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Evan Vucci / AP

President Trump sided yesterday with the Democrats on key legislative issues, including government funding and raising the debt ceiling. The move upset Congressional Republicans and left many others speculating about Trump's motives. We've gathered a few of the theories about Trump's decision.

Revenge:

  • Axios' Jonathan Swan: "Trump is enjoying watching McConnell and Ryan squirm. He personally likes neither of them and has, in the past, demonstrated more affection for Schumer and Pelosi. It's not much of a stretch. Trump has spent much of his adult life as a Democrat, in Manhattan no less."
  • Wall Street Journal Editorial Board: "Mr. Trump is sore that Republican leaders failed on health care, so he now undermines their fiscal strategy and all but hands the gavels to Democrats."
  • PowerPost: "The deal may also benefit Trump by allowing him to revive his threat to shut down the government over wall funding."

Frustration:

  • Russell Berman in The Atlantic: "A frustrated president, bereft of legislative wins and desperate to make a deal, turned away from his party and into the unlikely arms of the opposition."
  • Glenn Thrush & Maggie Haberman in The NY Times: "But the president also relished the opportunity to confound critics who accused him of abandoning campaign promises to govern as a bipartisan, deal-cutting businessman."

Friendship with Schumer:

  • Ben Domenech in The Federalist: "So he's being more honest: he doesn't like McConnell and Ryan, never did. He likes Chuck Schumer, and knows him, and thinks he can work with him. And he knows Chuck always makes money for his partners."

Personal brand:

  • E.J. Dionne in Wash Post: "The improvised character of the Trump presidency owes to his inclination to see politics as entirely about public performance. He cares above all about the reactions he arouses day to day and even hour to hour."
  • Josh Barro of Business Insider: "Trump may have hit on an insight: If Republican voters will like him no matter what, he can become popular by doing whatever Democrats want."

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
48 mins ago - Technology

Intel CEO wants to compete against Apple

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger hasn't given up on the idea of the Mac once again using Intel chips, but he acknowledges it will probably be years before he gets that chance.

  • In the meantime, he is focused on powering Windows machines that give Apple CEO Tim Cook a run for his money.

Why it matters: In getting pushed out of the Mac, Intel not only lost a customer, but picked up a new rival.

52 mins ago - Health

Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, in an "Axios on HBO" interview, said he's reluctant to withhold federal funding from states that won't enforce school mask mandates because he doesn't want to hurt students.

Why it matters: Cardona's comments suggest there are limits to how far the Biden administration will go in pressuring states to adopt universal masking — or vaccine mandates.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Axios on HBO

GOP senator smacks Trump

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told “Axios on HBO” he’s not sure former President Donald Trump would win the Republican nomination if he ran in 2024 — a rare voice of criticism from within the party.

  • When I raised the conventional wisdom that Trump would be expected to win the nomination, Cassidy jumped in.“
  • I don't know that,” the senator said during our interview in Chalmette, La.