Politics & Government

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson has served with Navy bomb disposal units and instructed underwater salvage teams.

His latest assignment: defusing doubts about the health and mental fitness of the nation's 71-year-old president.

The Secretary of Homeland Security testified Tuesday that she did not hear President Trump use a vulgarity in a meeting with lawmakers about immigration last week.

The president was widely reported to have used a disparaging word to describe African nations and wondered aloud why people from countries like Haiti were allowed to come to the United States.

As the prospect of a long-term immigration deal for young people who were brought to the country illegally as children dwindles, the Justice Department is appealing a court ruling that blocked the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The department says it will take "the rare step" later this week of filing a petition asking the Supreme Court to intervene.

President Trump is in excellent health with "no indication" of "any cognitive issues" — but he could afford to lose a few pounds and start exercising over the coming year, according to the president's physician.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Democrats are celebrating wins in the two biggest races on election night 2017. The party will hold the governors' offices in New Jersey and Virginia. The Virginia race was causing Democrats worry in the final days.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Appalachia. It’s been called Trump Country, coal country and backcountry. But it’s our country.

This region — defined both by proximity to its namesake mountain range as well as the culture that developed there — is usually presented to the nation through the work of translators: visiting journalists on assignment or locals who have escaped and can reflect on their hometowns from a safe distance.

Capitol Hill Republicans are nervous about November. The margins of their majority are dwindling in both chambers. It's looking like a good year to run as a Democrat, and President Trump isn't helping with his weak polls and potent controversies.

Updated on Jan. 16 at 2:54 p.m. E.S.T.

A new Senate bill would require America's spy bosses to report within one month of a federal election on whether a foreign power had interfered with it.

That's part of a proposal by Florida Republican Marco Rubio and Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen, who say Congress must do more to safeguard elections following the attack by Russia on the presidential race in 2016.

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