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Susan Walsh / AP

There'll be no pivots, no moderation of any sort so long as Steve Bannon remains in President Trump's White House. That's the message Trump's chief strategist delivered Thursday in a rare public appearance at CPAC alongside chief of staff Reince Priebus.

What we learned: Bannon has softened not one bit since entering the White House. If anything he's more committed to economic nationalism, more hostile to the media, and more determined to protect the President from moderating forces in the Republican Party.

The most important things Bannon said:

  • On priorities: He divides the Administration's priorities into three lines of work (all have a populist nationalist bent): 1. "National security and sovereignty"; 2. "Economic nationalism"; 3. "Deconstruction of the administrative state."
  • On trade: "One of the most pivotal moments in modern American history was his immediate withdrawal from TPP [the Trans-Pacific Partnership)."
  • On the media: He framed the "corporatist globalist media" as hostile to the national interest (the same framing Trump is using.)
  • His most extraordinary quote: "If you think they're [the media] going to give you your country back without a fight you are sadly mistaken."

Why this matters: Republican leaders hope the harsh realities of governing force Trump closer to establishment positions on trade and immigration. They also wish he'd tone down his attacks on the media. Bannon is the guy telling Trump that he can — and must — remain the same guy inside the White House as he was on the campaign trail.

Moderation inside the Trump White House? So long as Bannon's there, don't bet on it.

Go deeper

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U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump has delivered a farewell speech and departed Washington for the last time on Air Force One, kicking off the day that will culminate with President-elect Joe Biden taking office.

What's next: The inaugural celebration for young Americans is being livestreamed, starting at 10am.

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump departs on final Air Force One flight

President Trump and his family took off on Air Force One at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning for the final time en route to Florida.

The big picture: Trump's final hours as president were punctuated by his decisions to snub his successor's inauguration and grant pardons to many of his allies who have been swept up in corruption scandals.

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Janet Yellen said all the right things to reassure the markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Treasury Secretary nominee and former Fed chair Janet Yellen's confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday showed markets just what they can expect from the administration of President-elect Joe Biden: more of what they got under President Trump — at least for now.

What it means: Investors and big companies reaped the benefits of ultralow U.S. interest rates and low taxes for most of Trump's term as well as significant increases in government spending, even before the coronavirus pandemic.