TPM News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The longest, loudest standing ovation of the Kennedy Center Honors gala wasn't reserved for Al Pacino, Mavis Staples or the Eagles. Instead, it went to the man sitting to their left, attending his eighth and most likely his last honors presentation: President Barack Obama.

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — As investigators searched for signs of a crime in the fire that killed at least 33 in an Oakland warehouse during a late-night dance party, survivors and teary-eyed friends of those who perished viewed the charred building from a distance, placed flowers on several small memorials and embraced each other to mourn their losses.

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Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who is reportedly being considered by Donald Trump to be secretary of state, on Monday morning said that the President-elect's unprecedented phone call with the president of Taiwan was "terrific."

"It will demonstrate that by not just paying attention to the norms — and he didn't violate any treaties by doing that — but by doing that, by picking up that phone and for the first time having a conversation with the president, elected president, of Taiwan, he showed the dictators in Beijing that he's not a pushover," he said on "Fox and Friends."

"These people, you've got to remember, China has had an enormously aggressive foreign policy and by him actually going to Taiwan, he's showing the people in Beijing that they cannot have this aggressive foreign policy and expect to be treated just the same by an American president," Rohrabacher continued. "So I think it was a terrific message to them: We're no longer going to be pushovers, and there's going to be consequences for their hostile and aggressive actions."

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Donald Trump's advisers spent weeks planning an unprecedented call between the President-elect and the president of Taiwan as part of a new strategy toward Taiwan, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

Per the Post:

The historic communication — the first between leaders of the United States and Taiwan since 1979 — was the product of months of quiet preparations and deliberations among Trump’s advisers about a new strategy for engagement with Taiwan that began even before he became the Republican presidential nominee, according to people involved in or briefed on the talks.

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