Donald Trump

Updated at 7:18 p.m. ET

President Trump said thank you Wednesday evening to Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice contestant turned White House aide, who is stepping down from her post.

"I wish you continued success," Trump posted on Twitter.

In deep-red Texas, Republicans will have to fight for every seat in Congress during next year's midterm elections. For the first time in 25 years, Democrats are running in all of Texas' 36 congressional districts, according to documents filed with the Texas Secretary of State's office.

Those filings set a record for the number of Democratic challengers in an era of Republican dominance, says Mark Jones, political science fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute. It is a departure from 2016, he says, when eight Republican-held congressional seats went uncontested by Democrats.

When Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein faces questions Wednesday on Capitol Hill about the investigation into Russia's election interference, he is certain to be asked about unflattering text messages exchanged by FBI agents about then-candidate Donald Trump.

In the text messages, seen by NPR's Carrie Johnson, between agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, Trump is referred to several times as an "idiot."

With a single 8 a.m. tweet, a classic Trumpian feud has erupted between the president of the United States and the junior senator from his home state, a high-profile female Democrat who called his tweet "a sexist smear."

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., was attending a bipartisan Senate prayer meeting Tuesday morning when she got a phone call. President Trump had tweeted about her.

This appears to have been a response to Gillibrand's call on Monday for Trump to resign.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said on Sunday that women who have accused President Trump of sexual harassment and assault "should be heard."

More than a dozen women came forward during the 2016 campaign with allegations of unwanted touching or kissing or other forms of sexual harassment.

Haley addressed the allegations on CBS's Face the Nation, after discussing North Korea's missile tests and the plan to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

President Trump has formally told NASA to send U.S. astronauts back to the moon.

"The directive I'm signing today will refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery," he said.

Standing at the president's side as he signed "Space Policy Directive 1" on Monday was Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt, one of the last two humans to ever walk on the moon, in a mission that took place 45 years ago this week.

Brynn Anderson / AP Photo/File

On this edition of Political Rewind, as the Alabama Senate race heads to the finish line, President Trump rallies voters to turn out for Roy Moore, while former President Obama, along with other key African-American leaders, rally in support of Doug Jones. Meanwhile, Alabama business leaders worry the election results could be yet another setback for the state’s efforts to compete with Georgia.

Protesters clashed with security forces Sunday outside of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in response to President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

NPR's Ruth Sherlock reports from the demonstration that for the most part, the protesters were peaceful.

"Then, there was a commotion at the front, and suddenly police in riot gear fired volleys of tear gas. Some protesters threw rocks. Most scattered. Four people dragged away a woman who seemed hit very badly with tear gas, and was unable to walk."

While many aspects of the Justice Department's Russia investigation remain shrouded in secrecy, one thing at this point is clear: Special counsel Robert Mueller isn't finished yet.

That raises the question about where he might be heading.

President Trump visited Jackson, Miss., on Saturday, where he toured and delivered remarks at the opening of a pair of museums dedicated to the state's role in the civil rights movement and as a celebration of its bicentennial.

While he largely did not stray from his prepared remarks, Trump's presence at the event drew a sharp rebuke from some prominent African-American elected officials and civil rights leaders, prompting some of them to skip the opening altogether.

This week In the Russia investigations: Downshift from strategic war to knife fight, top G-Men on his back foot as lawmakers engage in oversight, Trump Jr. clammed up in Congress.

Now, a knife fight

Not long ago, this saga was about Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller's surveying the battlefield like a general and with one swift coup — getting Michael Flynn to turn state's evidence — changing the whole strategic picture.

Updated at 10:34 p.m. ET

Speaking at a campaign rally Friday night in Florida — but about 20 miles from the Alabama state line — President Trump seized upon news that one of GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore's accusers had added to a yearbook inscription which she has offered in support of her allegations that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager decades ago.

"So did you see what happened today? You know the yearbook?" Trump asked attendees in Pensacola, Fla. "There was a little mistake made."

Fires in Southern California have now broken out in northern San Diego County, in the rural towns of Bonsall and Oceanside. The Lilac Fire has destroyed buildings and evacuations are underway.

John Sepulvado (@JohnLGC) of KQED joins Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson with the latest.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

On this edition of Political Rewind, two prominent Georgians push back against President Trump: FBI Director Chris Wray defends the honor of his agency in response to Trump's Twitter attacks, and Congressman John Lewis says he won't attend the opening of a Mississippi civil rights museum if Donald Trump shows up. Plus, will Al Franken's resignation from the U.S. Senate put more pressure on Republicans to speak out against those in their own party accused of sexual harassment? Georgia's own Newt Gingrich says no way.

Two Democratic representatives, John Lewis and Bennie Thompson, say they will not attend the long-awaited opening on Saturday of two museums dedicated to Mississippi's history and civil rights struggle because of the planned appearance of President Trump.

Lewis is a Georgia Democrat and icon of the civil rights campaign. Thompson is Mississippi's only Democratic congressman. In a joint statement, they said they made their decision "after careful consideration and conversations with church leaders, elected officials, civil rights activists" and many others.

Updated at 6:17 p.m. ET

Congress has voted to avert a partial government shutdown that could have come Friday night.

Updated at 3:21 p.m. ET

As President Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, other countries wasted little time in condemning the move on Wednesday. Citing fears that it will inflame tensions and undermine the peace process with Palestinians, who also claim the city as their capital, many in the international community also warned the White House against its stated intention of eventually relocating the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the hotly disputed city.

A state judge in New York is weighing whether to dismiss a defamation lawsuit that could bring allegations of sexual misconduct against President Trump back into the spotlight amid a national reckoning over sexual harassment.

Updated at 4:08 p.m. ET

Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly subpoenaed Trump family financial records from the German financial giant Deutsche Bank, a move that could signal a major new direction for his inquiry.

If the saga of Michael Flynn feels like it's been hanging over President Trump's head since Inauguration Day, that's because it has.

The story of how Trump's first national security adviser came to plead guilty to lying to FBI investigators and cooperate in the special counsel's Russia investigation spans two presidential terms and also touches government officials who were subsequently fired by Trump.

As a candidate, Donald Trump once joked, "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters."

President Trump went to Utah on Monday. The official purpose of his trip was to announce the reduction of two national monuments in the state, though he could have signed those orders in the Oval Office.

But the journey west may have served a political purpose for the president — to keep a political rival out of Washington.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court will allow the Trump administration to fully enforce its revised ban on allowing entry to the United States by residents of eight countries while legal challenges are heard by a federal appeals court.

Six of the countries — Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad and Somalia — are majority-Muslim nations. The other two are North Korea and Venezuela.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. E.D.T. on December 4.

President Trump may have been involved with a change to the Republican Party campaign platform last year that watered down support for U.S. assistance to Ukraine, according to new information from someone who was involved.

Diana Denman, a Republican delegate who supported arming U.S. allies in Ukraine, has told people that Trump aide J.D. Gordon said at the Republican Convention in 2016 that Trump directed him to support weakening that position in the official platform.

Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

Just over a week ahead of Alabama's special Senate election, President Trump and the Republican National Committee confirmed Monday they are standing behind embattled GOP nominee Roy Moore's campaign.

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET

On a visit to Utah on Monday, President Trump announced his proclamations dramatically shrinking the size of the state's two massive national monuments, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. Taken together, Trump's orders mark the largest reversal of national monument protections in U.S. history.

The change has already been challenged in court by conservation groups.

A day after Michael Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser, was ensnared — and apparently flipped — in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, another story leaked: "Mueller Removed FBI Agent From Russia Probe Over Anti-Trump Messages."

Coincidence?

Susa / AP Photo

On this edition of "Political Rewind," we address the fallout from Michael Flynn’s guilty plea in the Russia probe and his cooperation with the special counsel’s investigation. He’s already pointing fingers at the White House transition team and, according to some, President Trump directly. Also, vulnerable Georgians may soon lose health care benefits that the federal government has long funded to help children, rural hospitals and major trauma centers like Grady. Will Congress act quickly to restore these programs?

Since President Trump came into office, U.S. troop numbers have been edging up in the three countries where the U.S. is most deeply involved in fighting — Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. forces totaled just over 18,000 in these three countries at the end of last December, just before President Obama completed his term, according to the Pentagon's Defense Manpower Data Center.

The combined figure was about 26,000 as of the end of September, the most recent data available from the Pentagon.

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