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The White House created confusion over whether American athletes would compete in the Winter Olympics in South Korea next year, with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying on Thursday that “no official decision has been made on that.” 

“The goal is to do so,” she said.

She later attempted to clarify, tweeting an “update” that the “U.S. looks forward to participating.”

Olympic figures are projected on the Gwanghwamun Gate in Seoul. The 2018 Winter Games will be held in PyeonChang, South Korea.
Olympic figures are projected on the Gwanghwamun Gate in Seoul. The 2018 Winter Games will be held in PyeonChang, South Korea. (Jeon Heon-Kyun / EPA / Shutterstock)
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  • White House
(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

President Trump will be examined at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center next year, and records from his physical will be released, Trump’s top spokeswoman said Thursday.

“He does have a physical scheduled for the first part of next year — the full physical that most presidents go through,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters. “That will take place at Walter Reed, and those records will be released by the doctor following that taking place.”

Trump, who is 71, is the oldest person elected to the White House. He bucked tradition during the campaign by refusing to disclose detailed medical records. 

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  • Congress
  • Taxes
A man holds up a sign protesting the GOP tax plan on Capitol Hill. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)
A man holds up a sign protesting the GOP tax plan on Capitol Hill. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

As the House and Senate begin to reconcile their different tax bills, they will have to sort through many little-known provisions that appear designed more to achieve policy goals or reward key lawmakers than deliver tax savings.

Here’s a look at some of the standouts, and their prospects for being included in the final legislation.

The Johnson amendment

  • White House
  • Russia
(Win McNamee/AFP Getty)

FBI Director Christopher Wray politely, but clearly, disagreed with President Trump’s recent claim that the bureau was in “tatters,” telling members of Congress that there is “no finer institution.”

"What I can tell you is that the FBI that I see is tens of thousands of agents and analysts and staff working their tails off to keep Americans safe,” Wray told members of the House Judiciary Committee when he was asked about Trump’s remark.

"The FBI that I see is tens of thousands of brave men and women,” he continued. “Decent people committed to the highest principles of integrity and professionalism."

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Israeli President Reuven Rivlin listens as President Trump speaks in Jerusalem in May.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin listens as President Trump speaks in Jerusalem in May. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

President Trump summed up a central reason for declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel — one of the most consequential and globally risky decisions of his presidency — in a single statement.

"While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver," he said from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House on Wednesday. "Today, I am delivering."

The decision may have alarmed prime ministers, presidents, kings and their subjects around the world. But it fit neatly into Trump's political calculus and personal view of his mandate.

Donald Trump appears at a campaign rally last year. His son, Donald Trump Jr., is second from left.
Donald Trump appears at a campaign rally last year. His son, Donald Trump Jr., is second from left. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) was left scratching his head after the House Intelligence Committee’s closed-door interview with Donald Trump Jr. on Wednesday.

Trump Jr. claimed attorney-client privilege to avoid discussing a conversation with his father, said Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the committee.

Why did he make that claim despite the fact that neither man is a lawyer? Schiff said it was because a lawyer happened to be in the room during the meeting.

(Alex Brandon / AP)

The White House said President Trump’s slurred speech at the end of his announcement about Jerusalem was no more than a case of dry mouth.

“His throat was dry. There’s nothing to it,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said when asked to explain why President Trump garbled “God bless the United States” at the end of his remarks on Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announcing plans to build a U.S. Embassy in the disputed city.

Pressed on whether the slurred words might indicate any health concerns, Shah said: “I know what you’re getting at. I’m saying there’s nothing to it.”

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Pilgrims attend 'fire' ceremony at Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Pilgrims attend 'fire' ceremony at Church of the Holy Sepulcher (Associated Press)

Heads and patriarchs of Christian churches in Jerusalem on Wednesday bemoaned President Trump’s decision to recognize the ancient city as Israel’s capital, and urged its international status be retained.

“We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land,” the leaders said in a letter to Trump, “moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division.”

Thirteen heads and patriarchs signed the letter. They represent various branches of the Christian faith, including Greek, Syrian and Armenian Orthodox churches; Episcopalians, Catholics and Lutherans.

(Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images)

Michael T. Flynn was helping a former business partner lay the groundwork for nuclear power plants in the Middle East, a plan that involved a partnership with Russia, despite his role as an advisor to President Trump, according to a purported whistleblower who provided an account to a leading Democrat in Congress. 

The whistleblower said Flynn sent text messages to Alex Copson, the managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners, from Trump’s inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20 to say the plan was “good to go.”

Copson said Flynn, who briefly served as Trump’s national security advisor, had promised to end sanctions on Russia that had been imposed by former President Obama in retaliation for the country’s interference in last year’s election, the whistleblower said.