What's happening in the political world:
Steve Bannon calls 2016 Trump Tower meeting "treasonous"
-- In a new book, former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon referred to the infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer as "treasonous."
News publication The Guardian obtained a copy of Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury," which is based on hundreds of interviews, including ones with President Trump and his inner circle. According to the Guardian, Bannon told Wolff that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's potential ties to Russia is centered on money laundering.
Referring to the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr., then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, Bannon reportedly told Wolff: "They're going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV."
Campaign officials met with the lawyer who was purportedly offering damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
"The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor -- with no lawyers. They didn't have any lawyers," Bannon continued, according to the Guardian. "Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad s***, and I happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately."
President Trump responded to the reports of Bannon's comments with a scathing statement:
Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party.
Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn't as easy as I make it look. Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country. Yet Steve had everything to do with the loss of a Senate seat in Alabama held for more than thirty years by Republicans. Steve doesn't represent my base-he's only in it for himself.
Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was. It is the only thing he does well. Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books.
We have many great Republican members of Congress and candidates who are very supportive of the Make America Great Again agenda. Like me, they love the United States of America and are helping to finally take our country back and build it up, rather than simply seeking to burn it all down.
Trump brags about "nuclear button" in response to Kim Jong Un
-- President Trump taunted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Twitter, bragging about his so-called "nuclear button."
Trump's response came one day after Kim's New Year's Day speech, in which he threatened the U.S. and referenced a "nuclear button" on his desk.
Trump tweeted: "North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.' Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"
While the president does not have an actual button to push, there is a 45-pound metal container encased in leather known as the "football" that goes wherever he goes. The football is carried by a military officer.
The protocol for carrying out a nuclear strike is unknown, but the football reportedly contains launch codes needed for nuclear weapons.
Trump's morning tweet(s)
-- In a Wednesday morning tweet, President Trump praised Iranians protesting the government.
Such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
Could Romney pose potential threat to Trump?
-- Former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been an outspoken critic of President Trump, and he could soon join the president in Washington.
With Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch announcing he will not seek an eighth term, Romney, who now lives in Utah, is believed to be mulling a run for Hatch's Senate seat.
Romney has been seen by many as a thorn in Trump's side who has not been afraid to challenge him on various political matters.
CNN contributed to this report