By Zeke J Miller
January 18, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump is set to take office Friday with the lowest approval rating of any new Oval Office entrant in at least four decades, as his efforts to bridge divides among his supporters and his detractors have been a day late and a dollar short. Trump continues to take potshots at those who aren’t supportive of him, which is—at the very least–distracting from his agenda. But that’s the way the incoming president likes it. Trump relies on media firestorms to take the pressure off his policy promises and his disagreements with Capitol Hill Republicans, which are only growing in size and scope. Trump, who has manipulated and benefited from the New York tabloid scene for a generation, is taking the same approach to governing. So buckle up.

As President Obama’s administration winds down, historians begin to assess his legacy. Obama will have his last opportunity to try to shape it while still in office Wednesday afternoon when he holds the final press conference of his Administration.

Trump national security team gets off to a slow start. More House Dems plan to skip the Inaugural festivities. And Obama commutes Chelsea Manning’s sentence.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

10 Historians on What Will Be Said About President Obama’s Legacy
As the 44th President of the United States prepares to leave office, 10 experts imagine how future historians will judge his legacy [TIME]

Donald Trump’s Cabinet Pick Invested in 6 Drug Companies Before Medicare Fight
More questions for Tom Price [TIME]

Trump National Security Team Gets a Slow Start
Little coordination with the outgoing administration [New York Times]

More Than a Quarter of House Democrats to Skip Inauguration
Reasons cited include Trump’s comments about women, immigrants and Rep. John Lewis, as well as Russian hacking accusations [Wall Street Journal]

Donald Trump Is Venturing Into Uncharted Territory
The new administration by the numbers [Fortune]

How Donald Trump Came Up With ‘Make America Great Again’
And he reveals his re-election slogan [Washington Post]

Sound Off

“I want to thank all of the people in the room. We have so many friends, 147 diplomats and investors, never been done before.” — President-elect Donald Trump at his “Chairman’s Global Dinner” Tuesday with foreign diplomats and top donors to his Inauguration committee

“All I said was that I give everybody an even start; that’s all I said… So, I give everybody an even start; that right now, as far as I’m concerned, everybody’s got an even start. … I think people start off on a somewhat equal footing.” — President-elect Trump on foreign leaders in an interview with Axios

Bits and Bites

Former Apprentice Contestant Sues Donald Trump for Defamation Over Sexual Harassment Accusations [TIME]

President Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning’s Prison Sentence [TIME]

Watch President Obama Surprise Press Secretary Josh Earnest at Final Briefing [TIME]

Repealing Obamacare Would Leave 18 Million Without Insurance: Report [Associated Press]

The One Reason We Can’t Assess President Obama’s Place in History [TIME]

George H.W. Bush hospitalized in Houston for shortness of breath [USA Today]

One President Out, Another In: You Don’t Just Hire 2 Guys With a Truck [New York Times]

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