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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

1 hour ago - Health

U.S. ahead of pace on vaccines

A health care worker administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Ruleville, Mississippi. Photo: Rory Doyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. is now vaccinating an average of 2 million people a day, up from 1.3 million in early February.

Why it matters: That puts us on track to hit President Biden's goal of 100 million doses a month ahead of schedule.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — to proceed to debate on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely setting up a final vote this weekend.

The state of play: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is forcing the Senate clerk to read the entire 628-page bill on the floor, a procedural move that will likely add 10 hours to the 20 hours already allotted for debate.

4 hours ago - World

Netanyahu campaigns against Biden's plan to save Iran deal

Netanyahu campaigns at a gym last month. Photo: Pool/AFP via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indirectly criticized the Biden administration for its intention to return to the Iran nuclear deal and told his supporters he was prepared to "stand against the entire world" to stop it.

Why it matters: This is a major change of tune for Netanyahu, who had been careful in his statements on the Iran deal and avoided publicly criticizing President Biden. The statement was part of Netanyahu's attempt to rally his base ahead of Israel's election on March 23.

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