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From the wrestling mat to White House: Linda McMahon's fight to enter Washington

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Linda McMahon was hardly dressed for a wrestling match that day back in 1999, when she marched into a ring in Anaheim, Calif., to face wrestling megastar Triple H.

Triple H was a beefy wrestler; McMahon was one of the World Wrestling Federation's top executives. A YouTube video shows Triple H grabbing McMahon's jacket. Outrageous! Her husband, ...Read more

Ghost Ship fire: Derick Almena's lawyers say fire started next door

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OAKLAND, Calif. -- The defense team for Derick Almena released a report Monday alleging that the deadly Oakland warehouse fire that killed 36 people last year started not in the now infamous Ghost Ship artists collective, but rather in an adjacent building.

The 10-page report, which was prepared by an unidentified private investigator hired by ...Read more

Calif. Senate votes for final confirmation of Xavier Becerra as state attorney general

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The California Senate on Monday voted 26-9 in favor of final confirmation of Rep. Xavier Becerra as the state's attorney general, putting on watch a veteran politician who has promised to block efforts by President Donald Trump to roll back state policies on immigration, civil rights and the environment.

Becerra, a Los ...Read more

Trump wrongly tells congressional leaders millions of 'illegals' cost him popular vote

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump welcomed congressional leaders to the White House for a reception Monday evening, and the conversation at one point returned to the November election.

Trump told the congressional leaders that he lost the popular vote to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton because millions of "illegals" cast ballots, according ...Read more

Trump's HHS pick favored drugmakers, device makers and doctors

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As Cabinet nominee Tom Price faces a Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, a newly released trove of documents sheds further light on how he interacted as a congressman with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the massive agency he may soon oversee.

Letters provided by CMS after an open records request show that the Health and Human ...Read more

Pompeo CIA confirmation vote: A preview of the 2020 presidential debate?

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WASHINGTON -- Monday night's Senate vote on Kansas Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo as CIA director was a preview of the battle -- and the views of some key players -- concerning privacy issues likely to erupt in the 2020 presidential campaign.

Pompeo was confirmed, 66-32. But the vote was probably the first chapter in a debate that's going to ...Read more

Florida man accused of stabbing his dog for barking too much

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Frustrated with his dog's barking, a Florida man stabbed the animal with a kitchen knife while it was held in a cage, police said.

Michael O'Brien of Sunrise took the heavily bleeding Husky to an animal hospital in Cooper City after a witness insisted, but he told the veterinarian that the dog had run into a glass door,...Read more

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton faints near end of his annual statewide address

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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton fainted near the end of a 45-minute state of the state speech Monday night at the Capitol. Aides caught him as he fell while standing behind a lectern in the House chambers in St. Paul. The legislators immediately adjourned the gathering, and Dayton appeared to be seated upright and aware shortly ...Read more

Senate confirms Trump's choice for CIA director, Rep. Mike Pompeo

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump's nominee to head the CIA, Rep. Mike Pompeo, was overwhelmingly confirmed Monday by the Senate.

Senators voted 66-32 despite resistance from a core group of Democrats who remained critical of Pompeo's shifting views on the government's surveillance programs. They also wanted assurances he would oppose ...Read more

Woman smears bananas on cars at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, police say

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A banana-wielding, trespassing, U.S. postal worker marred Inauguration Day at President Donald Trump's newly dubbed winter White House in Palm Beach, according to police.

A few hours before Trump on Friday took the oath of office in Washington, D.C., a woman smeared bananas on cars parked at Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club, ...Read more

FBI refuses to say how stolen machine gun was stored in agent's car

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The sponsor of a new California law requiring law enforcement officers to lock up guns in parked vehicles said on Monday that the FBI should be more forthcoming about how a powerful submachine gun was stolen from an agent's car in central Contra Costa County two weeks ago.

"There should absolutely be more transparency from ...Read more

White House press secretary signals he'll be as sensitive to media coverage as his boss

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump's top spokesman gave an unusually raw assessment of his boss' views about the media Monday.

Even after moving into the White House, the new leader of the free world doesn't appear to have gotten over the slights of not being taken seriously. Trump finds what's written and said about him frustrating, ...Read more

Analysis: Trump moves quickly in bid to revamp America's trade policy

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WASHINGTON -- It was quick and easy for President Donald Trump to fulfill his campaign promise to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

With a stroke of his new presidential pen, he buried the massive Pacific free-trade agreement that the Obama administration had painstakingly negotiated, even though the 12-nation accord had been ...Read more

Size of online audience for inauguration may never be known

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WASHINGTON -- White House press secretary Sean Spicer Monday stuck by his claim that more people watched the inauguration of Donald Trump than any other in history.

"It was the most watched inaugural," Spicer said, repeating an assertion he made over the weekend, when both he and President Trump complained that the news media was intentionally ...Read more

Sessions won't recuse himself from handling Trump's possible conflicts of interest if confirmed

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WASHINGTON -- Sen. Jeff Sessions says he won't recuse himself from handling any potential conflicts of interest involving President Donald Trump or his family members if confirmed as the nation's next attorney general.

"If merely being a supporter of the president's during the campaign warranted recusal from involvement in any matter involving ...Read more

White House opens door to military cooperation with Moscow, but it would be illegal

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WASHINGTON -- The White House indicated Monday that President Donald Trump would be open to military cooperation with Russia to fight Islamic State, a move that would be a big policy change for the U.S. government, and one that would run afoul of current law.

"I think if there's a way that we can combat ISIS with any country, whether it's ...Read more

Mnuchin says excessively strong dollar may hurt US economy

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin said an "excessively strong dollar" could have a negative short-term effect on the economy.

"The strength of the dollar has historically been tied to the strength of the U.S. economy and the faith that investors have in doing business in America," Mnuchin said in written responses, ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Kaine spent inauguration night presiding over same-sex wedding

WASHINGTON -- If he had his way, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., would have been the one taking the oath of office to become vice president on Friday.

However, after attending the inauguration to watch his opponent Mike Pence become vice president, Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton's running ...Read more

Haley could be confirmed as Trump's UN ambassador Tuesday

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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley could be confirmed as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations as early as Tuesday, ushering in a new governor in Henry McMaster and a secession game in the state Senate.

First, Haley must get an official nod of approval from the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The committee is ...Read more

Spokesman says Trump believes 'a lot' of marchers weren't protesting him

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One day after President Donald Trump jeered Women's March demonstrators on Twitter -- writing, "Why didn't these people vote?" -- his top spokesman said Monday that Trump also thinks many of those at the rallies around the world were not protesting him.

Trump is "cognizant to the fact that a lot of these people were there to protest an issue of...Read more

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