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Mike Allen Aug 12
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Trump on the brink

Evan Vucci / AP

On Thursday — after "fire and fury" was followed by a double-down, then by signs of a pullback — a top Republican who calls pretty honest balls and strikes on this White House emailed me:

  • "The President's policy path on North Korea is clear and unambiguous: disarm or die. His rhetoric may not appeal to the haute foreign policy arbiters. But it resonates with the South, the Japanese and, most importantly, the Chinese."
  • By last night, after "locked and loaded," the same person said: "Tone seems to be moving from tough to shrill. ... He muddled his own message."