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1213 posts

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.

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A $1.3-trillion spending bill was approved by the House and sent to the Senate on Thursday after a flurry of unsuccessful Democratic efforts to stall it and force legislators to take up a measure to protect young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

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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.

House and Senate negotiators reached tentative agreement Wednesday on a $1.3-trillion bill that would boost both defense and domestic spending, but at the same time put off solutions to other contentious issues, such as the fate of young immigrants in the country illegally.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden on stage with The Times' Patt Morrison at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles in January.
Former Vice President Joe Biden on stage with The Times' Patt Morrison at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles in January. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Joe Biden started it. President Trump counter-punched. Even pro wrestling has more realistic plot lines than this.

Biden, the 75-year-old former vice president, retold a fantasy he’s had about exchanging fisticuffs with Trump over comments that the president made about women that emerged during the 2016 election campaign on the now-infamous “Access Hollywood” video.

"They asked me if I’d like to debate this gentleman, and I said ‘no,’” Biden said Wednesday during a sexual assault prevention event at the University of Miami. “I said, 'If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.'"

Iran nuclear deal delegations Friday in Vienna
Iran nuclear deal delegations Friday in Vienna (AFP/Getty Images)

The U.S. official working to save the Iran nuclear deal said Wednesday that he held “very constructive” talks with key European allies, but could not say whether it would satisfy President Trump, the chief critic of the disarmament accord.

Brian Hook, the State Department director for policy planning, said a round of talks in Vienna last week with diplomats from Germany, France, Britain and other signatories to the 2015 accord were aimed at fixing what Trump sees as major flaws.

The talks left several issues unresolved, Hook told reporters on a conference call.

The president and the porn star sounds like a twisted variant on a fairy tale, or one of those Hollywood rom-coms, or maybe something from the oeuvre of Stephanie Clifford.

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Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday forecast that economic growth will be faster through 2019 than they had expected in December before Congress enacted large tax cuts — but signaled they did not plan to accelerate the pace of interest rate hikes this year to keep the economy from overheating.

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions
Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions (Paul J. Richards / AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump faulted the Justice Department on Wednesday for its handling of a case involving the young immigrants known as “Dreamers,” citing the punditry of Fox Business Network analyst Lou Dobbs.

“Department of Justice should have urged the Supreme Court to at least hear the Drivers License case on illegal immigrants in Arizona,” Trump tweeted. “I agree with @LouDobbs. Should have sought review.”

Dobbs, long an anti-immigration hardliner, is not a lawyer.