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Donald Trump makes his way across the South Lawn. Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

We can’t overstate the severity of President Trump’s buyer's remorse from signing last month's spending bill. It could even be a turning point in his presidency, on the issue of immigration and his level of cooperation with Republican leaders; Sources who’ve discussed it with Trump say it freaked him out to see the array of usually friendly faces on Fox News’ opinion shows ripping into him for signing a bill that spent a ton of money, but gave lots away to liberal priorities and did little for his signature promise to build a wall.

Why this matters: Truth is that Trump had little clue what was in the largest spending bill ever passed. Conventional wisdom on Capitol Hill has been that nothing will happen on immigration after the early failure to cut a deal this year. Republican leadership sources were telling us that the court decision to keep DACA alive took away Trump’s deadline and removed the pressure on Congress to act. But now some of those sources are nervous, realizing that Trump won’t let the issue fade into the background.

Trump wants action to toughen immigration laws, and he’s hopping mad that it hasn't happened. He’s grasping at whatever executive tools are available. But watch for him to force action before the end of September, when the government funding expires.

  • A lot could change between now and then. But based on what Trump has been telling confidants, we expect a showdown — and possibly a shutdown — then. 

Be smart: An election eve fracas that forces Republicans to contemplate a government shutdown vs. harsher immigration laws will motivate some Republican voters. But it could further endanger vulnerable Republican incumbents in swing seats, in a campaign year already stacked against them. 

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”

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