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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The future of the economy, our national defense and this presidency are all in play in coming months  — and all controlled by actions President Trump is contemplating.

Be smart: We have hit peak volatility in markets and politics because of Trump’s wild mood swings. The volatility is warranted, because Trump is more isolated and more self-certain than ever.

  • He has threatened trade wars with China, Mexico and Canada. We will soon find out if this is smoke or if he truly starts the fire.
  • He has threatened war if North Korea doesn't surrender its nuclear ambitions — and just made a like-minded hawk, John Bolton, his national security adviser. We will soon find out if this was negotiating-ploy smoke, or if he would really start the fire. Insiders tell us that if his planned meeting with Kim Jong-un fails, options will be limited.
  • He has mused about getting rid of Robert Mueller, an action that several Republicans have warned would provoke an abuse of power crisis. We will soon find out if this is letting-off-steam smoke or if we truly spark this fire. 

Trump solo: Some White House aides are alarmed at Trump’s belief he can run the show alone, much like he did his real estate empire:

  • He’s threatening to basically run the White House like a small business with a series of compliant VPs.
  • This, more than the other three, worries departing staffers most because it allows for bad, impulsive things to not just be said but done. 
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Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.