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Evan Vucci / AP

The president-elect, who flew down to Washington last evening for a fancy dinner honoring his prospective Cabinet, showed up unannounced at the Vice President's Dinner, a fundraiser starring Mike Pence (entree was duck) at the National Portrait Gallery.

He gave lengthy, no-teleprompter remarks that were closed to the press. But an Axios AM reader sent us a partial tape. (Don't forget to do that.) Trump was feisty, funny and all over the place. A sampler of what was on his mind, 36 hours before show time:

  1. "I chose Mike, and we went out on the trail, and I'll tell you: From Day 1, we started hitting it. We had our little ups and downs. You might have known there were some little canyons there [laughter] on occasion. … We don't give up, do we, folks? We never give up." [Applause.]
  2. "A lot of you are political people. A lot of you are just rich people … " [Laughter]
  3. "And we put out a tweet: Tweet! Tweet! [Laughter, applause.] I mean, you know, when I get all that dishonest stuff, one tweet can straighten it all out." [Laughter.]
  4. "We could not have done it without the people in this room. The people in this room are very special. Everyone is special. [Applause.] They're friends of mine. Sheldon Adelson is here someplace. … I think he only gave $125 million." [Applause.]
  5. "I think we ought to straighten out the PACs — right, folks? I think they should be able to give to a campaign and expose it and everything. But I think this PAC stuff — maybe we can get it straightened out, because it's a little ridiculous. [Laughter.] You have no idea. It's like the great sinkhole. You have no idea who's doing it, who's running them. I think people get very rich running PACs, but we're going to try and get that straightened out because it's crazy."
  6. "We're going to cut your taxes. We're going to get rid of the regulations that are strangling the economy. [Applause.] … I know the biggest businessmen and the small ones that love me and voted for me, and I love them. … Almost every single person that I ask was more excited about the regulations being cut than the taxes, which is surprising. [Applause.] So, we're going to do that."
  7. "Any Never Trumpers in this room? [Laughter.] No. … These people were angry. They didn't even know me. I never met them. … They're really right now on a respirator. … And we actually do have some Never Trumpers that are fantastic people. They just didn't understand me."
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Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

The latest: Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne identified the 400 Mawozo gang as the group responsible, in a statement to AP.

Hollywood union reaches deal with studios to avert strike

Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

A Hollywood workers' union reached a tentative deal with studios, networks and streamers that will guarantee better working conditions, meal breaks and increased wages for low-paid workers, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) announced Saturday night.

Why it matters: The deal, which still needs to be ratified by IATSE members, will avert a nationwide strike by film and television workers that was set to start Monday. It would have been the first strike in the union's 128-year history.

Bill Clinton released from hospital following treatment for non-COVID infection

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton was discharged from the University of California, Irvine Medical Center on Sunday, nearly a week after he was admitted for a non-COVID-related infection, according to his spokesperson Angel Ureña.

What they're saying: "His fever and white blood cell count are normalized and he will return home to New York to finish his course of antibiotics," wrote Dr. Alpesh Amin, who has been overseeing the team of doctors treating Clinton. "On behalf of everyone at UC Irvine Medical Center, we were honored to have treated him and will continue to monitor his progress."

Worth noting: Clinton had a urinary tract infection that spread to his bloodstream, per CNN.

  • The California-based medical team had been administering IV antibiotics and fluids, and was in constant communication with Clinton's New York team, including his cardiologist, according to the former president's physicians.
  • President Biden spoke by phone with Clinton on Friday to see how he was doing, and the catch-up included a discussion of recent politics.