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Trump inspecting border wall prototypes. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

The cautious view among most Republican lawmakers and White House aides is that President Trump won’t follow through with his dramatic threat to close ports of entry at the border.

The big picture: A source who has been talking to Trump about the border situation throughout the past week said that the president remains skittish about doing anything to disrupt the markets. Trump is encouraged by what Mexico is doing to apprehend migrants on their journey to the U.S.

"It’s the markets," the source said. "Closing the border, the markets would plummet."

  • "He’s very well aware that there’s a commercial trucking component that would be devastating on Mexico and would be hurtful to the United States."

Be smart: As with everything Trump ... What is true at 10 p.m. on Wednesday could be false by 7 a.m. on Thursday, depending on who Trump talks to, what he watches, and what kind of mood he’s in.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.