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(Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

Looking ahead to a future vacancy on the Supreme Court, President Trump on Friday named five conservative judges to his list of potential nominees to the high court.

They include Notre Dame law professor Amy Coney Barrett, 45, who was confirmed two weeks ago to a seat on the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago and D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh, 52, a White House lawyer for President George W. Bush and a former clerk for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.   

“The president is refreshing his list,” White House counsel Donald McGahn told an enthusiastic crowd at the Federalist Society convention at the Mayflower Hotel.

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Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images
Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images

President Trump won’t rely on the Republican National Committee to pay his legal bills during the special counsel investigation into Russia’s interference with last year’s campaign, one of his lawyers said Friday.

“He pays his legal fees now,” said the lawyer, John Dowd. “He’s working out a way to square the account.”

Trump’s decision was first reported by Reuters. The Republican National Committee previously paid $231,250 to the offices of Dowd and Jay Sekulow, another one of Trump’s lawyers, in August. 

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(Amy Sancetta / Associated Press)

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill publicly defended Sen. Al Franken against allegations he groped a woman while she was asleep — but then went too far.

In a now-deleted Facebook post Friday, O’Neill – who recently launched a Democratic campaign to run for governor of Ohio – detailed his own sexual history in defense of Franken and “all heterosexual males.”

“Now that the dogs of war are calling for the head of Senator Al Franken I believe it is time to speak up on behalf of all heterosexual males. As a candidate for Governor let me save my opponents some research time,” he wrote.

The wife of Republican Roy Moore tried Friday to help him recover from sexual assault allegations that have imperiled his campaign for U.S. Senate, saying Alabama voters could count on him to fight abortion, gun control and transgender rights.

Kayla Moore did not directly address accusations that her husband decades ago molested a 14-year-old girl, sexually assaulted a 16-year-old waitress, grabbed the buttocks of a 28-year-old woman and made unwanted advances on teenagers.

But at an event in Montgomery, Ala., with women who back her husband, she said that attacks on him were part of a plot by liberals in the media, the Democratic National Committee and the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group.

A debate between two senators over whether Republican tax cuts are aimed at helping the rich escalated into raised voices, interruptions, a banging gavel and the use of a decidedly un-senatorial noun.

"I'm telling you, this bull crap that you guys throw out here really gets old after a while," Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), the oldest and longest-serving Senate Republican, said to a Democratic colleague.

The dispute flared Thursday night as Republicans pushed a $1.5-trillion tax cut for businesses and individuals through the Senate Finance Committee over Democrats' objections. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), a potential 2020 presidential candidate, said everyone knew Republicans aim to help the wealthy because "it's in their DNA."

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The Florida Democratic Party chairman is resigning after a report that he makes women feel uncomfortable.

Stephen Bittel released a brief statement on the party's Twitter account Friday shortly after four of his party's candidates for governor called for him to step down.

Bittel apologized and said he didn't want his personal situation to be a distraction ahead of next year's elections.

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Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe speaks at a Nov. 17 university graduation ceremony in Harare, his first public appearance since he was ousted in a coup
Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe speaks at a Nov. 17 university graduation ceremony in Harare, his first public appearance since he was ousted in a coup (AFP/Getty Images)

The United States on Friday called for a swift return to civilian rule in Zimbabwe, where longtime leader Robert Mugabe was abruptly ousted in a military coup.

“Zimbabwe has an opportunity to set itself on a new path — one that must include democratic elections and respect for human rights,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in remarks to a ministerial summit on security and governance in Africa.

“We all should work together for a quick return to civilian rule in that country in accordance with their constitution,” he said.

President Trump has said little about allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
President Trump has said little about allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

President Trump, whose own campaign was rocked by sexual harassment allegations, has declined to publicly discuss accusations that Roy Moore, the Republican nominee in the Alabama Senate race, made inappropriate advances toward teenage girls several decades ago.

His reticence disappeared Thursday night when it came to Sen. Al Franken, the Minnesota Democrat who was accused earlier in the day of groping and sexual hectoring during a 2006 USO tour.

“The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps?” read the president’s first tweet, sent just after 10 p.m. in Washington.

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(Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)

Senators said Thursday that President Trump's son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, had failed to turn over some documents Congress sought as it investigates Russian interference in last year’s presidential election. 

One of the missing documents was a message referencing a “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite,” according to a bipartisan letter to Kushner’s attorney from Sen. Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the panel’s senior Democrat.

Kushner forwarded the message, the letter said, without providing further information, including how he received it or where he forwarded it.