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Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, urged President Trump to visit U.S. troops in combat zones in a statement on Wednesday.

The big picture: Trump has said visiting troops isn't "overly necessary," despite the fact his predecessors made a number of trips to combat zones, like Afghanistan and Iraq. Reed said in his statement that "every prior President found time to visit our troops in active combat theaters," and that Trump has "a duty to let them know that America is grateful for their service." Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday that he's advised Trump against visiting "places ... I don't want him to go at certain times."

“It would be good for President Trump and the nation if he started leading by example and doing more to honor our veterans and troops serving in harm’s way.  The President has many scheduling demands, but every prior President found time to visit our troops in active combat theaters.  Many regularly went to Dover Air Force Base to honor the return of fallen warriors.  It’s time for President Trump to step up and recognize that our troops put their lives on the line every day with unrelenting devotion to our country.    
I encourage President Trump to talk to the men and women serving on the frontlines, look them in the eye, and listen to what they have to say.  As Commander-in-Chief, President Trump has committed these brave men and women to combat, and they are sacrificing and doing their best every day to carry out the mission. 
Our troops look like America and represent the very best of our country.  They come from every community, every race and religion, and have diverse views.  But what unites them all is a sense of patriotism and professionalism.  President Trump has a duty to let them know that America is grateful for their service. 
I strongly urge President Trump to start showing our troops the respect they deserve.  They chose to serve and he must choose to lead.”

Go deeper

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

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GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

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Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.