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Lazaro Gamio / Axios

As Donald Trump reaches Day 50 of his presidency, halfway to the fabled hundred days, here are some of the "known knowns" about him — certainties we have learned since the inauguration:

  1. Trump is Trump. A wise friend told us that the one guy who's NOT CHANGING is a 70-year-old billionaire with his name on the building. Think about the arc of claiming 6 years ago that President Obama wasn't a U.S. citizen to claiming Saturday that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. Trump might surprise, but he will never change.
  2. He's a media junkie. For all his anti-media tirades, we have never had a president this obsessed with the media. This has been a reality for Trump since the 1980s and will never change. So, brace yourself for twitchy Twitter responses to Fox, the N.Y. Times and "Morning Joe" until this presidency ends.
  3. The Trump show will always be improv. His advisers can make all the plans and give all the advice they want. Trump always has, and always will, go with his gut; usually based on the last person who got him jazzed.
  4. Trump is transactional. He wants to claim wins on creating American jobs, undoing Obamacare and reducing taxes. He likes working people face-to-face or on his cell. And the details are always negotiable.
  5. Chaos isn't a theory, it's a governing reality. Competing factions, widespread insecurity and rivalry promise many more months and years of reality show-worthy stories and governing. The truth is: Trump likes the commotion.
  6. Russia's a problem that won't go away. You have all the ingredients for an investigation that might never, ever end: multiple, mysterious meetings between Trump officials and Russia; some elements of the intelligence community clearly out for payback; congressional probes launched; and the opposition party smelling blood. Ask Bill Clinton how long these dramas drag on.
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Go deeper

Scoop: FDA chief called to West Wing

Stephen Hahn. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has summoned FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn to the West Wing for a 9:30am meeting Tuesday to explain why he hasn't moved faster to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, two senior administration officials told Axios.

Why it matters: The meeting is shaping up to be tense, with Hahn using what the White House will likely view as kamikaze language in a preemptive statement to Axios: "Let me be clear — our career scientists have to make the decision and they will take the time that’s needed to make the right call on this important decision."

Scoop: Schumer's regrets

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images   

Chuck Schumer told party donors during recent calls that the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact that Cal Cunningham "couldn't keep his zipper up" crushed Democrats' chances of regaining the Senate, sources with direct knowledge of the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Democrats are hoping for a 50-50 split by winning two upcoming special elections in Georgia. But their best chance for an outright Senate majority ended when Cunningham lost in North Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins won in Maine.

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.