Russia

Numerous Inauguration Protests: From Nonviolent Chants to Bricks-in-Windows
Inauguration Day protests throughout D.C. take different tones

A shattered window of a Starbucks shop in downtown D.C. on Friday. (Matt Rhodes for CQ Roll Call)

On Inaugural Day in Washington, some twenty-something, left-leaning protesters dressed in black threw bricks into the windows of local storefronts. Elsewhere, sixty-something antiwar activists held up colorful signs and coordinated peaceful chants.

And while police used pepper-spray to break up some demonstrators in downtown D.C., on another street a man wearing a cherry-red Make America Great Again baseball cap calmly chatted in the middle of 7th Street NW with a young man wearing a dark hood that enveloped his face.

Good Trump, Bad Trump — Who Will Appear at the Inaugural?
No guarantee what president-elect will say Friday

Listening to President-elect Donald Trump’s past speeches gives one the sense of a political leader torn between a good angel on his right shoulder and a malevolent demon on his left, Walter Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

No matter how many drafts speechwriter Stephen Miller prepares, no matter how often the president-elect practices with a teleprompter, there is no guarantee what Donald Trump will say on Friday after he takes the oath of office. The man who is about to become the 45th president is too impulsive, too much of a creature of his own id, to be slavishly faithful to the final draft of the inaugural address. 

The majesty of the moment, the hand-on-the-Bible jolt of emotion for this child of Outer-Borough America, could send Trump in unexpected directions. Even an orator who revels in huge rallies, as Trump does, may be surprised — as Bill Clinton was in 1993 — at the way his oratory echoes off the monuments and how indistinct the faces of his audience appear as he gazes down from the heights of the West Front of the Capitol.

Report: Gabbard Makes Secret Trip to Syria
The congresswoman took a 'fact-finding' trip to Syria aiming to end the six-year civil war

A spokeswoman for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, shown here at a rally held by labor, environmental, and consumer groups in November, confirmed the congresswoman’s trip to Syria on Wednesday. (Tom Wiliiams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was reported to be returning on Wednesday from a secret trip to Syria, which her aides described as a “fact-finding” mission to end the conflict there.

Gabbard spokeswoman Emily Latimer said the representative “felt it was important to meet with a number of individuals and groups including religious leaders, humanitarian workers, refugees and government and community leaders,” Foreign Policy reported.

Senators to Watch as Trump Era Begins
Rank-and-file senators likely to be key players in 115th Congress

Georgia Sen. David Perdue, left, and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III are both senators to watch. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans may have full control in Washington, but the Senate remains the Senate, which means it’s the place where rank-and-file Democrats and Republicans retain the most clout and potential for influence. Here are the key senators from outside of the top echelons of the leadership structures to watch as the 115th Congress gets underway.

The moderate from Maine will be the first person to watch on any contentious votes, particularly on budget reconciliation votes that aim to repeal parts of the 2010 health care law. She has, for instance, been among the small number of Republicans opposing efforts to tie the GOP health care plans to stopping federal funding of Planned Parenthood.

Mike Pence Tells Mayors Infrastructure Bill Will Be ‘Big’
Obama commutations draw a crowd

Vice President-elect Mike Pence, pictured here with House GOP leaders, on Tuesday let a group of U.S. mayors know the incoming Trump administration plans to push a “big” infrastucture bill. How to pay for the measure, however, will be a major hurdle. (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President-elect Donald Trump wanted a group of U.S. mayors gathered in Washington to know his administration will be a “friend” starting Friday, when he will be sworn in.

So he instructed his vice president-in-waiting, Mike Pence, to deliver a message to them on Tuesday when he addressed their conference: “Tell ‘em we’re going to do an infrastructure bill, and it’s going to be big,” the Republican president-elect said during a phone conversation with Pence.

Lewis Backs Out of Inauguration Ban Claim
Georgia Democrat acknowledges Trump won’t be first swearing-in he refused to attend

Rep. John Lewis testifies against the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions,  President-elect Trump’s nominee for attorney general. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. John Lewis’ office is walking back comments he made Sunday about boycotting the presidential inauguration for the first time after he was blasted by Donald Trump about not attending the swearing-in of former President George W. Bush.

Citing a 2001 Washington Post article, Trump tweeted Tuesday that Lewis had also skipped the inauguration of the 43rd president because “he thought it would be hypocritical to attend Bush’s swearing-in because he doesn’t believe Bush is the true elected president.”

Obama Doubts Trump Can Govern Via Twitter, Admits Some Missteps
Outgoing president: Bitter partisanship means ‘we’re weakening ourselves’

President Obama, Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., arrive in the Capitol Visitor Center on Jan. 4 for the meeting of House and Senate Democrats to discuss Obamacare. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama used his final national television interview to express doubts that Donald Trump will be able to effectively govern by firing off tweets and offered some advice about the president-elect’s feud with the intelligence community.

In a lengthy interview that aired Sunday evening on CBS’s “60 Minutes” news program, Obama also acknowledged some mistakes — a rarity for the outgoing chief executive. Among them were missteps he made in dealing with Congress.

Senate Panel to Probe Links Between Russia, Political Campaigns
Burr and Warner statement says committee will ‘follow the intelligence wherever it leads’

Vice chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., left, and chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., confer before Tuesday’s hearing on Russian intelligence activities. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s inquiry into Russian intelligence operations against the United States will investigate any possible links between Russia and American political campaigns, the panel said Friday.

The bipartisan investigation will also include a review of the American intelligence agencies’ assessment of what they say was Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including cyberattacks and other so-called active measures.

Ep. 36: Spooked by Russia
The Week Ahead

CQ Roll Call’s intelligence reporter Ryan Lucas separates fact from fiction on all the Russia-related reports that have thrown the nation’s capital into a tizzy. 

John Lewis to Skip Trump Inauguration
Says Trump is not a legitimate president

Rep. John Lewis, seen testifying at the confirmation hearing of Jeff Sessions for attorney general, is boycotting Trump’s inauguration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis will not attend President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, charging that Trump’s presidency is illegitimate. 

“I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president,” the Georgia Democrat told NBC’s “Meet the Press with Chuck Todd” in an interview to air this Sunday. “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”