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Chris Kleponis / AP

At 7:07am President Trump tweeted: "I call my own shots, largely based on an accumulation of data, and everyone knows it. Some FAKE NEWS media, in order to marginalize, lies!"

Under the surface:

  • Trump's tweet sounded an awful lot like a segment this AM on Morning Joe, where Joe Scarborough said he'd never seen coverage of a White House staffer like the recent coverage of Steve Bannon (see: Time Magazine cover.) Joe said he thought the media had it "backwards" and that Trump was the final decider.
  • Trump blames the media (for now.) He lashed out at the New York Times this morning, saying they are writing "total fiction" about him. Last night, the NYT's Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman depicted a White House in chaos with some key moves happening without Trump's knowledge.
  • Bannon allies tell us they're nervous about all the coverage he's getting. They wish it would settle down a bit.

The reality: Bannon has a media problem. Sources who've known Trump for years say he hates it when staff overshadow him in credit or attention. Besides one provocative interview with the NYT, Bannon hasn't been courting this attention. He ignores most reporters and would not welcome the emerging comic theme — which included an SNL skit — that he is the true evil genius president and Trump his lackey. But if the blanket coverage of Bannon continues, that ultimately won't matter.

Go deeper

Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to coronavirus pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Azar says deadly Capitol siege could "tarnish" Trump administration's legacy — Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

America is anxious, angry and heavily armed

Data: FBI; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Firearms background checks in the U.S. hit a record high in 2020.

The big picture: This past year took our collective arsenal to new heights, with millions of Americans buying guns for the first time. That trend coincides with a moment of peak political and social tension.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

America on borrowed time

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economic recovery will not be linear as the world continues to grapple with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Despite being propped up by an extraordinary amount of fiscal stimulus and support from central banks, the state of the global economy remains fragile.