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Susan Walsh / AP

Politico's Shane Goldmacher has a story this morning, in which six White House staff leak to him about a confidential planning meeting that happened last week. Only about 30 staff were in the meeting, led by Trump's communications director Mike Dubke, in a conference room in the Eisenhower Executive Office.

That's a 20% leak rate. Bad!

What it means: The leaks illustrate a dynamic that's defined Trumpworld since the campaign — a stark and persistent division (and distrust) between staff who view themselves as "America First" Trump loyalists, and those who they view as either RNC implants ("Reince's people") or Johnny-come-lately consultants who are more comfortable with the establishment than with populist nationalists.

Highlights:

  • The purpose of the meeting was to craft a communications strategy to mark Trump's first 100 days in office.
  • Dubke pitched the need for a "rebranding" of Trump — a comment he tells Goldmacher was misconstrued.
  • Dubke said Trump's foreign policy posed a messaging challenge because "there is no Trump doctrine."
  • White House aides weren't thrilled with the rebranding or doctrine comments or the general brainstorming setup. "I think the president's head would explode if he heard that," one official said of the "rebranding" comment. Another official complained the meeting made them "feel like I was back in 5th grade."

One anonymous quote in Goldmacher's story provides the clue: the source says Dubke rubbed some people the wrong way by saying there's no Trump Doctrine. "On the campaign we were pretty clear about what he wanted to do," the official said. "He was elected on a vision of America First. America First is the Trump doctrine."

Dubke's response to Goldmacher: "It was a brainstorming session and I really wish they had spoken up in the room so that we could have had an open and honest conversation...It is unproductive adjudicating internal discussions through the media."

Go deeper

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

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 ... Trump: "Sometimes you need a little crazy"

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."

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