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Essential Politics: Trump sets the tone in first weekend

With his swearing-in over, Donald Trump is the president now and he moved quickly over the weekend to start work on his priorities.

I'm Sarah Wire. Welcome to the Monday edition of Essential Politics. Here are the important things that happened during Trump’s first three days in office:

In his first Oval Office appearance after the inauguration, Trump took a step aimed at President Obama’s signature achievement by signing an executive order directing federal agencies to take steps to "ease the burden of Obamacare."

And Trump’s top aides showed they will continue to present their version of events and fight any perceived slights.

That included, but was not limited to, the startling characterization from Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway that White House spokesman Sean Spicer offered "alternative facts" when he incorrectly said on Saturday that Trump's swearing-in ceremony drew "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration."

Also on Saturday, as hundreds of thousands of women and men streamed past the White House in protest, Trump visited the CIA to try to extend a hand after months of deriding the intelligence community for talking about Russian attempts to influence the election.

Looking beyond the weekend, Michael Memoli has a look at what to expect in Trump's first 100 days.

Get the latest about the new Trump administration and its first 100 days on Trail Guide and follow @latimespolitics. And don't forget to keep an eye on our Essential Politics news feed.

CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINATION CHUGS ALONG

The Senate Rules Committee voted 3-1 Wednesday to recommend Rep. Xavier Becerra's confirmation as the state's next attorney general, and if the state Senate approves Becerra in time, Gov. Jerry Brown wants to install the Los Angeles Democrat during the governor's State of the State speech tomorrow.

The special election to fill Becerra’s House seat still hasn't been called because Becerra hasn't actually resigned yet, but the list of people interested in the seat grew to 17 with the addition of a model and L.A. neighborhood council member who says he's a former mixed martial arts fighter. Meanwhile, Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez received the endorsement of the nation's largest public employee union in his bid for the seat.

MASS MARCHES

Millions of women and men marched in cities across the country Saturday, sending a defiant message to Trump that promised stiff resistance to any curtailment of rights for women and minorities.

Hundreds of thousands turned out for the march in Los Angeles.

Cathleen Decker writes that while a chief executive hasn't faced such visible opposition in decades, time will tell if the movement can maintain its momentum going forward.

For his part, Trump was dismissive of the women's marches but acknowledged the right to protest.

OBAMA IS IN RAINY PALM SPRINGS

After weather diverted his flight, former President Obama and his family are ensconced in Palm Springs for a vacation of undetermined length.

Christi Parsons has the story on the man she covered for 20 years, starting when Obama was an Illinois state senator and she was a statehouse reporter, and ending with her asking the final question in the departing president's final press conference last week.

DRIVING HOME THE EFFECT OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

Democratic state lawmakers traveled from the Capitol to the Central Valley late last week to examine the potential effects of Obamacare repeal. Holding the hearing in Bakersfield was a pointed political choice, bringing the healthcare debate to GOP Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's backyard.

Melanie Mason reports how legislators and panelists emphasized how the Republican congressman's home turf would be harmed by rolling back the landmark healthcare law.

In a meeting with reporters in the Times' Sacramento bureau, Senate leader Kevin de León said last week that "people will die" if GOP lawmakers in Congress repeal the federal Affordable Care Act without replacing those who will lose healthcare coverage.

CALIFORNIA PREPARES FOR BATTLE

Trump's inauguration speech promised to transfer the power from Washington back to the people, but many Californians tuning in may have found little solace in those words, George Skelton writes in his Monday column. Trump's idea of states' rights appears to be limited, Skelton says, and California is correct to gird for battle with a lot on the line including its policies on the environment, immigration and access to healthcare under the Affordable Care Act.

Christine Mai-Duc spent Inauguration Day with de León, who has positioned himself at the forefront of California's resistance to Trump. "I can't say that our country is united on this historic day," de Leon said.

Meanwhile, Chris Megerian writes about the 4-year-old lawsuit challenging the state's cap-and-trade program that could be a bigger threat to the state's landmark climate change policies.

PODCAST: THE RACE TO FIGHT TRUMP

One thing that's worth keeping an eye on over the coming weeks and months: How the Democrats angling for a statewide job in 2018 -- most notably, governor -- work to keep themselves in the headlines as the foil to Trump.

On this week's California Politics Podcast, John Myers leads a discussion on where the state's most prominent politicians take the fight next.

TODAY'S ESSENTIALS

— Trump will hold his first face-to-face meeting with a foreign leader when British Prime Minister Theresa May visits the White House on Friday.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) threw an inaugural ball to celebrate the new Republican president Friday at the Library of Congress.

Assemblywoman Susan Talamentes Eggman will reintroduce a bill Monday that aims to shield immigrants charged with minor drug offenses from deportation, so long as they seek treatment.

— Lawmakers in Sacramento have surprisingly few choices about how to use tax revenue, thanks to an array of autopilot choices made through the years by voters.

— This California lawmaker wants the state to make sure marijuana candy isn't marketed to children.

— Candidates in the race to replace Becerra were among those speaking and marching at women's marches in Los Angeles and Washington.

— A Los Angeles-area lawmaker wants voters to decide if the state should tax candy, potato chips and other snacks.

— Police officers' ability to handle disciplinary issues in public schools could be limited under two bills proposed in Sacramento.

LOGISTICS

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