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Trump at a rally in Georgia on Dec. 5. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

With his anger rising at Georgia officials, President Trump resisted going back to the Peach State after his first runoff rally on Dec. 5.

Behind the scenes: He told advisers he didn't think he needed to go back. Both candidates, Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, put in a huge behind-the-scenes effort to get him to go back. He plugged them during his Monday rally, but also ranted about the state's Republican officials and election machinery.

Between the lines: Trump was fixated on his own grievances and on increasingly untethered scenarios for how he might overturn the election.

  • It took great effort to get him to focus on any other subject or to convince him that anything beyond his own election factored into his self-interest.
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham warned him that his "legacy" was on the line and that Democrats would undo all of his accomplishments, including tax cuts.

Go deeper: Republicans privately furious after Trump's post-election implosion blows Senate majority

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 3: Descent into madness ... Trump: "Sometimes you need a little crazy"

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Google is investigating the actions of another top AI ethicist

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is investigating recent actions by Margaret Mitchell, who helps lead the company's ethical AI team, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The probe follows the forced exit of Timnit Gebru, a prominent researcher also on the AI ethics team at Google whose ouster ignited a firestorm among Google employees.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."

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