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January 2019: Get the latest monthly headline news from multiple news sources and news links. Get real facts, real news from major news originations.

The nine-term Republican congressman from Iowa has been spouting racist views and canoodling with white supremacists for years. After questioning how the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” had “become offensive” in a recent interview with The New York Times, Republican congressman Steve King of Iowa was harshly rebuked by GOP leaders and stripped of all his committee assignments in the current Congress. “We will not tolerate this in the Republican Party,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) declared Monday, referring to King’s racist views. McCarthy failed to mention, however, the many years of tolerance that the GOP — including President Donald Trump — has shown to King’s lengthy history of bigotry. King, who was elected to a ninth term in November and held seats on the House committees on agriculture, the judiciary and small business, has been repeatedly called out over the years for his ties to white supremacists and his incendiary remarks about race and immigration, including a 2017 tweet described as “the most racist comment by a member of the U.S. Congress in decades.” Yet, save for the occasional verbal reproach, Republicans have largely turned a blind eye to the congressman’s racism.

SEN. MARK WARNER: I think history will show that Donald Trump, the supposed great dealmaker, and I’m working on a piece on this, that business schools and management consultants will look back for years and say this was the most inept negotiation. He boxed himself in a corner. He didn’t empower his negotiators like the vice president or Lindsey Graham or Mitch McConnell. He’s not allowed any win-win circumstance and the disregard he has paid to the federal workers where he has been cavalier; never sat down and visited with them. And to add insult to injury — this doesn’t get a lot of news —we, bipartisan, promised the federal workforce a very meager 1.9 percent pay increase. He wiped that pay increase out.

CNN's John Avlon examines Trump's claim that he's tougher on Russia than any other presidentAvlon on Trump's Russia claim: Not true

(CNN) In the chaotic aftermath at the FBI following Director James Comey's firing, a half-dozen senior FBI officials huddled to set in motion the momentous move to open an investigation into President Donald Trump that included trying to understand why he was acting in ways that seemed to benefit Russia. They debated a range of possibilities, according to portions of transcripts of two FBI officials' closed-door congressional interviews obtained by CNN. On one end was the idea that Trump fired Comey at the behest of Russia. On the other was the possibility that Trump didn't have an improper relationship with the Kremlin and was acting within the bounds of his executive authority, the transcripts show. James Baker, then-FBI general counsel, said the FBI officials were contemplating with regard to Russia whether Trump was "acting at the behest of and somehow following directions, somehow executing their will." "That was one extreme. The other extreme is that the President is completely innocent, and we discussed that too," Baker told House investigators last year. "There's a range of things this could possibly be. We need to investigate, because we don't know whether, you know, the worst-case scenario is possibly true or the President is totally innocent and we need to get this thing over with — and so he can move forward with his agenda."

Republican lawmakers on Sunday sought to temper the impact of the latest bombshell reports involving President Trump and Russia, while their Democratic colleagues renewed calls to protect special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. The responses came after both The New York Times and The Washington Post reported new details over the weekend involving allegations of Trump's close ties with Moscow, sparking renewed concerns about the fate of Mueller's probe. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on NBC criticized Washington, D.C.'s, focus on the Mueller investigation as out of touch with the rest of the country. And Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a close ally of the president, raised doubts about some of the reporting's accuracy. The New York Times reported Friday that the FBI was so concerned about Trump’s firing of former bureau chief James Comey that it opened an inquiry into whether the president was working on behalf of Russian interests. interests. And The Washington Post reported on Saturday that Trump has kept details of his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin from top officials in his administration, including withholding notes from an interpreter.

"Why is he so chummy with Vladimir Putin?" asked Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, adding, "I don't get it." Democrats said two bombshell reports from The New York Times and Washington Post regarding President Donald Trump and Russia have raised serious questions. Meanwhile, their Republican counterparts downplayed the new reporting and asked Americans to consider instead the president's actions on Russia. "You know, there's so many questions raised," Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said on ABC's "This Week." "Why is he so chummy with Vladimir Putin, this man who is a former KGB agent, never been a friend to the United States, invaded our allies, threatens us around the world, and tries his damnedest to undermine our elections? Why is this President Trump's best buddy? I don't get it." On Friday, The Times reported that Trump's firing of James Comey as FBI director triggered a counterintelligence investigation into whether the president was working to advance Russia's interests. The administration's initial rationale for firing Comey was his handling of the investigation into 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, but Trump almost immediately connected Comey's firing to the Russia investigation during a 2017 interview with NBC News' Lester Holt. Then on Saturday, The Post reported that Trump personally intervened to hide readouts of meetings with the Russian president, such as the one-on-one meeting the two leaders held in Helsinki, Finland, over the summer. The Post reported that Trump went to "extraordinary lengths" to keep conversations with Putin under wraps, with current and former U.S. officials telling the publication that Trump went as far as confiscating notes from his interpreter and barring them from discussing details of the meetings with other administration officials.

In May 2017, the FBI opened an investigation into whether President Trump was working on Russia’s behalf. The FBI officially opened a counterintelligence investigation into whether President Donald Trump was compromised by Russia in May 2017, according to a new report from the New York Times. Per the Times, this investigation was meant to determine whether the president himself was either “working on behalf of Russia against American interests” or “had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence” in a way that placed national security at risk. We’ve known for some time that the FBI launched a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russia links in July 2016, and that they began investigating the president himself for obstruction of justice in May 2017. But this is the first outright confirmation that at a certain moment, the FBI explicitly began investigating Donald Trump’s Russia ties — including whether, as president, he was acting on Russia’s behalf.

President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said. Trump did so after a meeting with Putin in 2017 in Hamburg that was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. U.S. officials learned of Trump’s actions when a White House adviser and a senior State Department official sought information from the interpreter beyond a readout shared by Tillerson. The constraints that Trump imposed are part of a broader pattern by the president of shielding his communications with Putin from public scrutiny and preventing even high-ranking officials in his own administration from fully knowing what he has told one of the United States’ main adversaries. - What is Trump hiding from the American people? What classified information did Trump give Putin? Will the American people ever know what Trump and his handler talked about?

Following a report that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into President Donald Trump's relationship with Russia, former Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi said it is likely that Robert Mueller indeed has "classified" evidence. “I think this is particularly sobering, even for career counterintelligence professionals who always in the back of their minds think there is an outside possibility someone could rise to high office who might be playing for another team,” Figliuzzi said during an appearance on MSNBC's AM Joy. "To see this in writing, to hear this report — if it’s accurate to say the bureau actually opened a case on Donald J. Trump — is really like hitting the American people in the gut." Figluizzi and AM Joy host Joy Reid referenced a report from the New York Times, published on Friday, which revealed that the FBI began the counterintelligence investigation just days after former FBI director James Comey was fired. The goal of the investigation, the Times said, was to determine if Trump "was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence." While Mueller took over the counterintelligence case and combined it with his own investigation, the Times was unable to determine if he is still pursuing the counterintelligence matter.

The New York Times has reported that, in the wake of President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, the bureau opened a counterintelligence investigation into the president. At one level, of course, this is not surprising—John Bellinger identified Donald Trump as a potential danger to U.S. national security in 2015, and Benjamin Wittes followed up in 2016 and 2017. There is a lot of information in the public record, much of it recounted in the Times article, about the president’s unusual behavior with respect to Russia. But, of course, on another level it is terribly shocking—and just plain terrible—that the president has behaved as he has, and that the FBI is investigating him.

State and Pentagon officials were rattled by the request. On a warm night in early September, militants fired three mortars into Baghdad’s sprawling diplomatic quarter, home to the U.S. Embassy. The shells—launched by a group aligned with Iran—landed in an open lot, harming no one. But they triggered unusual alarm in Washington, where President Trump’s national security team conducted a series of meetings to discuss a forceful American response. As part of the talks, Mr. Trump’s National Security Council, led by John Bolton, asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with military options to strike Iran. The request, which hasn’t been previously reported, generated concern at the Pentagon and State Department, current and former U.S. officials say. “It definitely rattled people,” said one former senior U.S. administration official. “People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”

Rep. Steve King  is facing a new political storm over his latest inflammatory comments  about immigration and race ­— remarks in which he questioned why the  terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” were offensive. Talk  of censuring the Iowa Republican is picking up as he takes heavy  criticism from his own party. There are also questions about whether he  could lose the distinction of being a subcommittee ranking member in the  current Congress. A Friday floor speech in which he expressed  regret for “heartburn” felt in Congress and in his district and the  country over his remarks did not appear to quell the growing storm. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the Senate's only black Republican, penned a Washington Post op-ed on Friday warning that King reflects poorly on the rest of the GOP. - The KKK and white supremacist have killed more Americans in America than any external terror organization, but are not listed as the domestic terror organizations they are. If Black lives mattered in America, the KKK and other white supremacist groups would be branded as the domestic terrorist groups they are.

Friday night, the New York Times published a bombshell report that the FBI has been investigating whether President Trump “had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests.” The story reframes the focus and purpose of the investigation now headed by Robert Mueller. The probe is not just about Russian election interference, or about Trump’s obstruction of the probe — it is about the secret relationship between Trump and Russia that appears to be causing both these things to happen. The first question to ask yourself when absorbing this story is, what does it mean for a president to be working for Russia, and against the United States? Trump frequently says the United States would be better off if it got along better with Russia — and that position, right or wrong, is certainly not criminally suspect. Presidents obviously have the right to change American foreign policy, and to forge friendships with countries that had been previously hostile. Nixon’s overtures to China, or Obama’s opening of relations with Cuba, did not set off criminal investigations. The FBI would not investigate a president simply for harboring friendly views of a rival state. The potential that Trump is working on behalf of Russia, therefore, by definition posits some kind of corrupt secret relationship. That is to say, it’s an investigation into whether Trump is a Russian asset.

An episode of the 1950s western TV series 'Trackdown' featured a snake  oil salesman named 'Trump' who promised to build a wall in order to  prevent the end of the world.

F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia - Adam Goldman, Michael S. Schmidt and Nicholas Fandos
In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation. The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence. The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice. Agents and senior F.B.I. officials had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude. But the president’s activities before and after Mr. Comey’s firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.

As his border wall fight with Democrats continues, President Donald  Trump finds himself in the awkward position of having to explain what  happened to the idea that Mexico would pay all the costs. Trump tried to dance out of the apparent contradiction on the White  House lawn Jan. 10, the 20th day of a partial government shutdown. "When during the campaign I would say ‘Mexico is going to pay for  it,’ obviously, I never said this, and I never meant they're going to  write out a check," Trump told reporters. "I said they're going to pay  for it. They are." Later on the same day while visiting the border in Texas, Trump  offered the same logic: "When I say Mexico is going to pay for the wall,  that's what I said. Mexico is going to pay. I didn't say they're going  to write me a check for $20 billion or $10 billion." - Donald J. Trump (aka Don the Con) has pulled off the greatest bait and switch ever pulled. Don the Con has done it so well his supports do not realize they been had and the American taxpayer is going to pay for the wall not Mexico.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators met last year with a pollster who worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, CNN reports. GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio is a former associate of Trump’s one-time campaign chief Paul Manafort. The report adds more intrigue to the recent revelation that Manafort himself was accused by Mueller of sharing polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, whom Mueller has alleged holds “ties to a Russian intelligence service.” Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators met last year with a pollster who worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and is a former associate of Trump’s ex-campaign chief Paul Manafort, according to a new report. The report from CNN adds more intrigue to the recent revelation that Manafort himself was accused by Mueller of sharing polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, whom Mueller has alleged holds “ties to a Russian intelligence service,” during the 2016 election. Mueller has been investigating Russia’s meddling in that election, as well as possible coordination between the Kremlin and Trump campaign-related figures. Some Democrats and pundits see Manafort’s distribution of the polling data as new evidence of possible collusion.

FOX News host Shep Smith talks to network legal correspondent Judge Andrew Napolitano about Paul Manafort sharing polling data with a person who is believed to "source for Russian intelligence." Napolitano said, "if this is collusion, "though collusion isn't a crime, this would be collusion." JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO: This shows that Bob Mueller can demonstrate to a court, without the testimony of Paul Manafort, that the campaign had a connection to Russian intelligence and the connection involved information going from the campaign to the Russians. The question is, was this in return for a promise of something from the Russians, and did the candidate, now the president, know about it? SHEP SMITH: And would that be a conspiracy? NAPOLITANO: Yes. Conspiracy is an agreement to commit a crime. The crime would be to receive something of value from the foreign person or government during a campaign. Whether or not the thing of value arrives, the agreement is what is the crime. There was apparently an agreement between the campaign manager and this Russian oligarch. What the oligarch did with the material we gave him, who the campaign manager, Manafort, spoke to in the campaign, Bob Mueller has yet to reveal... SHEP SMITH: If this is collusion, though collusion isn't a crime, this would be collusion. NAPOLITANO: The crime is the conspiracy, the agreement. Collusion is a nonlegal term. SMITH: Oh, I know, but if there's collusion, giving stuff to the Russians about polling data. NAPOLITANO: That would probably fit into that kind of a category.

Meanwhile, federal workers are still without pay. Despite his attempts to cause confusion and chaos  with a national address on the proposed border wall - in which he said  very little - the heat of the Mueller investigation is clearly getting  to Donald. So much so that he's considerably  strengthened his legal team in order to help protect himself as the  feared contents of Mueller's report loom. The significantly larger team has been assembled  with the aim of preventing Trump's discussions with top legal advisors  being disclosed to House Democrats or revealed in Mueller's forthcoming  report. The Independent report that, "The strategy to strongly assert the president's executive privilege  on both fronts is being developed under newly arrived White House  counsel Pat Cipollone, who has hired 17 lawyers in recent weeks to help  in the effort." Were Trump to succeed in  blocking areas of Mueller's report from becoming public it would enrage  Democrats, many of which have long been hoping the contents of the  report will give them grounds to issue subpoenas. With  the report potentially due as soon as next month, Democrats are  especially concerned that Trump's legal team is attempting to conceal  obstruction of justice by the president - an impeachable offence.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday blocked two House-passed funding bills that would reopen the federal government.
Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Ben Cardin  (D-Md.), surrounded by roughly two dozen of their Senate Democratic  colleagues, tried to get consent to bring up a bill that would fund the  Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through Feb. 8, as well as a  separate package that would fund the remaining agencies without  current-year appropriations through Sept. 30. But McConnell objected, arguing they would be “show votes” and saying that he and Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) made an "explicit commitment" to avoid such votes. “The  last thing we need to do right now is trade pointless — absolutely  pointless — show votes back and forth across the aisle,” McConnell  said. Under Senate rules, any senator can try to force a vote or pass a bill, but any one senator can block them.

Before embarking on a trip to the southern border that he has already derided as pointless, President Donald Trump stopped to chat with reporters  about the ongoing government shutdown, whether he will declare a  national emergency to ensure the wall on America's southern border gets  built and, yes, his thoughts on the announcement that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife are getting a divorce. It  was a tour de, um, something. Below I've picked out the most notable  lines from Trump -- and added some context and fact checking.

Special counsel Robert Mueller sought information directly last year  from one of Donald Trump's campaign pollsters who is also a former  business associate of Paul Manafort's. Mueller's team met with pollster  Tony Fabrizio in February 2018, an interview that has not been  previously reported and takes on new significance after Manafort's  attorneys revealed that Mueller's team is still interested in how  Manafort shared polling data with his Russian intelligence-linked  colleague. CNN journalists observed Fabrizio leaving the special  counsel's office on the first of February last year and have since  confirmed he was meeting with Mueller's team.

(CNN)On Tuesday we learned -- thanks to a redaction error in a filing in the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference -- that Paul Manafort met with a Russian-linked operative named Konstantin Kilimnik during the course of the 2016 campaign. And in that meeting, according to special counsel Robert Mueller's office, Manafort discussed policies related to the Russia-Ukraine relationship and shared polling data about the 2016 campaign with Kilimnik. That. Is. Huge. You'll remember that President Donald Trump's constant refrain when it comes to Manafort, who has already been convicted of a series of financial crimes related to his dealing with the Ukrainian government, is that any and all charges against him happened well before he entered Trump's orbit. "Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign," tweeted Trump in October 2017. "But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus????" Which, until we got a look at the accidentally unredacted material on Tuesday, was true! While you could argue -- and many people have -- that Trump should have done his due diligence on Manafort, who had spent years advising foreign governments, before hiring him to run his campaign in the spring of 2016, it was hard to dispute Trump's main point that any and all wrongdoing by Manafort happened prior to his being involved with Trump. Except, not now. Manafort, according to the filings, had conversations with Kilimnik, who is suspected to be a member of the Russian intelligence organization, while he was serving as the head of Trump's campaign. (Manafort's official title was "campaign chairman" but functioned as campaign manager during his time with Trump.) Those conversations apparently came even as Russian officials were hacking into the email servers at the Democratic National Committee -- which led to a series of damaging leaks via the website WikiLeaks later in 2016.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is planning to leave the Justice Department shortly after William Barr, the President's nominee for attorney general, is confirmed, according to a source familiar with his thinking. The source said Rosenstein is not being forced out, and he has conveyed his thinking to the White House. The deputy attorney general has been managing special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and has signaled to other officials that he would leave when he was satisfied that Mueller's investigation was either complete or close enough to completion that it was protected.
When exactly Rosenstein leaves could shift depending on the timing of Barr's confirmation and the naming of a new deputy attorney general. An official briefed on the discussions said Rosenstein wants to ensure a smooth transition, which includes the Mueller investigation.

(CNN) The Supreme Court Monday turned away an effort by an unnamed foreign government-owned corporation to resist a subpoena related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. The court's order restores a daily fine the company will face that had been put on hold by Chief Justice John Roberts while the full court considered the issue. It is an apparent loss for the company and marks the full court's first foray into the Mueller probe. The order will put pressure on the company to turn over information to the grand jury or otherwise cooperate with Mueller as contempt fines continue to accumulate. The company will have to pay $50,000 a day until it complies by turning over information, the DC Circuit said in an opinion published Tuesday. Those fees haven't yet piled up, but will begin now since the Supreme Court declined earlier Tuesday to freeze the fees. There were no noted dissents in the high court's two-sentence order.

The disclosure was made by Manafort's lawyers in a poorly-redacted section of court papers. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to federal investigators about sharing campaign poll data with a Russian associate linked to Russian intelligence services, according to court papers filed Tuesday. The disclosure was made by Manafort's lawyers in a poorly redacted section of court papers that were filed to rebut the special counsel's allegations that he lied to federal investigators. The redacted section says that Manafort was not truthful about providing polling data related to the 2016 presidential campaign to Konstantin Kilimnik.

It's more gripping than any box set we can get our hands on right now. The investigations into Russian interference in the US election, and whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin, continue to deliver daily developments and drama worthy of anything seen in House of Cards. Thirty-three people have now been charged by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. Here is a guide to the main characters in the first four seasons of the only political drama that matters.

It's a document that became so famous — or infamous — in the two years since its existence was reported that it's now known by a simple two-word phrase: the dossier. The controversial 35 pages of intelligence memos compiled by retired British spy Christopher Steele paint a picture of widespread conspiracy of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. To Democrats and President Donald Trump's critics, the documents tell a story that could amount to treason. To Trump and some of his loudest defenders, the dossier was flawed from its inception, abused by the FBI to pursue an investigation into Trump's team that preceded the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller. Trump has said the memos are "phony" and full of lies, and has pointed out that the project was funded by his political opponents, including Hillary Clinton's campaign. It was two years ago, January 6, 2017, that then-FBI Director James Comey briefed President-elect Trump about some details from the dossier. Days later, CNN broke the story of that briefing and reported that the FBI was investigating the accuracy of the allegations. CNN did not publish the dossier, because of its unverified status, but BuzzFeed soon posted all the memos online "so that Americans can make up their own minds." The most salacious claims in the dossier remain unproven two years after it first burst into the public conversation, but many of the allegations that form the bulk of the intelligence memos have held up over time, or have proven to be at least partially true.

Rachel Maddow reviews instances when Donald Trump parroted Russian narratives on international affairs in a way that seems oddly out of character from Trump's typical presentation of how he understands the world.

A Wall Street Journal editorial published Friday ripped into  President Donald Trump for comments he made about the Soviet Union's  decadelong war in Afghanistan, blasting his “reprehensible” recollection  of the conflict and his “slander” of U.S. allies. The editorial  referred to comments made by Trump during a meandering 90-minute  meeting of his Cabinet on Wednesday, where Trump belittled the role of  U.S. allies in the Middle East, accusing them of sending minimal  resources to back up U.S. troops in comparison with the American  presence there.

Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, the Russian  lawyer who in 2016 met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower, was  charged on Tuesday in a separate case that showed her close ties to the  Kremlin. Ms. Veselnitskaya, a pivotal figure in the investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election,  was charged by federal prosecutors in New York with seeking to thwart  an earlier Justice Department investigation into money laundering that  involved an influential Russian businessman and his investment firm. The money-laundering case was not directly related to the Trump Tower meeting. But a federal indictment returned in Manhattan seemed to confirm that Ms. Veselnitskaya had deep ties  to senior Russian government officials and rekindled questions about  whether the Kremlin tried to use her as an intermediary to Donald J.  Trump’s campaign. The charges stem  from the Justice Department’s 2013 civil investigation into the role  that some of Ms. Veselnitskaya’s clients — Prevezon Holdings Ltd. and  its owner, Denis P. Katsyv — played in a scheme to launder ill-gotten  money through New York real estate purchases.

It came after he met senior Democrats, who refused his requests for funding. The stand-off has seen Mr Trump withhold support for a bill to fully fund the government until he gets money for the border wall. He said he was prepared for the partial government shutdown - now in its third week - to last years. Around 800,000 federal workers have been without pay since 22 December.

(CNN) - A  US Marine was shot and killed while on duty at the Marine Barracks in  Washington, DC, early Tuesday morning, the Marine Corps said in a news  release. The fatal injury was not self-inflicted, Marine Gunnery Sgt. John Jackson said.

Skeptical reporting has still been too favorable. The 2017 tax cut has received pretty bad  press, and rightly so. Its proponents made big promises about soaring  investment and wages, and also assured everyone that it would pay for  itself; none of that has happened. Yet  coverage actually hasn’t been negative enough. The story you mostly  read runs something like this: The tax cut has caused corporations to  bring some money home, but they’ve used it for stock buybacks rather  than to raise wages, and the boost to growth has been modest. That  doesn’t sound great, but it’s still better than the reality: No money  has, in fact, been brought home, and the tax cut has probably reduced  national income. Indeed, at least 90 percent of Americans will end up  poorer thanks to that cut.

Incoming Utah Senator and former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney slammed President Trump's character on Tuesday, writing in a Washington Post op-ed that it fell short of what the country needed. "With  the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in  qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province  where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring," Romney wrote. Romney, who  criticized Trump in the run up to the 2016 election, said the events of  the past month, including the departures of Defense Secretary Jim  Mattis and Chief of Staff John Kelly, marked a worrying decline for  Trump's presidency. "On balance, his conduct over the past two  years, particularly his actions this month, is evidence that the  president has not risen to the mantle of the office," Romney wrote. Romney argued that Trump's "shortfall" set a poor example for America's "public character," while alienating U.S. allies.

President Donald Trump rang in the new  year Tuesday by denouncing a new Democratic plan to re-open the  government because it lacks money for a wall along the U.S. Mexico  border. "The Democrats, much as I  suspected, have allocated no money for a new Wall. So imaginative!"  Trump tweeted. "The problem is, without a Wall there can be no real  Border Security - and our Country must finally have a Strong and Secure  Southern Border!"
Democrats have accused Trump of  promoting the shutdown, now in its 11th day as well as a new year, by  insisting on an expensive that would do little or nothing to stop  illegal border crossings.

U.S. Strategic Command is charged with controlling the nation's  nuclear operations, but conceded it missed the mark with a New Year's  Eve tweet comparing the famed ball drop to a B-2 bomber dropping  weapons. "TimesSquare tradition rings in the #NewYear by  dropping the big ball...if ever needed, we are #ready to drop something  much, much bigger," read the now-deleted tweet from Stratcom's official  account. A slick video accompanied by pulsing music showed a  bomber soaring through the air and releasing two conventional — not  nuclear — weapons at a test range, according to media reports.  "Stealth," "Ready" and "Lethal" flash across the screen in all capital  letters. The video concludes with an explosion flashing into a huge  fireball. The backlash was swift, and by early Monday evening  the unified command of four military branches had removed the tweet,  issuing a mea culpa.

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