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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

We might be numb to so many attacks on so many groups so often that it obscures how President Trump has torched virtually every institution that could one day hold him accountable.

The big picture: Trump's language is getting darker and more ominous, suggesting the FBI's activities during the 2016 elections were "bigger than Watergate," and yesterday claiming a “criminal deep state” conspiracy to get him. It’s like a gigantic, presidential whack-a-mole, with Trump pounding any new threat as it pops up, leaving nothing to chance.

Here’s a look at the people and institutions that Trump has set his sights on — all in recent days:

  • The media
  • The Justice Department
  • The FBI
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  • Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein
  • The intelligence community
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller
  • Mueller’s team of prosecutors
  • New York state investigators and prosecutors
  • Democrats on intel committees
  • Unreliable GOP senators

Be smart ... This adapts a classic Trump technique that he used during the campaign: constant, withering criticism combined with brutal belittling, in an effort to create tectonic shifts in voter attitudes.

  • Trump used this combination to eviscerate the GOP field, then shrink Hillary from a political colossus.
  • Axios' Neal Rothschild points out that Trump targets get accused of the worst possible behavior in the most vicious terms — accusations that are more exaggerated and stinging than from any other official.
  • The reputations of these institutions have been diminished, at least among Republicans, by the president’s use of this tactic.
  • Few of the injured have found a way to fight back, beyond complaints about “unpresidential behavior."
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Go deeper

U.S. economy added 379,000 jobs in February

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

The economy added 379,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate dropped from 6.3% to 6.2%, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Why it matters: The first Biden-era jobs report shows hiring surged as coronavirus cases eased — though a full recovery remains far off. Economists expected the economy to add roughly 182,000 jobs last month, after adding a paltry 49,000 in January.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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

Workers are getting a really bad deal

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This week's spate of data highlighted the difficulties Americans who have lost their jobs have had bouncing back from the coronavirus pandemic, and just how much those who have managed to keep their jobs have been working.

What's happening: The Labor Department reported Thursday that the productivity of American workers fell by a revised 4.2% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the largest decline in 39 years.

FBI: Trump appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The FBI on Thursday arrested former State Department aide Federico Klein, a Trump appointee who worked on the former president's 2016 campaign, on charges related to the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, according to a court filing.

Why it matters: The 42-year-old Klein is the first member of the Trump administration to be arrested in connection with the insurrection, which led to the former president's second impeachment and charges against over 300 people.

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