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AP

President Trump has sparked another round of palace intrigue by telling the Wall St Journal that Steve Bannon is just "a guy who works for me," and that he is his own strategist. Other highlights from the 70-minute interview:

  • North Korean-Chinese relations are "not what you would think": Xi Jinping explained the shared history of China and Korea, and "after listening for 10 minutes, I realized it's not so easy…I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremendous power over North Korea…But it's not what you would think."
  • On United's passenger removal: "Horrible." Trump thinks carriers should remove ceilings on voucher limits, saying there's even a point at which billionaires like him will give up their seats.
  • On Spicer: He "made a mistake" by making comments about Hitler in relation to Syria's chemical weapons.

Money updates:

  • On the dollar: "I think our dollar is getting too strong."
  • But China's not a currency manipulator: "They're not currency manipulators."
  • On interest rates: "I do like a low-interest rate policy, I must be honest with you."
  • Policy reversals: Trump will support the U.S. Export-Import bank despite campaigning against it, and is now open to re-nominating Fed chief Janet Yellen.

Foreign policy updates

  • On China, trade, and North Korea: Trump told Xi on trade, "'You want to make a great deal? Solve the problem in North Korea.' That's worth having deficits."
  • On solutions for Syria: He said it is "possible" to imagine a solution with Assad in power, breaking with U.S. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, but said he still thought Assad would go.

Go deeper

Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

Mike Pompeo shells out for media makeover

Via "Fox News Sunday"

Mike Pompeo's political action committee spent $30,000 on media training from last March to June — the most on any service beyond payroll during the first six months of 2021.

Why it matters: The former secretary of State hasn't just been losing weight but working to hone his media skills amid speculation about a possible presidential run, records show.

30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan infrastructure group takes on election reform

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The bipartisan group focused on updating the Electoral Count Act of 1887 is seizing on this recess period to court senators more freely.

Why it matters: The group is led by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and includes many members who helped reach the bipartisan infrastructure deal. They see themselves as the only hope of creating an election reform package able to muster 60 votes in the Senate.