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Trump Today: A Russian cloud grows over the White House

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Welcome to Trump Today, a one-stop entry point for the latest news on the 45th president of the United States.

The headlines

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Members of President Donald J. Trump’s campaign and other Trump associates had multiple contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election. But so far, no evidence has been seen of cooperation between the campaign and the Russians in efforts to influence the election.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said reports about intercepted phone calls ‘‘are not based on any facts, do not point to actual facts.’’

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Trump himself responded on Twitter, criticizing “fake news” and calling the report “non-sense.”

Is a seismic shift ahead in US policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visiting the White House Wednesday, a Trump administration official said in a press briefing that peace may not come in the form of a two-state solution. That’s a change from a position the United States has held for years. State Department officials said they were unaware of the change — and checking with the White House.

Today’s schedule

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Trump and Netanyahu are slated to hold meetings, a working lunch, and a joint news conference at noon, where they will undoubtedly be asked about the possible two-state solution shift.

Trump will also participate in a listening session with the Retail Industry Leaders Association and member company CEOs and he will speak with President Mauricio Macri of Argentina by telephone. In the evening, Trump will host Senator Marco Rubio, his former bitter rival for the Republican nomination, for dinner.

What’s he been tweeting?

Trump, who watches TV news, first lashed out at MSNBC and CNN and promoted Fox News in a tweet posted at 6:40 a.m.

After his tweet about “Russian connection non-sense,” he criticized the New York Times and Washington Post and their use of sources and said it was — “Just like Russia.”

Stepping back

The Washington Post’s Dan Balz says we are witnessing the “public humbling of a new president.”

More headlines

Before national security adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign Monday night, Trump was aware for “weeks” that Flynn had misled Vice President Mike Pence and White House officials about his his pre-inauguration phone calls to the Russian ambassador.

A White House spokesman said Flynn was forced to resign not because of any legal issues, but because Trump had lost trust in him.

Kellyanne Conway, the high-profile Trump adviser, should be disciplined for publicly endorsing Ivanka Trump’s product line, the US government’s chief ethics watchdog found.

House Republicans blocked a Democratic attempt to use an obscure law to get President Donald Trump’s tax returns from the IRS.

President Trump’s travel ban targeting nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries may not have held up in court, but it appears quite successful at keeping tourists out of the United States, the Globe Christopher Muther reports.

Some people weren’t happy after Ivanka Trump posted a photo of herself seated at the Oval Office desk with her father and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau flanking her.

The briefing

Clearly feeling the heat, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer gamely battled reporters at Tuesday’s briefing. Go to 15:23 on the video to see the Q and A portion of the briefing, which leads off with Spicer sidestepping a question on whether the Russians had been in contact with the Trump campaign.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.



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