1/ Trump claimed the "tainted" FBI is using the "bogus," "pile of garbage" dossier to go after him. The dossier contains allegations about Trump's connections to Russia and possible coordination between the campaign and the Kremlin during the 2016 election. Many of the details contained in the dossier have been verified. (Washington Post / Politico)

2/ Andrew McCabe plans to retire in March when he becomes fully eligible for pension benefits. Trump attacked the FBI's deputy director on Twitter, saying McCabe is "racing the clock to retire with full benefits." McCabe served as James Comey's deputy and has been the focus of conservatives who question whether the FBI conducted an impartial investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. McCabe cannot be fired by Trump. (New York Times / Washington Post / Politico)

  • The Justice Department's inspector general review of the Clinton email investigation continues. Authorities are examining whether the Justice Department and FBI followed established "policies and procedures'' when then-FBI Director James Comey announced that the bureau would not recommend criminal charges against Clinton. (USA Today)

3/ House Republicans are investigating an FBI lawyer's contacts with the reporter that broke the dossier story. James Baker communicated with Mother Jones reporter David Corn weeks before the November 2016 election. Corn was the first to report the existence of the dossier on October 31st, but has denied that Baker was the source for his story. Baker was reassigned last week. (Politico)

4/ In a June meeting on immigration, Trump said Haitians "all have AIDS" and complained that Nigerians would never "go back to their huts" in Africa. Sarah Sanders called the report "outrageous." (New York Times)

5/ A federal judge blocked Trump's restrictions on reuniting refugee families and partially suspended the ban on refugees coming from 11 mostly Muslim countries. Trump's October executive order banned entry of spouses and children of refugees who have already settled in the US, known as "follow-to-join" refugees. (Washington Post)

6/ The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the latest version of Trump's travel ban violates federal law, but will remain in effect anyway. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court issued an order saying the ban can be enforced while challenges to the policy move through the legal system. (CNN)

7/ A federal appeals court rejected Trump's bid to block the military from accepting transgender recruits starting on January 1st. It was the second appeals court to reject the administration's policy change. (Reuters)

8/ A federal judge ruled that Trump's voter fraud commission must give Democrats access to the panel's records. The group held its last meeting in September and will not meet again this year. The commission is expected to issue a report early next year. (Politico)

9/ The United Nations Security Council placed new sanctions on North Korea, cutting off fuel supplies and ordering North Koreans working overseas to return home. North Korea called the sanctions an act of war. (New York Times / Reuters)

  • The Trump administration linked financial support for the United Nations to compliance with American demands at least four times in the past week. (New York Times)

10/ Trump told his friends Mar-a-Lago: "You all just got a lot richer." The comment was in reference to tax reform Trump signed into law hours earlier. (CBS News)

11/ More than 4 in 5 Americans who enrolled in Affordable Care Act health insurance live in states that Trump won. The four states with the highest number of sign-ups – Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Georgia – account for nearly 3.9 million of the 8.8 million consumers who have signed up for coverage. (ABC News)


Notables.

  1. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin received a gift-wrapped box full of horse manure. A Christmas card inside the package read, "We're returning the 'gift' of the Christmas tax bill. It's bullshit," adding "P.S. - Kiss Donald for me." (NBC News / AL.com)

  2. Federal prosecutors subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for records related to Jared Kushner's family real estate business. The bank has lent the family hundreds of millions of dollars. (New York Times / Wall Street Journal)

  3. The FBI asked Cyprus for financial information about a defunct bank that was used by wealthy Russians with political connections. The FBI's request appears to be connected to Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation of Paul Manafort and money that flowed between former Soviet states and the US through Cypriot banks. (The Guardian)

  4. Russian submarines have been prowling around undersea data cables that provide internet to North America and Europe. (Washington Post)

  5. Where is Trump’s Cabinet? It's anybody’s guess. (Politico)

  6. What happened to Trump's wall? It's in pieces, in the desert. (Bloomberg)