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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- President Donald Trump snagged a major legislative victory with the signing of his landmark tax reform bill last week, but he’s still living in his predecessor's shadow when it comes to public admiration, according to a new poll.Trump trailed former President Barack Obama as the most admired man for 2017, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday, marking one of the very few times in recent history that an incumbent president hasn’t taken the top spot.Gallup has asked the most admired man question 71 times since 1946 and the sitting president has won 58 of those times, according to Gallup.“Trump's unpopularity is holding him back from winning the most admired distinction,” Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones said Wednesday. “The incumbent president is the usual winner since he is arguably the most prominent figure in the country -- but when the president is unpopular, other well-known and well-liked men have been able to finish first.”"Former presidents commonly make the top 10 list but rarely win, with Obama only the second to do so, along with Eisenhower in 1967 and 1968," he added.Seventeen percent of Americans surveyed named Obama as the man they admire most, while 14 percent named Trump, the poll said.Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, was named America’s most admired woman, with 9 percent of the vote, while former first lady Michelle Obama came in second with 7 percent.“Hillary Clinton has been named most admired more than any woman -- or man -- in Gallup's polling history,” Jones said. “But the likelihood that she will continue to hold that honor in future years seems less certain, with her popularity at a nadir and the percentage naming her as most admired the lowest in 15 years.”The poll was, however, largely split along party lines as Republicans were far more likely to name Trump than Obama.Thirty-five percent of Republicans surveyed chose Trump as the man they admired most, while only 1 percent chose Obama, according to the poll. Meanwhile, 39 percent of Democrats named Obama, versus 3 percent who named Trump.Other notable men on Gallup’s list included Pope Francis, Rev. Billy Graham, Republican Sen. John McCain and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.Media mogul Oprah Winfrey, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and German Chancellor Angela Merkel rounded out the top 5 for most admired women, according to the poll, while about a quarter of those surveyed said they couldn’t name a man or a woman they admire most.The poll was conducted via telephone between Dec. 4 and Dec. 11, using a random sample of 1,049 adults, Gallup said.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (WASHINGTON) -- Embattled FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is expected to retire from the FBI in several months when he becomes eligible to receive retirement benefits, a source familiar with the matter tells ABC News.McCabe has come under fire from President Trump and congressional Republicans who have expressed concerned about political bias at the Department of Justice and FBI. McCabe was grilled twice this week on Capitol Hill by members of the House Intelligence, Judiciary and Oversight Committees behind closed doors – meetings described to ABC News by participants as contentious.President Trump took to Twitter to attack McCabe and react to reports of his retirement Saturday after a golf outing in Florida, where he is vacationing with his family at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach.Republicans have raised concerns about McCabe because of his wife’s 2015 Virginia Senate campaign, which received contributions from a political group associated with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.After the firing of James Comey in May, many FBI insiders had expected McCabe - a deputy director for roughly two years who supervised the Clinton email investigation and filled in for Comey after his firing - to move on from his position with the appointment of new FBI Director Christopher Wray. His retirement is not viewed as premature by some in the bureau, or seen as having any connection to Trump’s attacks against him.Trump’s tweets have prompted new outpourings of support for the bureau’s agents. Close Comey associate and Brookings Institution fellow Ben Wittes tweeted Saturday that he had donated $1,000 to the FBI Agents Associated in light of Trump’s attacks.Others have since followed suit.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump is certain to face competition from an independent candidate if he runs for reelection in 2020 and will probably also be challenged by a Republican for the party's nomination, said Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, a longtime critic of the president."I do believe if the president is running for reelection, if he continues on the path that he’s on, that that’s going to leave a huge swath of voters looking for something else, who are unwilling to go where the president’s going unless he changes course," Flake told ABC News’ Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on "This Week" Sunday."So you’re saying if he is the Republican nominee again, we’re likely to see an independent candidate?" Karl asked.Flake responded, "Oh yes, I think he’s inviting that. He’s probably inviting a Republican challenge as well ... but certainly an independent challenge."The Arizona senator, who has announced he is not running for reelection when his term expires in 2018, added that he believes "it is important" for the president to face such a challenge from a conservative."I think it is important," Flake said. "People need to see what a traditional conservative looks like ... [and] what it means to believe in the basic tenets of Republicanism", including limited government, economic freedom and free trade.Flake announced his plans to leave the Senate after polls showed him far behind a challenger endorsed by President Donald Trump’s former senior adviser Steve Bannon.The Arizona Republican said his opposition to some of the president’s actions would have made a re-election bid tough.“[R]unning in a Republican primary in Arizona is a daunting task,” the senator said. “There’s a very, very narrow path, unless you’re willing to embrace the president and condone his behavior, and I’m not willing to do that.”Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Republican candidates used to be measured by their conservative ideology but now are judged according to how loyal they are to President Donald Trump, GOP Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania said.Dent, who has announced that he will not seek reelection in 2018, told ABC News' Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce in an interviewed aired on "This Week" Sunday that some Republican voters who once evaluated candidates on the purity of their conservative ideology now demand that they show complete loyalty to Trump."It's not about ideology anymore. It's about loyalty to the president," Dent said. "Now the litmus test has changed. The issue is loyalty to the man, to the president. And for some you know loyalty is not enough; you have to be angry and aggrieved."The GOP representative said the president is one reason why he decided to leave Congress after this term. Dent did not endorse Trump in 2016 and also has said he didn't vote for him."Certainly the president has been a factor" in the decision not to seek reelection, Dent said. "You know, ... I've often said that this administration at times is taking the fun out of dysfunction. I expect a certain amount of dysfunction in government. And sometimes you can laugh at it, but it's not so funny anymore."Dent added that he does share at least one thing in common with President Trump. He says they both are not strictly ideological but rather "pragmatic.""I used to get lectured ... by some around here about what it means to be a good Republican ... you know, heaven forbid if you weren't completely doctrinaire on every issue," the Pennsylvania congressman said."I'm guilty of being pragmatic. I'm OK with that, you know, and some people aren't," Dent said. "You know, President Trump ... is very pragmatic and he likes to do deals. But at the same time you know he can't seem to get out of the way of his own Twitter feed."The GOP representative added that he expects Republicans to lose congressional seats in 2018."I've told my colleagues, 'Look, we're going to be running into a headwind. You better be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. But be prepared for the worst because this could be a really tough year,” he said. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • United States Department of the Treasury(LOS ANGELES) -- Fears of a bomb outside Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's Los Angeles home turned out to be a waste -- literally.A box of gift-wrapped horse manure was to blame for a bomb scare in a driveway near Mnuchin's Bel Air, California, home Saturday evening, according to Los Angeles ABC station KABC.Police were called at 7:30 p.m. PT about a suspicious package left in the driveway next to Mnuchin's home, but addressed to the treasury secretary. The bomb squad was immediately summoned to check on the package -- only to discover it was manure.The package was signed as being from "the American people," according to KABC.The scene was cleared by 9:30 p.m. and no evacuations were ordered, police said.It's unclear whether Mnuchin or his wife, actress Louise Linton, were home at the time. The former Wall Street hedgefund manager purchased a $12.6 million home in Washington, D.C. earlier this year, according to Realtor.com, and also owns a home in the Hamptons and an apartment in Manhattan, in addition to the Bel Air mansion.President Trump's treasury secretary has drawn scrutiny over requesting a government plane for his honeymoon to Scotland, France and Italy this summer. He did not end up using the taxpayer-funded jet to fly to Europe after the request sparked an inquiry by the Treasury Department's Office of Inspector General, sources tell ABC News.But he has also drawn ire for using private government jets at unnecessary taxpayer expense when a commercial flight would serve the same purpose. Mnuchin reportedly took a government jet to Kentucky in August, which the inspector general reviewed after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shared photos of them watching the eclipse. Mnuchin said the trip was not to view the eclipse, but instead was government business.Mnuchin's wife, Linton, largely sparked a widespread inquiry into Trump administration officials improperly using government-funded private planes when she shared an Instagram picture in August returning from that trip to Kentucky, bragging about her high-end Rouland Mouret pants, Tom Ford sunglasses, Valentino high heels and Hermes scarf.The scandal led to the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in September over repeatedly chartering private planes for government travel.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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