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Andrew Harnik / AP

With wiretapping, WikiLeaks and a rebellion on the right over Trumpcare specifics, the president has mostly had a terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad week in the media. But even Democrats who have visited the White House tell us that behind the scenes, he's coming into his own with the art of the schmooze:

  • Trump played Good Cop in a meeting yesterday in the Roosevelt Room (which friends say he calls "the Board Room") with conservative groups that have been skeptical or critical of the House GOP repeal-and-replace package. Some participants issued more positive statements afterward.
  • A White House official said: "There's a big change in tone from a day or two ago. I think we're getting there."
  • Trump loves building things, and attendees at a Cabinet Room lunch on infrastructure yesterday said that while he's still learning many policy subjects, he talked confidently about airports, roads and rural broadband as components of the public-private package he plans to push (probably next year, for reasons of both calendar and politics).
  • The Boston Globe's lead story today is "Former Trump foes get charm treatment: Senators invited to meals, flights," by Annie Linskey: Marco "Rubio scored a seat on Air Force One Friday, [Lindsey] Graham shared a private lunch with the president Tuesday, and [Ted] Cruz, along with his family, accepted an invitation to dine with Trump at the White House" last night.
  • This morning, Trump welcomes the CEOs of community banks from as far as Missouri, Texas and New Mexico "to discuss how excessive regulation has adversely impacted their businesses."
  • Vice President Pence is holding weekly dinners with senators, and hosted five Republicans last night at his residence at the Naval Observatory.

Chaser: It'll take more than charm ... Lead story on WSJ.com, "Opposition Mounts as GOP's Health Bill Undergoes Review: Groups representing hospitals, doctors and seniors are urging House GOP leaders to put the brakes on their plan to overhaul Obamacare."

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Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.

New wave of strikes will test worker power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thousands of John Deere workers hit the picket line this week after the union smacked down a new worker contract from the farm and equipment maker.

Why it matters: There’s a wave of worker angst spreading across the country. They wield new power that’s come with a historic worker shortage.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 hours ago - Technology

The smart city comes of age

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Better sensors, more intelligent AI, and the coming wave of 5G wireless could finally fulfill the promise of the smart city.

Why it matters: How we organize, run and power our cities will be increasingly important in the years ahead, as urbanization expands and the damaging effects of climate change compound.