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President Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

A trio of major updates have punctuated an otherwise quiet week for President Trump, setting up major fall drama in D.C.

The big picture Senators weighing the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation now know exactly where Trump stands, and notwithstanding a firm denial, Trumpworld has found a new rallying cry to axe Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein.

Driving the news:

  1. Trump tweeted doubts about Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, saying her parents would have gone to law enforcement at the time if the accusations were legit. This broke his previous message discipline on the topic, as staffers were hoping he'd last until next week without going after the accuser.
  2. Trump slow-walked his request for declassification of documents related to the Russia investigation, noting concerns by allies. The Justice Department's inspector general will now review the documents. Go deeper.
  3. N.Y. Times headline published this afternoon: "Rosenstein Suggested Secretly Recording Trump and Discussed 25th Amendment..." (In a statement, Rosenstein called the story factually incorrect and said there are no grounds for using the 25th.)

The bottom line: This presents on the fence Republicans with a nightmarish week ahead, while red state Democrats might have a chance to breathe easier.

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Go deeper

11 mins ago - World

Scoop: Iran preparing to enrich weapons-grade uranium, Israel warns U.S.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference. Photo: Presidency of Iran handout via Getty

Israel has shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the U.S. and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90% purity — the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon, two U.S. sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: Enriching to 90% would bring Iran closer than ever to the nuclear threshold. The Israeli warnings come as nuclear talks resume in Vienna, with Iran returning to the negotiating table on Monday after a five-month hiatus.

Biden: Fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Monday said that the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, is "a cause for concern, not a cause for panic."

Driving the news: Biden said later this week the administration will be releasing a strategy on how "we're going to fight COVID this winter. Not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: WHO says Omicron poses "very high" risk — Fauci says Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S. — U.S. restricts air travel from 8 countries over Omicron concerns.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.