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  • Credit: Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) -- The House a cleared a must-pass bill Thursday night to fund the government through Feb. 16, sending the measure to the Senate as lawmakers scramble to avoid a government shutdown amid a fight over the fate of young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers.The measure passed by a 230-197 vote, with a handful of Republicans joining Democrats in voting against the measure.Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus largely backed the measure, after spending much of the day in negotiations with the White House and GOP leaders over concerns about military funding levels and the larger debate between the White House and Capitol Hill over immigration reform.The package would fund the government through mid-February, and also includes a measure to renew funds for a program, known as CHIP, providing low-income children with health insurance for six years. Democrats largely opposed the measure over the amount of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the lack of progress on protecting roughly 700,000 Dreamers from deportation in March.In the Senate, Democrats have pledged to oppose the bill unless it includes protections for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.Last-minute negotiations were disrupted Thursday by an early morning tweet from President Trump that appeared to undermine the GOP strategy to include CHIP funding to attract Democratic votes.Trump later spoke with House Speaker Paul Ryan, and the White House and top GOP leaders said the president did in fact support Republicans’ short-term spending package.The measure now moves to the Senate, where the math still appears to be a challenge for Republicans, who would need Democratic votes to clear the 60-vote threshold needed to pass it.  Senators sparred on the floor Thursday evening, but didn't get anywhere.Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, N.Y., suggested that the Senate pass a four- or five-day clean continuing resolution in order to continue debate on DACA, which would require getting a better sense of what the president wants out of a deal.“Maybe the Majority Leader -- we're trying to help you, Mitch -- can pin down exactly what President Trump wants,” Schumer said, looking at his Republican counterpart, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Ky.McConnell accused his Democratic colleagues of holding up government funding in order to force a deal on DACA, which he insisted has no urgency until March.“The reason we're here right now is our friends on the other side of the aisle say, 'Solve this illegal immigration problem right now or we're going to shut the government down,'” he said.Debate in the Senate was expected to pick back up at 11 a.m. on Friday.A shutdown would begin just after Friday's midnight deadline -- Saturday being the one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration.
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  • Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon told congressional investigators that the controversial June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton was “unpatriotic,” a private acknowledgement of comments he’s tried to publicly distance himself from, according to sources familiar with his closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee earlier this week.Bannon, according to Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff, said the meeting attended by Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and then campaign chairman Paul Manafort was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic."“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad [expletive], and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately,” Bannon said, according to Wolff.He later distanced himself from those comments, which reportedly angered President Trump, saying in a statement that the eldest Trump son “is both a patriot and a good man,” and that the “treasonous” comments were directed at Manafort.But two sources familiar with Bannon’s congressional testimony tell ABC News that Bannon told lawmakers that the meeting was “unpatriotic,” though he admitted that his initial description of the meeting as “treasonous” was hyperbolic.A third source familiar with Bannon’s testimony told ABC News that Bannon’s comment about the meeting to lawmakers was only a reference to Manafort, not Trump Jr. or Kushner.Bannon only said that the meeting “displayed poor judgment” on the part of Trump Jr. and Kushner, but was “excusable because they were newcomers to political campaigns,” the source said.Bannon, who was questioned about his comments to Wolff by lawmakers, told the committee he was speculating when he suggested to Wolff that it was likely that Trump Jr. brought the Russian lawyer and other individuals in the meeting to meet with Donald Trump in Trump Tower, according to two sources."The chance that Don Jr did not walk these jumos up to his father's office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero,” Bannon said, according to Wolff.Sources familiar with Bannon's interview also told the committee that he had communicated with former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, press secretary Sean Spicer and Mark Corallo, the former spokesman for the president’s legal team, about the Trump Tower meeting after the New York Times broke the news on the meeting in July of 2017. Bannon’s comments to the committee about these conversations were first reported by Axios.Bannon is expected back before the committee later this month after he refused to answer questions about his time working for Trump during the transition and in the Oval Office.Bannon did not respond to a request for comment.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Credit: Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) -- The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence publicly released the committee transcript from their seven-hour interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson last November, ABC News has learned.The committee voted to release the transcript in a meeting Thursday morning, according to members.This is a developing story. Please refresh for details. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABC News(CORAOPOLIS, Pa.) -- In a sign that he is eager to involve himself in the coming 2018 midterm elections, President Donald Trump will give a speech Thursday in southwestern Pennsylvania in the midst of a special election that could test his support in the same working class areas that propelled him to the presidency.Trump will speak at the H&K Equipment Company in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, located in the state’s vacant 18th congressional district, which was held by Republican Tim Murphy until he was forced to resign after an embarrassing scandal.While in Pennsylvania Trump will express support for the Republican vying to replace Murphy, State Representative Rick Saccone, a former military intelligence officer, who is taking on Democrat Conor Lamb, a former federal prosecutor and Marine Corps veteran.The visit to Pennsylvania comes as the President has said he wants to increase his engagement in the 2018 midterm cycle.“I am going to spend probably four or five days a week helping people because we need more Republicans,” President Trump told Reuters in an interview Wednesday, “I will be very much involved with - beyond the primaries - with the election itself, very very much.”Lamb faces an uphill battle in Pennsylvania’s 18th district, which is tucked in the state’s southwestern corner. The district voted for President Trump by nearly 20 points in the 2016 presidential election, and had been represented by Murphy since 2003.The Democrat’s campaign released its first television advertisement Thursday, which highlights Lamb’s military and legal experience, and also re-iterates his call for new congressional leadership in both parties.If elected, Lamb said that he will not support Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as the Democratic Leader, and his first television advertisement touts him as “the only candidate whose said that Democrats and Republicans need new leaders in Congress.”The president’s visit comes as Republican anxiety about the 2018 midterms is only increasing, as Democrats are looking to seize on the momentum from recent victories in redder parts of the country like Alabama, where last month a Democrat was elected to the U.S. Senate for the first time in over two decades.President Trump backed the Republican in the Alabama race, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Judge Roy Moore, whose campaign was hampered by allegations of sexual misconduct and ultimately lost to former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- With his first year in office coming to a close, President Donald Trump recently asked a rally crowd in Pensacola, Florida to consider what he gave up as a businessman in order to pursue the presidency."Think where I would be right now if I couldn't I didn't do this," Trump said to cheers. "I would be very happy, believe me."The line is a frequent public musing by the president, suggesting an awareness of the trade-offs inherent in stepping back from running a family business and accepting a role in government.As president, Trump resigned as head of his business empire, turning over day to day control of his company to his two sons. But he did not fully divest from his financial holdings, breaking with precedent set by previous presidents to avoid potential conflicts of interest and drawing protests from government ethics watchdogs."There could be a potential upside and a potential downside [to Trump] maintaining ties with his businesses," said Kathleen Clark, who serves on the D.C. Bar Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee.Here's what we know about how Trump's actions as president may have impacted family businesses, based on publicly available information:The UpsidePresident Trump has shown that the power and influence of the nation's highest elected office can translate into increased interest in properties bearing the presidential name.During the first year of his term, Trump visited or stayed at a Trump family-owned property a total of 109 days, by ABC News' count, including out of town stays at Trump Tower in New York, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., and Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J."Trump businesses have done relatively well where he has been able to leverage the presidency on their behalf, but the properties that have not featured his presence have not benefited," Clark said.In a statement to ABC News the Trump Organization disputed that Trump has directly influenced his businesses during his first year in office."President Trump resigned from the Trump Organization as previously stated. He is our president and is running the country," the statement read. "Now, Don Jr. and Eric Trump have taken the reins and are leading The Trump Organization alongside the Company’s leadership team. They are making all decisions regarding the future of assets and operations."But critics have accused some of the Trump-owned clubs of deliberately marketing and attempting to cash in on the opportunity to rub elbows with the commander in chief.The Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. in early 2017 distributed a flyer advertising a potential presidential drop-by to those searching out a wedding venue, a promotion later discontinued according to the New York Times."If he is on-site for your big day, he will likely stop in & congratulate the happy couple," the brochure read, according to the Times. "He may take some photos with you but we ask you and your guests to be respectful of his time & privacy.”Trump himself has even publicly promoted several of the clubs during public appearances on official U.S. government business."Korean golfers are some of the best on Earth," Trump said in a November speech to the South Korean National Assembly. "The Women’s U.S. Open was held this year at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., and it just happened to be won by a great Korean golfer, Sung-hyun Park."Neither the club nor Trump organization responded to ABC News' previous request for comment when the news was first reported.Shortly after the 2016 election, membership fees at Mar-a-Lago doubled to $200,000, several members confirmed to ABC News, not including annual dues which reportedly run as high as $14,000.Neither the resort nor Trump organization responded to ABC News' previous request for comment when the story first broke.The Trump property closest to the White House — the Trump International Hotel on Pennsy
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