Politics & Government

Politics, elections, law, military and veteran's affairs

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Throughout the Trump presidency, the State Department briefing room has been dark. That changed today with the first briefing in a month and a half. NPR's Michele Kelemen was there.

Rod Rosenstein, if appointed as deputy attorney general, could soon become the ultimate decider on the most politically sensitive subject in Washington.

His confirmation hearing on Tuesday turned into a proxy war over the Trump administration's ties to Russia.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from any investigation into the election and Russian officials, leaving the tough questions for his deputy.

President Trump is offering some Twitter support for the Obamacare replacement plan put forward by House Republicans.

In a tweet Tuesday morning, Trump described the GOP blueprint as "Our wonderful new Healthcare Bill." He suggested it would be a welcome change from the Affordable Care Act, which he called "a complete and total disaster."

"I'm proud to support the replacement plan released by the House of Representatives," the president said Tuesday afternoon during a White House meeting with GOP lawmakers.

With two House committees set to take up the Republican replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, party leaders have begun trying to sell the proposal to the American public.

Leading the effort is President Trump, who met with Republican House leaders at the White House, saying he is "proud to support the replacement plan released by the House of Representatives."

It took a lot to get to this point, but Republicans have released their long-awaited health care bill. (For more on the policy, check out the NPR health team's reporting over at Shots.)

The version that was released is likely to change as the bill goes through committees, but now that it's released, here are four potential challenges President Trump and Republicans face:

1. Health care is complicated

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This week on Hidden Brain, we return to our archives to ask what happens when you empathize with your enemy? Why does reaching out to another tribe make our tribe so angry? In order to get at this question, we talk with Israelis and Palestinians who took the radical step of empathizing with the other side. From their experiences, we learn that not only can empathizing with the enemy be very difficult, it can also be dangerous.

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After years of waiting, it's finally here.

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Over the weekend, President Trump accused his predecessor of "wire tapping" communications from Trump Tower in New York, where then-candidate and President-elect Trump lived and worked during the campaign and in the lead-up to the inauguration.

Former President Obama has denied the allegations, as has the former director of national intelligence. A spokesperson for Trump called on Congress to investigate the claim.

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Now more on today's new executive order on immigration. It includes several modifications to the first one which was blocked by the courts. Iraq has been removed from the list of banned countries. We'll have detail on that change in a moment.

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Campaign finance laws and ethics forms for political campaigns and office holders were enacted throughout the entire country in the 1970s, mostly in reaction to the public outcry for ethics reform after Watergate corruption. Alabama had a lot of crafty legislators, like Rankin Fite, who simply ignored the national trends. They had no intentions of passing ethics laws...

Full Frontal host Samantha Bee makes no bones about the fact that she was caught off guard by Donald Trump's victory on election night.

"We had a balloon drop planned. ... We had balloons in our rafters, and we had to call it [off]," Bee tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "We were able to do a reset, but it was not an easy process by any means."

President Trump signed a new executive order on Monday, after his first action temporarily barring refugees and travel from specific majority-Muslim countries faced a slew of criticism and lawsuits. The revised order has a number of changes, including dropping Iraq from the list of countries with restrictions. It also explicitly does not apply to lawful permanent residents (green card holders) or existing visa holders.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed a new executive order that temporarily blocks visas from being issued to citizens of six majority-Muslim countries, revoking and replacing a controversial, now-suspended executive order known as the travel ban.

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