In it, but not of it. TPM DC

There is mounting frustration on Capitol Hill with how President Donald Trump has conducted himself in his first week and a half in office.

Trump's decision last week to roll out an executive order that restricted travel from seven-majority Muslim countries and temporarily halted the U.S. refugee program, reportedly without consulting his Capitol Hill, Justice Department or Department of Homeland Security, bruised egos and left congressional Republicans stunned. Some worried that this could be their new normal.

"I got the impression that the people who were briefing us know there needs to be more caution, I'm not sure the President knows that," said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who was coming out of a briefing Tuesday with DHS Secretary Gen. John Kelly.

Hill GOPers already identified an aggressive agenda for the year ahead, including repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act and overhauling the U.S. tax code. But those plans keep getting overshadowed by a White House and President that shoots from the hip and goes ahead with their own agenda without even consulting the first branch of government.

Every new relationship has its growing pains, but for Republicans who've spent the last eight years defining their agenda in opposition to former President Barack Obama, winning the White House wasn't supposed to be like this at all.

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A snapshot of enrollment numbers released Friday reveal that sign-ups in the final days of enrollment are down in 2017, when compared to the similar period of 2016.

Between January 15 and 31, less than 400,000 people signed up for plans on the website used by 39 states, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said. Nearly 700,000 people signed up in the last two weeks of enrollment last year, according to the Washington Examiner.

Altogether, 9.2 million people signed up for individual insurance plans in the most recent open enrollment period, a decrease of 400,000, according to Bloomberg.

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A recent addition to Donald Trump’s White House team is quickly becoming the new face of the administration’s foreign policy shop: Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka.

Gorka, who formally joined the administration in late January and previously served as an editor at Breitbart News, has been deployed across the cable networks and airwaves this week to discuss Trump putting Iran “on notice” as well as the fallout from the President's executive order on immigration.

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In the thirteen days since President Donald Trump was sworn in, headlines have screamed about mass dismissals at federal agencies, tense phone calls with world leaders, and a commander-in-chief who stewed for days over coverage of his inauguration crowd size.

Many of these unflattering details about the turmoil at the White House and inner psychology of the President have come from a steady stream of anonymous leaks. Presidential historians and veteran political journalists agree they’re unlike anything they’ve seen before.

“I can’t recall having seen a situation where there appears to be so much leaking of such an intimate nature in such a short period of time,” Russell Riley, expert on presidential history at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, told TPM.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) told reporters Thursday that he values Australia as a U.S. ally after reports surfaced that President Donald Trump had a testy phone call with the Australian Prime Minister and hung up early.

"I don't think Australia should be worried about it's relationship with our new president or our country for that matter," Ryan said. "I know your country well, I've met with your leaders continuously over the last number of years."

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To riff on the bard, a Muslim ban by any other name is still a political and legal problem for President Donald Trump.

Defenders of a controversial immigration executive order signed by Trump last week have suddenly taken issue with calling the order a "ban," be it a "Muslim ban," a "travel ban" or otherwise. White House press secretary Sean Spicer went as far as to scold journalists for using the term, even as Trump himself has continued to use the label.

But legal experts, as well as the civil rights advocates suing over the executive order, are pointing to another comment made by Trump, that they say bolsters the case that it is a ban of some sort, and one that may be illegal. Trump, in an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network almost immediately after signing the order, said that one of its purposes was to make it easier for Christians to enter the United States.

"It seems to me the soft underbelly of the legal defense is this business about Christians, because not only is that subject to Equal Protection and Establishment Clause [questions] on its own, but it suggests that this is a Muslim ban,” said Michael Meltsner, a professor at Northeastern University School of Law.

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Even before Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch began to make the rounds to Capitol Offices on Wednesday afternoon in an attempt to win confirmation from the U.S. Senate, Democratic efforts to hold the line against him were underway.

Just after Gorsuch's nomination was announced Tuesday night, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a statement that Democrats would demand 60 votes to confirm Gorsuch, a rare move on Supreme Court nominees and one that could set into motion the eradication of the filibuster for the Supreme Court.

Many Republicans on Wednesday chummily held the line that Gorsuch was so qualified that they weren't sure Democrats would object to him. But others were candid about what may transpire if Democrats really do stand in the way of Gorsuch.

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The head of the top trade group for health insurers confirmed Wednesday that the Trump administration had not explained what to expect from an executive order the President signed on the Affordable Care Act, which outsider experts have struggled to parse as well.

Testifying in front of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Marilyn Tavenner, the president and chief executive officer of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), told Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) that insurers had not received any additional guidance from the administration about its plans for implementing the order.

"We do not have any details on the executive order," Tavenner said, after a line of questioning from Warren about whether the Trump administration has gone into more specifics.

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One of the central questions in the battle to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act that Republicans have been grappling with since the election is what to do with the law's taxes. Republicans have spent six years railing against those taxes, which could provide crucial revenue to finance a replacement plan.

“My view is this: After spending seven years talking about the harm being caused by these taxes, it’s difficult to switch gears now and decide that they’re fine so long as they’re being used to pay for our healthcare bill,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said Wednesday during an event at the Chamber of Commerce, according to the Hill. "All of the Obamacare taxes need to go as part of the repeal process.”

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