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Screengrab via YouTube. Credit: TBN

President Trump spoke with Mike Huckabee, the father of his press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, in an interview that aired Saturday night. He discussed Iran, Puerto Rico and Las Vegas, and returned repeatedly to the claim that "I was handed a mess" and that the media is treating him unfairly despite his successes.

  1. On the Las Vegas gunman: "This was a sick person, but probably smart." He congratulated the police for acting so quickly, and said many of the victims he met "support what I do."
  2. On the hurricane response: "We got very high marks. We got A-pluses."
  3. On Puerto Rico's problems before the storm: Trump said the electric grid was a disaster. "They've got a lot of problems, and on top of that they get hit by two hurricanes."
  4. On San Juan's mayor: "We have a mayor of San Juan Puerto Rico who didn't attend meetings, who didn't work with FEMA, who really did not do a very good job, in fact did a very poor job, and she was the lone voice that we saw and of course that's the only voice the media wanted to talk to... she's not a capable person."
  5. On criticism of him tossing paper towels into a crowd of victims: "They had these beautiful, soft towels. Very good towels.... I was having fun, they were having fun. They said, 'throw 'em to me! Throw 'em to me Mr. President!"
  6. On responding to tragedies: "In one sense you hate to see it, but in another sense you feel like you can do a good job, you're helping people, so you feel good."
  7. On Israel and Palestine: "We're gonna work [toward a peace deal]... I want to give that a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem."
  8. On the Middle East: "The Middle East when I took over was a mess, and it's much less of a mess now but we have problems."
  9. On the Iran deal: "I can tell you I'm very unhappy with the deal.... They're literally causing trouble, predominantly in the Middle East. I believe they're funding North Korea.... that doesn't pertain to the deal but in my opinion it does because it's called the spirit of a deal.... You will see what I will be doing but Iran is a bad player and they will be dealt with as a bad player."
  10. On the filibuster rule: "They have to get rid of it... It's a death sentence. I told Mitch McConnell that the other day, and frankly" he's not there yet.
  11. On his tax plan: "I'm really focused on the middle class, and I'm really focused on companies because companies create jobs.... We're going to have the biggest tax cut in history."

Go deeper

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.
Off the Rails

Episode 3: Descent into madness ... Trump: "Sometimes you need a little crazy"

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."