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Win McNamee / AP

Per NYT Magazine, Donald Trump considered giving Fox exclusive rights to televise the inauguration, after being continuously frustrated by other networks' coverage of him during and after the campaign.

CNN president Jeff Zucker says he intervened after hearing Jared Kushner might broker an exclusive deal with Rupert Murdoch. He called Trump and said, "This is crazy ... You're just going to give your inaugural coverage to your base of support? It makes no sense."

Some context: Zucker and Trump have long had a mutually beneficial relationship:

  1. As then-president of NBC, Zucker decided to give real estate mogul his own primetime show, "The Apprentice," which ranked in the top 100 TV series each year Trump was host. Years later Zucker's CNN has continued to experience a significant "Trump bump" in ratings.
  2. There's no question that CNN's airtime helped propel Trump to the Republican nomination. While Trump has repeatedly bashed the network, calling it "fake news" and dismissing their reporting, he recognizes its value in promoting his agenda. Buzzfeed reported last week that Trump has been quietly asking his surrogates to try to get booked on CNN.

Go deeper

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.