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Michael Strahan offers Clemson Tigers 'proper meal' after Trump dinner

Just a day after the Clemson Tigers dined on fast food at the White House, former NFL star and "Good Morning America" host Michael Strahan offered to give the college football champs a "proper meal."

>> Trump serves fast-food smorgasbord to Clemson Tigers during White House celebration

"I would like to invite the Clemson Tiger football team here for a great meal," Strahan said during Tuesday's broadcast. "Come out here, everybody. Whoever can make it, we'll hook you up with lobster. ... Whatever you want, we're gonna take care of you."

>> Read more trending news 

Co-host Sara Haines suggested they add caviar to the menu.

"Per egg is a lot of money," she said. "Are you paying? We don't have a lot of money."

"It's out of my pocket," Strahan replied. "I've got you guys." 

>> Watch the clip here

Earlier that morning, President Donald Trump tweeted that he served the football team fast food "because of the shutdown" and personally paid for the spread.

>> Check out a video from the dinner below

Georgia church gives members affected by government shutdown nearly $300 each

The partial government shutdown continues and many federal workers haven't been paid in weeks, so a Georgia church stepped in to help its members who have been impacted.

>> Watch the news report here

>> On WSBTV.com: Government shutdown becomes longest in U.S. history

Church members at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church were able to raise enough money to give fellow members affected by the government shutdown nearly $300 each in cash.

Pastor Dr. Jamal Bryant, who joined the church in December as the new senior pastor, said he felt he and his congregation had a responsibility to help those in need. He said 30 people went to the altar Sunday, Jan. 6, seeking aid.

>> On WSBTV.com: Jamal Bryant named as new senior pastor of New Birth

“When the government shuts down is when the church needs to be wide open,” Bryant said. "When I originally brought them down, I was just going to pray for them."

But the pastor said God spoke to him and asked him to do more.

>> Read more trending news 

"I ain't waiting on the Democrats or the Republicans," Bryant said.

The pastor asked members to dig in their pockets and give to those not getting paid.

"I was absolutely blown away. I've only been in here a month. I had no idea that compassion was this high in Atlanta," Bryant said.

>> Jamie Dupree: Coast Guard misses paychecks as partial shutdown reaches Day 25

Now the pastor is looking at other ways to help those affected by the shutdown.

"Whether or not we can do potluck dinners for families to be able to come – gift cards to grocery stores," Bryant said.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

He said there are more people in need based on the comments he got from those who missed the service.

"You can't imagine how many people said, 'Oh, I missed last Sunday. Are y'all going to do it again?'" Bryant said.

Bryant said his team is looking at ways to help members on an ongoing basis until the shutdown ends. He said it's the church's job to help those in need.

Breweries can't release new beer until government shutdown ends

The government shutdown is preventing some breweries from releasing new beer

>> Watch the news report here

Small, family-run Night Shift Brewing in Everett is in danger of missing the release of a new summer brew it has been planning for months, thanks to the government shutdown.

>> Trump border wall speech: Read the full transcript

"If the government opens tomorrow, we probably can't get the beer any sooner than May, and if it’s longer than that, then there’s the question should we even bother to release this summer beer in late August or something like that," said Night Shift co-founder Rob Burns

>> Full transcript of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer’s response to Trump’s speech

That's because the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is shut down. The little-known agency must approve new beers and their labels before they can be sold in stores and restaurants. 

>> On Boston25News.com: TSA workers feeling effects from partial government shutdown

"And that then affects the retailers and bar owners who are also expecting to sell these beers, so it’s a trickle-down effect," Burns said. 

>> Trump's border wall: What is a national emergency and can Trump use it to pay for the wall?

Night Shift also has a distributing business that imports wine and spirits from Europe, which also needs the same label approval, but right now that liquor can't get on a boat until it gets the green light from the TTB. 

>> Read more trending news 

Burns is also the president of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild and says right now there are about 30 breweries across Massachusetts in the planning stages, but they can't open for business until they get approval once the government shutdown ends. 

Who is Kamala Harris? 5 things to know

As chatter increases about the 2020 presidential election, Sen. Kamala Harris has come up frequently. As of December, Harris said she would decide over the holiday whether or not she’d run.

“It will ultimately be a family decision,” she said Dec. 1 in San Francisco.

>> Read more trending news 

Here are some things to know about Harris.

She’s a California native.

Born Oct. 20, 1964, in Oakland, California, Harris is the daughter of Donald Harris, a Stanford University economics professor who immigrated from Jamaica, and Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who was a cancer scientist and the daughter of an Indian diplomat. She has a sister named Maya who is a public policy advocate.

She’s an HBCU grad.

Harris studied political science and economics at Howard University, the oldest historically black university in America. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986 and got her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

She’s an attorney.

Although she hasn’t practiced since she’s been in office as a senator, Harris was deputy district attorney in Oakland, California, from 1990 to 1998. While there, she specialized in prosecuting sexual assault cases involving children.

From 2004 to 2011, she was the 27th district attorney of San Francisco. She made history in 2010 when she was elected attorney general of California, becoming the first female and first African-American to have the position. She ran again in 2014 and was re-elected.

She’s an author.

Harris wrote “Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor's Plan to Make Us Safer” in 2009. The book examines myths in the criminal justice system and solutions to improve approaches to fighting crime. Her memoir, “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey,” will be released in 2019.

She’s a stepmother of two.

Harris married Doug Emhoff, a lawyer, in 2014, making her stepmother to his children from a previous marriage, Ella and Cole Emhoff.

Who is Beto O'Rourke? 5 things to know

Last November, Beto O’Rourke confirmed he was considering running for president in 2020.

The Texas Democrat unsuccessfully ran for Senate against Republican Ted Cruz in the 2018 election. At the time, he said he would not run for the nation’s highest office, but that changed by Nov. 26.

>> Read more trending news 

“Running for Senate, I was 100 percent focused on our campaign, winning that race and then serving the next six years in the United States Senate,” O’Rourke said at a town hall in El Paso, Texas. “That was 100 percent of our focus. Now that that is no longer possible, you know, we’re thinking through a number of things. Amy and I made a decision not to rule anything out.”

Ahead of a potential run for president, here are some things to know about O’Rourke.

He’s a native Texan.

Born in El Paso, Texas, Sept. 26, 1972, O’Rourke is a fourth-generation native of the state, according to his Senate campaign website. O’Rourke spent some time in New York, but ultimately moved back to his home town and co-founded Stanton Street Technology Group, a software and technology company. His wife, Amy O’Rourke, was president of the company from January 2013 to April 2017.

He gave up his House seat to run for Senate.

O’Rourke was elected to represent Texas’ 16th Congressional District in 2012. He ran again in 2014 and 2016, serving three terms before deciding to run for Senate in 2018.

He is married with three children.

O’Rourke married his wife in 2005. They are parents to two sons, Ulysses and Henry, and a daughter named Molly.

He was arrested twice in his 20s.

Although he was not convicted in either case, O’Rourke was arrested for burglary in 1995 and charged with a DUI in 1998.

“Some 20 years ago, I was charged with driving under the influence and, during my college years, I jumped a fence at the University of Texas at El Paso which resulted in a burglary charge,” O’Rourke told the Palestine Herald-Press in 2017.

“I was not convicted of either. Both incidents were due to poor judgement and I have no excuse for my behavior then. However, since then, I have used my opportunities to serve my community and my state. I’m grateful for the second chance and believe that we all deserve second chances.”

He was in a punk rock band.

The band Foss was formed by O’Rourke and three others -- Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Arlo Klahr and Mike Stevens. The future congressman was on bass. Their EP, “The El Paso Pussycats,” was released in 1993 while O’Rourke was a student at Columbia University. 

Efforts of the Texas GOP to shame him for his musical past backfired, with many on Twitter finding it appealing.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: There's 'no question' that Trump is racist

New U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn't holding back when it comes to President Donald Trump.

>> Who is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

In an interview that aired Sunday on CBS's "60 Minutes," the 29-year-old New York Democrat said Trump is "a symptom of a problem."

"The president certainly didn't invent racism, but he's certainly given a voice to it and expanded it and created a platform for those things," she told correspondent Anderson Cooper.

>> Ocasio-Cortez says she’s unsure how she’ll pay for apartment before fed salary kicks in

Cooper then asked: "Do you believe President Trump is a racist?"

"Yeah, yeah, no question," she said, adding that Trump uses words that are "historic dog whistles of white supremacy."

>> Watch the clip here

Ocasio-Cortez pointed to Trump's reaction to a 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a counter-protester was killed.

"When you look at how he reacted to the Charlottesville incident, where neo-Nazis murdered a woman, versus how he manufactures crises like immigrants seeking legal refuge on our borders, it's night and day," she said.

>> Watch more here

The White House slammed Ocasio-Cortez's words in a statement, saying Trump "has repeatedly condemned racism and bigotry in all forms."

>> Read more trending news 

"Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez's sheer ignorance on the matter can't cover the fact that President Trump supported and passed historic criminal justice reform," the statement said, according to CBS News.

Read more here.

Trump family sends Christmas card to teen with terminal cancer

A cancer-stricken Pennsylvania boy who wished for Christmas cards from around the world has received a holiday greeting from the president himself.

>> Read more trending news 

>> On WPXI.com: Terminally ill teen to raise money for other sick kids by playing video games online

According to Explore Clarion and the Centre Daily Times, the request from Reynoldsville teen Maddox Hyde, who is terminally ill with neuroblastoma, went viral over the holidays. As of Christmas Eve, the 14-year-old had received more than 100,000 cards, gifts and letters, many from high-profile supporters such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Pittsburgh Steelers and "Star Trek" actor William Shatner.

>> See Shatner's tweet here

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and their son, Barron, are the latest big names to show their support for Maddox. Maddox's stepfather, Steve Potter, took to Facebook on Friday to share a photo of a green-and-gold Christmas card signed by the first family.

>> See the card here

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Want to send Maddox a card? You can mail it to 333 Ohio St., Reynoldsville, PA 15851.

Read more here or here.

Trump responds to Mitt Romney op-ed: 'I won big, and he didn't'

President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Wednesday to respond to a blistering Washington Post op-ed in which incoming Republican Sen. Mitt Romney criticized Trump’s character.

Here are the latest updates:

Update 8:04 a.m. EST Jan. 2: President Donald Trump responded to Romney’s editorial in a tweet Wednesday morning.

“Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he a Flake?” Trump tweeted, likely referring to departing Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona. “I hope not. Would much prefer that Mitt focus on Border Security and so many other things where he can be helpful. I won big, and he didn’t. He should be happy for all Republicans. Be a TEAM player & WIN!”

>> See the tweet here

Original report: Former Republican presidential nominee and incoming U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney slammed President Donald Trump's character Tuesday in a blistering op-ed for the Washington Post.

"It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination," the frequent Trump critic wrote. "After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not."

>> Read the op-ed here

But Romney – who lauded the president's appointments of former Chief of Staff John Kelly, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other officials who have since left the administration – said he had hoped that Trump would "rise to the occasion" after the 2016 election.

That hasn’t happened, Romney said.

“His conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions this month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office," Romney wrote.

Romney went on to say that presidents must have "honesty and integrity."

>> Read more trending news 

"As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit," he continued. "With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring."

As of early Wednesday, Trump had not commented on the piece, but his 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, defended the president on Twitter.

"The truth is @MittRomney lacked the ability to save this nation," Parscale tweeted. "@realDonaldTrump has saved it. Jealousy is a drink best served warm and Romney just proved it. So sad, I wish everyone had the courage @realDonaldTrump had."

>> Read the tweet here

President Trump signs Ashanti Alert Act into law

A law designed to create a nationwide alert systems for adults between the ages of 18 and 64 was signed into law Monday by President Donald Trump, WTOP reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The Ashanti Alert Act -- named for Maryland native Ashanti Billie, who was kidnapped and murdered in the fall of 2017 -- was sponsored by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.

Billie was 19 when she disappeared from the Hampton Roads, Virginia, area in September 2017, WTOP reported. She was too old to qualify for an Amber Alert, the nation’s child abduction alert system, and too young to be considered for a Silver Alert, a system used to locate senior citizens, the radio station reported.

Billie’s body was found in North Carolina two weeks after she disappeared, WTTG reported.

The Ashanti Alert system will empower police to notify radio and television stations, and activate road and highway electronic sign boards for missing adults between the ages of 18 and 64, the television station reported.

“Despite the tragic loss of Ashanti Billie, with the love and support of Meltony and Brandy Billie (her parents), along with the Hampton Roads community, the Ashanti Alert Act is now law of the land,” Warner said in a statement. “In this new year, it is my hope that this important law enforcement tool can help save countless lives.”

Social Security checks to increase in January

Retirees may experience a significant increase in the amount of money they receive from Social Security in 2019, according to the Social Security Administration.

>> On AJC.com: Will Social Security checks be affected by possible partial government shutdown?

The United States Social Security Administration’s new 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment will add approximately $39 per month (or $468 per year) for the average beneficiary and $73 per month for folks who retire at full retirement age.

About 67 million Social Security and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries will be affected in the largest boost since 2012.

>> Read more trending news 

In 2018, cost-of-living was adjusted at 2 percent “but was largely perceived to be offset by increases in Medicare costs,” according to FOX Business.

The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees in 2019 will increase by $1.50 per month, totaling an annual cost of $135.50 from $134 in 2018.

More information about Medicare premiums and deductibles at cms.gov.

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