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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

Judge temporarily blocks South Carolina ban on school mask mandates

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster. Photo: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked South Carolina's ban on mask mandates in schools, ruling that it discriminated against students with disabilities and violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Why it matters: As mask bans extend to public schools around the country, parents and disability rights activists have sounded alarm bells. The ruling may signal the outcomes of legal fights playing out across the country.

DeSantis takes legal action against Biden efforts on immigration

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took legal action on Tuesday to try to stop the Biden administration's immigration plans.

Why it matters: The Republican governor, who is running for re-election next year and is possibly eyeing a 2024 presidential bid, is picking a high-profile fight with Biden while re-upping his hardline stance on immigration.

Left: Senate's threat "insane"

The famously press-shy Sen. Kyrsten Sinema speaks briefly with reporters on Tuesday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) lambasted Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) on Tuesday, saying "it's insane" that "one senator" is blocking attempts to settle on a palatable figure for President Biden's proposed $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package.

Why it matters: The figure is the linchpin to getting progressive support for the companion $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package. Khanna's statement reflects broader dissatisfaction among House progressives with Sinema and her fellow holdout, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).