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After a week punctuated by Trump administration exits and tensions with Russia and North Korea, lawmakers and politicos took to the Sunday shows to make sense of it all.

One key quote: When asked by CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" whether he was fired or resigned from his post heading the Department of Veterans Affairs, David Shulkin simply replied, "I did not resign."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor who once led Trump's transition team, told ABC's "This Week" that the president is now filling cabinet and West Wing roles with people whose views and personalities align with his own. Christie said 35 eight-inch binders of vetted individuals were thrown out when he was replaced by Vice President Mike Pence as the head of the transition team.

  • Speaking of administration exits, Christie also said that he believes it'll be hard for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to keep his job after reports that Pruitt rented a Washington condo for $50 per night from an energy lobbyist.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Sen. Lindsay Graham said he's unsure why Trump won't stand up to Putin directly when asked about the president's congratulations on Putin's election victory. The White House expelled 60 Russian diplomats from the country this week as tensions escalate between the U.S. and Russia over the nerve agent attack against an ex-spy in the U.K.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

And Rep. Trey Gowdy, who chaired the House Select Committee on Benghazi, asked about the House and Senate Russia probes on CBS' Face the Nation said, "Congress has proven itself incapable of conducting serious investigations ... I'm glad we have Bob Mueller."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

38 mins ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia structures in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.

Dave Lawler, author of World
58 mins ago - World

Biden's big Saudi reset

Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Ryad Kramdi/AFP via Getty

President Biden spoke with Saudi Arabia's King Salman this evening ahead of the release of a CIA report expected to implicate the king's son, and the kingdom's de facto ruler, in the murder of a U.S.-based journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.

Why it matters: In one month, Biden has ended support for the Saudi war effort in Yemen, frozen a large arms deal and snubbed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) by declining to speak with him directly.