Donald Trump

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET

On a visit to Utah on Monday, President Trump announced his proclamations dramatically shrinking the size of the state's two massive national monuments, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. Taken together, Trump's orders mark the largest reversal of national monument protections in U.S. history.

The change has already been challenged in court by conservation groups.

A day after Michael Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser, was ensnared — and apparently flipped — in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, another story leaked: "Mueller Removed FBI Agent From Russia Probe Over Anti-Trump Messages."


Susa / AP Photo

On this edition of "Political Rewind," we address the fallout from Michael Flynn’s guilty plea in the Russia probe and his cooperation with the special counsel’s investigation. He’s already pointing fingers at the White House transition team and, according to some, President Trump directly. Also, vulnerable Georgians may soon lose health care benefits that the federal government has long funded to help children, rural hospitals and major trauma centers like Grady. Will Congress act quickly to restore these programs?

Since President Trump came into office, U.S. troop numbers have been edging up in the three countries where the U.S. is most deeply involved in fighting — Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. forces totaled just over 18,000 in these three countries at the end of last December, just before President Obama completed his term, according to the Pentagon's Defense Manpower Data Center.

The combined figure was about 26,000 as of the end of September, the most recent data available from the Pentagon.

Donald Trump's campaign was frenzied and frantic, people at the top have said — descriptions that could be highly consequential for the White House and to Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller.

For former campaign officials who've come into the administration, the descriptions of their work last year are meant not only to strengthen their denials regarding collusion with the Russian government in attacking the election, but also to emphasize how much of a miracle it was they made it through.

Updated at 2:45 a.m. ET

Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor, was questioned last month by investigators for special counsel Robert Mueller, who are probing possible collusion between Russian officials and the Trump campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

President Trump traveled to St. Charles, Mo., on Wednesday to promote the GOP tax plan now facing a possible vote in the Senate by the end of the week. He also spoke more generally about his record during his first year in office. "I will tell you this in a non-braggadocious way," Trump said. "There has never been a 10-month president that has accomplished what we have accomplished."

Here's a closer look at some of the president's claims.

CLAIM: The GOP tax plan is primarily aimed at workers on the lower rungs of the income ladder.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is planning to take his crusade against President Trump's tendency to play fast and loose with the truth to the Senate floor.

The retiring lawmaker told Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep he is planning a series of speeches about the critical importance of facts and truth to American democracy. Flake continues to be one of the few GOP legislators to vigorously speak out against Trump.

Updated at 9:20 p.m. ET

President Trump on Wednesday morning shared with his millions of Twitter followers incendiary videos from a far-right British anti-Muslim party, drawing criticism from Britain's prime minister and Islamic groups.