WCBE

Mara Liasson

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President Trump has had, according to the White House, a successful maiden trip outside the U.S. But the bad news is he has to come home. Back in Washington, the ongoing Russia investigations await him along with another appeals court setback for his travel ban.

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Official Washington is consumed with the firestorm that President Trump started when he fired FBI director James Comey earlier this week.

But Washington, D.C. is also an actual place where actual people live and work. Sometimes those people react to the news in very personal ways.

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President Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey. The White House spokesman, Sean Spicer, says this is effective immediately. NPR's Mara Liasson is with us now from the White House. And Mara, what do you know so far about why this happened?

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Donald Trump promised something new in American politics.

His strategists said his brash "America First" approach would bust up the old party identities and remake the Republican Party as a true populist "Workers Party."

But it was never perfectly clear exactly how he planned to do that — 100 days into his administration, here are five thoughts on what we know so far about Trumpism:

1. The early debate about Trumpism (and what that means)

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Thursday is the day the judicial filibuster in the Senate is scheduled to die. There hasn't been much of an effort to save it, but there have been a lot of lamentations for the slow demise of the World's Greatest Deliberative Body (WGDB), otherwise known as the U.S. Senate.

Here are five insights into what the death of the judicial filibuster means:

1. The winners and losers

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Tuesday night, President Trump will address a joint session of Congress for the first time. After a chaotic first month, it will be a chance for Trump to reset his relationship with voters, who currently give him historically-low approval ratings.

It will also be a chance for him to reassure congressional Republicans, whose view of the new administration runs the gamut from optimism to unease.

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What a week it was for Donald Trump.

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The White House moved up the president's announcement that he was nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court by two days, possibly to distract from the firestorm of criticism over his chaotic rollout of his refugee policy.

But maybe the White House didn't have to worry.

New polls show the policy may not be as unpopular as all those protests over the weekend suggested.

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The Republican Party has embraced President-elect Donald Trump's positions on immigration, trade, the deficit and conflicts of interest, but when it comes to Russia, Trump and his party are not even close to being on the same page.

Trump has repeatedly and consistently expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin and has refused to accept intelligence community findings that Russia hacked Democratic Party emails during the campaign. That puts him at odds with almost every other Republican in Washington, D.C.

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The Republican Party heads into 2017 with more power than it has had for a long time.

For the Democrats, it's a different matter.

Hillary Clinton's loss in the presidential race and Democratic failures further down the ballot have the party searching for a way forward.

Here are five things Democrats need to do, as they look for a path out of the political wilderness:

1. Be clear about how bad things are — and are not — for the Democratic Party.

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Even before he is sworn in, Donald Trump is putting his own stamp on the role of chief executive.

That has some people rejoicing — and others worried about where he's going to take the country. Here is why some of Trump's critics say the president-elect could be a threat to democratic institutions and why others say those fears are overblown.

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President-elect Donald Trump is busy trying to staff his government and decide which of his many campaign promises he wants to keep and which he wants to discard. We will hear from a member of his transition team in a moment.

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The final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. It's the last chance either candidate will have to make a closing argument before tens of millions of voters.

It follows yet another unprecedented week in the campaign, in which Trump has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of the election, predicting that it will be stolen from him through media bias and massive voter fraud.

It's hard to be any more gobsmacked about the state of the presidential race right now, after a video of Donald Trump making vulgar comments about women surfaced Friday, prompting more than 30 prominent Republicans to call for him to step aside as the nominee.

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