Speed Reads

Fighting words

Democrats mock Trump as 'weak' after first week of Congress

The first week of the new Congress is nearly at an end, and Democrats aren't too impressed by President-elect Donald Trump's ability to rein in his party. "Who knows if Trump understands what is happening, but if he does, he has got to be upset by how weak he already seems," one senior Democratic aide told Politico's Playbook.

As evidence, Democrats cite instances like the Republicans' surprise move to try to curb the Office of Congressional Ethics as going against the president-elect. Additionally, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan moved to defund Planned Parenthood, although the president-elect has been relatively supportive of many of the organization's women's health services in the past.

In another blow, Republican and Democratic senators met with top intelligence officials Thursday to discuss allegations of Russia influencing the U.S. election. Although Trump has publicly put his trust in WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, many Republicans on the committee blasted the president-elect's slight to the intelligence community. "All I can tell you is, I hope [Trump] listens to the intelligence briefing. I'm sure he will. All 17 intelligence agencies have come to the same conclusion," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) earlier this week. "You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out what the Russians are up to. They're trying to break the backbone of democracies throughout the entire world."

Trump "is going to be in a constant battle against irrelevance," the Democratic aide told Politico, "and he is already losing."