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Above: The United States Capitol

WASHINGTON WEEK, PBS' longest-running public affairs series, features Washington's top journalists analyzing the week's top news stories and their effect on the lives of all Americans.

Topics for Jan. 13 (repeat Sunday Jan. 15):


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Meet The Panelists

Get to know the panelists who join Gwen around the table each week.

President-elect Donald Trump's vow to have better relations with Russia continue to cast a cloud over his transition to the White House as the 45th president. Trump's repeated praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin has put the president-elect at odds with the intelligence community and members of his own party on Capitol Hill.

During his first press conference since accepting the Republican presidential nomination last July, Trump admitted that Russia was responsible for election-related hacking. However, he dismissed the idea that Russia has any compromising information about him after an unverified 35-page dossier was published online. "If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability," Trump said.

Several of Trump’s nominees for key administration positions broke with the president-elect’s view of Russia during their confirmation hearings. Defense Secretary-designate James Mattis said the U.S. may need to “confront Russia” and CIA Director-designate Mike Pompeo agreed with intelligence agency assessments that Vladimir Putin’s objective is to “sow doubt” about American democracy. Republican senators including Marco Rubio and John McCain are also taking a more hardline approach to how the U.S. should respond to Russian meddling.

In his press conference, Trump also tried to ease concerns about potential conflicts of interest that may arise while he is in the White House. He will place all his assets in a trust controlled by his sons who will also take control of the family business. The head of the government ethics office called the plan “wholly inadequate.”

Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers have begun the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act. Republicans have not detailed a plan to replace the controversial law, but the president-elect has promised the replacement will occur “essentially simultaneously.”

Developing story: The Inspector General of the Justice Department has launched an investigation into whether the FBI and the Justice Department followed established "policies and procedures” in handling of its inquiry into former secretary of State Hillary Clinton's email use.

Joining us to examine Trump’s transition and his potential ties to Russia:

  • Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report
  • Julie Hirschfeld Davis of The New York Times
  • Michael Crowley of POLITICO
  • Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post
  • Manu Raju of CNN

Also on the WASHINGTON WEEK website, learn about the people Donald Trump is selecting to serve in his cabinet:

And don’t forget you can follow WASHINGTON WEEK on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter to keep up with daily developments. Past episodes of WASHINGTON WEEK are available for online viewing.

Trump briefed on report blaming Putin for election meddling

U.S. intelligence agencies briefed President-elect Donald Trump on a new report on cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee and government agencies that found Russia committed the attacks to help Trump's campaign. Plus, the Republican-led Congress returned for a new session and started to debate two key Trump campaign promises.


U.S. sanctions Russia & Kerry rebukes Israeli settlements

The Obama administration announced new economic sanctions against Russia in response to the Kremlin's involvement in computer hacking meant to disrupt the presidential election. President-elect Trump said the U.S. should "get on with our lives." While Russia has not yet retaliated for the sanctions, Vladimir Putin may respond in the future.


The Obama Legacy: Hope, change and the 8 years that followed

President Barack Obama was elected by promising hope and change, but during his eight years in the White House he learned that governing isn’t always easy. As the nation's first black president enters his final month in office, we explore his legacy, what he accomplished and what remains undone.


How Obama, Trump & Congress are responding to Russian hacks

U.S. intelligence agencies blame Russia for a series of hacks meant to undermine the presidential election. President Obama said the U.S. will respond in a yet-to-be-determined way. But President-elect Donald Trump still questions the intelligence assessment and the belief by some that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed the attacks to bolster Trump's campaign.

Trump begins transition to the White House

President-elect Donald Trump traveled to Washington to meet with President Obama and Republican leaders in Congress just days after he was elected as the 45th president. Trump and Obama exchanged harsh words on the campaign trail but have pledged to have a smooth transition. For the first time in a decade, Republicans will control the White House, Senate and House.


The Trump Transition: A deep dive into his cabinet picks

President-elect Donald Trump continued to announce the team that will help implement his new agenda in the White House, but several of his picks are raising concerns among his critics. What do Trump's choices signal about his key policy priorities and the shift in American foreign policy when he is sworn in as president?


The Final Days of Election 2016

With less than a week until Election Day, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are making their final pitch to voters in battleground states, trying to increase voter turnout and reach 270 electoral votes. But in the week since the FBI announced its review of new Clinton State Department emails, polls are tightening.

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