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In a worrisome sign for two endangered Orange County lawmakers, a major Republican Party funding group has passed over the pair in its opening round of broadcast television advertising across Southern California.

The omission of Reps. Dana Rohrabacher and Mimi Walters by the Congressional Leadership Fund, a political action committee closely aligned with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), comes at a crucial inflection point in the midterm election when the two parties begin assessing their likely winners and losers.

The decisions are particularly acute for the GOP, which is facing a tsunami of Democratic campaign cash ahead of a feared blue wave on Nov. 6.

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Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris complained Thursday that they did not sign off on three White House nominees for open California seats on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and said they would oppose their confirmation in the Senate.

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A demonstrator dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman protests outside the Saudi Embassy in Washington on Monday.8.
A demonstrator dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman protests outside the Saudi Embassy in Washington on Monday.8. (Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump says the U.S. is looking into the fate of a Saudi writer missing and feared murdered but expressed reservations over calls to withhold further U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, warning that such a move “would be hurting us.”

Decades of close U.S.-Saudi relations, which have only intensified under Trump, appeared in jeopardy by the suggestion of a carefully plotted murder of a government critic, Jamal Khashoggi, 59, who disappeared a week ago after entering a Saudi consulate in Turkey. The wealthy former government insider had been living in the United States in self-imposed exile.

In an interview Wednesday with “Fox News @ Night,” Trump said he wanted to find out what happened to Khashoggi but appeared reluctant to consider blocking arms sales, citing economic reasons.

First Lady Melania Trump says she thinks she’s among the most bullied people in the world.
First Lady Melania Trump says she thinks she’s among the most bullied people in the world. (Carolyn Kaster / AP)

First Lady Melania Trump said she could be “the most bullied person” in the world. 

She made the remark during a television interview in which she promoted her Be Best initiatives, which tackles online bullying. Critics have pointed out that her husband, President Trump, routinely rips people for their looks, and what he says is a lack of talent or intelligence. 

“I could say I'm the most bullied person in the world,” Melania Trump said in the ABC News interview, broadcast Thursday on “Good Morning America.” 

  • Congress
  • Midterm Election

Early voting began this week, and Californians will again choose between two Democrats to represent them in the U.S. Senate.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is seeking a fifth full term in the Senate. State Sen. Kevin de León is challenging her from the left.

Interest in the race has been low. No debate has been held, though a discussion moderated by the Public Policy Institute of California is scheduled for midday Wednesday. It may be the only time Feinstein and De León appear on stage together before the election.

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Michelle Garrett craned to snap a photo of Sen. Kamala Harris amid the sea of cellphones and campaign signs at a get-out-the-vote rally for Ohio Democrats, sliding her “Sherrod Brown for Senate” lawn sign under a chair to protect it from jostling feet.

Shortly after Canada agreed to new terms for the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Trump administration held up the deal as vindication of the president’s bare-knuckles negotiating style.

  • Middle East
President Trump at the White House on Wednesday.
President Trump at the White House on Wednesday. (Tasos Katopodis / EPA/Rex-Shutterstock)

President Donald Trump says the U.S. is “demanding” answers from Saudi Arabia about missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and wants to bring his fiancee to the White House. 

Turkish officials have said they believe the Saudi writer and government critic, a columnist for the Washington Post, was killed inside his country's consulate in Istanbul when he went there to obtain documentation required to marry his Turkish fiancee. Saudi Arabia has denied the allegations. 

Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Wednesday that he has a call in to Kashoggie’s fiancee, Hatice Cengiz. 

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Michael Bloomberg said he has registered as a Democrat.
Michael Bloomberg said he has registered as a Democrat. (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is officially a Democrat again. 

The global media company founder on Wednesday said he has changed his voter registration to Democrat, which would be especially significant if he decides to challenge President Trump in 2020. Bloomberg said on social media he did so “because we need Democrats to provide the checks and balance our nation so badly needs.” 

Bloomberg did not say when he might make a decision on running for president. He served three terms as New York City mayor and has variously been a Democrat, a Republican and an independent. He twice flirted with running for president as an independent candidate.