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Donald Trump backtracked on his promise to block AT&T's proposed $86 billion takeover of Time Warner, during an interview with Axios in which the President-Elect is beginning to recognize the complexities of his new job.

I have been on the record in the past of saying it's too big and we have to keep competition. So, but other than that, I haven't, you know, I haven't seen any of the facts, yet. I'm sure that will be presented to me and to the people within government.

It's not too often you hear a politician admit to knowing virtually nothing about an issue on which he's already taken a public stand. Or that he didn't asked to be briefed before meeting last week with AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson (who said the merger wasn't discussed).

As Mike and Jim wrote this morning: "We found the incoming president unusually subdued: lowering expectations, acknowledging some of the messy realities of governing, and walking back some of the more provocative statements he had made only days before. "

Go deeper

15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution

Joe Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.

A new Washington

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Image

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Friday that the city should expect a "new normal" for security — even after President-elect Biden's inauguration.

The state of play: Inaugurations are usually a point of celebration in D.C., but over 20,000 troops are now patrolling Washington streets in an unprecedented preparation for Biden's swearing-in on Jan. 20.

Mike Pence calls Kamala Harris to offer congratulations and help

Mike Pence. Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty

Vice President Mike Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance in the transition, the New York Times first reported.

Why it matters: The belated conversation came six days before the inauguration after a contentious post-election stretch. President Trump has neither spoken with President-elect Joe Biden, nor explicitly conceded the 2020 election.