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AP Top Political News at 12:30 a.m. EST

Special counsel obtains thousands of Trump transition emails
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian contacts with President Donald Trump's campaign has gained access to thousands of emails sent and received by Trump officials before the start of his administration, according to several people familiar with Trump's transition organization....

For GOP, tax bill's most visible win may be averting failure
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Despite the sheer size and society-spanning impact of the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul, the quickest and most potent political victory that Republicans would savor by pushing the bill through Congress next week may be what it averts: another big GOP legislative crash in the age of Trump....

Sign-ups show health law's staying power in Trump era
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A deadline burst of sign-ups after a tumultuous year for the Obama health law has revealed continued demand for the program's subsidized individual health plans. But the Affordable Care Act's troubles aren't over....

Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set 'to rock'
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Closing in on the first major legislative achievement of his term, President Donald Trump on Saturday defended the Republican tax cut as a good deal for the middle class while boldly suggesting it could lead to explosive economic growth....

A look at some winners and losers under the GOP tax plan
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Count President Donald Trump among the personal winners in the $1.5 trillion tax package that congressional Republicans are on the verge of passing. It's not only a political score for Trump but likely a windfall for his real estate empire, too....

Nevada Democrat, facing ethics probe, won't seek re-election
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- First-term Democratic Congressman Ruben Kihuen of Nevada, who is at the center of sexual harassment allegations, announced Saturday he won't seek re-election....

AP FACT CHECK: Trump denies knowing women he met
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Like Roy Moore before him, President Donald Trump has denied he knows or ever met women who have accused him of unwanted sexual advances. That denial is no more plausible than what people heard from the defeated Alabama Senate candidate....

After Alabama, abortion may be backseat issue in 2018 races
ATLANTA (AP) -- Alabama, one of the most conservative states in the country, with one of the most evangelical electorates, is sending an abortion-rights supporter to the U.S. Senate, despite GOP efforts to paint Democrat Doug Jones as an unacceptable extremist on the issue....

Health law sign-up deadline extended for some people
WASHINGTON (AP) -- After a rush of last-minute sign-ups, the Trump administration says it's extending the deadline for some people to finish health insurance applications for next year under the Affordable Care Act....

AP-NORC Poll: 52 percent say country worse off under Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans are painting a pessimistic view of the country and President Donald Trump as 2017 comes to a close....