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Mike Allen Mar 24
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Trump infuriates his base with tweeted veto bluff

Trump entering a helicopter
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?"
Axios 3 hours ago
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Jonathan Swan 3 hours ago
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Trump's "great man" play on North Korea

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

President Trump views the North Korean crisis as his “great man” of history moment.

The big picture: He came into office thinking he could be the historic deal maker to bring peace to the Middle East. He’s stopped talking about that. There’s very little point. The peace deal looks dead and cremated. But Trump wants to sign his name even larger into the history books, and he views North Korea as his moment.