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President Trump has spent the last year trampling many of the courtesies and customs associated with his office and the swampy bog, Washington, he now calls home.

But there is one ritual that holds fast: the State of the Union address, set for delivery Tuesday night to a joint session of Congress.

Vaguely prescribed in the Constitution — Article II, Section 3, Clause 1, for those keeping score — the speech fulfills the obligation of the president “from time to time” to give “to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” (And it’s been a he, invariably, for the last 229 years.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Jan. 29.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Jan. 29. (Alexei Nikolsky / Kremlin Pool Photo)

The Trump administration late Monday released a long-awaited list of 114 Russian politicians and 96 "oligarchs" who have flourished under President Vladimir Putin, fulfilling a demand by Congress that the U.S. punish Moscow for interfering in the 2016 U.S. election.

The political list is the entire presidential administration, as listed on the Kremlin website, and the Russian Cabinet, while the oligarchs list is a carbon copy of the top of the Forbes magazine's Russian billionaires' list. The publication of the so-called "Putin list" angered and dismayed many in Moscow.

Yet the administration paired that move with a surprising announcement that it had decided not to punish anybody — for now — under new sanctions retaliating for the election-meddling. Some U.S. lawmakers accused President  Trump of giving Russia a free pass, fueling further questions about whether the president is unwilling to confront Moscow.


Former combat pilot Martha McSally was put off by Donald Trump when he ran for president.

Supreme Court weighs appeal in gerrymandering case.
Supreme Court weighs appeal in gerrymandering case. (Olivier Douliery / TNS)

The Supreme Court signaled Monday it may be open to blocking a state ruling on partisan gerrymandering at the behest of Pennsylvania’s Republican leaders.

Last week Pennsylvania’s high court struck down the state’s election districts on the grounds they were drawn to give the GOP a 13-5 majority of its seats in the House of Representatives.

Unlike other recent rulings, the state justices said they based their ruling solely on the state’s constitution. Usually, the U.S. Supreme Court has no grounds for reviewing a state court ruling that is based on state law.

  • Congress
Antiabortion advocates rally outside the Supreme Court last year.
Antiabortion advocates rally outside the Supreme Court last year. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

The Senate turned back legislation Monday to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, halting a Republican-led effort to restrict access to the late-term procedure with a bill that President Trump said he would sign into law.

The House had passed the measure last fall and Trump’s endorsement this month gave it new momentum. But on a 51-46 Senate vote, it failed to clear the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a Democratic-led filibuster to advance.

Voting in Congress largely fell along party lines. In the Senate, two Republicans, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, opposed the bill. Three Democrats, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, voted in favor.

McCabe ran the bureau for several months after Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey in May.

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is leaving his position ahead of a previously planned retirement this spring.

McCabe has been a frequent target of criticism from President Trump.

Two people familiar with the decision described it to the Associated Press on Monday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.

Jay-Z acknowledges his Industry Icon award during the Clive Davis party on the eve of the 60th Annual Grammy Awards on Jan. 28 in New York.
Jay-Z acknowledges his Industry Icon award during the Clive Davis party on the eve of the 60th Annual Grammy Awards on Jan. 28 in New York. (Jewel Samad/AFP-Getty Images)

To the list of prominent African American figures against whom President Trump has aired grievances on Twitter, add Jay-Z.

The president began his Sunday by suggesting that the award-winning hip-hop artist was unaware that black unemployment stood at “LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED,” crediting himself and his economic policies for the phenomenon.

Trump was apparently responding to a television interview the night before, in which Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, criticized the president’s profane description of African countries and Haiti, calling Trump’s characterization “hurtful.”

President Trump, in his first State of the Union address Tuesday night, will call for overhauling immigration and spending more on the military and infrastructure. But his vision will confront political realities and budget constraints created by Republicans' recent tax cuts, which he'll tout as a boon to the economy.

Steve Wynn
Steve Wynn (Associated Press)

Casino mogul Steve Wynn has resigned his position as finance chair of the Republican National Committee amid allegations that he sexually harassed multiple employees at his resorts.

The resignation, first reported by Politico, refocuses the spotlight on the Republican Party as it has struggled to respond to the #metoo movement, and reckon with President Trump’s own history of alleged unwanted sexual advances.

Wynn has been a major donor for Republicans in recent years and a rainmaker for the party. Earlier in his career, he also gave heavily to Democrats. But like Trump, he abandoned the Democratic Party in recent years and focused his effort almost exclusively on helping Republicans.

  • White House
(Fabrice Coffrini / AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump was booed Friday when he called the news media “vicious,” “mean” and “fake” during a brief question-and-answer session following his pro-America speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The president, who as a New York businessman was long a mainstay of the city’s tabloids, said that over his career he’s gotten a “disproportionate” amount of press. Yet it wasn’t until he got into politics, he said, that he saw “how nasty, how mean, how vicious and how fake the press can be.”

The comment sparked a smattering of boos and hisses from the crowd, which included world leaders, heads of global companies, intellectuals and foreign media. While such anti-media remarks are familiar to Americans, Trump’s attack was extraordinary for being made before an international audience, given that U.S. presidents historically have been global clarions for a free press.