01.23.2017 - 9:20 PM EDT

Trump tells stunned congressional leaders that he lost the popular vote because 3 to 5 million undocumented immigrants voted against him.

01.23.2017 - 8:09 PM EDT

This is a really critical story on a number of levels. The debate over Obamacare has been shaped to a great extent over the last year by Aetna's decision to withdraw from exchanges in a number of states because, it claimed, it was losing money. But in a ruling today which blocked a proposed merger between Aetna and Humana, federal Judge John D. Bates held that Aetna's claim was bogus. Rather than being a business decision based on the inability to make a profit in those states, Bates ruled that Aetna had withdrawn from Obamacare exchanges at least in part as a strategy to threaten its way out of the anti-trust case.

01.23.2017 - 12:06 PM EDT

Is history repeating itself? With Donald Trump's executive order to agencies to waive or delay any part of the Affordable Care Act that imposes a financial or regulatory burden, Obamacare's days appear numbered. The administration has begun a process that could lead to the disintegration of the exchanges even before Congress gets around to repealing the act, and well before it creates a viable replacement. Something very similar happened in Australia forty years ago -- and the results were not good for the conservatives who eliminated their national health system.

01.23.2017 - 11:54 AM EDT

In his new announcement about cutting federal regulations, President Trump today said that when a company wants to "do something monstrous and special, you're going to have your approvals really fast."

01.23.2017 - 9:39 AM EDT

You've likely seen the overnight headlines: US counter-intelligence agents have been scrutinizing Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's contacts with Russia, both during the presidential campaign and on the crucial date of December 29th, 2016, the day President Obama leveled a series of new sanctions on Russian in response to their election year subversion campaign.

01.22.2017 - 4:21 PM EDT

At a reception in the White Housea short time ago, according to the pool report, President Trump spotted FBI Director Comey and called out to him. Comey came over to Trump to shake his hand and then gave Trump a hug before shaking the Vice President's hand.

"He's become more famous than me," said Trump.

Late Update - 10:29 PM: The text above was based on the White House pool report. However, now having watched the video myself, 'hug' seems overstated. More like a pat on the shoulder from Trump and a word in the ear.

01.22.2017 - 2:28 PM EDT

There is no precise way to count the number of people in a DC crowd on a given day, though crowd experts have formulas for making pretty good approximations. But we do have very precise numbers on the number of rides taken each day on the DC area subway system (the metro). And it's a decent apples to apples comparison for getting a broad sense of which inauguration crowd was bigger and how they matched up to yesterday's Women's March on Washington. So here are the numbers.

To see a full size version of the chart, click the title of this post.

01.21.2017 - 5:40 PM EDT

5:39 PM: After a delay of about an hour we appear to be moments away from what is expected to be a White House statement on the crowd size issue.

5:40 PM: Spicer complaining about MLK bust and giving various excuses why the inaugural crowd was much bigger than anyone said.

5:41 PM: Spicer claims crowd was the largest crowd ever to witness a presidential inauguration.

5:43 PM: Spicer is basically in primal scream mode now.

5:46 PM: Verbatim quote: "This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration. Period. Both in person and around the globe."

On the one hand it is chilling, bizarre, un-American to see the President's spokesman begin the term excoriating and threatening the press, telling demonstrable lies, speaking with a palpable rage in his voice. On the other, the President and his toadies are on the second day almost vanishingly small. They are embarrassing themselves. They look silly. They look ridiculous. It is hard to be intimidated by ridiculousness. I suspect this will be the abiding duality of the Trump presidency.

Full video of Spicer after the jump.

01.21.2017 - 4:51 PM EDT

Nearly impossible to capture the Trump remarks at CIA in words. Here's the video.

01.21.2017 - 4:30 PM EDT

The first big initiative of the Trump administration will apparently be to contest the crowd-size estimates for his inauguration. Trump himself just went down that bizarre path at CIA headquarters, in front of the memorial to fallen CIA officers. And now we're awaiting a White House press briefing, where photos of the crowd, blown up to poster size, have been set out as props:

01.21.2017 - 3:37 PM EDT

Trump is spending a decent part of his informal speech to the staff of the CIA talking about how the press covered up how big his inaugural crowds were.

"We had a massive field of people. You saw them. Packed. I get up this morning and I turn on one of the networks and they show an empty field. I said wait a minute. I made a speech. I looked out. The field was ... it looked like a million, a million and a half people. They showed a field where there were practical nobody standing there."

01.21.2017 - 3:05 PM EDT

Some of the reports from our Caitlin MacNeal and Allegra Kirkland at the march in DC here, here, here, here, and here.

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