Politics & Government

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

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Though also a big-time real estate developer, Jared Kushner is many things that Donald Trump is not.

At 35 years old, Kushner is half Trump's age.

He is an Orthodox Jew. Trump has been accused over the course of the campaign of trafficking in anti-Semitic themes.

Kushner is understated. He shies away from the limelight. Neither of those descriptions attaches to the president-elect.

In the wake of his party's significant losses across the Rust Belt in last week's elections, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan is stepping up to challenge Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's nearly 14-year grip on the House Democratic caucus.

Ryan, a a seven-term lawmaker who represents Youngstown, wrote to his colleagues that "Democrats must not let this opportunity for change pass by without a fight." He noted that the party has hemorrhaged over 60 House seats in the past six years and has only been in the majority for two terms in the past 18 years.

A surrogate of President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday invoked Japanese internment camps as precedent for creating a registry for Muslim immigrants. This comes less than a week after the Kansas secretary of state told Reuters that Trump's team might reprise a post-Sept. 11 national registry of immigrants from countries regarded as havens for "extremist activity."

Such conversations in the president-elect's circles have raised new concerns about civil rights among advocates for American Muslims.

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We're joined now by one of the new members of the Democratic leadership in the Senate, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow. Hi.

DEBBIE STABENOW: Good to be with you.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. has plenty of differences with Donald Trump, but the former Democratic presidential candidate said Thursday there are areas where he could find agreement with the president-elect in the coming year.

"Mr. Trump campaigned as a populist, campaigned as somebody who is anti-establishment, and I have zero doubt that he received the support of many working class people all across the country because of some of the positions that he took," Sanders told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast.

President Obama has acknowledged a "bumpy phase" in politics — but he said a majority of Americans are comfortable with the pace of globalization, and he also said it's up to leaders to give people a sense of control and confidence about the future.

The president spoke during a joint news conference with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, in Obama's sixth and final presidential visit to Germany — the country where he seized international stature back in 2008, when the then-senator addressed a massive crowd during a campaign visit to Berlin.

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President-elect Donald Trump's team has had a rocky start to its transition into the White House, but they're now making several moves to show that things are on track.

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Updated at 7:33 p.m. ET

Since this story was written, the State Department said it was contacted by the president-elect's transition representatives. The phone call was apparently limited to a discussion about logistics.

The State Department's transition office has been quiet, as Trump and his top advisers remain in New York. State Department spokesman John Kirby says officials stand ready and willing to offer any briefing materials to the Trump team, but so far, there just haven't been any calls.

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One of Donald Trump's flashiest campaign promises was to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Well, Noel King from our Planet Money podcast found that some construction and concrete firms have already been thinking about what that would entail.

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President Obama is in Germany today meeting with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel. The two are holding a press conference at this hour. Let's listen to a bit.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

After a week filled with questions and rumors of turmoil behind the scenes of President-elect Donald Trump's transition team, his staff is now publicly laying out a more concrete timetable to get their work of ensuring a smooth handoff up to speed.

The Trump transition team will begin notifying the Obama administration of its designees to meet with current agency officials starting today.

Saying that "it felt really good" to step down, U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, 75, says he has submitted his letter of resignation. Clapper revealed the news as he testified Thursday before the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

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Let's follow up on one of this election season's biggest talking points.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DONALD TRUMP: We will be able to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare.

(CHEERING)

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We're more than a week past the moment when Trump became the president-elect, and the news is still bringing people out into the streets. NPR's Sam Sanders has been asking protesters what drives them.

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Every four years, the Electoral College creeps back into the lives of American voters. In some presidential elections, the strange, indirect system used to select the next U.S. president can feel like a formality that doesn't seem to matter much.

In other elections, it matters very much indeed. This is one of those years.

Editor's Note: This story contains images and language that some readers may find disturbing.

Mark Zuckerberg — one of the most insightful, adept leaders in the business world — has a problem. It's a problem he has been slow to acknowledge, even though it's become more apparent by the day.

Wednesday night, Hillary Clinton spoke publicly for the first time since her concession speech a week ago. At a Children's Defense Fund event in Washington, she spoke about the importance of fighting for America's kids, but she also wove in another message, telling her supporters to persist, even after the devastating loss of the presidential race.

"I know many of you are deeply disappointed about the results of the election," she said. "I am, too, more than I can ever express."

Reports of racially-motivated harassment continue to pour in across the country after Donald Trump's election as president. One community in North Carolina just held an emergency meeting to try to find solutions to address the harassment Latinos are experiencing there.

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