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Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A former White House official tells me that online conservative ire (Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Mark Levin, etc.). about the spending bill President Trump signed yesterday — after a puzzling tweeted veto feint — "is the hardest I've ever seen the base turn on Trump over anything."

Why it matters: "A big reason why people voted for him was because of his apparent willingness to stand up to the entrenched political class in both parties. Voters wanted a fighter who wouldn't back down to 'the swamp' like a 'typical politician," the official told me.

  • "They were attracted to his strength and alpha mentality, but unfortunately yesterday's fake veto threat did little but make him look weak ... and his base took notice."
  • "Trump's base is literally begging him to throw McConnell/Ryan under the bus after today. Just search 'McConnell Trump' on Tweetdeck and you will see what I mean."

A White House official replies that a six-month continuing resolution would have led to no better outcome:

  • "The veto advocates hate Ryan and McConnell. Not good enough reason for us to veto."
  • "Thought one of the reasons DJT was elected was to get things done in a broken D.C.?"
  • Touché: "If there was a shutdown, would Axios headline praise Trump as shrewd negotiator, or ridicule as dealmaker who can't make a deal to fund the government?"
Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
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Go deeper

Journalism enters dangerous new era

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Capitol attack on Jan. 6 resulted in at least nine physical assaults against journalists and at least five arrests, per the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker's top editor.

Why it matters: President Trump's harsh rhetoric towards the press has empowered leaders abroad and locally in the U.S. to continue to attack press that they don't like.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The beginning of the beginning for Biden's climate push

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Joe Biden's inauguration and the days right after will bring a rat-tat-tat burst of climate policy moves, but keep this in mind amid the splashy pledges: pushing through most of his agenda will be a long, uncertain slog.

Why it matters: Biden's climate plan is far more expansive than anything contemplated under President Obama. But for all the immediate pledges, it will take years to see how far Biden gets.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Biden's inflation danger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.

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