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Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

A new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll shows that 55% of Americans (and 54% of independents) think Trump's mental fitness is a legitimate issue. But this is as partisan as any other question, with most Republicans saying the questions are "unfair and politically motivated."

Well, Trump gave his skeptics plenty of fodder yesterday, including a bizarre midnight tweet.

While you slept:

  • At three minutes of midnight, President Trump tweeted that he's canceling a planned visit to London because of a previous administration's change in the U.S. embassy location.
  • He blamed the Obama administration, but the change actually began under George W. Bush.

The president called Haiti, El Salvador and African countries “shithole countries," stunning a bipartisan group of lawmakers with the comments he neither denied nor felt the need to defend:

  • What Trump said, as first reported by the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?"
  • Two Americas: The comments were branded racist by CNN's Don Lemon, a late-night anchor Trump often watches. But Fox's Tucker Carlson called Trump's point "something that almost every single person in America actually agrees with."
  • Overnight AP headline: "Africa startled by Trump's sudden and vulgar attention.”

The day had begun with a crazy plot twist, as Trump tweeted (based on a "Fox & Friends" rant about the Obama administration) skepticism about renewing the FISA warrantless surveillance program, one of his administration's highest Hill priorities. Then he reversed himself before the House voted.

  • As if scolding himself, he tweeted: "We need it! Get smart!"
  • WashPost: "House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) spent 30 minutes on the phone with the president explaining the differences between domestic and foreign surveillance, as many fellow Republicans reacted in disbelief and befuddlement."

What's next ... Before heading to Mar-a-Lago this afternoon, Trump has his annual physical at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
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Go deeper

Updated 27 mins ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.