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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

In an "impromptu" White House Pool spray during President Trump's lunch with Vice President Pence, National Security Advisor McMaster, Colonel Wawro and four Afghanistan veterans, Trump drove home how "disappointed" he is about health care.

  • "Let Obamacare fail, it will be a lot easier. And I think we're probably in that position where we'll just let Obamacare fail. We're not going to own it. I'm not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We'll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us."
  • Why it matters: Trump is acknowledging defeat and now, rather than support Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's push to repeal with out a replacement bill, he's decided to let Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act remain the law of the land.
  • Moments ago: McConnell's straight repeal plan collapses with 3 "no votes."

Other notable quotes:

  • Trump said he was "surprised" when Senators Moran and Lee came out as "No's" last night. "We thought they were in fairly good shape."
  • "For 7 years I've been hearing repeal and replace... and when we finally get a chance to repeal and replace, we can't."
  • "We are winning the war on the border, we're decimating ISIS... we've had a lot of victories but we haven't had a victory on health care. I'm very disappointed."
  • Once the Affordable Care Act fails, then everyone needs to "come together and fix it," said Trump.
  • "[Democrats] have no ideas. They have no thought process. All they want to do is obstruct government and obstruct period."
  • "Obamacare isn't failing, it's failed. It's gone."

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 4: Trump turns on Barr

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Drew Angerer, Pool/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. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 4: Trump torches what is arguably the most consequential relationship in his Cabinet.

Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president's theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were "bullshit."

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters gathered outside fortified statehouses across the U.S. over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
9 hours ago - World

China's economy grows 6.5% in Q4 as country rebounds from coronavirus

A technician installs and checks service robots to be be used for food and medicine delivery in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, China, on Sunday. Photo: Hu Xuejun/VCG via Getty Images

China's economy grew at a 6.5% pace in the final quarter of 2020, the national statistics bureau announced Monday local time, topping off a year in which it grew in three of four quarters and by 2.3% in total.

Why it matters: No other major economy managed positive growth in 2020. Although the COVID-19 pandemic was first detected in China, the country got the virus under control and became one of the main positive drivers of the global economy even as the rest of the world was largely under lockdown.