Small Russian flags bearing the word "Trump" are thrown by a protester toward President Trump on Tuesday. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

So much media coverage centers on four Republican Trump critics — one retired, two retiring and one facing a deadly, possibly career- or life-ending cancer: George W. Bush, Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (Tenn.) and Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (Ariz.).

Lost in this: President Trump enjoys public support (despite private gripes) from most of the 49 other Senate Republicans and 239 House Republicans, including every person in elected leadership.

  • Trump got standing ovations from Senate Republicans, with Corker in the room.
  • This flows from his strong, sustained support of GOP voters.
  • Corker is right: Republicans in private cringe at the thought of President Trump. But it's meaningless if they publicly bow to him, routinely vote for him and never condemn him.
  • This — not the criticism by the few — is the story of the moment and the first nine months: With few accomplishments, countless petty GOP fights and slights, Trump is strong as ever.
  • Flake is the proof. While cable lapped up his anti-Trump retirement speech ("I will not be complicit"), the truth is he was forced out because he wrote a book critical of the president and saw his base turn on him. If Flake ran, he was toast. Arizona Republicans prefer Trump to Flake.
  • Corker is proof, too. He sucked up to Trump before turning on him. Once Corker turned, he was probably toast, too. Tennessee Republicans prefer Trump to Corker, too.

Sound smart: For all the warnings of how harshly history will judge the Trump enablers, that history will need to be told in an exceptionally long book — because the vast majority of Republicans are forever marked as Trump Republicans.

Sign up for Axios newsletters to get our smart brevity delivered to your inbox every morning.

Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
Please enter a valid email.
Please enter a valid email.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Subscribed! Look for Axios AM and PM in your inbox tomorrow or read the latest Axios AM now.

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases rise in 25 states

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

New coronavirus infections rose over the past week in half the country.

Why it matters: The U.S. remains largely unable or unwilling to control the spread of the virus.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 33,976,447 — Total deaths: 1,014,266 — Total recoveries: 23,644,023Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 7,233,945 — Total deaths: 206,959 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.
Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump signs stopgap bill to prevent government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Trump arrives at the U.S. Capitol in March. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill to extend current levels of government funding after funding expired briefly, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed early Thursday.

Why it matters: The move averts a government shutdown before the Nov. 3 election. The Senate on Wednesday passed the legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.