Tamara Keith

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In the midst of a presidential budget proposal destined to generate controversy for its expected drastic spending cuts, White House senior adviser and first daughter Ivanka Trump wants to have a conversation about increasing the availability and affordability of child care.

NPR has learned that the 2020 White House budget set to be released Monday will call for increased spending on child care and propose an initiative to address shortages.

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Under the National Emergencies Act of 1976, the president can declare an emergency for just about anything. As President Trump has considered using that authority to circumvent Congress and build a wall along the Southern border, that near-unlimited presidential power has gotten a lot of attention. But it isn't the whole story.

President Trump's second State of the Union address will be delivered Tuesday night before a joint session of Congress with all the usual pomp and circumstance. But the political backdrop is unusual, coming in the aftermath of the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history and on the eve of what could be another vicious fight or even another shutdown.

The fight at the heart of the shutdown — the fight over the president's border wall — remains unresolved with the clock ticking to make a deal.

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After a week of tit for tat with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, amid a monthlong government shutdown, the White House is now moving ahead with plans for the president's State of the Union address, proceeding as if it were happening as originally planned next week.

White House officials are aiming for the speech to occur before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Jan. 29. But it is far from guaranteed. The House must pass a resolution to call a joint session with the Senate before the president can come speak.

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Politicians often have to change course when their campaign promises run up against reality. But when President Trump ran for office, and throughout his presidency, an explicit part of his pitch was that he wasn't like all the other politicians. Trump's "great wall" was a big concrete symbol of that.

Except that now it isn't even concrete. In recent weeks, he has been saying it will be made of "beautiful" steel slats. The way Trump has described the wall has changed a lot over time, to the point of contradiction. That includes how the wall will be paid for.

The call came Sunday afternoon.

"Can you come to the White House?"

I was still wearing running pants and had my hair up in a plastic scrunchy, but figured there wasn't time to change.

I was called to the office of White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who had me leave my purse and cellphone outside before sitting down. This was sensitive.

Updated at 5:20 a.m. ET on Thursday

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump traveled to Iraq to visit U.S. troops on the day after Christmas, an unannounced trip about which the president nonetheless had been hinting for some time.

The Trumps' arrival at Al Asad Air Base followed the president's recent orders to pull back on U.S. troop deployments elsewhere — orders that have come under intense scrutiny.

On the second full day of the Trump presidency, all of the top White House aides gathered in the East Room to be sworn in by Vice President Pence. They raised their right hands and swore to defend the Constitution.

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It has been a busy few weeks in the Trump administration departures lounge. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is only the latest member of the administration to announce he is leaving his job.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Updated at 5:37 p.m. ET

In a testy Oval Office exchange with the two top congressional Democrats, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, President Trump made clear he would be "proud" to shut down the government in less than two weeks if he doesn't get funding for his border wall.

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Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

Just moments after Air Force One lifted off for Buenos Aires, Argentina — where President Trump was to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin — Trump canceled the meeting via tweet. He cited intensifying Russian aggression toward Ukraine.

Richard Nixon was born and raised in Orange County, Calif. Ronald Reagan got his political fuel from there. In a state increasingly dominated by coastal liberals, Orange County was a conservative bastion with an ocean view.

Even as Democrats came to dominate California politics, Orange County clung on as a Republican stronghold.

"Orange County was different," said Rob Stutzman, a Republican political consultant based in Sacramento. "It was, as we called it, 'the orange curtain' and it has now fallen."

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Updated Nov. 18 at 3:40 p.m. ET

President Trump often employs the power of positive thinking when it comes to his own shortcomings, choosing to promote the wins rather than wallow or search for lessons in the losses. And so it was with his claim of a "very close to complete victory" in Tuesday's election, even though Democrats took control of the House.

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LAKSHMI SINGH, HOST:

I'm Lakshmi Singh, stepping in for Michel Martin with an update from NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith. She has been monitoring the Trump administration's response to the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh today. Good evening, Tam.

Updated at 11:48 a.m. ET

The list of prominent people, eight and counting, who were sent suspicious packages reads like a Trump enemies list, politicians and Trump critics who are often targeted in his rally speeches and tweets.

As President Trump came to the big finish at a recent rally, his supporters crowded into the Kansas Expocentre shouted along with his 2016 catchphrase. Voices bounced off the walls saying "we will make America great again" as the Rolling Stones swelled through the sound system.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Now let's bring in NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith to talk about how the president might respond to tonight's developments. Hey there, Tam.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Hi.

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