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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

President Trump called his impeachment a "political suicide march for the Democratic Party" as the House of Representatives cast two fateful votes Wednesday night.

The big picture: Trump became America's third president to be impeached after the House voted on charges of abuse of power and obstruction. But supporters remained unfazed at a rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, showing up through slushy snow wearing MAGA hats and "deplorables" gear to get a look at the president.

  • As lawmakers voted, Trump surrounded himself with thousands of supporters. "It doesn't really feel like we're being impeached," he told them confidently just before the votes.

The president's counter-programming began hours earlier. Trump sent dozens of tweets and retweets Wednesday morning laying into Democrats for what he's repeatedly called a hoax.

  • "Can you believe that I will be impeached today by the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, AND I DID NOTHING WRONG! A terrible Thing. Read the Transcripts. This should never happen to another President again. Say a PRAYER!" Trump tweeted.

Trump doubled down on his impeachment defense following the vote, spending about two hours total in front of the crowd.

  • "You know, we have an election right down the road. I announced three months ago that I'm running, right? I'll give you a little clue: I announced because I figured once I announced they'd never impeach. Nobody would be so stupid," Trump said.
  • "They've been trying to impeach me from day one. They've been trying to impeach me from before I ran," he added.

Fed the vote numbers mid-speech, Trump touted the tally to the crowd, leading to sweeping cheers for Republican unity and the three Democrats who voted in the president's favor.

  • "The Republican Party has never been so affronted, but they've never been so united as they are right now," Trump said.

Between the lines: Holding on to voters in swing states like Michigan — which Trump narrowly won in 2016 — will be essential for Republicans to keep the White House in 2020.

  • Keeping the base motivated to turn out in his defense is also key to Trump's re-election strategy.

What to watch: The GOP-led Senate was poised to hold an expedited trial in January. Trump is expected to be acquitted.

  • "The President is confident the Senate will restore regular order, fairness, and due process, all of which were ignored in the House proceedings. He is prepared for the next steps and confident that he will be fully exonerated," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Axios-Ipsos poll: People of color face more environmental threats

Expand chart
Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±2.5% margin of error; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Americans of color are much less likely than white Americans to experience good air quality or tap water or enough trees or green space in their communities, and they're more likely to face noise pollution and litter, a new Axios-Ipsos poll finds.

The big picture: Our national survey shows Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely than their white counterparts to live near major highways or industrial or manufacturing plants — and to have dealt in the past year with water-boil notices or power outages lasting more than 24 hours.

15 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

15 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."