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President Trump congratulates Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after Congress passed tax cuts in December. (Associated Press)
President Trump congratulates Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after Congress passed tax cuts in December. (Associated Press)

White House officials head to Capitol Hill on Wednesday for budget talks with congressional leaders ahead of a mid-January deadline to avert a federal shutdown that could imperil President Trump’s agenda.

But Democrats want to talk about more than funding levels, insisting on a legislative solution to protect immigrant “Dreamers” from deportation and other issues in exchange for helping the Republican majority pass the spending bill.

The afternoon meeting, expected to convene at House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s office, resumes high-stakes negotiations that fizzled last year as both sides seek to use the Jan. 19 deadline for leverage.

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(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Some of the harshest criticism of a Trump Tower meeting involving the president’s son and a Russian lawyer promising incriminating information about Hillary Clinton apparently came from Steve Bannon, according to a new book.

The book, written by Michael Wolff and obtained pre-publication by the Guardian, said Bannon, the president’s former White House strategist, described the meeting involving Donald Trump Jr. as “treasonous.”

“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad ..., and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately,” Bannon said. 

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It’s a new year — happy! happy! — and being even-numbered that means elections across the country.

The political stakes, befitting the bigger-means-better Age of Trump, are considerably higher than usual.

For the first time in years, control of the House is seriously in play and, with it, the prospects for the latter half of Trump’s presidential term, which could bolster his record for reelection in 2020 or prove a death march through a slough of subpoenas and congressional torment.