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Melania looks on as President Trump speaks with reporters before departing for Asia. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

En route to board Air Force One ahead of his 10-day Asia tour, President Trump doubled down on his morning tweets when talking to reporters.s. "A lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me," he said, for not opening an investigation into Hillary Clinton and the DNC.

Why it matters: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, already under fire for failing to disclose information relating to the Russia probe, is back on Trump's bad side for not being tougher on the Democrats, while still harboring frustration regarding Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

Other highlights:

  • Trump's March 2016 meeting with George Papadopoulos and Sessions: "I don't remember much about that meeting. It was a very unimportant meeting. It took place a long time ago. Don't remember much about it."
  • Extra day added to his Asia tour: Trump said he has added [last-minute] an extra day onto his 5-country tour of Asia to attend the East Asia Summit in the Philippines. His initial plan to be absent concerned experts, who warned it could signal a lower level of U.S. engagement in Asia-Pacific.
  • NYC terror attack: We are hitting ISIS "ten times harder... They claim him as a soldier, good luck. Every time they hit us, we know it is ISIS, we hit them like you folks won't believe."

Go deeper

6 hours ago - World

Top general: U.S. losing time to deter China

Stanley McChrystal. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Stanley McChrystal, a top retired general and Biden adviser, tells Axios that "China's military capacity has risen much faster than people appreciate," and the U.S. is running out of time to counterbalance that in Asia and prevent a scenario such as it seizing Taiwan.

Why it matters: McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, recently briefed the president-elect as part of his cabinet of diplomatic and national security advisers. President-elect Joe Biden is considering which Trump- or Obama-era approaches to keep or discard, and what new strategies to pursue.

Progressives shift focus from Biden's Cabinet to his policy agenda

Joe Biden giving remarks in Wilmington, Del., last month. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Some progressives tell Axios they believe the window for influencing President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet selections has closed, and they’re shifting focus to policy — hoping to shape Biden's agenda even before he’s sworn in.

Why it matters: The left wing of the party often draws attention for its protests, petitions and tweets, but this deliberate move reflects a determination to move beyond some fights they won't win to engage with Biden strategically, and over the long term.

Dave Lawler, author of World
8 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.