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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

WSJ has an inside look at Trump's first week in the White House. It tells the story of an "easily bored" president casually upending well-established DC norms. The most interesting bits:

  • Biting the hand…: Trump told a group of congressional leaders that he was intrigued by the idea of doing away with the Electoral College. Mitch McConnell talked him down by asking him to imagine the insanity of a nationwide popular vote recount.
  • Consolidation of power: Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner are developing an internal team to strategize Trump's long-term goals. The Strategic Development Group is being called an "internal McKinsey."
  • Trouble in Trump-adise?: Rumors of a power struggle are starting to emerge amongst the inner circle as the Bannon/Kushner faction try to minimize Kellyanne Conway.
  • Easy access: Trump often calls up Republican senators himself. "I know many of these people."

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
3 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.