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'Trump Bump' Back On Wall Street? Economy On Track Despite Tensions In Washington

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Is the so-called "Trump Bump" back on Wall Street?

Consumer spending was robust as 2016 ended, and the Commerce Department says a revised look at gross domestic product shows an increased 2.1 percent for the year -- up from the previous 1.9 percent estimate, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported.

So, former president Barack Obama can claim the economy was improving at the end of his term, and President Donald Trump can claim the economy was improving at the start of his term.

The administration's commerce secretary announced Thursday the U.S. is enlisting AT&T to build the first nationwide broadband network to help first responders.

"The partnership will invest $46.5 billion into our economy. It will create 10,000 jobs in the first two years and tens of thousands over the term of the 25-year contract," U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said.

This week, Trump told a bipartisan group of senators he's anxious to cut a deal on health care reform.

"Because we've all been promising, Democrat, Republican, we've all been promising that to the American people," Trump said. "So I think a lot of good things are going to happen."

Democrats responded with a letter to the president, saying "we respectfully request that you abandon your efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act."

"They have a right to put out a letter and draw their lines in the sand. The president is committed to going down the path he is," Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.

On Thursday morning, President Trump sent a stern warning to Democrats and conservative Republicans who opposed his health care bill.

"The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast," Trump tweeted. "We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!"

Speaker Paul Ryan said he understands and shares President Donald Trump's frustration with the House Freedom Caucus.

"It's very understandable the president is frustrated we haven't gotten to where we need to go, because this is something we all said we would do," Ryan said.

Ryan told "CBS This Morning" that if Trump works with Democrats, they will "try and change Obamacare and that's not, that's hardly a conservative thing."

The Wisconsin Republican says he is pushing lawmakers to keep talking and try to reach a consensus on a health bill that could pass -- but he declined to commit to another vote, saying he does not want to impose an "artificial timeline."

A House Freedom Caucus member is defended the group's opposition to the failed GOP health care bill.

Jim Jordan of Ohio says, "I respect the president, but our focus is on the legislation."

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was also asked Thursday about a report in the New York Times that said two White House officials supplied intelligence reports to House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes. He would not comment but said the White House has now given an invitation to Congressional leaders to view national security documents.

"We have and will invite the Senate and House ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence committees to view the material in accordance with their schedule," Spicer said.

Another focus Thursday was on the Senate Intelligence Committee and its first public hearings on alleged Russian interference in the election to hurt Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and help Trump.

"The American public, indeed all democratic societies, need to understand that line actors are using old techniques with new platforms to undermine our democratic institutions," Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, said.

"This Russian propaganda on steroids was designed to poison the national conversation in America," Sen.  Mark Warner said.  "The Russians employed thousands of paid Internet trolls and "botnets" to push out disinformation and fake news at a high volume."

The focus this morning was on Russian disinformation tactics, with one expert testifying the practices continued post-election, with Russian-directed social media campaigns targeting Ryan over the failure of health care reform.

Russia expert Clint Watts, of the Foreign Policy Research Institute Program on National Security told the Senate intelligence committee that President Vladimir Putin hasn't stopped his alleged disinformation campaign in America. He didn't offer details, but Watts said the campaigns are evidence that Russia is continuing to seek further unrest among U.S. democratic institutions, leaders and their constituents.

There was no immediate comment from Ryan's office.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the claims of interference "fictional." Putin on Thursday dismissed what he called "endless and groundless" accusations of Russian meddling in the election. Putin describes the allegations as part of the U.S. domestic political struggle.

Putin also said he's ready to meet with President Donald Trump at an upcoming Arctic summit.

Lastly, there was a shake-up in the White House staff Thursday. A week after a defeat on the health care overhaul in Congress, Trump reassigned the high-ranking Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh. She will now advise an outside political group, CBS2's Dick Brennan reported.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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