Latest National News

Walker says Wisconsin governor's powers will remain strong

Walker says Wisconsin governor's powers will remain strong

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday that the powers of his Democratic replacement will remain among the strongest of any governor in the country, even if he signs bills fellow Republicans approved in a lame-duck legislative session. The lengthy Facebook post , where Walker praised the measures without saying whether he will sign them, is the clearest signal yet that the outgoing Republican governor...
Andrew Gillum to address Democratic donors amid 2020 buzz

Andrew Gillum to address Democratic donors amid 2020 buzz

Florida Democrat Andrew Gillum is set to address top Democratic Party donors gathered in Washington amid speculation he's considering a 2020 presidential bid. The Tallahassee mayor is fresh off a close loss in the Florida governor's race. Party officials confirm Gillum is the surprise speaker at a closed gathering of about 300 donors huddling Tuesday in a Washington hotel. Despite his loss in the...
Facing pressure, McConnell agrees to criminal justice vote

Facing pressure, McConnell agrees to criminal justice vote

Under pressure from President Donald Trump and many of his Republican colleagues, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he will bring legislation to the floor to overhaul the nation's sentencing laws. McConnell's decision comes after more than three years of overtures from a large, bipartisan group of senators who support the criminal justice bill, including Senate Judiciary Committee...
The Latest: Google CEO says no plans 'right now' for China

The Latest: Google CEO says no plans 'right now' for China

The Latest on Google CEO before Congress (all times local): 12:10 p.m. Google CEO Sundar Pichai is reiterating the company's position that it has no plans "right now" to launch a censored search engine in China. That, of course, leaves the option open to launch one down the road. Pichai is being grilled by members of the House Judiciary Committee on various topics, including perceived bias...
Flynn, Manafort to make arguments in Russia probe

Flynn, Manafort to make arguments in Russia probe

Their fortunes sliding in divergent directions, two former Trump aides are pleading their case to judges Tuesday in hopes of easing the punishment they could face for their crimes. Lawyers for former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn will make a sentencing recommendation in a court filing due by the end of the day, while Paul Manafort's defense team is expected to argue that the ex-Trump...
The Latest: Trump denies that few want chief of staff job

The Latest: Trump denies that few want chief of staff job

The Latest on President Donald Trump's chief of staff (all times local): 8:55 a.m. President Donald Trump is disputing news reports that he's having a hard time finding a new White House chief of staff. In a tweet Tuesday disparaging the reports as "fake," Trump says many people, "over ten, are vying for and wanting the White House Chief of Staff position." He asks: "Why wouldn't...
The Latest: Schumer calls Trump wall threat 'temper tantrum'

The Latest: Schumer calls Trump wall threat 'temper tantrum'

The Latest on President Donald Trump's promised U.S.-Mexico border wall (all times local): 12:45 p.m. A closed-door meeting between President Donald Trump and congressional leaders lasted barely 30 minutes Tuesday after a heated televised opening session "spiraled downwards," in the words of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. Speaking outside the White House after the Oval Office meeting...
GOP House leader notes gap of distrust as Google CEO grilled

GOP House leader notes gap of distrust as Google CEO grilled

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy kicked off a congressional grilling of Google CEO Sundar Pichai by noting a "widening gap of distrust" between tech companies and the American people. McCarthy, a California Republican, asked whether tech companies are "serving as instruments of freedom or instruments of control" in the U.S. and beyond. Pichai is facing the Republican-majority...
Trump says many candidates are vying for chief of staff job

Trump says many candidates are vying for chief of staff job

Wanted: Top aide to most powerful leader in world. Chief qualification: Willing to take the job. Must also be prepared to tolerate regular undermining by boss and risk of steep legal bills. Post-employment prospects: Uncertain. President Donald Trump is scrambling to find a new chief after his first choice to replace John Kelly bailed at the last minute and several other potential successors signaled...
Trump bickers with Dem leaders, threatens gov't shutdown

Trump bickers with Dem leaders, threatens gov't shutdown

Arguing heatedly in public with Democratic leaders, President Donald Trump threatened repeatedly on Tuesday to shut down the government if Congress doesn't provide the money he says is needed to build a wall at the Mexican border. He insisted the military can build it if Democrats won't vote for the funding. Trump's comments came as he opened a contentious meeting with Democratic Senate and House...
China, US discuss plans for trade talks

China, US discuss plans for trade talks

China's economy czar and U.S. trade envoys discussed plans for talks on a tariff battle, the government said Tuesday, indicating negotiations are going ahead despite tension over the arrest of a Chinese tech executive. Vice Premier Liu He talked by phone with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer talked by phone about "the promotion of the next economic...
Some Trump allies starting to worry about investigations

Some Trump allies starting to worry about investigations

President Donald Trump's intensifying legal troubles are unnerving some of his fellow Republicans. Despite his brash stance, they believe the turmoil has left him increasingly vulnerable as he gears up for what is sure to be a nasty fight for re-election. Trump, ever confident of his ability to bend story lines to his will, mocks the investigations into his conduct as candidate and president as a...
Wisconsin GOP legislation eases corporate tax break rules

Wisconsin GOP legislation eases corporate tax break rules

Companies seeking tax credits from Wisconsin's troubled job-creation agency would face less scrutiny under a provision Republicans included in a package of lame-duck legislation designed to weaken newly elected Democrats. The measure awaiting GOP Gov. Scott Walker's signature would loosen the reins on an agency he created, which has marred by allegations of failing to recover loans from some companies...
No tea party here: House Democrats can't wait to govern

No tea party here: House Democrats can't wait to govern

As House control is about to switch, it serves as a reminder about Democrats: They like government. And governing. While tea party Republicans swept to power to stop things -- repeal Obamacare, roll back environmental regulations and decrease the size and scope of government -- Democrats are marching into the majority to build things back up. And after spending eight downcast years in the minority...
Dems: Pelosi foes seek term limits on leaders, panel chairs

Dems: Pelosi foes seek term limits on leaders, panel chairs

Democrats who have opposed Nancy Pelosi's effort to become speaker next year want her to commit to limiting how long lawmakers could serve as House party leaders or committee chairs, people familiar with the discussions said Monday. Should Pelosi, D-Calif., and her foes reach agreement, it could move her toward the support she'll need when the new House convenes Jan. 3 and votes on its new speaker...
Customs officers searching more travelers' devices

Customs officers searching more travelers' devices

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are searching the electronic devices of travelers more often, and did not always follow proper protocol, a new watchdog report has found. The report made public Monday found there were 29,000 devices searched at a port of entry out of 397 million travelers to the U.S. in budget year 2017, up from 18,400 the year before from 390 million travelers. Customs...
Italy's Salvini on Bannon: stimulating, but not European

Italy's Salvini on Bannon: stimulating, but not European

Italy's right-wing interior minister says former Trump administration adviser Steve Bannon has interesting ideas but that he doesn't understand Europe's complexities. Matteo Salvini met over the summer with Bannon, who is reported to be planning a political consulting strategy to advance far-right parties in Europe. The Guardian newspaper has reported that the effort could be illegal in many EU countries...
Paul to the people: Tell McConnell to allow sentencing vote

Paul to the people: Tell McConnell to allow sentencing vote

Seeking to stir support for a federal criminal justice bill, Sen. Rand Paul on Monday called on voters in the hometown of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to prod him to hold a vote on the measure. Paul said during an appearance at the Louisville Urban League that the measure would pass overwhelmingly if it received a Senate vote during Congress' lame-duck session. But McConnell has refused...
US starts to withdraw troops from Trump border mission

US starts to withdraw troops from Trump border mission

The U.S. this week will begin withdrawing many of the active duty troops sent to the border with Mexico by President Donald Trump just before the midterm election in response to a caravan of Central American migrants, U.S. officials said Monday. About 2,200 of the active duty troops will be pulled out before the holidays, the officials said, shrinking an unusual domestic deployment that was viewed...
In possible plea deal, accused Russian agent case 'resolved'

In possible plea deal, accused Russian agent case 'resolved'

A woman accused of being a secret agent for the Russian government has likely taken a plea deal, prosecutors indicated Monday in a court filing that said her case has been "resolved." The information was included in a filing in the case against Maria Butina. Federal prosecutors and Butina's lawyer filed a joint motion asking to change her plea. A hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday...
Judge sets court date for ex-Trump campaign chair Manafort

Judge sets court date for ex-Trump campaign chair Manafort

A judge has set a court date for this week for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort after prosecutors with the special counsel's office detailed lies they say he told them. The scheduling conference will take place Tuesday afternoon before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson. It had earlier been set for Wednesday morning. Manafort is not expected to attend. In a court filing Friday night...
Justices won't hear states' appeal over Planned Parenthood

Justices won't hear states' appeal over Planned Parenthood

The Supreme Court on Monday avoided a high-profile case by rejecting appeals from Kansas and Louisiana in their effort to strip Medicaid money from Planned Parenthood, over the dissenting votes of three justices. The court's order reflected a split among its conservative justices and an accusation from Justice Clarence Thomas that his colleagues seemed to be ducking the case for political reasons...
Trump blames lawyer Michael Cohen for hush money 'liability'

Trump blames lawyer Michael Cohen for hush money 'liability'

President Donald Trump is defending the hush money payments made by his former lawyer to two women during his 2016 campaign as "a simple private transaction." He tweeted Monday that if there was wrongdoing, it's lawyer Michael Cohen's "liability" and not his. Federal prosecutors said in a court filing Friday that Cohen "acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential...
Presidential hopefuls pushed to go big on climate change

Presidential hopefuls pushed to go big on climate change

Environmental activists are ramping up a pressure campaign designed to drum up Democratic support for a sweeping agenda to fight climate change, with the 2020 presidential campaign in their sights. Hundreds of young demonstrators turned out Monday on Capitol Hill to push Democrats on a package of ambitious environmental goals — including a nationwide transition to 100 percent power from renewable...
Trump scrambling to find new White House chief of staff

Trump scrambling to find new White House chief of staff

Wanted: Top aide to most powerful leader in world. Chief qualification: Willing to take the job. Must also be prepared to tolerate regular undermining by boss and risk of steep legal bills. Post-employment prospects: Uncertain. President Donald Trump is scrambling to find a new chief of staff after his first choice to replace John Kelly bailed at the last minute and several other potential successors...
The Latest: More candidates emerge for Trump chief of staff

The Latest: More candidates emerge for Trump chief of staff

The Latest on the White House chief of staff (all times local): 10 p.m. As President Donald Trump ponders picking a new chief of staff, more names are emerging as possible contenders for the job. A person familiar with Trumps' thinking tells The Associated Press that among the four people being considered by Trump are the White House budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, and a Republican congressman from North...
Former Agriculture Secretary Bob Bergland dies at 90

Former Agriculture Secretary Bob Bergland dies at 90

Former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Bob Bergland, a farmer from northern Minnesota who was tasked with selling President Jimmy Carter's unpopular Soviet Union grain embargo to other farmers, died Sunday. He was 90. Bergland died at a nursing home in his hometown of Roseau, near the U.S.-Canadian border, his daughter Linda Vatnsdal said. As agriculture secretary, Bergland had the difficult job of defending...
Evers not optimistic Wisconsin Gov. Walker will veto bills

Evers not optimistic Wisconsin Gov. Walker will veto bills

Wisconsin's Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers said Sunday he's not optimistic that outgoing governor Scott Walker will veto bills approved by the Republican-dominated Legislature that would limit the new governor's power. Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," Evers said he talked by telephone with Walker recently and appealed to him to veto the legislation, but that Walker was noncommittal...
Top House Dems raise prospect of impeachment, jail for Trump

Top House Dems raise prospect of impeachment, jail for Trump

Top House Democrats have raised the prospect of impeachment or the real possibility of prison time for President Donald Trump if it's proved that he directed illegal hush money payments to women, adding to the legal pressure on the president over the Russia investigation and other scandals. "There's a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict...
GM fights government to retain tax credit for electric cars

GM fights government to retain tax credit for electric cars

General Motors is fighting to retain a valuable tax credit for electric vehicles as the nation's largest automaker contends with the political fallout triggered by its plans to shutter several U.S. factories and shed thousands of workers. Preserving the $7,500 tax incentive for buyers is crucial for GM as the company pivots from internal combustion engines in favor of building cars powered by batteries...
Top GOP senator needs to know more about Trump's UN pick

Top GOP senator needs to know more about Trump's UN pick

A leading Republican senator on foreign policy issues says he doesn't yet know whether President Donald Trump's pick to be U.N. ambassador has the expertise and background to capably handle the job. Trump wants former Fox News reporter and current State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert (NOW'-urt) to replace Nikki Haley as ambassador. Nauert had little foreign policy experience before taking the...
Comey: FBI probe of Russia initially looked at 4 Americans

Comey: FBI probe of Russia initially looked at 4 Americans

The FBI's counterintelligence investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia initially focused on four Americans and whether they were connected to Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, former FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers during hours of closed-door questioning. Comey did not identify the Americans but said President Donald Trump, then...
Trump is 10th sitting president to attend Army-Navy game

Trump is 10th sitting president to attend Army-Navy game

Saturday was a day of politics and football for President Donald Trump, who announced the departure of his chief of staff, nominated a new top military adviser and then threw fist pumps at this year's Army-Navy football game. The commander in chief flew to Philadelphia for the 119th meeting in the storied rivalry between the service academies, and officiated the coin toss at Lincoln Financial Field...
Pence aide out of running to be Trump's next chief of staff

Pence aide out of running to be Trump's next chief of staff

President Donald Trump evaluated new candidates to serve as his next chief of staff Sunday after plans for an orderly succession for departing John Kelly fell through. The new hire was to be key to a West Wing reshuffling to shift focus toward the 2020 re-election campaign and the challenge of governing with Democrats in control of the House. But even senior White House officials were caught off guard...
Trump picks Army chief of staff as next top military adviser

Trump picks Army chief of staff as next top military adviser

President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he wants a battle-hardened commander who oversaw troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to be the nation's next top military adviser. If confirmed by the Senate, Gen. Mark Milley, who has been chief of the Army since August 2015, would succeed Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dunford's term doesn't end until Oct. 1. Trump said...
Sen. Cory Booker visits New Hampshire in preview for 2020

Sen. Cory Booker visits New Hampshire in preview for 2020

Sen. Cory Booker, returning to the first-in-the-nation primary state Saturday for a two-day trip that could turn out to be a tuneup for the New Jersey Democrat's potential presidential campaign, said the visit leaves him "a lot more confident in making decisions going forward." Booker headlined the New Hampshire Democratic Party's post-midterm victory celebration in Manchester. The event...
Ex-Trump fixer Michael Cohen portrayed as greedy opportunist

Ex-Trump fixer Michael Cohen portrayed as greedy opportunist

For weeks, Michael Cohen sought to portray himself as a man who'd found his "true north" after years of shady business dealings and pit-bull loyalty to President Donald Trump. Prosecutors offered a vastly different assessment Friday of the president's former fixer, dismissing him as a duplicitous figure who badly misplayed his hand. In a court filing ahead of Cohen's sentencing next week...
For first time, prosecutors connect Trump to a federal crime

For first time, prosecutors connect Trump to a federal crime

The Justice Department says that President Donald Trump directed illegal payments to buy the silence of two women whose claims of extramarital affairs threatened his presidential campaign, the first time prosecutors have connected Trump to a federal crime. In a court filing , prosecutors said former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen arranged the secret payments at the height of the 2016 campaign...
US: Trump lawyer met Russian who offered 'political synergy'

US: Trump lawyer met Russian who offered 'political synergy'

President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was in touch as far back as 2015 with a Russian who offered "political synergy" with the Trump election campaign and proposed a meeting between the candidate and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the federal special counsel said. Court filings from prosecutors in New York and special counsel Robert Mueller's office Friday laid out previously...
Absentee vote changes may have invited 'ballot harvesting'

Absentee vote changes may have invited 'ballot harvesting'

Changes made to absentee voting procedures five years ago in North Carolina may have emboldened workers to run the type of illegal "ballot-harvesting" operation alleged to have been used in a disputed congressional race, election experts and lawmakers said. Some observers are concerned that the changes made it possible for more people to apply for absentee ballots. Then so-called harvesters...
Landmark environmental protections being rolled back

Landmark environmental protections being rolled back

One after another, landmark U.S. protections for climate, air and land are in the crosshairs of the Trump administration as his agency leaders move past early fumbles and scandals to start delivering on a succession of promised environmental rollbacks. On Thursday, the Interior Department proposed easing rules on oil and gas drilling for millions of acres of range in the West. And as soon as next...
Effort to weaken governors stirs separation-of-powers debate

Effort to weaken governors stirs separation-of-powers debate

If Democrats sue to prevent Republicans from diluting the powers of newly elected governors and attorneys general in Wisconsin and Michigan, the lawsuits will probably center on one question: Are lawmakers usurping authority that belongs to the executive branch? The legal threat arose after Republicans passed bills Wednesday that would give lawmakers leverage over actions previous governors and attorneys...
'Dumb' and 'lazy' - Trump lashes back at Tillerson criticism

'Dumb' and 'lazy' - Trump lashes back at Tillerson criticism

President Donald Trump, never known for taking criticism lying down, responded to unkind words from his former secretary of state Rex Tillerson on Friday by calling Tillerson "dumb as a rock" and "lazy as hell." During a rare public appearance in Houston on Thursday evening, Tillerson, the former Exxon Mobil CEO, discussed his difficult tenure working for Trump. He called the president...
Trump prods McConnell on sentencing bill: 'Go for it Mitch!'

Trump prods McConnell on sentencing bill: 'Go for it Mitch!'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's reluctance to hold a vote on a popular criminal justice bill has angered top Republican senators and created an unusual rift with a longtime GOP ally, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. And on Friday, it also brought on a tweet from President Donald Trump. "Hopefully Mitch McConnell will ask for a VOTE on Criminal Justice Reform," Trump tweeted. "It...
The Latest: Trump to name Milley new Joint Chiefs chairman

The Latest: Trump to name Milley new Joint Chiefs chairman

The Latest on the succession of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (all times local): 3 p.m. U.S. officials say President Donald Trump will nominate the Army chief of staff, Gen. Mark Milley, as his next top military adviser. If confirmed by the Senate, Milley would succeed Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Milley is a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan...
The Latest: Trump outlines federal resources to fight crime

The Latest: Trump outlines federal resources to fight crime

The Latest on President Donald Trump's address to the national conference on crime prevention, Project Safe Neighborhoods. (all times local): 1:55 p.m. President Donald Trump is telling a law enforcement conference in Missouri how his administration is giving them the resources to do their jobs. Trump says there are more than 200 new violent crime prosecutors nationwide and cities have access to $600...
Trump demands border wall money; shutdown showdown nears

Trump demands border wall money; shutdown showdown nears

President Donald Trump said Friday that Congress should provide all the money he wants for his promised U.S.-Mexico border wall, and he called illegal immigration a "threat to the well-being of every American community." Trump spoke hours after signing a short-term spending bill that covers key government departments for two more weeks, until Dec. 21, setting up a pre-Christmas showdown...
Secret Service detail for Bush, code name 'Timberwolf,' ends

Secret Service detail for Bush, code name 'Timberwolf,' ends

The U.S. Secret Service has ended its detail for George H.W. Bush after nearly 40 years of protecting the former president, who was known by the code name "Timberwolf." The agency says its security detail officially ended at 6 a.m. Friday "with no incidents to report" following Bush's burial Thursday at his presidential library at Texas A&M University. In its final notification...
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