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Michael Snyder / AP

I'm told that in addition to Ivanka Trump, the presidential confidants making a last-minute pitch to soften the Paris deal included national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who argued to President Trump that he could accomplish what he needed to domestically, while adding significant caveats that would avoid alienating allies.

Trump rejected the advice in part because he thought a clean exit looked stronger, and partly because he was tired of all the conflicting advice he was getting.

But the biggest reason was all about that base: Using the muscle memory from the campaign, Trump is increasingly obsessed with his core voters. Officials explain that Trump and his inner circle learned in the darkest days of the campaign that they could power through by doubling down and focusing on the the base, so they're bringing those instincts to government.

Sound smart: McMaster, in these meetings, is the opposite of Trump: precise, detailed, methodical and persistent. And this style can drive Trump nuts at times.

CNN's Jim Acosta, on White House unwillingness to say whether Trump still thinks climate change is a hoax: "It guarantees the question will be asked over and over again."

WashPost lead story, "Europe's view of U.S. ties darkens," by Michael Birnbaum in Brussels: "The pullout left the United States a global outlier and, many European leaders and experts said, a severely diminished force in the world. And it gave China fresh weight in a newly unbalanced landscape where longtime U.S. allies are searching for stability."

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Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
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  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.

Biden Cabinet confirmation schedule: When to watch hearings

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The first hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations begin on Tuesday, with testimony from his picks to lead the departments of State, Homeland and Defense.

Why it matters: It's been a slow start for a process that usually takes place days or weeks earlier for incoming presidents. The first slate of nominees will appear on Tuesday before a Republican-controlled Senate, but that will change once the new Democratic senators-elect from Georgia are sworn in.