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1161 posts
  • Russia
(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

President Trump, who has wavered in his willingness to sit down with investigators examining Russian interference with the campaign that placed him in the White House, said Wednesday that he was “looking forward” to meeting with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

“I would do it under oath,” Trump told reporters during an impromptu conversation in the doorway of his chief of staff’s office.

Asked when the meeting would happen, he said, “I guess they’re talking about two or three weeks, but I would love to do it.”

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Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, is working on a new memo about surveillance issues.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, is working on a new memo about surveillance issues. (Cliff Owen / Associated Press)

The political battle over a hotly controversial memo involving surveillance entered a new phase on Wednesday as Democrats announced they have drafted their own, competing document. 

The original, classified memo was prepared by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a Tulare Republican, and made available to every member of Congress last week. Republicans who read the four-page document said it reveals shocking information about the investigation into President Trump, which began during the campaign, but Democrats have dismissed it as a distortion.

Now that Republicans are pushing to make their memo public, Democrats want their own version available as well. 

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Associated Press)

As Turkey continued air and ground attacks on U.S.-backed militias in neighboring Syria, President Trump urged the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Wednesday to limit its military operations and avoid civilian casualties, according to a White House statement.

In a phone call, Trump called on Erdogan to focus on the shared goal of fighting Islamic State militants and avoid military operations that could produce a clash between Turkish and U.S. military forces deployed near the border in northern Syria.

The United States and Turkey are both members of the NATO military alliance, but relations between Ankara and Washington have been strained badly over the past year. Trump’s call was at least the third time the administration has complained about Turkish attacks, to no apparent effect.   

  • White House
  • Immigration

President Trump is holding a meeting at the White House to talk with America’s mayors about infrastructure and opioids – but the mayors of the nation’s biggest cities won’t be there.

The leaders of New York, Chicago and New Orleans were among the Democrats who snubbed the Tuesday afternoon event after the Justice Department sent a threatening directive to their cites and 20 other cities and counties over their sanctuary policies regarding immigrants.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is also in Washington this week for the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, had not been invited to the White House event.

Alex Azar testifies recently on Capitol Hill.
Alex Azar testifies recently on Capitol Hill. (TNS)

The Senate on Wednesday voted 55-43 to approve Alex Azar to become the next secretary of Health and Human Services, making the former drug executive President Trump’s second Health secretary.

Azar will succeed Dr. Tom Price, who was forced to resign last year amid reports that he routinely used expensive charter jets at taxpayer expense.

Azar is less controversial than Price, who had also traded extensively in healthcare stocks while he was a congressman. Azar’s confirmation even garnered six Democratic votes.

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  • White House
As Pence prayed on the men's side, it was impossible for the female journalists to see above the cameras and microphones held by their male colleagues. (Jan. 24, 2018)

An Israeli newspaper said it would sue the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv after one of its reporters was restrained with other female journalists while attempting to cover Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Jerusalem’s Western Wall.

Before the vice president’s arrival at the wall on Tuesday, female reporters were led to the back of a specially constructed platform, behind a fence and several rows of men.

The hashtag #PenceFence was trending on Israeli social media, and international coverage of the women’s protests overshadowed coverage of Pence’s last day in Israel.

  • Immigration
The Justice Department sent letters to 23 states, cities and counties, including California, Los Angeles and Chicago, demanding records showing whether law enforcement officers are sharing information with federal agents on the immigration status of people in their custody. (Jan. 24, 2018)

Returning to a favorite cause for President Trump and Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department on Wednesday escalated a struggle with two dozen so-called sanctuary jurisdictions, demanding records proving they are cooperating with immigration enforcement agencies.

The department sent letters to 23 states, cities and counties, including California, Los Angeles and Chicago, demanding records showing whether law enforcement officers are sharing information with federal agents on the immigration status of people in their custody.

If the local jurisdictions don’t comply, the department says it will issue subpoenas or possibly cut off certain federal grant funds.

As Congress searches for a deal to protect so-called Dreamers from deportation, there are parallels to 2013, when immigration legislation won widespread support in the Senate only to be roundly ignored in the more conservative, Republican-led House.

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In the end, it was neither the self-proclaimed deal-making President Trump nor seasoned congressional leaders who found the path to end the three-day government shutdown.

  • White House
As Pence prayed on the men's side, it was impossible for the female journalists to see above the cameras and microphones held by their male colleagues. (Jan. 24, 2018)

Vice President Mike Pence’s 48-hour visit to Israel stumbled into a public storm Tuesday when female reporters covering his final stop at Jerusalem’s Western Wall were penned behind four rows of their male colleagues.

White House officials told stunned journalists that the arrangement emanated from a request made by the Western Wall rabbi, Shmuel Rabinowitz, and followed “Western Wall rules.”

Some women journalists said they could not recall such treatment in the past.