1213 posts
(Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

The White House branded the federal budget impasse, which appeared to be ending on Monday, as the “Schumer Shutdown” in its attempt to pin the blame on Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). 

But it wasn’t just Republicans using that phrase during the weekend government shutdown. Independent analysts said Twitter accounts linked to Russia have spread the same message.

The website Hamilton 68, which monitors accounts it considers to be part of Russian influence networks, said #SchumerShutdown was the top hashtag over the last two days.

(Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump has discussed traveling to San Diego to see border wall prototypes, and White House officials are known to have been discussing plans for a possible trip, but a Trump administration official said Monday that there is still nothing in that regard on Trump’s short-term schedule “as of now.”

The official requested anonymity to discuss the internal schedule, which is updated often and usually not made public until days or hours before Trump makes a public appearance.

Trump plans to deliver the State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, Jan. 30, and is likely to talk about his signature campaign promise, the border wall. Presidents traditionally travel after those speeches to promote their agendas.

After sodden hillsides thundered into Montecito, obliterating scores of homes and killing nearly two dozen people, seven days went by before President Trump first acknowledged the disaster.

The Washington Monument is seen at dusk Sunday in Washington, D.C.
The Washington Monument is seen at dusk Sunday in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer)

The Trump administration’s effort to minimize public anger over the partial government shutdown got a boost from the Smithsonian on Monday, which is keeping its doors open at least one more day.

The organization, which hosts 715,000 people daily at the National Zoo and its 19 museums said it had enough funds lingering in its accounts to avoid turning away visitors on the day much of the rest of government was winding down operations.

Visitors were put on notice that the reprieve may be brief.

(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

By most political measures, Donald Trump shouldn’t be in the White House. That’s not an assessment of his policies or fitness for the job. Rather, it’s judging by the rules that once seemed to govern presidential campaigning.

Trump never held office, never served in government or spent a day in military uniform. His campaign was slipshod; he was vastly outspent by his Democratic rival and faced strong Republican opposition after a hostile takeover of the GOP.

Perhaps most striking, more than 60% of those surveyed said they thought Trump was unqualified to be president the day he was elected. The same exit polls found Trump viewed favorably by fewer than 4 in 10 Americans; only 1 in 3 considered him “honest and trustworthy.”

(AFP / Getty Images)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday called on Turkey to show restraint as its forces attacked U.S.-backed militias in northern Syria for a third day, the latest strain in relations between Washington and Ankara, a NATO ally.

Tillerson, speaking in London, acknowledged Turkey’s “legitimate security concerns” because President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government views the Kurdish-dominated militias as terrorists and insurgents seeking an independent state.

Tillerson urged Turkey to work with Washington to focus on fighting Islamic State and “securing a peaceful, stable…and unified Syria” through negotiation. He described the largely Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces as a multi-ethnic group.

  • White House
Vice President Mike Pence meets with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Jan. 22.
Vice President Mike Pence meets with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Jan. 22. (Ariel Schalit / Associated Press)

Vice President Mike Pence told the Israeli parliament Monday that the United States will open an embassy in Jerusalem by the end of 2019 to make good on recognizing the disputed holy city as Israel’s capital.

The Trump administration decision on Jerusalem outraged many world leaders and reversed decades of U.S. policy, which had held that the status of the city should be decided in final Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. Palestinians also claim part of Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state.

“In the weeks ahead, our administration will advance its plan to open the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem — and that the United States Embassy will open before the end of next year,” Pence told the Knesset on the first full day of a two-day visit here.

  • Supreme Court
(J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says thanks for asking, but she has no plans to retire anytime soon.

She has law clerks on staff through the court’s 2020 term. The earliest she could step down would be in 2021 – when she is 88.

But she said Sunday she doesn’t plan to do that. 

Democrats have grown used to winning political face-offs over government shutdowns, smiling from the sidelines as Republicans struggled to contain the unruly factions in their party. On Saturday, Democrats got a taste of that stomach-churning game.