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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former President Trump warned the GOP that removing the filibuster would be "catastrophic for the Republican Party" during an interview on the podcast “The Truth with Lisa Boothe."

Flashback: Trump told Republican lawmakers in 2018 that keeping the filibuster would be "the end of the party," insisting that Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) would eliminate it as soon as Democrats took the majority, Politico reported at the time.

Why it matters: Schumer has faced mounting pressure from progressives to remove the filibuster for priority issues like climate change and voting rights.

  • Eliminating the 60-vote filibuster and moving to a simple majority requirement in the Senate would significantly limit the power of the minority party, which has often used the procedure to delay or block legislative action it opposes.

What he's saying: "Look, he's hanging by a thread right now with respect to the filibuster," Trump said about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) attempts to stave off any changes to the filibuster.

  • "[I]f they get the fili — he's hanging on Joe Manchin, who always goes with the Democrats. Joe talks, but he ends up going with the Democrats."
  • "Now there’s another great senator from the state of Arizona," Trump continued, referring to moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). "He's hanging by a thread and if they get rid of the filibuster, if they knock it out, it will be catastrophic for the Republican Party."

Trump went on to attack McConnell as weak, arguing that the party needs "better leadership" in order to "rein in" anti-Trump senators like Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).

  • "And now, they knock out the filibuster, it’s going to be a real problem. ... they’re gong to have a free for all," he added.
  • "And I told Mitch McConnell from almost the first day, I said, look, the first thing they’re going to do is knock out the filibuster. So if they’re going to knock it out, maybe we should and get everything that we want."

The state of play: McConnell last week warned Democrats that removing the filibuster would "break the Senate" and turn the chamber into a "100-car pileup" where chaos reigns.

  • He also promised retribution if the GOP took back control of the Senate, saying, "We wouldn't just erase every liberal change that hurt the country —we'd strengthen America with all kinds of conservative policies with zero, zero input from the other side."

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 6 hours ago - Technology

A dark view of the future of autonomous weapons

A still from the video "If Human: Kill ( )." Image: Future of Life Institute

A new short film warns of the coming risks posed by the development and proliferation of lethal autonomous weapons.

Why it matters: Drones with the ability to autonomously target and kill without the assistance of a human operator are reportedly already being used on battlefields, and time is running out to craft a global ban of what could be a destabilizing and terrifying new class of weapon.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine — Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

The latest: Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley told the Detroit News they are "returning to the area to be arraigned," after law enforcement officials announced a search for the Crumbleys had been initiated.

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