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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Another reason this is a historic week — and what President Trump should really worry about — is that lots of different Republicans have been turning on him over different topics.

Why it matters: A former Trump aide who asked to be described as "a Trump ally" told Axios that the sudden wave of criticism from the Hill over Syria and Mattis should scare the president because he would desperately need these lawmakers' support during a possible impeachment battle.

  • "Once Republican lawmakers start rebuking the president publicly like this over policy, it makes it easier for them to say: 'It's not just Mueller or ethics. There are other concerns.' Then it's a slippery slope."

Catch up quick: In an unusually harsh statement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was "distressed" about Mattis' departure: "It is regrettable that the president must now choose a new Secretary of Defense. But I urge him to select a leader who shares Secretary Mattis's ... principles."

  • Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said after the Mattis announcement: "This is a sad day for America."

Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake: "Donald Trump may not know it yet, but his presidency is collapsing."

  • "As long as [Mattis] served the president, reluctant Republicans could point to the Pentagon and say: If Mattis supports Trump, then so do I. They can no longer do that."

Be smart: We talked all day yesterday with Republican officials, operatives and advisers who are truly scared for America.

  • But it's telling that few have the courage to say it publicly.

What to watch: There’s a working assumption inside the White House that Trump will be impeached by the House. He would then need a rock-solid base of 34 Republican senators to refuse to remove him from office (which takes 67 votes).

  • So nothing matters more to Trump than keeping his base happy and loyal. 

Go deeper: As a sign of the mood inside, officials at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue tell us that Trump is complaining about his incoming chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, in conversations inside the West Wing and with Capitol Hill.

  • Trump asked one trusted adviser: "Did you know [Mulvaney] called me 'a terrible human being'" back during the campaign?
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Go deeper

Harry and Meghan accuse British royal family of racism

Photo: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via Reuters

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle delivered a devastating indictment of the U.K. royal family in their conservation with Oprah Winfrey: Both said unnamed relatives had expressed concern about what the skin tone of their baby would be. And they accused "the firm" of character assassination and "perpetuating falsehoods."

Why it matters: An institution that thrives on myth now faces harsh reality. The explosive two-hour interview gave an unprecedented, unsparing window into the monarchy: Harry said his father and brother "are trapped," and Markle revealed that the the misery of being a working royal drove her to thoughts of suicide.

Updated 4 hours ago - Axios Twin Cities

In photos: Thousands rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Demonstrators on March 7 outside the Hennepin County Government Center, where the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with murdering George Floyd, will begin in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of protesters marched through Minneapolis' streets Sunday, urging justice for George Floyd on the eve of the start of former police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death, per AFP.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start Monday, with jury selection procedures.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
7 hours ago - Health

Pfizer CEO feels "liberated" after taking COVID vaccine

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla tells "Axios on HBO" that he recently received his first of two doses of the company's coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: Bourla told CNBC in December that company polling found that one of the most effective ways to increase confidence in the vaccine was to have the CEO take it.

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