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News Analysis: Indictment Makes Trump’s Hoax Claim Harder to Sell

On Friday afternoon, after Mr. Trump left Washington for his Palm Beach, Fla., estate, the White House issued a defiant statement claiming that the investigation had uncovered no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.GraphicThe Propaganda Tools Used by Russians to Influence the 2016 ElectionThirteen Russian nationals have been charged with illegally trying to disrupt the American political process through inflammatory social media posts and organized political rallies.OPEN Graphic“It’s time we stop the outlandish partisan attacks, wild and false allegations, and far-fetched theories, which only serve to further the agendas of bad actors, like Russia, and do nothing to protect the principles of our institutions,” the president said in a statement.In a tweet, Mr. Trump played up Mr. Mueller’s assertion that the Russian operation had begun in 2014, well before he declared his candidacy. “The Trump campaign did nothing wrong — no collusion!” he wrote.Far from being rattled, Mr. Trump was elated, according to his advisers, because he viewed it as evidence that Mr. Mueller now knows who the malefactors are — and they do not include him or members of his team. (The indictment refers to campaign officials who met or communicated with Russians, but says they were “unwitting.”)Yet Mr. Trump sidestepped the fact that he has stubbornly denied Russia’s interference, even after two assessments by the nation’s intelligence agencies concluded that Russia had meddled […]

Republicans Say They Have a Deal on Tax Bill

The conference bill will preserve the individual alternative minimum tax, which the House bill had eliminated and the Senate bill retained in a watered-down form. The conference version will apply to even fewer taxpayers than the Senate bill would have, the congressional aide said.The agreement in principle appears to allow some high-earning business owners to claim an even larger tax break than the Senate bill would have. Negotiators agreed to keep the Senate’s approach to provide a tax deduction for so-called pass-through companies, whose owners pay taxes on profits through the individual code […]

Few Hurdles Left, G.O.P. Is Confident Tax Cuts Will Be Signed This Month

Mr. Trump echoed that optimism, writing on Twitter that “we are one step closer to delivering MASSIVE tax cuts” and that he looked forward to signing a final bill before Christmas.The differences between the measures, though substantial, do not appear troublesome enough to prevent Mr. Trump from achieving that goal, which would be his first major legislative victory.Among the issues that will need to be worked out: Under the Senate bill, tax cuts for individuals would expire at the end of 2025 to mitigate the losses in revenue, and the mandate that individuals obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act would be repealed. The House bill does not have these provisions.GraphicSee How Every Senator Voted on the Republican Tax BillThe Senate approved the final bill, 51-49. A list of every senator’s vote on the bill and selected amendments.OPEN GraphicThe two versions also employ different methods to try to prevent multinational companies from shifting profits out of America and into lower-tax countries.In addition, the House bill would set a new 25 percent top tax rate for profits earned by small businesses and other so-called pass-through companies, while the Senate bill would give the owners of those companies a 23 percent deduction on pass-through income, which is taxed at rates for individuals.The House bill would eliminate the alternative minimum tax for corporations and individuals and eventually eliminate the estate tax. The Senate bill would maintain the corporate A.M.T. […]

Senators Scramble to Advance Tax Bill That Increasingly Rewards Wealthy

At the heart of the debate is whether to more favorably treat small businesses and other so-called pass-through entities — businesses whose profits are distributed to their owners and taxed at rates for individuals. Seventy percent of pass-through income flows to the top 1 percent of American earners, according to research by Owen Zidar, an economist at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.GraphicWhich Republican Senators Might Oppose the Tax Bill, and WhySenate leaders would need to win over several Republican senators to pass a tax overhaul.OPEN GraphicTwo Republican senators, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Steve Daines of Montana, have said that they will vote against the plan if it does not do more to help the owners of those businesses, possibly by increasing the individual income tax deduction for such owners from the 17.4 percent rate currently in the Senate bill.Republicans, who control the Senate 52 to 48, can afford to lose only two of their members if they hope to pass the bill on party lines in the upper chamber.Mr. […]

Live Briefing: Las Vegas Shooting Live Updates: Multiple Weapons Found in Gunman’s Hotel Room

The gunman recently bought several weapons.Christopher Sullivan, general manager of Guns & Guitars, a gun shop in Mesquite, Nev., said confirmed that Mr. […]

Health Bill Appears Dead as Pivotal G.O.P. Senator Declares Opposition

“Health care is a deeply personal, complex issue that affects every single one of us and one-sixth of the American economy,” Ms. Collins said in a statement, lamenting the rushed process and the content of legislation that has shifted as Republican leaders scrambled for votes. “Sweeping reforms to our health care system and to Medicaid can’t be done well in a compressed time frame, especially when the actual bill is a moving target.”OPEN DocumentDocument: Read the C.B.O. Report on the Graham-Cassidy Health Care BillThe Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, now faces the unpalatable choice of admitting defeat or moving ahead with a vote that appears certain to fail.Republican leaders in the Senate can afford to lose only two of their members, and they now have three firm opponents within their ranks: Rand Paul of Kentucky, John McCain of Arizona and Ms. […]

Trump Administration Moves to Open Arctic Refuge to Drilling Studies

Environmental activists assert that even advanced three-dimensional seismic testing can do lasting damage to the tundra and contribute to thawing of the permafrost. Moreover, they say, climate change has already led to significant changes in the area, like polar bears that are now more active on the coastal plain than ever before, because the sea ice they rely on is receding.PhotoA coastal plain of the refuge.Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceJamie Rappaport Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife, called the agency’s move “reckless and irresponsible.” Allowing seismic testing, she said, lays the groundwork for opening the Arctic refuge. “It’s like the camel’s nose under the tent,” she said.According to the memo, dated Aug. 11, James W. Kurth, the acting director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, told the regional director of the agency’s Alaska office that officials had been told to “update the regulations concerning geological and geophysical exploration of the coastal plain, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska.” The attached proposal eliminates date restrictions that the agency had imposed for submitting an exploration plan and moves to allow them “in any given year.”GraphicHow Americans Think About Climate Change, in Six MapsAmericans overwhelmingly believe that global warming is happening, and that carbon emissions should be scaled back. But fewer are sure that it will harm them personally.OPEN GraphicThe memo does not provide a legal justification for allowing new exploration. In 2013, the Obama administration rejected an effort by Alaska to perform a seismic survey over 2,300 square miles of plain in the area, arguing that the agency’s authority to review and approve such plans expired in 1987 […]