The week in politics

Updated 1:08 PM ET, Sun January 15, 2017
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President-elect Donald Trump speaks at Trump Tower in New York on Wednesday, January 11. In his first news conference since winning the election, a combative Trump made clear he will not mute his style when he is inaugurated on January 20. He lashed out at media and political foes alike. John Angelillo/DPA/Newscom
President Barack Obama presents Vice President Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday, January 12. "For your faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country and for your lifetime of service that will endure through the generations, I'd like to ask the military aide to join us on stage," Obama said as he surprised Biden during a special ceremony. "For my final time as President, I am pleased to award our nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom." Susan Walsh/AP
Code Pink activists, dressed like members of the Ku Klux Klan, protest US Sen. Jeff Sessions before his confirmation hearing in Washington on Tuesday, January 10. Sessions, Trump's pick for attorney general, has long faced accusations of racism. He wasn't confirmed for a federal judgeship in 1986 after ex-colleagues testified he had made racist comments and joked that his problem with the Ku Klux Klan was its use of marijuana. Sessions rejected allegations of racism during his Senate testimony. "I abhor the Klan and its hateful ideology," Sessions said. Matt McClain/The Washington Post/Getty Images
US Sen. Cory Booker listens as US Rep. John Lewis testifies at Sessions' hearing on Wednesday, January 11. Booker, Lewis and US Rep. Cedric Richmond each delivered emotional testimony that Sessions' record on civil rights disqualifies him from serving atop the Justice Department. Booker became the first sitting senator to testify against a fellow sitting senator at a confirmation hearing for a Cabinet position. Cliff Owen/AP
House Speaker Paul Ryan, second from right, talks with an audience member during a CNN town-hall event in Washington on Thursday, January 12. Ryan said Republicans plan to repeal Obama's health-care law at the same time they approve a GOP replacement plan. Gabriella Demczuk for CNN
Obama hugs his wife, Michelle, after his farewell address in Chicago on Tuesday, January 10. During his speech, Obama recounted a presidency that saw setbacks as well as successes. 100 photos from Obama's presidency Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Elaine Chao, Trump's pick for transportation secretary, arrives for her confirmation hearing on Wednesday, January 11. Chao was deputy secretary of transportation under George H.W. Bush and labor secretary under George W. Bush. Pete Marovich/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Ben Carson greets his granddaughter Tesora prior to testifying at his confirmation hearing in Washington on Thursday, January 12. The renowned neurosurgeon and former presidential candidate was nominated by Trump to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Former ExxonMobil executive Rex Tillerson, Trump's nominee for secretary of state, testifies during his confirmation hearing in Washington on Wednesday, January 11. Tillerson drew a sharp line between his views and those of his future boss, denouncing Russian aggression in cyberspace and in Ukraine. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
US Rep. Mike Pompeo, Trump's nominee for CIA director, speaks at his confirmation hearing on Thursday, January 12. Along with Russia, Pompeo said other global threats include Iran's growing influence in the Middle East, ISIS's grip over major urban areas, and the conflict in Syria. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Union members protest Kentucky House Bill 1 on the steps of the Kentucky State Senate on Saturday, January 7. The bill, which makes it illegal for workers to have to join a labor union or pay dues to keep a job, was passed by the Senate and now awaits the governor's signature. Timothy D. Easley/AP
Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, arrives on Capitol Hill for a meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday, January 9. Kushner, a 35-year-old businessman-turned-political strategist, will be senior adviser to the president, a senior transition official told CNN. Cliff Owen/AP
Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, Trump's pick for defense secretary, testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, January 12. Mark Wilson/Getty Images
US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Vo Van Tam, a former Viet Cong guerrilla who took part in the attack on Kerry's Swift Boat during the Vietnam War in 1969. Kerry was on a tour of the region on Saturday, January 14, in the Mekong River Delta, Vietnam. Alex Brandon/AP
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson walks through the rotunda of the US Capitol to meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday, January 9. A day earlier, Johnson met with members of Trump's transition team in New York. LO SCALZO/EPA/REX/Shutterstock
US Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks to an audience member during a CNN town-hall event in Washington on Monday, January 9. "Where Trump has ideas that make sense that we can work with him on, I think we should," Sanders said during the event. Gabriella Demczuk for CNN