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Trump poses with senior military leaders and their spouses. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

"Trump, during photo shoot, talks of 'calm before the storm,'" by AP's Jill Colvin: "Trump delivered a foreboding message [last] night, telling reporters as he posed for photos with his senior military leaders that this might be 'the calm before the storm.'"

Between the lines: The commander-in-chief is pondering several high-stakes national-security decisions that we could hear about soon. But part of this may simply be the president's instinct for drama and photos that make him look strong, love of cliffhangers, and joy in flummoxing the press.

More:

  • "White House reporters were summoned suddenly ... and told the president had decided he wanted the press to document a dinner he was holding with the military leaders and their wives."
  • "Reporters were led hastily to the grand State Dining Room, where they walked into a scene of the president, his highest-ranking military aides and their wives posing for a group photo. The cameras clicked and they smiled. ... Live classical music played."
  • "Then, Trump gestured to the reporters in the room. 'You guys know what this represents?' Trump asked. 'Maybe it's the calm before the storm.'"
  • "What storm, Mr. President?" one reporter shouted. "ISIS? North Korea? Iran?"
  • Trump replied: "You'll find out."

Extra from Axios' Jonathan Swan, who says there's a "high degree of probability that [Trump is] trolling everyone."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

How the tech stock selloff is hurting average Americans

Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Investors holding the ultra-popular Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 index funds have been hard hit over the last two weeks as tech shares have been roiled by rising U.S. Treasury yields.

Why it matters: Even though the economy is growing and many U.S. stocks are performing well, most investors are seeing their wealth decline because major indexes no longer reflect the overall economy or even a broad swath of public companies — they reflect the performance of a few of the country's biggest companies.

2 hours ago - World

UN rights chief: At least 54 killed, 1,700 detained since Myanmar coup

A Feb. 7 protest in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images

Police and military officers in Myanmar have killed at least 54 people during anti-coup protests, while "arbitrarily" detaining over 1,700 people, United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said Thursday.

Why it matters: Protesters have demonstrating across Myanmar for nearly a month, demanding the restoration of democracy after the country's military leaders overthrew its democratically elected government on Feb. 1.

3 hours ago - Health

The danger of a fourth wave

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Anomalous Arkansas case data from Feb. 28 was not included in the calculated change; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. may be on the verge of another surge in coronavirus cases, despite weeks of good news.

The big picture: Nationwide, progress against the virus has stalled. And some states are ditching their most important public safety measures even as their outbreaks are getting worse.