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The National Enquirer

NYT's Maggie Haberman told the "Longform Podcast" last week that President Trump is "some version of Harold [and] the Purple Crayon." It's a children's book about a boy named Harold who has a purple crayon and the power to create his own world by drawing it.

"[Trump] is drawing his own reality and he wants you to kind of follow him down that path," Haberman says. "In his view, all reality is subjective and it can be kind of twisted and played with."

It's one of the most insightful observations I've heard about Trump. And I thought of it while reading the July 24 edition of the National Enquirer:

  • Here's the Enquirer's take on Trump's handling of the North Korean missile crisis: "Faced with nuclear doomsday like no president since John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Donald Trump has taken bold and extraordinary steps to ensure America survives the siege and emerges with total victory!"
  • The Enquirer also says "Trump has both China's Xi Jinping and Russia's Vladimir Putin in the palm of his hand."

Why this matters: I've been paying close attention to the tabloid since the campaign because David Pecker, the publisher, is an old friend of Trump's and often channels his worldview. The magazine draws reality as the President would like to bend it. It is Trump's purple crayon.

Go deeper... The New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin delves into the National Enquirer's "fervor for Trump."

Go deeper

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.
Off the Rails

Episode 3: Descent into madness

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/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 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."

Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Trump confidante Matt Schlapp interviews Jared Kushner last February. Schlapp is seeking a pardon for a biotech executive. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

A flood of convicted criminals has retained lobbyists since November’s presidential election to press President Trump for pardons or commutations before he leaves office.

What we're hearing: Among them is Nickie Lum Davis, a Hawaii woman who pleaded guilty last year to abetting an illicit foreign lobbying campaign on behalf of fugitive Malaysian businessman Jho Low. Trump confidante Matt Schlapp also is seeking a pardon for a former biopharmaceutical executive convicted of fraud less than two months ago.