9:51 a.m. ET

Political observers have been riveted by Michael Wolff book on the Trump White House with its revelations. However, at a on Thursday, Wolff shows even more details about the inner workings of President Trump’s staff — including how staff members had been “painfully aware” that the commander in chief’s mental faculties were also threatening.

“It used to be inside of 30 minutes he would repeat, word-for-word and expression-for-expression, the exact same three tales,” Wolff writes, describing how aides became accustomed to certain ticks from Trump. But eventually, Wolff says, the repetitions occurred “over 10 minutes. Indeed, many of the tweets were the product of his own reps — he just could not quit saying anything.”

In fact, Trump’s mental lapses have come to be so dire, at Wolff’s telling, that he “failed to understand a succession of older friends” while on vacation vacation last month at his Mar-a-Lago hotel in Florida. “My hindsight feeling of talking to [Trump’s staff] and observing them through much of the first year of his presidency,” Wolff concludes, “is that nearly — 100% — came to think he was incapable of functioning in his job.”

1:51 p.m. ET

Defense Secretary James Mattis confirmed Thursday that the U.S. will temporarily suspend its joint military exercises with South Korea until after the Olympic Games. The South Korean town of Pyeongchang is hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics starting next month, and the suspension will run through at least March 18, if the Paralympic Games finish, Defense One‘s Aaron Mehta accounts.

Mattis recognized the decision as a “sensible” thing as opposed to a political one, Mehta accounts, but that the move is merely the latest in a series of developments on the Korean Peninsula. Before this week, President Trump taunted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Twitter concerning the size of his “nuclear button” insisting his is “much bigger and more powerful.” The tweet came to a New Year’s Day address.

NBC News notes which Kim previously has said that North Korea will halt its nuclear development efforts if South Korea and the U.S. stopped the drills, that Pyongyang “sees as a rehearsal for an invasion,” adding that Russia and China support the so-called “double suspension” alternative.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that in addition to this drill translation, he also Trump discussed possible bilateral talks between North and South Korea ahead of the Games. Before this week, the two nations re-opened a diplomatic hotline for direct communication, signaling a tentative thaw in relations.

1:15 p.m. ET

Hillary Clinton seemingly can’t escape the “deep country.”

Citing a source close to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, The Daily Beast claims that the Justice Department wants to understand precisely how those tasked with investigating Clinton’s personal email server went in their own probe. DOJ officials are also reportedly interested in tallying the classified material in her mails and finding out “who place that information in an unclassified environment,” The Daily Beast says. Before Clinton was cleared of criminal wrongdoing from the FBI in July 2016, the former secretary of state maintained that lots of the mails on her host were categorized following the truth or that she was unaware of that “headers” denoted that an email was categorized.

Clinton’s mails are a favorite grievance of President Trump, who has repeatedly called to get his former political competition to be researched again. As people inside the DOJ are concerned that the impression could be caused by Trump tweets on the matter that the law enforcement agency is doing the president’s bidding. An unnamed former DOJ official suggested to The Daily Beast that it was “an open question” if this query could occur “with no political directive in the White House.”

The Justice Department would not comment on the reported inquiry to The Daily Beast.

12:26 p.m. ET

President Trump spoke to reporters Thursday for the first time since his eventfulWednesday, that saw him issue one of the more prominent White House statements lately.

Excerpts from a coming tell-all book published Wednesday revealed some incendiary remarks produced by Trump’s former chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, including his characterization of this infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between top campaign aides and also a Russian officer since “treasonous.” The White House then issued a formal statement from Trump ripping Bannon, with the president claiming that “if [Bannon] had been fired, he lost his job, but he lost his mind.”

But Wednesday night after Trump’s lawyer insisted who “legal action” against Bannon was “impending” — that the Breitbart chairman was asked about his remarks on his radio series. “The president of the United States is a great man,” Bannon replied. “You understand I encourage him in and day out.”

By Thursday, afterward, the anger of Trump had apparently softened. Asked by a reporter if Bannon “betrayed” him, ” Trump said: “I do not understand. He phoned me a wonderful man last night, so, you know, he obviously changed his tune pretty fast.” He also insisted that it’s a “misnomer” that he is connected with Bannon, denying they convey at all. Watch his comments below. Kimberly Alters

President Trump on Steve Bannon: “He called me a wonderful man, so he obviously changed his tune pretty fast … I do not talk for him”

11:42 a.m. ET

A haphazard name-draw has determined that the Republicans will maintain their majority in the Virginia state legislature, putting an end to a bizarre race between two candidates. State officials reached to a bowl — an “artsy stoneware” offering made in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, — and drew the name of incumbent Del.. David Yancey, a Republican, assuring Republicans that a majority and providing defeat candidate Shelly Simonds.

The race between Yancey and Simonds was originally decided in November, when Yancey seemed to greatest Simonds from 10 votes. But a December recount showed Simonds really winning by a single vote until a judicial panel decided the next day to throw one of Simonds’ votes, throwing the race into a tie. Virginia legislation stipulates that in case of a tie, a race has been decided by “lot,” or random chance.

The chamber would have been split 50-50 — the first time in nearly 20 years that the legislature would not have been controlled by Republicans, if Simonds had won the chair. By legislation, Simonds is entitled to ask another recount of the votes, so should she need 1. The name-drawing can be watched by you below. Kimberly Alters

The moment Republican incumbent David Yancey’s name has been drawn from a canister at a bowl, deciding who could occupy the 94th district chair of Virginia.

11:21 a.m. ET

On Thursday, since the war between both Trump and Bannon rallied, “The Mooch” appeared on several TV news networks to get some victory laps, but he still needed to parry some difficult questions. In an appearance on MSNBC, Scaramucci tried to strike a conciliatory tone Bannon and implored him “to knock it off” and then come back beneath the Trump tent. An incredulous the olive branch of Scaramucci was believed by Stephanie Ruhleasked the question that everybody thought:

SCARAMUCCI: myself Steve Bannon, and all conservatives need to transcend our differences, unify, and work on behalf of President Trump. @SRuhle: Dude, six months ago you said Bannon wants to suck his own penis.

Scaramucci defended his preceding smear of Bannon — that ended up becoming him fired after only 10 days at work — by stating that, vulgarity aside, he and Trump seem to agree that Bannon was “only in it for himself,” since Trump said within his official statement. Scaramucci additionally argued that Bannon could not have been wrong about Donald Trump Jr., whom he called treasonous, and claimed that the president’s kid was “an American patriot.”

Scaramucci demands Bannon apologizes to Trump Jr..

“He’s an American patriotthat he did nothing treasonous.

“It’s an obnoxiously wrong thing to say about somebody whose family has placed everything at stake for America.”

11:07 a.m. ET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared past 25,000 during Thursday morning trading, the first time that threshold has been spanned. A sunny outlook for international expansion and surprisingly powerful U.S. economic data driven the bull market into another record after a historic 2017. While many investors see no sign of this market turning bearish, the others are far less sanguine; MarketWatch reported Thursday that several analysts are warning that the skyrocketing market is due for a “melt-up.” Read more at and .

10:54 a.m. ET

The Justice Department is doing away with a policy implemented from the Obama government which allowed countries to legalize marijuana without any significant supervision or interference from federal law enforcement, reported Thursday. The movement is perplexing, because it flies in the face of recommendations created from a 2017 job force Sessions himself commissioned, which saw no evidence to warrant deviating from the policy, which took a hands-off strategy to recreational marijuana authorities at the country level, and focused instead on breaking down people who gave marijuana to minors and offender groups.

While eight countries have legalized recreational bud usage, in the eyes of the federal government, marijuana remains illegal. Sessions has said previously he believes bud is related to violent offense. By doing away with the Obama-era policy, Sessions seems to be opening the door for federal law enforcement officials to really crack down on the material, even. As MSNBC’s Pete Williams puts it, ” Sessions’ proposition is effectively “taking the leash off the [federal attorneys,] but it is not saying’ em.”

Several states are put to create a pretty penny by taxing marijuana sales. AP points from that Sessions’ directive is very likely to cast a cloud of uncertainty and insecurity within the burgeoning marijuana businesses. In October 2016, a Gallup survey saw nationwide population support for marijuana legalization to be as large as 64 percent.

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