President Trump’s latest enemy is the federal government he leads. TIME’s cover story this week by Massimo Calabresi chronicles how the president’s tweets and policies amount to an assault on the state. White House aides talk openly about the “deep state” of the foreign policy and intelligence apparatus that is distrustful—or worse—of Trump, and how they are behind negative leaks about the president. Meanwhile, the Administration has launched an aggressive campaign to rein in the growth of the federal government’s regulatory system, what Steve Bannon calls “the administrative state.” And Trump’s incendiary tweets raised doubts about the very functioning of the Republic. But the White House believes the drama will pay off in a big way. Their goal is a generational shift in the size and conduct of government, and the mess is an expected side-effect.
The GOP’s plan to replace Obamacare is in peril, even as it cleared one congressional committee overnight. Industry groups are up in arms, and a growing roster of Republicans are calling on the Republican Party to scrap the House GOP plan pushed by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and the White House. The administration is launching an all-out effort to defend the plan as the last, best effort to replace legislation that Republicans have decried for eight years. If they fail, the consequences for the Trump administration could be massive.
Set your Cold War biases aside. The Russians aren’t just for the left anymore. TIME’s Alex Altman and Elizabeth Dias explore how the Russian government and its allies have been working to build ties with the growing nationalist right in the U.S.
Huntsman to Moscow. FBI probes CIA leak. And Hillary Clinton snaps.
Here are your must reads:
Inside Donald Trump’s War Against the State
Aides explain plan for “deconstruction” in Massimo Calabresi’s TIME cover story
Moscow Cozies Up to the Right
TIME’s Alex Altman and Elizabeth Dias on the warming of old cold warriors
Trump Country Worries About Replacing Obamacare
Republicans face a new challenge, TIME’s Sam Frizell reports: Their voters like what the bill provides
Trump Begins to Map Out $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
President suggests 90-day deadline for states to start projects; expresses interest in high-speed rail and spectrum auction [Wall Street Journal]
Why Republicans Are Battling Republicans on Obamacare Repeal
The conservative movement’s divide [New York Times]
Trump Administration Inviting More Than 60 Countries for Strategy Session on Countering ISIS
Test for Trump on global state [Washington Post]
“Every issue’s a women’s issue, so stand up, resist, run for office, be a champion.” — Hillary Clinton emerging from her post-election hiatus on Snapchat
“There is no reason to be believe that he’s the target of any investigation.” — White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on President Trump
Bits and Bites
House panel OKs health bill, industry groups say ‘no’ [Associated Press]
FBI Is Probing How WikiLeaks Obtained CIA Spy Tools [Wall Street Journal]
As immigration rhetoric heats up, the number of families crossing the border in South Texas has slowed down [San Antonio Express-News]
Huntsman offered Russia ambassadorship [Politico]
White House Officials Say Trump Isn’t Target of Any Investigation [New York Times]