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May 19, 2017
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President Trump's continued hiring freeze at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is adversely affecting operations at the agency tasked with preventing global disease outbreaks, officials told The Washington Post. The freeze, which was implemented by Trump in an executive order signed Jan. 22, has left "nearly 700 positions vacant," which is taking a toll on programs that support "local and state public health emergency readiness, infectious disease control, and chronic disease prevention," the Post reported.

The CDC isn't the only Health and Human Services agency affected, even as physicians and public health emergency responders are exempted from the freeze. At the National Institutes of Health, the freeze has hampered clinical work and patient care. At the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response — which the Post noted "regulates some of the world's most dangerous bacteria and viruses and manages the nation's stockpile of emergency medical countermeasures" — several positions remain unfilled.

The freeze is part of Trump's push for government agencies to slim down staff as he prepares to roll out a pared down budget, due out next week. Becca Stanek

May 16, 2017
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President Trump's apparent reveal of classified information to Russian officials last week is already making foreign intelligence sources think twice about sharing information with the U.S. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that a senior European intelligence official has indicated that "his country might stop sharing information" if reports that Trump shared highly classified intelligence information with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in a White House meeting are confirmed.

The Washington Post first reported Monday evening that Trump had gone "off script" and disclosed information that was given to the U.S. through an intelligence-sharing arrangement with an ally. The European intelligence official told The Associated Press that if this were the case, sharing information with the White House "could be a risk for our sources."

Though Trump's staff on Monday night ardently denied The Washington Post's report, Trump seemed to confirm in a tweet Tuesday morning that he'd shared information "pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety" with Russian officials. Becca Stanek

May 5, 2017
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The day after the House narrowly passed the American Health Care Act, The Cook Political Report dialed back the chances of Republicans winning 20 House seats in the 2018 midterm elections. Talking Points Memo reported that as of Friday morning, three districts previously rated as "leaning Republican" are now "toss-ups;" 11 districts that were "likely Republican" are now just "leaning Republican;" and six districts that were "solid Republican" are now only "leaning Republican."

The Cook Political Report's David Wasserman explained that though this is "the first of potentially many explosive votes, House Republicans' willingness to spend political capital on a proposal that garnered the support of just 17 percent of the public in a March Quinnipiac poll is consistent with past scenarios that have generated a midterm wave." "Not only did dozens of Republicans in marginal districts just hitch their names to an unpopular piece of legislation, Democrats just received another valuable candidate recruitment tool," Wasserman wrote, deeming the GOP health-care bill an "unequivocal political risk."

The bill narrowly passed the House, 217-213, and will now move to the Senate. See the full list of potentially affected House races at The Cook Political Report. Becca Stanek

December 6, 2016

A single tweet from President-elect Donald Trump had immediate real-world implications Tuesday morning, when shortly before the markets opened, Trump criticized Boeing for how expensive its new 747 Air Force One plane is:

He expanded upon that tweet in New York on Tuesday morning, saying "the plane is totally out of control. It's going to be over $4 billion for Air Force One program," he said, per CNBC. "I think it's ridiculous, I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number. We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money."

At the mere threat of Trump canceling his order on the latest model of the presidential jet, Boeing's stock plummeted. At Tuesday's opening bell, Boeing stocks were down 0.86 percent and had slid more than 1 percent in early trading. Though that may not sound all that steep, with a market cap at $93 billion, even a 1 percent decline is significant for Boeing.

Moreover, Politico reported, Trump's tweet seems to have misquoted the actual projected cost of the Boeing 747. Air Force One estimated it would cost $1.65 billion to build two new jets — about $825 million per aircraft.

When asked for comment by The Associated Press, Boeing spokesman Todd Blecher indicated the company still wasn't quite sure how to respond to the president-elect's tweet. "We are going to get back to you after we figure out what's going on," Blecher said. Becca Stanek