On the anniversary of President Donald Trump's inauguration, Americans awoke to the first day of a government shutdown and Congress staged a weekend session to show voters it was trying to resolve the stalemate. Republicans and Democrats showed no signs of ending their standoff over immigration and spending on Saturday. Critical government functions will continue, with uniformed service members, health inspectors and law enforcement officers set to work without pay. But if no deal is reached before Monday, hundreds of thousands of federal employees will be furloughed.
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan says the partial government shutdown is "inflicting needless uncertainty on our country" and he is blaming it on Senate Democrats. He said that the Democrats are holding the government hostage to win protections for younger immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. Democrats, on the other hand, are blaming the shutdown on Republicans, who control Congress and the White House.
White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney and White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short spoke to reporters on January 19, 2018 as the Senate debated a funding bill to avoid a government shutdown.
In a speech at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University on January 17, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson outlined what he said were the five “key end states” the US wanted to see for the Syrian conflict. He said that the US wanted to see an “enduring defeat” for “ISIS and al-Qaida”; that it wanted to see a UN-led political process towards a stable “post-Assad leadership”; a diminished Iranian influence; the voluntary return of IDPs and refugees; and for Syria to be “free of weapons of mass destruction”. He added: “The United States will maintain a military presence in Syria focused on ensuring ISIS cannot re-emerge.”
Sen. Jeff Flake took aim at President Trump while speaking on the Senate floor on Jan. 17. “Mr. President it is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Joseph Stalin to describe his enemies,” Flake said.
A former aide to President Donald Trump testified before congressional leaders in a closed session on Tuesday. The House Intelligence Committee questioned Bannon following his spectacular fall from power after accusing the president's son and others of "treasonous" behavior for taking a meeting with Russians during the 2016 campaign.
President Donald Trump defended himself against accusations that he is racist, this time after recent disparaging comments about Haiti and African nations. "No, No. I'm not a racist," Trump said Sunday at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla.
President Donald Trump denied in a tweet on Thursday that he asked during a White House meeting why he should accept immigrants from “shithole countries” rather than people from places like Norway. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) responded to the tweet on camera, confirming that the president did use those words.