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Photo: Matthew Busch/Getty Images

Donald Trump is a car nut. And people who've worked for him say he's always been particular about which cars he likes to drive, who he likes to drive him around, and which right-wing talk radio hosts he likes to listen to in the car.

Behind the scenes: On some Fridays during the 2016 campaign, Trump would hop in his Rolls-Royce and drive from Trump Tower in Manhattan to one of his nearby golf clubs. Trump would wear his MAGA hat and listen to Rush Limbaugh, according to a source familiar with his driving routine.

  • Trump loves driving, but he also enjoys being driven around — sometimes just for the sake of it, not to get anywhere in particular. He owns a black Cadillac limousine — "old school, with the partition and the bar ... like the inside of the limo in 'Home Alone 2,'" according to the source. 

Before he became the Republican nominee and got his Secret Service detail, Trump would sometimes just go for a cruise. "He'd be driven into a TV studio to record an interview and he'd say afterwards, 'Let's drive a couple blocks and listen to the radio.'" By radio, he meant right-wing talk shows: Rush, Sean Hannity, sometimes conservative Mark Levin in the evenings, and sometimes provocateur Michael Savage.

Between the lines: Over the past decade, Trump has spent countless hours honing his feel for the Republican base by listening to right-wing talk radio on his drives.

As president, Trump still loves driving past the lines of people on the street on the way to rallies. "Let's turn the lights on so they can see me," he sometimes says, according to a source familiar. A White House source who's joined him for car rides told me Trump likes to recognize the people who wait in line for hours to see him — plus, he craves the attention.

  • During the early days of the campaign, before getting Secret Service protection, Trump would ride in the front seat. People used to chase the car with MAGA hats, photos of him and other memorabilia. He would open the window at stop lights and sign things or he'd tell the driver to pull over.
  • Trump chafed when Secret Service ended these impromptu stops. "We've lost the magic," he'd gripe. As president riding in his armored Cadillac, he'll say, "Come on let me out. They'll go crazy. ... Stop the car for one second and open the door." They always say no.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
21 mins ago - Economy & Business

GM's shrinking deal with Nikola

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

General Motors will no longer take an equity stake in Nikola Corp. or build its pickup truck, under a revised deal that still envisions GM as a key tech supplier for Nikola's planned line of electric and fuel cell heavy trucks.

Driving the news: The revised agreement Monday is smaller in scope than a draft partnership rolled out in September that had included a $2 billion stake in the startup and an agreement to build its Badger pickup.

1 hour ago - Technology

Exclusive: Facebook's blackout didn't dent political ad reach

Photo: Valera Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Americans saw more political ads on Facebook in the week before the 2020 election than they did the prior week despite the company's blackout on new political ads during that period, according to Global Witness, a human rights group that espouses tech regulation.

Why it matters: The presidential election was a key stress test for Facebook and other leading online platforms looking to prove that they can curb misinformation. Critics contend measures like the ad blackout barely made a dent.

Wall Street wonders how bad it has to get

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wall Street is working out how bad the economy will have to get for Congress to feel motivated to move on economic support.

Why it matters: A pre-Thanksgiving data dump showed more evidence of a floundering economic recovery. But the slow drip of crumbling economic data may not be enough to push Washington past a gridlock to halt the economic backslide.

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