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Jaime Harrison drops out of DNC race, endorses former labor secretary

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ATLANTA -- South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison said Thursday that he was ending his candidacy to become head of the Democratic National Committee, leaving a race in which he failed to gain serious traction despite his longstanding ties to the party.

"I know what a path to victory looks like," Harrison said in a note to ...Read more

Pricey tickets, lots of police, swank hotel and still McConnell endures protesters

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COVINGTON, Ky. -- Mitch McConnell expected a warm, or at least anger-free, welcome Thursday. Several police officers stood watch throughout the swanky Hotel Covington. His hosts were the Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati chambers of commerce. And it cost $65 to attend.

That didn't deter two protesters.

While the Senate Majority Leader ticked ...Read more

Hugging employees may create hostile work environment, appeals court rules

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Hugging can create a hostile work environment.

In a decision Thursday, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived a sexual harassment lawsuit against Yolo County Sheriff Edward G. Prieto, who was charged with hugging a female correctional officer more than 100 times over a 12-year period.

Prieto ...Read more

Giffords to GOP: 'Have some courage,' don't dodge town halls

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WASHINGTON -- Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Thursday urged congressional Republicans to "have some courage" and hold town halls, after Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert referenced her shooting in his explanation for not holding one.

In a letter to his constituents who had requested a town hall meeting with him, Gohmert referred to...Read more

Ban on recreational marijuana to be enforced, White House says

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WASHINGTON -- White House spokesman Sean Spicer said he expects the Justice Department to increase enforcement of laws prohibiting the recreational use of marijuana, a departure from the Obama administration's less aggressive stance as states began legalizing recreational as well as medical use of the drug.

"There are two distinct issues here: ...Read more

Trump's top lieutenants bat down reports of tensions

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OXON HILL, Md. -- White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon appeared onstage together Thursday to jointly insist that everything is running smoothly in the nascent Trump administration -- including their relationship, which has been the subject of much speculation.

Despite several weeks of often-...Read more

Trump said to be weighing U.S. Bancorp's Davis for Fed board seat

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump is considering nominating U.S. Bancorp Chief Executive Officer Richard Davis for the Federal Reserve Board, said people familiar with the matter, as the president prepares to start reshaping the central bank's approach to monetary policy and Wall Street oversight.

Davis, who has announced he plans to retire ...Read more

Homicides in Chicago outpacing last year after deadliest day so far in 2017

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CHICAGO -- Homicides are now outpacing last year in Chicago after the city experienced its deadliest day so far this year, according to data kept by the Chicago Tribune.

Seven people were shot to death on Wednesday, five of them killed over two hours, including a pregnant woman in Chatham on the South Side. That's the most homicides since ...Read more

Homeland Security chief says there won't be mass deportations of people in US illegally

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MEXICO CITY -- Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, on a visit to Mexico, said Thursday that there will be no mass deportations of people living in the U.S. illegally.

Kelly also said U.S. military forces would not be used in deportation efforts and that any deportation cases would go through the U.S. legal system.

"No. Repeat, no use of...Read more

Hospitalized Salvadoran woman awaiting emergency surgery moved to Texas detention center

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NEW YORK -- A critically ill woman from El Salvador who was awaiting emergency surgery for a brain tumor was forcibly moved from a Texas hospital to a detention center by federal agents, raising concerns about President Donald Trump's directive to more aggressively pursue people living in the country illegally.

Sara Beltran-Hernandez, 26, a ...Read more

Sprint to find Zika vaccine could hinge on summer outbreaks

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As warmer temperatures herald the arrival of pesky mosquitoes, researchers are feverishly working on several promising vaccines against Zika, a virus notorious for infecting humans through this insect's bite.

The speed and debilitating effects of last year's Zika outbreak in the Western Hemisphere prompted a sprint to develop a vaccine. Just a ...Read more

As Trump immigration crackdown comes into focus, anxiety grows along with anger

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LOS ANGELES -- Cristina Reyes eyed her daughter toddling about on a patch of grass while waiting for the trolley that would take them to their Lynwood home. The 33-year-old has stuck to public transportation ever since someone stole her car last year. She and her husband contemplated buying a new one, but worried it would go to waste.

"I told ...Read more

Trump adviser Steve Bannon rails at 'corporatist, globalist media'

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NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The two men with the most heavily dissected relationship in President Donald Trump's White House held a rare public appearance together Thursday and agreed on one common enemy: the media.

Reince Priebus, the chief of staff who is often described as "embattled," said he has grown "conditioned" to the media counting Trump ...Read more

Jonathan Bernstein: The dangers of a weak president

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As the first month has passed of Donald Trump's presidency with little sign of success, and some question about whether he's even up to trying to turn his campaign platform into a real legislative agenda, it's occurring to more and more people that what we're looking at is someone on the road to being a very weak president.

Because Trump tends ...Read more

Homeland Security tried to downplay raids as routine. Now Trump says they're unprecedented

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WASHINGTON -- After nationwide immigration raids this month in which more than 680 people were arrested, the Department of Homeland Security issued a nothing-to-see-here statement downplaying the sweeps as anything out of the ordinary.

"ICE conducts these kind of targeted enforcement operations regularly and has for many years," the agency said...Read more

DeMint to Republicans: Don't go soft

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OXON HILL, Md. -- Former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint on Thursday warned congressional Republicans to keep their pledges to enact a conservative agenda, despite mounting political pressure some are already facing over issues like repealing the Affordable Care Act.

"Fellow conservatives, this is our time," said DeMint, who is now the president...Read more

Kellyanne Conway breaks silence, advises less time on Twitter

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WASHINGTON -- Kellyanne Conway, once President Donald Trump's most visible proponent, broke her weeklong silence Thursday by telling a friendly crowd they should spend less time on Twitter.

Notably, her boss did just that before her appearance at the Conservative Political Action Caucus (CPAC), a rare instance when the president held his fire ...Read more

Democrats hope Trump backlash begins in this ruby-red House seat

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SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- Jon Ossoff told about 150 of his supporters Wednesday night that they had a chance to start the electoral backlash to President Donald Trump.

Most of them hardly needed convincing from this Democratic congressional candidate -- even if they live in the heart of a longtime Republican stronghold.

"This is the first chance ...Read more

FBI investigating reported death threats against Muslims by NC conservative activists

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The FBI's Charlotte office is investigating reported threats against Muslims made at a meeting of conservative activists in Kernersville, an agency spokeswoman said Thursday.

"My only recommendation is to start killing the hell out of them," one participant said, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, based ...Read more

White nationalist leader booted from Conservative Political Action Conference

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One of America's most prominent white nationalists, Richard Spencer, was kicked out of the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday after conference organizers gave him credentials to attend and then wavered on whether to let him stay.

Spencer, who coined the term "alternative right" to describe his far-right views on separating the...Read more