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Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Jeff Sessions couldn't remember meeting the Russian ambassador, so there's no way you could remember everything that went down during week 6 in Trumpland. It's been a wild one with some highs and lows for Team Trump.

Giphy

Drip, drip, drip: All presidents have dealt with their fair share of leaks — Barack Obama even took the step of prosecuting triple the number of leakers than his predecessors combined. But Trump's leaks threatened to turn into a waterfall this week. There was a report that Sean Spicer ordered a phone check for his aides. And an Axios exclusive about Spicer connecting reporters with the CIA Director to rebut a story. Oh, and don't forget the State Department anti-leak memo that leaked immediately. We'll see if the administration's solutions turn out to be effective or just a finger in the dike.

Not-State of the Union: Tuesday was Trump's big moment to change the narrative. The hope was that his big address to Congress would help everyone forget about Russia and put the focus on a presidential Trump. And it worked! He read off the teleprompter and barely went off-script! Trump even got his made-for-TV moment with an emotional ovation for a fallen SEAL's wife! By Wednesday morning, Republicans in the Beltway finally felt that Trump might actually be a president they could rally around.

Where there's smoke, there's Sessions: Barely 24 hours later, that great news cycle went flying out the window. The Washington Post dropped a bombshell report that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had met with the Russian ambassador to the United States twice last year after denying any contact with Russian officials during his Senate confirmation hearings. Scores of lawmakers called for his resignation, and on Thursday afternoon, Sessions stepped up to a podium at the Justice Department and announced that he'd recuse himself from DOJ's ongoing investigation of Trump-Russia.

The Cabinet's almost stocked: This week saw three more confirmations for Trump's Cabinet — Ryan Zinke at Interior, Ben Carson at Housing and Urban Development, and Rick Perry at Energy. Zinke promptly rode a horse to work while Perry took the reins of a department that he once forgot existed. Only two more confirmations left — Sonny Perdue at Agriculture and Alexander Acosta at Labor — but their paperwork hasn't even been sent to the Senate, so this delay is on Trump. Of course, that didn't stop him from tweeting this morning: "It is so pathetic that the Dems have still not approved my full Cabinet." (Reality check: it's day 43 of the Trump presidency. Obama's full Cabinet took 99 days to get approved.)

Obamacare treasure hunt: But the REAL fun this week was at the Capitol, where lawmakers are scrambling to realize Trump's dream of repealing and replacing Obamacare — or, at least, they might be? There was allegedly a secret GOP repeal and replace bill in a secret room in the Capitol. Rand Paul made it his mission on Thursday to find it and copy it for all Americans (side note: his copier has a Twitter now), but was denied access. Democratic lawmakers showed up and were also denied — only to be told that the bill wasn't even in the room! It led to a hunt for the secret bill across the Capitol complex. The Minority Whip talked to a statue of Lincoln. It was wild.

Go deeper

California governor declares drought emergency for entire state

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speakinng to reporters in Los Angeles in September. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) extended a drought emergency declaration to cover the entire state on Tuesday.

Why it matters: "California is experiencing its worst drought since the late 1800s, as measured by both lack of precipitation and high temperatures," per a statement from the governor's office. This past August was the driest and hottest one on record, "and the water year that ended last month was the second driest on record," the statement added.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Reports: Brazil leader to be accused of crimes against humanity over COVID

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate panel will recommend President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with "crimes against humanity," alleging his COVID-19 pandemic response led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, per the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The latest: The lawmakers initially said Bolsonaro should be charged with mass homicide and genocide, but lawmakers updated the report to replace these recommendations with the new charge, its lead author, Sen. Renan Calheiros, told the NYT.

Updated 6 hours ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

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