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Sessions won't say if he's talked with Trump about Michael Cohen

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions refused to tell Congress on Wednesday if he had stepped aside from supervising the federal investigation into President Donald Trump's personal lawyer in New York, or say if he has discussed the sensitive probe with the president or his aides.

Sessions, testifying before a Senate Appropriations ...Read more

Sessions won't say if he's recused from probe of Trump's lawyer

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions refused Wednesday to say whether he's recused himself from involvement in the Justice Department's investigation into President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

"I should not answer that question; it would be inappropriate to do so," Sessions said at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee...Read more

Texas governor wants former Rep. Blake Farenthold to pay for special election

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is asking former Rep. Blake Farenthold to pay for the June 30 special election to fill the seat the congressman vacated when he resigned earlier this month.

Abbott wrote a letter to Farenthold on Wednesday to "demand" that he "cover all costs" for the June 30 special election in Texas' 27th District.

...Read more

Trump gamble for quick trade deal with China seen as a long shot

Politics / Political News /

BEIJING -- President Donald Trump is dispatching two of his top economic deputies to China in hopes of a quick deal on trade. They may find the reality on the ground more daunting.

Trump said on Tuesday that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will depart for China within days. Mnuchin is expected to be accompanied by U.S. Trade Representative ...Read more

GOP baseball returns to scene of last year's shooting

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Republican congressional baseball coach Roger Williams was hitting infield practice Wednesday morning as Rodney Davis played catcher and Williams staffer Zack Barth backed them up around a flooded batters box.

In the outfield, lobbyist and former Hill aide Matt Mika was fielding balls with teammates.

It seemed like a normal ...Read more

Trump's travel ban goes before Supreme Court in test of presidential power

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- More than a year after President Donald Trump issued a travel ban that set off the first legal controversy of his presidency, the Supreme Court is set to consider whether the chief executive has the power to bar most immigrants and travelers from five heavily Muslim countries.

The justices will hear arguments Wednesday from ...Read more

'Year of the woman'? Not so much in California

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- The numbers are eye-popping. On Monday, EMILY's List, a political organization dedicated to electing Democratic women to office, announced that over 36,000 women had contacted them about running for office since Donald Trump was elected president in Nov. 2016. By comparison, just over 900 women reached out to the group over the ...Read more

Why the Hill's Quitters Caucus keeps growing

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON--There are really just three ways to give up a seat in Congress on your own timetable: retire, resign or quit. And the method with the least attractive connotations has become particularly popular in the last decade, especially among Republicans.

Those who use the term "retirement" properly are lawmakers who decline to run for re-...Read more

Republican Debbie Lesko wins Arizona special election

Politics / Political News /

Former Republican state Sen. Debbie Lesko won the special election in Arizona's 8th District on Tuesday night, but by a relatively slim margin in a district that President Donald Trump easily carried in 2016.

With most of the votes counted, Lesko had 53 percent of the vote to 47 percent for Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, according to the Arizona ...Read more

Rep. Duncan Hunter sets up legal fund amid criminal investigation

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., has filed paperwork to establish a legal expense fund amid an ongoing federal criminal investigation into whether he misused campaign cash.

Hunter filed the required paperwork March 27, seeking a rarely granted "Legal Expense Fund" through which members of Congress under investigation or being sued in...Read more

Trump says there's a 'great shot' at a new Iran deal, as Macron suggests. Or maybe not

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump suggested on Tuesday that he would consider a plea from visiting French President Emmanuel Macron to renegotiate and expand the multinational Iran nuclear deal rather than tear it up, as Trump has long pledged to do.

Macron, who came to Washington intent on salvaging the 2015 accord that dismantled Iran's ...Read more

Trump is pushing hard to reach NAFTA agreement, both with trading partners and with Congress

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- With critical political deadlines fast approaching, the Trump administration is racing to strike a deal on a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement by early May -- with an eye toward forcing a congressional vote on a new pact by the end of the year.

After months of making little progress, recent statements from high-level ...Read more

Sessions declines to recuse himself from probe into Trump lawyer

Politics / Political News /

WASHINTON-- Attorney General Jeff Sessions has decided against recusing himself from the investigation into President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, but will consider stepping back from specific questions tied to the probe, according to a person familiar with the matter.

By contrast, Sessions recused himself from the ...Read more

Election year history belies ambitious talk on appropriations

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- November might seem far away, but the midterm elections' impact on spending bills is already on display, amplified by internal Republican jockeying for leadership positions in the House.

Election years tend to chill swift movement on appropriations bills -- especially when there's potential turnover in leadership of one or both ...Read more

Who can fill Paul Ryan's shoes in the House GOP?

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- The brain drain from departing House Republicans with policy expertise had sparked worry among party insiders even before Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced his plans to retire.

Now, the extraordinary attrition, along with a potentially brutal upcoming midterm campaign, is enough to send the GOP into panic mode.

Ryan's exit won't ...Read more

For Melania Trump, the shroud of invisibility lifts during a week of public attention

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- She is either complicit in her husband's worst instincts or a victim of them, either struggling in an anachronistic job or confidently doing precisely what she wants to do with it. Fifteen months after she became first lady, Melania Trump remains a mystery.

In the span of several days ending Tuesday, Melania Trump will have been ...Read more

President's hiring and firing power at issue in Supreme Court case over SEC judges

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in an arcane dispute over administrative judges that poses a potentially far-reaching question about the president's power: Can such executive branch officials have independent authority to act or must they be subject to control and removal by the president?

The justices sounded split on ...Read more

GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn does not qualify for Colorado primary ballot, state court rules

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn has not qualified for the GOP primary ballot.

The court ruled Lamborn violated state rules when collecting the 1,000 GOP signatures needed to qualify for the primary ballot. State law says the signature collectors must be Colorado residents, and the state Supreme ...Read more

Texas attorney general gives governor OK to suspend election law

Politics / Political News /

AUSTIN, Texas -- To the extent election law prevents or delays the recovery of Texas' coastal areas in the long aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the Texas governor can suspend that law, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced on Monday.

Tying the ravages of Hurricane Harvey with the abrupt resignation of scandal-ridden U.S. Rep. Blake ...Read more

Congress sets modest to-do list amid polarized election campaign

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Republicans are showing little appetite for big action in what may be their last months in full control of Congress.

The House took much of last week off and doesn't get back to Washington until Tuesday. The Senate is bogged down in confirmation hearings. And many lawmakers are already focused on their first election campaigns ...Read more