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Donald Trump in the Oval Office. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFPGetty Images

President Trump insisted Friday that he is "not going to be played" ahead of his planned peace talks with North Korea's Kim Jong-un, adding that past presidents have been "played like a fiddle" by the regime.

Context: Trump's comments, made during a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House, come hours after Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in issued a joint statement calling for an end to the Korean war and denuclearization of the region.

Keep in mind: Apparent breakthroughs and attempts at denuclearization in previous conversations with North Korea have failed.

What else Trump said:

  • If talks fall apart with North Korea: “We will, I think, come up with a solution, and if we don’t, with great respect, we leave the room and we keep going." Trump has said as much before.
  • He thanked China for getting progress rolling on North Korea.
  • On the House Intelligence Committee's Russia report: "I was very honored by the report. It was totally conclusive ... no collusion."
  • Iran nuclear deal: Trump said he and Merkel will discuss Iran during today's talks.

Go deeper

Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden to attempt "emergency economic relief" by executive order

President Biden. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Biden will continue his executive action blitz on Friday, issuing two more orders in an attempt to provide immediate relief to struggling families without waiting for Congress.

Why it matters: In his second full day in office, Biden is again resorting to executive actions as he tries to increase payments for nutritional assistance and protect workers' rights during the pandemic.

Ina Fried, author of Login
4 mins ago - Technology

What we know about the Apple car

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Apple's moves toward breaking into the market for self-driving cars have come in fits and starts, but it has big ambitions for the space and is moving forward both with its own efforts and with potential partnerships with automakers.

Why it matters: Apple has great businesses in phones and computers, but its long-term growth potential will depend on conquering an entirely new market. Improving health care and playing a role in autonomous vehicles appear to be its two biggest bets on that front.

Banks cash in as Wall Street blows out Main Street

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

America’s big banks capped off a winning year, led by soaring Wall Street-facing business lines.

Why it matters: Banks cashed in on the white-hot IPO market, record debt issuance, and sky-high trading volume — all of which played out as economic peril softened the consumer side of their businesses.