1/ Trump’s partial government shutdown entered its fifth day as the White House and lawmakers remain at odds over Trump’s demand for $5 billion in border wall funding. “I can’t tell you when the government is going to be open,” Trump said in the Oval Office after a Christmas call with U.S. troops. “I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they would like to call it.” About 25% of the federal government has been shutdown, with an estimated 400,000 federal employees working without pay with 350,000 furloughed. Democrats will take control of the House on Jan. 3 and are expected to pass a bill to fund the government without additional wall funding. This is the third shutdown of 2018, with Mick Mulvaney, acting chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget, predicting that “it’s very possible” the shutdown will extend into the new year. (Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / CNN / The Guardian)

2/ An 8-year-old boy from Guatemala died in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody – the second death of an immigrant child in the agency’s care this month. The boy showed “signs of potential illness” on Monday and was taken to a hospital in New Mexico where hospital staffers diagnosed the child “with a common cold, and when evaluated for release, hospital staff found a fever.” The boy was readmitted to hospital where he died later that evening after suffering nausea and vomiting. (Associated Press / The Guardian / Politico / Washington Post)

3/ The daughters of a foot doctor said their late father diagnosed Trump with bone spurs to help him avoid the Vietnam War as a “favor” to his father Fred Trump. Dr. Larry Braunstein rented his office in Jamaica, Queens, from Fred Trump in the 1960s. (New York Times)


  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg was discharged from the hospital and is recuperating at home after having two cancerous nodules removed from her left lung. (CNN)

  • Trump asked a 7-year-old if she was “still a believer” in Santa Claus. (ABC News)

  • The U.S. envoy to the global coalition fighting the Islamic State resigned in protest of Trump’s decision to abruptly withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. Brett McGurk described Trump’s decision as a “shock.” (Associated Press / New York Times / Washington Post)

  • Trump has at least twice in the past few weeks lashed out to his acting attorney general, complaining that the prosecutors Matt Whitaker oversees filed charges that made him look bad. (CNN)