Stage on Thursday, via Axios night owl Hans Nichols:

The biggest headline: Biden is jettisoning the corporate tax increases that White House officials have insisted, for the past 10 months, are wildly popular across the country. He admitted he doesn't have the votes.

Trump, your 2024 GOP nominee

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Former President Trump is telling most anyone who'll listen he will run again in 2024 — and poll after poll shows the vast majority of Republicans would gladly cheer him on and vote for him. 

Why it matters: Trump is the heart, soul and undisputed leader of the Republican Party and will easily win the nomination if he wants it, the polls make unmistakably clear.

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