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(Associated Press)

President Trump launched a Christmas Eve attack on FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whom he accuses of favoritism toward his former opponent, Hillary Clinton, and also returned to a longtime favored theme, excoriating the news media for failing to sufficiently extol his accomplishments.

Trump, who is spending the holidays at his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, also sent Christmas greetings to deployed military personnel, praising them for success in the fight against terrorism.

The early-morning swipe at McCabe followed a flurry of tweets attacking the deputy FBI chief on Saturday. McCabe, who has been a lightning rod for Republican attacks on the FBI, is expected to retire early in the new year.

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Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez is shown during a trip to Texas a year and a half ago.
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez is shown during a trip to Texas a year and a half ago. (Associated Press)

The Trump administration on Friday formally recognized the incumbent president of Honduras, conservative Juan Orlando Hernandez, as the winner of a bitterly contested presidential election held last month.

In a statement, the State Department congratulated Hernandez while also acknowledging widespread irregularities in the Nov. 26 vote and calling for a “robust national dialogue” to overcome political discord in the Central American country, a close ally of the administration.

The Organization of American States, which monitored the election, said it was so flawed that only a new round of voting could establish a “fair and transparent” outcome. But the U.S. rejected that determination.

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Amanda Bayer, left with banner, and Marisol Maqueda, right, join a rally in support of so-called "Dreamers" outside the White House.
Amanda Bayer, left with banner, and Marisol Maqueda, right, join a rally in support of so-called "Dreamers" outside the White House. (Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday he’s committed to allowing a vote on a bill for so-called “Dreamers” in January, but sees no rush to resolve the deportation threat posed by President Trump’s decision to end a program protecting immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.  

“There isn’t that much of an emergency there,” he said. “There is no emergency until March. We’ll keep talking about it.”

Trump called for phasing out by March the Obama-era program that allows the young immigrants, many of them longtime residents, to get two-year deferrals of any deportation threat so they can legally attend school or work. Beneficiaries must be vetted for security purposes.

  • White House
  • Taxes
(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

President Trump on Friday morning signed a sweeping tax-cut measure — his first major legislative achievement — before heading off for a Christmas vacation at his Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach, Fla.

The president also privately signed a short-term spending bill to fund government operations through Jan. 19. Congress approved it Thursday, after Republican leaders were unable to bridge differences in their own party as well as with Democrats to get agreement on funding for the full fiscal year. The stopgap bill punts fights on immigration and other issues to January.  

The tax bill, approved earlier this week in Congress in largely party-line votes, slashes corporate tax rates from 35% to 21% and also includes a host of other provisions for individuals, all intended to boost the economy.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin greets House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin greets House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Friday urging him to ensure the House’s investigation into Russian interference with last year’s presidential campaign is not “cut short.”

“The American people deserve a comprehensive and fair investigation into Russia’s attacks,” wrote Pelosi, of San Francisco, in her letter. “Political haste must not cut short valid investigatory threads.”

The House Intelligence Committee has been probing the issue since March 1, and Democrats have repeatedly warned that Republicans are trying to wrap up its work prematurely. Pelosi said Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, should “take urgent action to ensure this investigation can continue.”

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  • Congress
  • Immigration
(J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Congress approved a temporary spending bill to prevent a government shutdown, but failed to complete work on an $81-billion disaster aid package to help California, Gulf Coast states and Puerto Rico recover from wildfires and hurricanes, as lawmakers scrambled Thursday to wrap up business before a Christmas break.

The stopgap measure continues federal operations for a few more weeks, setting up another deadline for Jan. 19. But it left undone a long list of priorities that members of both parties had hoped to finish this year.

President Trump with Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
President Trump with Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Despite Trump administration efforts to discourage people from signing up, the number of people enrolling for Affordable Care Act coverage nearly hit last year’s level, the government revealed Thursday.

The 8.8 million people who enrolled in the 36 states that use the federal government’s healthcare.gov system significantly exceeded most forecasts.

The Trump administration stopped most outreach and other efforts this year aimed at getting people to sign up. The president also repeatedly said publicly that Obamacare was “dead.”

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. (Getty Images)

The United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted Thursday to condemn President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite Trump’s threats to punish countries that voted against the U.S. position.

The resolution passed in an emergency session at U.N. headquarters in New York with 128 in favor, nine opposed and 35 abstentions.

The nonbinding resolution demands that Washington rescind its declaration, which included a plan to transfer the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in coming years. 

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Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) speaking during a committee hearing earlier this year.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) speaking during a committee hearing earlier this year. (Molly Riley / Associated Press)

House Democrats said they will fight Republican attempts to “discredit and undermine” the work of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who is investigating whether President Trump’s associates helped Russian meddling in last year’s election. 

“There is an organized effort by Republicans, in concert with Fox News, to spin a false narrative and conjure up outrageous scenarios to accuse special counsel Mueller of being biased,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) said.  

Trump has said he has no plan to fire Mueller, but Democrats are alarmed by escalating criticism of the special counsel’s work. 

The Trump administration on Thursday blacklisted a Myanmar army general who it said oversaw human rights abuses committed by security forces against Rohingya Muslims.

Imposing economic sanctions against the general, Maung Maung Soe, was the toughest action the United States has taken in response to a brutal army offensive that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has described as ethnic cleansing.

In a statement, the Treasury Department said it had examined “credible evidence of Maung Maung Soe’s activities, including allegations against Burmese security forces of extrajudicial killings, sexual violence and arbitrary arrest as well as the widespread burning of villages.”