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What a week in Trumpland it has been. It seemed like there was a massive new breaking story leaking from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue every day. To get through it all, Axios has rounded up the 5 biggest stories of the week and shipped them right to you…

The firing of Michael Flynn: Oh, Monday. You were so long ago. There was a time when Trump's firing of his national security advisor seemed destined to be the biggest story of the week. After all, Flynn lied to VP Pence and claimed that he never discussed sanctions during a December phone call with the Russian ambassador. Then again, Trump also said during his press conference Thursday that he approved of Flynn's discussions: "If anything, he did something right…He was just doing his job." And Flynn's job is still open as Trump's pick for his replacement, Vice Admiral Robert Harward, said no — reportedly calling the job a "shit sandwich."

Russia trumps you: Oh, Tuesday. You were so long ago. There was a time when the New York Times' report on Tuesday night that Trump campaign aides had contacts with Russian officials seemed destined to be the biggest story of the week. After all, Russia attempted to interfere in November's election and Trump praised the country throughout the election cycle. He shot it down pretty forcefully on Thursday, branding it "fake news put out by the media" and claiming that he wasn't aware of anyone on his campaign having had contact with Russians.

That press conference: Oh, Thursday. You were so long ago. There was a time when those 77 minutes of peak Trump press conference magic seemed destined to be the biggest story of the week. After all, some branded it an unhinged performance, while others viewed it as the president talking masterfully to the base that elected him. From leaks ("the leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake") to the travel ban ("We had a very smooth rollout. We had a bad court."), POTUS played the hits and presented his administration as a "finely-tuned machine" just trying to deal with the "mess" it inherited from Barack Obama. And, oh yeah, the press conference was initially supposed to be an introduction to his new pick for Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta.

The deportation force that wasn't: Oh, Friday. You were so long ago. There was a time when the AP's report that Trump was considering mobilizing 100,000 National Guard troops to round up illegal immigrants seemed destined to be the biggest story of the week. After all, it was the culmination of one of Trump's most controversial campaign promises to build a deportation force. But that came crashing down quickly. The White House and Department of Homeland Security issued categorical denials regarding the implementation of the policy and the authorship of the draft memo that sparked the report was called into question. Check out the memo for yourself and see what you think.

Campaign part deux: Oh, Saturday. You're finally here! It's the weekend! It's time to relax! It's…campaign season? With 1,354 days to go until the 2020 election, Trump is visiting an airplane hangar in Melbourne, Florida, giving what a White House spokesman called "a campaign rally for America." Rallies are Trump's way to let loose and have some fun. And after the week he's had, what else can he do but…

Giphy

Go deeper

13 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.