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Trump in the White House Rose Garden yesterday. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

President Trump "goes there, on just about every topic imaginable," as NBC's Brian Williams put it, during a pair of Q&As, two hours apart yesterday — one in the Cabinet Room and one with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Rose Garden.

Why it matters: It's almost impossible for the media to cover these press conferences — or for Republicans to discern what he wants and how he plans to get it — because Trump spreads fake news while calling real news fake. This isn't new. And, yes, 35% of voters don't seem to care. But that doesn't make it any less dangerous.

A look at Trump's alternative reality:

  • Trump says he and McConnell are "closer than ever before." Both men and their staffs have been trashing each other in public and private for months.
  • Trump says other presidents "didn't make calls" to families of soldiers killed in duty. They did.
  • Trump says Obamacare is "dead." His repeated efforts to repeal it failed.
  • Trump says it's been established that "no collusion" took place with the Russians. Bob Mueller is interrogating the president's associates and advisers on this very point in real time.
  • Trump says he's on a historic pace of accomplishment. He's not.
  • Trump says he "already" has "the votes right now" for a bipartisan health care fix. He doesn't.

Sound smart: The damnedest thing is not a single bullet point I just wrote is disputable — while every one of those things the president said was.

Yesterday's keepers:

  • On GOP senators: "I'm not going to blame myself, I'll be honest. They are not getting the job done."
  • "Obamacare is finished. It's dead. It's gone. It's no longer — you shouldn't even mention. It's gone. There is no such thing as Obamacare anymore."
  • On Steve Bannon's war on McConnell and the Republican establishment: "Steve is ... a friend of mine ... I can understand where Steve Bannon is coming from. ... I know how he feels. ... There are some Republicans, frankly, that should be ashamed of themselves."
  • On whether he's considering firing Mueller: "No, not at all."
  • "Oh, I hope Hillary runs. Is she going to run? I hope. Hillary, please run again."

P.S. Bannon tells me by email: "McConnell and the GOP Establishment have sown the wind — now be prepared the reap the whirlwind."

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Go deeper

Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults

A vaccination center installed at the Barbara Chapel of St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria. Photo: Alex Halada/AFP via Getty Images

Austria's lower house of parliament voted on Thursday in favor of making COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory for most adults from next month.

Why it matters: The bill is expected to soon pass the upper house and be signed by President Alexander Van der Bellen in order for the law to take effect Feb. 1, per Reuters. It'd make Austria the first EU nation to impose such a sweeping mandate.

Hope King, author of Closer
Updated 5 hours ago - Economy & Business

Peloton pumps its brakes

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Peloton’s popularity is falling as swiftly as it shot up.

Why it matters: Not all pandemic habits stick around. Peloton's trajectory over the past two years exemplifies how challenging it's been for companies to gauge shifts in consumer demand — particularly in sectors heavily altered by the pandemic.

Mitch McConnell's remarks on Black voters raise ire

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during a Capitol Hill news conference earlier this year. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been widely criticized for comments he made this week about Black American voters.

Driving the news: When asked by a reporter Wednesday about concerns among voters of color, McConnell said "the concern is misplaced, because if you look at the statistics, Black American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans."