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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Some of President Trump's advisers are trying to convince him that if he vetoes a defense reauthorization bill that could pass Friday, his fellow Republicans won't sustain it and he'll risk losing credibility with the troops, sources with direct knowledge of the conversations tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: In private conversations, Trump seems to believe Republicans would ultimately bend to his will and support a veto. He argues the bill needs a provision repealing protections for social media companies, but several confidants have tried to persuade him his fellow Republicans don't agree.

One argument made to the president: You have a legacy of rebuilding the military by increasing its budgets. Don't be remembered for trying — and embarrassingly failing — to veto your last big defense bill, the sources said.

  • Another message: While you're trying to hold Republicans together for your election challenges, is it really a good idea to poke them in the eye?

The fallout: The arguments don't seem to be working. On Thursday, Trump poked Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Jim Inhofe by announcing a foreign policy decision related to Morocco that Inhofe had made very clear he opposed, and was personal to him.

Go deeper

It's still Trump's party

Data: Axios research, ProPublica. (Non-voting members excluded). Graphic: Michelle McGhee and Sara Wise/Axios

He lied about the election being fixed. He incited an attack that left five dead at the U.S Capitol. He got impeached. Twice. But polling indicates Republicans still have his back — and views — by vast majorities.

Why it matters: Anyone who thinks Trump is a politically dead man walking appears pointedly dead wrong.

Capitol assault only one reason Trump impeached

A television in the White House briefing room shows the near-final impeachment vote against President Trump. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump didn't earn his historic second impeachment just by inciting a riot on a single day. He laid its foundation event by event during the two months preceding it.

Why it matters: Uneasiness built to rage among some Republicans as the president challenged the election results, blocked important legislative accomplishments and cost the party its hold on the Senate.

Jan 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Trump, twice impeached

Photo: House TV

With soldiers guarding the Capitol halls, Donald J. Trump became the first president in American history to be impeached twice.

By the numbers: The tally for history: 232-197, with 10 Republicans voting to impeach. (None voted to impeach last year.)