• Congress
  • Russia

The Kremlin dismissed a U.S. congressional report on alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 elections as “unfounded” and blamed Washington’s "paranoid concerns" about Russia as harmful to bilateral relations.

"We can only voice regret over the continuing campaign [against Russia] and once again recall that so far, all these concerns, all the accusations against our country of meddling have had no grounds and are absolutely unfounded," Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, told reporters on a daily press call Thursday.

Peskov was referring to staff report released Wednesday by Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that detailed alleged attempts by the Kremlin to undermine the U.S. elections process in 2016.

The Kremlin has continually denied accusations that it tried to interfere in America’s presidential election and blamed “Russophobia” growing in Washington as a major constraint in attempts to rebuild relations between the two countries.

  • White House
President Trump after arriving at the Palm Beach airport in Florida on Friday evening.
President Trump after arriving at the Palm Beach airport in Florida on Friday evening. (Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

As students and their supporters marched around the country on Saturday to demand gun controls, the White House issued a statement supportive of the demonstrations and lauding President Trump’s actions to date, which fall short of protesters’ demands.

Trump was at his golf club in West Palm Beach, Fla., when the statement was released; it was not issued in his name. The White House has not responded to questions about his plans for the day. 

“We applaud the many courageous young Americans exercising their First Amendment rights today,” said the statement from a deputy press secretary, Lindsay Walters. 

  • White House
President Trump signed the omnibus budget bill.

President Trump on Friday signed a $1.3-trillion bill to fund government agencies after a last-minute threat to veto the measure — a step that likely would have triggered  a government shutdown.

In a hastily called signing ceremony at the White House, Trump railed against a “ridiculous situation” in which he was being asked to sign a bill that failed to fund his proposed border wall.

But “as crazy as it’s been,” he said, he had to sign the bill because of the military spending increases it included. 

A former Playboy model recalled having sex with Donald Trump dozens of times in the early years of the president's marriage to Melania Trump, sharing elaborate details of what she described as a 10-month love affair.

Karen McDougal, the magazine's 1998 Playmate of the Year, told CNN Thursday that she was racked with guilt about Trump cheating on his wife, especially when he took her on a tour of the couple's Trump Tower penthouse apartment when Melania was not home.


President Trump on Friday threatened to veto a $1.3 trillion government-funding bill that he had assured Republican leaders he would sign, just hours after the final vote and 15 hours before a midnight deadline for shutting down the government.

Trump tweeted that he was considering vetoing the bill over immigration concerns: that it did not fully fund his proposed border wall or provide relief to so-called Dreamers, who face deportation because he has ordered an end to an Obama-era program protecting them.

Congress has quit for a spring recess and many members have left town. A veto would all but assure at least a third short government shutdown, and just as thousands of people are expected in Washington this weekend for the “March for Our Lives” to protest gun violence.

Editor's note: President Trump announced Thursday that hard-line conservative John Bolton would replace Army Gen. H.R. McMaster as national security advisor. This profile of Bolton was published May 1, 2005, when he served as ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush.

When John R. Bolton charged into the State Department in 2001 as President Bush's top arms control official, he thought of himself as a loyal Republican soldier on a mission into hostile political territory, according to friends and colleagues.

President Trump has dismissed his national security advisor, Army Gen. H.R. McMaster, who was brought in last year to bring order to the national security staff after the short, tumultuous reign of Michael Flynn.

McMaster will be replaced by John Bolton, a hard-line conservative who was ambassador to the United Nations during part of the George W. Bush administration.


Congress approved a $1.3-trillion spending bill after hours of wrangling and a flurry of unsuccessful Democratic efforts to force legislators to take up a measure to protect young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

The vote — late Thursday morning for the House and early Friday for the Senate — came as legislators faced a Friday deadline for a government shutdown. It also came just hours after the release of the 2,232-page bill, meaning that few voting on the measure had a clear idea of what it included, as members openly admitted.

The morning after Democrat Conor Lamb's electoral upset in a Pennsylvania House district that backed Donald Trump by 20 points, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi shrugged off questions about whether she was worried that the candidate had campaigned on a pledge to replace her.

"We won," said the ever-confident Pelosi. "I just wanted him to win."