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Kushner readies for spring launch of US Middle East peace plan

Washington (CNN)The United States is beginning to prep allies for a spring rollout of its plan for Middle East peace, with President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, outlining the timing and methodology of the plan at the Middle East security conference in Warsaw, Poland. The silence surrounding the plan has become a source of frustration and uncertainty that some diplomats worry could eventually scuttle the proposal’s chances. Fears about the plan Kushner has rebuffed major US allies’ requests to circulate the plan, one diplomat said, as he…

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Stephen Colbert calls Trumps national emergency plan ‘insane’

Donald Trump is set to declare a national emergency in order to unlock $8 billion in additional funds for his border wall, on top of the lowered $1.375 billion allocated in a bipartisan budget bill the president is also expected to sign.  The Late Show host Stephen Colbert unpacked the troubling situation in his opening monologue Thursday night, casually calling Trump’s plan “insane.” “He claims he could get all the funding he wants for his wall if he just declared a national emergency. That, of course, would be insane,” Colbert…

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Ivanka Trump’s next policy push: Paid family leave

Washington (CNN)Ivanka Trump will be on Capitol Hill Wednesday for a series of meetings on the administration’s paid family leave initiative, which appears to be her next major policy push following last week’s women’s economic empowerment initiative. This is something she’s been working on with members of Congress and private sector leaders behind the scenes during her two years at the White House, with some tangible progress to date, including a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee led by Cassidy last year. She spoke about her father’s commitment to pro-family…

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Beto O’Rourke clashes with Trump over border wall in dueling events

El Paso, Texas (CNN)Beto O’Rourke challenged President Donald Trump in his most direct and public way yet Monday, lambasting Trump’s calls for a border wall on a stage a little more than a football field away from Trump’s rally here. The former Texas congressman was on clearly on Trump’s mind. At his rally, the President called O’Rourke “a young man who has got very little going for himself except he’s got a great first name.” Trump mocked O’Rourke’s recent Senate loss in Texas — in which he raised a record-shattering…

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Warren: Trump ‘may not even be a free person’ by 2020

(CNN)President Donald Trump might be in jail by the time Election Day comes around, Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren said on her first full day of campaigning as a declared presidential candidate. “Well come on. How many investigations are there now? It’s no longer just the Mueller investigation,” Warren said. “They’re everywhere and these are serious investigations, so we’ll see what happens.” Asked whether she believes Trump should be impeached, the senator said it is important to first see Mueller’s findings. Warren, who has repeatedly said over the weekend that…

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North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones dies at 76

Washington (CNN)North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones died on Sunday at age 76, according to a statement on the congressman’s website. “Congressman Jones was a man of the people. With a kind heart and the courage of his convictions, he dedicated his life to serving his Savior and to standing up for Americans who needed a voice,” the statement from his office reads. “He was a champion for our men and women in uniform and their families, always mindful of their service and sacrifice.” “Congressman Jones will long be remembered…

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Julin Castro on his 2020 vision and beating Trump

(CNN)2020 Democratic hopeful Julin Castro said that while he knows his candidacy has “special meaning for the Latino community,” he is prepared to present his “vision that includes everybody” as he works to gain the Democratic nomination in an already crowded field. When asked how he plans to make the 2020 election a “nightmare” for Trump, Castro said he would win states like Florida, Texas and Arizona and go after battleground states like Michigan and Wisconsin, should he win the Democratic nomination. “I believe that I can go — if…

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Ahead of annual physical, Trump has not followed doctor’s orders

(CNN)President Donald Trump was less than thrilled last year when his personal physician recommended he get on a diet, start exercising and set a goal of losing a dozen pounds. A little more than a year later, Trump will undergo his second physical exam as President on Friday at the Walter Reed military hospital. As he prepares for the battery of tests to evaluate his physical health, sources close to him say he has stuck with some minor changes to improve his diet. But an exercise regimen? That’s remained elusive…

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Stephen Colbert destroys Trump’s speech 1 clip at a time

If for some terrible reason you happened to miss Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, fear not — Stephen Colbert has you covered. In the 15-minute clip from The Late Show above, Colbert breaks down the, er, highlights from the speech. If you can’t even face the recap, though, the TL;DW version is pretty much summed up by this quote: “This speech was like watching paint lie.” Read more: https://mashable.com/video/stephen-colbert-destroys-trumps-state-of-the-union/

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White House reverses decision to replace acting Education inspector general

(CNN)The White House reversed a decision to replace the Education Department’s acting inspector general on Friday, two days after the inspector general’s office said it received word that a new acting head watchdog had been appointed. The Education Department inspector general is appointed by the White House with Senate confirmation. Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, the “first assistant” of the office serves as the acting inspector general unless the President appoints someone else, according to Grant. Appointing one of the department’s top lawyers to be the person in charge…

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Trump shows weakness as 2020 rivals emerge

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump’s enemies smell blood in the water. “That means speaking with integrity. It means speaking truth. It means speaking in a way that expresses and indicates some level of interest and concern to people other than oneself. And so, right there we will see a great contrast.” Washington is a place where the merest hint of vulnerability never goes unnoticed. That, paired with the clearest signs yet that the Russia investigation is coming to a close, including reverberations from the indictment of Trump’s political guru Roger Stone, is…

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Why the Constitution makes a third-party presidency extremely difficult

(CNN)Democrats are right to be concerned that former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is thinking about an independent run for the White House because the most likely outcome of any strong third-party challenge in 2020 is the re-election of President Donald Trump. With the elections of 2016 and 2000 still fresh in the minds of a lot of voters, most Americans have a basic awareness of the Constitution’s rules for how presidents are elected: whoever wins the majority of electoral votes becomes president. Today, there are 538 votes in the Electoral…

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The shutdown reminder: Government touches your life every day

(CNN)The shutdown stress tested a large government infrastructure that touches everyone’s lives. Sick calls had spiked at Transportation Security Administration, which keeps weapons and terrorists off planes. And absences are what caused the delays at the northeast airports on Friday, too. Flying offers Americans a first-hand experience in what happens when the government stops working. What does government do? A lot, it turns out The partial government shutdown only affects a small portion of the federal budget, not including the military, Medicare or Social Security. The Federal Aviation Administration (about…

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White House not tamping down tensions after Bolton seen holding notepad with words ‘5000 troops to Colombia’

(CNN)The White House is not tamping down tensions after national security adviser John Bolton was seen Monday holding a yellow legal pad inscribed with the words “5000 troops to Colombia.” A Defense Department official said on Monday that there are no plans to send any forces to South America nor are any discussions ongoing at the policy or operational levels. There are a limited number of US troops currently in Colombia as part of the Plan/Paz Colombia mission but that number is in the hundreds, the official said. When asked…

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How Nancy Pelosi broke Donald Trump

Washington (CNN)There’s no spinning what happened in Washington on Friday: Donald Trump caved to Nancy Pelosi — and a compromise to reopen the government was struck. The answer is remarkably simple: She said “no.” And stuck to it. THE POINT — NOW ON YOUTUBE! In each episode of his weekly YouTube show, Chris Cillizza will delve a little deeper into the surreal world of politics. Click to subscribe! Pelosi, from the start, insisted that neither she nor any Democrats would cooperate with any negotiation that sought to leverage a government…

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