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President Trump holds his notes while hosting a listening session with students survivors of mass shootings, their parents and teachers at the White House. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President Trump has a rare political superpower — he can get Republicans to do what seems like the impossible. He used this superpower to soften their opposition to Vladimir Putin, to instantly stir their distrust of the FBI, and embrace trillion-dollar deficits. No politician can move Rs to unthinkable places and provide more cover in the toughest of states or districts.

The big picture: Every few months, friends, family and advisers like Ivanka Trump, Rupert Murdoch and Gary Cohn fantasize Trump will tap his superpower as a force for good — to pass a big infrastructure bill, fight global warming, strike an epic immigration deal. Now, they dream of new gun controls to protect schools, kids and the innocent. He could, but he almost certainly won’t.

  • Listening to distraught students, teachers and parents at the White House yesterday, he proposed more guns — arming teachers.
  • Given what Trump has openly mused about internally, he could push for quick action on higher minimum age for rifle purchases, better background checks, longer waiting period, and a bump stock ban.

What Trump is thinking: He may not fully understand the cultural significance of guns in middle America. But he believes that it's cultural, not political, issues that truly move the needle.

  • People who know Trump well say he is trying to thread the needle between the cultural flash point of school shootings and the cultural bedrock of middle America's attachment to the Second Amendment.

What the White House says: Raj Shah, White House principal deputy press secretary told Axios: “Leading by working across the aisle to forge compromise is what [Trump is] actually doing."

  • White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders added: "He is reaching across the aisle on infrastructure, immigration and now on school safety."

Indeed, Trump got a lot of praise for actually listening during yesterday's "listening session."

  • WashPost's Aaron Blake tweeted: "Much credit to the White House: This is not a photo-op. It's an actual discussion."

The bottom line: Top Republicans see possible legislation on bump stocks and background checks, but think anything more significant is unlikely.

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Go deeper

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with all Denver Broncos quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucus.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.

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