Mara Liasson | WYPR

Mara Liasson

It has been more than a week since the first reports emerged about alleged domestic abuse by White House staff secretary Rob Porter. Porter denied the allegations but resigned a day later, last Wednesday. Yet, the scandal over his departure has not waned.

He was consistently at President Trump's side, charged with handling the flow of paper to the president, including sensitive information, while holding an interim security clearance. It's still not clear exactly which top White House officials knew what and when about the allegations against Porter.

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When President Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, he'll be giving his assessment of the economy and national security. But occasions like these are also a good time to take a look at the state of our politics.

The state of our politics is...tribal (and mistrustful)

More than ever before voters and politicians seem to be taking sides not according to issues or principles or ideology but according to their political tribe.

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Well, one unknown in the path forward on immigration is President Trump. What kind of a deal will he agree to? And how actively will Trump, who prizes himself as a great dealmaker, be flexing his negotiating muscles?

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As we've just heard, we've heard some of what President Trump had to say about this deal. Later in the day in a speech, Trump made another pitch for it, urging Americans to call on Congress to help push the measure over the finish line.

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Once upon a time, there was a group of conservative intellectuals who were agnostic about Donald Trump.

They were not "Never Trumpers," but they weren't Trump superfans either.

They thought Trumpism might offer something new for the GOP. Since Trump wasn't tied to the orthodoxies of either party he could, theoretically, offer a more populist path toward the future for Republicans.

Conservative writer Henry Olsen, at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, looked to the tax plan to reflect this new vision, but it wasn't there.

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President Trump went to Utah on Monday. The official purpose of his trip was to announce the reduction of two national monuments in the state, though he could have signed those orders in the Oval Office.

But the journey west may have served a political purpose for the president — to keep a political rival out of Washington.

Democrats' success in this month's elections was bigger than expected, and was fueled in part by strong opposition to President Trump. In the past few weeks, there's been a lot of chatter about whether that means a big, blue wave is forming off the political coast that could potentially crash into the 2018 midterm elections.

We asked Republicans and Democrats what the off-year elections could mean for their parties next year. Here are five takeaways.

1. Good news for Democrats

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When Donald Trump won the election a year ago, he promised to be a transformational president, to drain the swamp, shake up the establishment and do away with gridlock. He also predicted that being president would change him.

A year ago Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, and the surprises haven't stopped since.

He promised to be a transformational president, to "drain the swamp" and shake up the establishment.

And he promised that being president would change him — saying that he could become more "presidential" than anyone except Abraham Lincoln.

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The past few days have been particularly chaotic, even for a president who seems to thrive on self-created chaos.

There's been a feud with a key Republican senator, a flare-up at a professional football game with President Trump instructing his vice president to walk out when players (on the most activist team in the NFL) knelt during the national anthem, and he even questioned the IQ of his secretary of state.

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There's little sign that the backlash the president has received has made an impact on his approach to his job. NPR's Mara Liasson tells us the president's unapologetic stance reveals a few things about him. For one, President Trump is an open book.

President Trump has had, according to the White House, a successful maiden trip outside the U.S. But the bad news is he has to come home. Back in Washington, the ongoing Russia investigations await him along with another appeals court setback for his travel ban.

Official Washington is consumed with the firestorm that President Trump started when he fired FBI director James Comey earlier this week.

But Washington, D.C. is also an actual place where actual people live and work. Sometimes those people react to the news in very personal ways.

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Donald Trump promised something new in American politics.

His strategists said his brash "America First" approach would bust up the old party identities and remake the Republican Party as a true populist "Workers Party."

But it was never perfectly clear exactly how he planned to do that — 100 days into his administration, here are five thoughts on what we know so far about Trumpism:

1. The early debate about Trumpism (and what that means)

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