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Congress and the Trump administration could boost insurance coverage by a couple of million people and lower premiums by taking a few actions to stabilize the Affordable Care Act insurance markets, according to a new analysis by the consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Aug 25, 2017

President Trump has had his quiet weeks since taking office.

This wasn’t one of them.

Friday News Roundup - International

Aug 25, 2017

What’s President Trump’s strategy for winning the war in Afghanistan? A lot of people are still uncertain, even after a lengthy, televised address by the U.S. president on the way forward this week. Plus, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner travels to the Middle East to talk democracy with the Egyptian president and peace between Israel and Palestine.

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The interim communications director at the White House has been notably quiet. That's by design. Hope Hicks took the job almost 10 days ago. NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith has this profile.

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Now to discuss the week in politics, we have two analysts here in our studios at NPR West in Culver City, Calif. Leon Krauze is an author and Univision anchor. Welcome to the program.

LEON KRAUZE: Good to be with you, Ari.

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President Trump - wow - was in full attack mode this week.

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Each day, the fallout continues from President Trump's statements about both sides contributing to the racial violence in Charlottesville. So far, around 20 charities have pulled out of events at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

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A judge in Washington, D.C., has approved a government request to access data from a website used to organize protests against President Trump's inauguration — with the caveat that the Department of Justice must establish "additional protections" to safeguard users' privacy and right to free speech.

With the federal government getting closer to running out of cash to cover all bills on time, companies that evaluate bonds are having to consider how to rate America's creditworthiness.

And their job didn't get any easier on Thursday when President Trump continued his attacks on congressional leaders over their failure to raise the federal debt ceiling.

Other U.S. officials have been trying reassure the financial markets that no default is imminent.

Keeping House At HUD

Aug 24, 2017

A new article about the department of Housing and Urban Development called “Is Anybody Home At HUD?” says:

“HUD has long been something of an overlooked stepchild within the federal government. Founded in 1965 in a burst of Great Society resolve to confront the “urban crisis,” it has seen its manpower slide by more than half since the Reagan Revolution.”

Fully 12 percent of people who voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries voted for President Trump in the general election. That is according to the data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study — a massive election survey of around 50,000 people. (For perspective, a run-of-the-mill survey measuring Trump's job approval right now has a sample of 800 to 1,500.)

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President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell do not seem to be on the best terms these days.

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No. Trump has been making digs at McConnell ever since he failed to pass a Republican health care bill last month. And McConnell responded.

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So when it comes to the White House banning transgender people serving in the U.S. military, a key word they are using is deployability.

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Updated at 1:08 p.m. ET Aug. 24

Congress could authorize "top secret" security clearances for each state's chief election official to help protect voting systems from cyberattacks and other potential meddling.

That provision, which was part of the Senate Intelligence Committee's 2018 policy bill for U.S. spy agencies, is one of the first concrete steps that lawmakers have taken to try to defend future elections from the sort of foreign interference that plagued the 2016 presidential race.

Updated 10 a.m. ET

Escalating tension between Capitol Hill and the White House is threatening the GOP's legislative agenda and testing the bonds of party unity under the Trump administration.

The Justice Department is dropping the most controversial part of its demand for records relating to a website used to coordinate protests during the presidential inauguration.

In court filings submitted yesterday, ahead of a hearing Thursday in D.C. Superior Court, the government suggests modifications to the warrant it attained for files from web hosting company DreamHost, which hosted the website DisruptJ20.org.

The city of Charlottesville has shrouded two of its Confederate monuments in a show of mourning for the woman killed in the violent white nationalist protest there earlier this month.

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At his rally in Phoenix last night, President Trump threatened to shut down the government if Congress doesn't fund his border wall with Mexico. His threat comes at a time when Congress faces some difficult budget challenges. Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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As cavalier as President Trump is being about his relationship with Congress, he's not taking any chances with voters.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Wow, what a crowd.

(CHEERING)

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