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(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

President Trump blasted California Gov. Jerry Brown for using his pardon powers in a series of pre-Easter Twitter attacks.

Trump disparaged Brown with his old “Moonbeam” nickname and then criticized him for issuing Good Friday pardons, part of a tradition for Brown around the Easter season.

“Is this really what the great people of California want?” Trump wrote, listing some of the crimes committed by those either pardoned or issued clemency by Brown, including spousal abuse.

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President Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting in March.
President Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting in March. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

It seems at times like a reality television show.

President Trump has ousted more than two dozen members of his administration, creating the impression of chaos and a national guessing game of who will be next.

Most of the casualties have been senior aides — remember Stephen K. Bannon and Anthony Scaramucci? Of his original Cabinet — positions that require confirmation by the Senate — a total of three have been dismissed or forced to resign. They are Tom Price (secretary of Health and Human Services), Rex Tillerson (secretary of State) and, this week, David Shulkin (secretary of Veterans Affairs).

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President Donald Trump speaking at the White House last week with Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, left, and Vice President Mike Pence.
President Donald Trump speaking at the White House last week with Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, left, and Vice President Mike Pence. (Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)

President Trump said Thursday that he may put a hold on a new trade deal with South Korea just to make sure things are “moving along very nicely” in talks to end the nuclear program in North Korea.

The musing came in a rambling Trump speech about roads and bridges, where he broke off from the main topic repeatedly. To the surprise and confusion of many, Trump drew a possible link between the recently announced trade deal with South Korea and the joint effort by the U.S. and South Korea to enter into talks with North Korea.

The Trump administration announced this week a new trade deal that will lift steel tariffs on South Korea in exchange for greater access to their auto market, an agreement that both sides find economically advantageous. But Trump apparently thinks the deal might be valuable as a bargaining chip in the other conversation, too.

Stormy Daniels arrives for the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 11, 2007.
Stormy Daniels arrives for the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 11, 2007. (Stormy Daniels)

A federal judge in Los Angeles has denied a demand for a jury trial from the attorney for an adult film actress who said she had an affair with President Trump because the request was premature.

Michael Avenatti, an attorney for Stormy Daniels, says Thursday that he will refile the motion once Trump’s attorneys formally demand an arbitration proceeding in the case.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has been seeking to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement she signed days before the 2016 presidential election in order to discuss her relationship.

  • White House

When a border wall replacement project began near downtown Calexico this year, Border Patrol agents emphasized that it should not be confused with President Trump’s wall. The president himself stirred up confusion Wednesday, tweeting photos of the Calexico construction and saying, “Great briefing this afternoon on the start of our Southern Border WALL!”

One problem: Plans for the wall replacement project started in 2009.

“It was ultimately funded under the current administration in 2017, but is completely separate of any political talk or commentary,” Justin Castrejon, a spokesman for the Border Patrol’s El Centro Sector, said in an interview this month. 

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Former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page makes a presentation during a visit to Moscow in December 2016.
Former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page makes a presentation during a visit to Moscow in December 2016. (Artyom Korotayev/TASS/Abaca Press/TNS)

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog will examine how officials handled a secret application to conduct surveillance of a Trump foreign policy advisor, the latest review in a controversy that has set off a partisan battle in Congress and drawn angry accusations from President Trump.

Following requests from Republican senators and Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced Wednesday that his office would examine whether the FBI and Justice officials followed the law and department procedures during an investigation of Carter Page, the energy consultant whose dealings with Russians attracted scrutiny before the 2016 election.

The department obtained permission from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to use spying tools against Page, a U.S. citizen. Their warrant application was based in part on a now-infamous dossier compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent who was working as part of a Democrat-funded opposition research project.

President Trump waded into Orange County’s “sanctuary” laws fight with a pair of tweets Wednesday morning, one day after the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to join a federal lawsuit against California’s sanctuary laws.

Senate Bill 54, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed after the Legislature passed it last year, prohibits state and local police agencies from notifying federal officials in many cases when immigrants in their custody who may potentially be subject to deportation are about to be released.

The Trump administration went to federal court to invalidate the state laws, contending that they blatantly obstruct federal immigration law and thus violate the Constitution's supremacy clause, which gives federal law precedence over state measures. That case is pending.

(Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call)

Of the many charges faced by Paul Manafort, conspiring with Russians to influence the 2016 presidential campaign in Donald Trump’s favor isn't one of them.

But in a legal filing on Tuesday night, prosecutors working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III dropped more hints about alleged connections between Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, and Russian intelligence. 

The information was disclosed in court papers filed in a separate case involving Alex van der Zwaan, a former lawyer who pleaded guilty in February to lying to investigators and is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday.

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  • White House
Stormy Daniels speaks to Anderson Cooper during her interview on "60 Minutes."
Stormy Daniels speaks to Anderson Cooper during her interview on "60 Minutes." (CBS News)

President Trump is too busy running the country to weigh in personally on the Stormy Daniels accusations, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Tuesday.

Aides aren’t saying whether Trump watched Sunday’s “60 Minutes” interview on CBS, in which Daniels told of a sexual encounter she had with Trump in 2006, shortly after the birth of his son, and of subsequent efforts to keep her from telling the story — including a physical threat in Trump’s name. They reiterated that Trump denies the accusations.

The president himself wasn’t saying so, however. He remained uncharacteristically silent in the wake of both Daniels’ much-watched interview and an earlier one on CNN of Karen McDougal, a former Playboy playmate who described a long sexual relationship with Trump in the same year.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at the United Nations earlier this month.
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at the United Nations earlier this month. (Getty Images)

The United States on Tuesday condemned the forced surrender of one of the last rebel-held enclaves in Syria and accused Syrian government forces of using a U.N.-backed cease-fire to accomplish it.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, blamed Russia for supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad and playing a “central role in the bombing of Syrian civilians into submission.”

Haley, speaking at a special session of the U.N. Security Council, also lashed out at her fellow members of the organization, saying they had failed to call out Russia and Syria’s other key ally, Iran. She was reacting to reports that the enclave of eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, had all but fallen to government forces, and thousands of civilians were being forced to flee.