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We're through week 7 in Trumpland — officially halfway through those vaunted first 100 days. And this week has been all about repealing Obamacare. (Seriously, did you see Paul Ryan's PowerPoint?) Well, except when it was about alleged Trump Tower wiretaps. Or when it was about WikiLeaks' newest dump on the CIA. Or when Sean Spicer's upside-down flag pin blew up Twitter. It's been a wild one, but then again, that's just the way Trumpland rolls

It's about TIME: President Trump loves seeing his face on magazine covers, especially TIME. And this week's cover sums up the first 7 weeks in Trumpland to a T. It'd be a crime not to share it with you…

TIME

Towergate: Did you forget about this one? It's okay if you did. Trump's tweets last Saturday morning were some of his most-talked about yet — for better or worse — alleging that President Obama had knowingly wiretapped Trump Tower during the campaign. President Trump offered no proof. Obama wasn't pleased. It spurred a ton of chatter in Republican circles about the "Deep State" and a "shadow government." The tweets seemingly forced the White House to sideline the president publicly during a week where he needed to be doing his best to schmooze the public regarding his administration's biggest legislative move yet…

The art of repeal: Obamacare, Obamacare, Obamacare. Where to begin? The American Health Care Act that Rand Paul so desperately searched for last week finally got released — and a ton of conservatives hated it. (When you've lost Breitbart, it might not be going so well.) But Paul Ryan gave his PowerPoint to try to circle the wagons. Trump tried a different approach with bowling and beer. The bill is currently rushing at light speed through the house, and many lawmakers have likely been pretty grumpy this week due to a lack of sleep. Next week promises more fireworks as Capitol Hill awaits the Congressional Budget Office score.

Opening Vault 7: WikiLeaks posted a trove of documents alleging that the CIA — among other things — could listen to you through your smart TV, complete with a cute Doctor Who reference. Julian Assange held a buzzy press conference where he announced that he'd be working with tech companies to circumvent CIA hacking techniques in order to protect everyone's privacy. Assange isn't without his own agenda, and that left Trump in the awkward position of choosing between his frenemy, the intelligence community, or an organization leaking classified intelligence for which he'd previously declared his love. Sean Spicer punted instead to the Justice Department, and Ben Sasse wasn't about to let it go.

Department of Stasis: State Department briefings finally resumed this week! But that's probably the only good news going around in Foggy Bottom these days. State wasn't aware that the Mexican foreign minister was in town. Rex Tillerson wasn't — as of writing, maybe still isn't? — bringing press with him on his first big foreign trip to Asia next week. The Atlantic's big profile on the decimation of the department has been making the rounds on Twitter. It's definitely something worth considering as we beat on, hot takes against the content, borne back ceaselessly into Trumpland...

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Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  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.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”