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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.


They’re headed for the exits in Congress, more than 50 lawmakers in all, deciding they’ve had enough and opting to quit rather than run again in November.


President Trump “may or may not have seen” the “60 Minutes” interview with porn star Stormy Daniels on Sunday, a spokesman said, but the president denies her allegations surrounding a sexual encounter.

“The president doesn’t believe that any of the claims that Ms. Daniels made last night in the interview are accurate,” principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah told White House reporters on Monday. “There’s nothing to corroborate her claim.”

Shah disputed Daniels’ account, including her new allegation that she was threatened by an unknown man to stay quiet about Trump, even as Shah declined to answer reporters’ questions, telling them to contact the president’s personal lawyer. Ms. Daniels’ lawyer has said as recently as Monday that she does have proof of her relationship with Trump, though he has not provided it. 

The highly anticipated “60 Minutes” interview with adult film star Stormy Daniels on Sunday, during which she discussed President Trump, brought the CBS program its largest TV audience since 2008.

Stormy Daniels was threatened with physical harm in 2011 if she went public with her story of an alleged affair with Donald Trump, the porn actress said in an interview broadcast Sunday on “60 Minutes.”

Former Sen. Rick Santorum
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (John Minchillo / Associated Press)

Former Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum on Sunday suggested students should take CPR classes rather than work to change gun legislation.

“Phony gun laws don’t solve these problems—that’s what we found out,” the political commentator said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“How about kids, instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes or trying to deal with situations that when there is a violent shooter that you can actually respond to that.”

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin
Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin (Thais Llorca/EPA/Shutter)

Brushing aside last week’s market swoon fueled by investors’ fears of a trade war, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said Sunday that he did not expect major economic fallout from President Trump’s recent tariff announcements.

 “I don’t expect to see a big impact on the economy,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.” “But again, I think what we’re doing is, long-term, very good for the economy.”

Investors have been rattled by Trump’s decisions to impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports — though with exemptions for some countries — and on imports from China worth up to $60 billion.

  • Russia
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

President Trump seems to be feeling burned by news reports that he’s struggling to find top-shelf lawyers to represent him in the Russia investigation, calling it a “Fake News narrative” in tweets on Sunday morning from his Florida estate.

Plenty would be happy for the “Fame and fortune” of representing him, he wrote.

Trump’s legal team has been in turmoil in recent days (after he’d assailed earlier news reports anticipating that shake-up as “fake news.”). His team announced the hiring of Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. attorney and frequent pro-Trump pundit on Fox News, and parted ways with John Dowd, who resigned Thursday. Dowd had been leading negotiations with the special counsel’s office over a potential interview with Trump. 

  • 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.