1213 posts
(Associated Press)

In an effort to stem fast-worsening ties, Turkey and the United States agreed Friday to set up a diplomatic working group to defuse a bitter dispute over Kurdish militias operating in Syria.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, ending two days of talks with top Turkish officials, conceded that serious disagreements continue to haunt relations between Turkey and the United States, which are NATO allies. 

“We find ourselves at a bit of a crisis point in the relationship,” Tillerson said at a news conference with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, in the capital of Ankara.

  • Russia
Robert Mueller
Robert Mueller (TNS)

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III announced charges against 13 Russians and three Russian companies Friday, accusing them of using stolen identities, fake campaign events and hundreds of social media accounts while spending millions of rubles to interfere in the 2016 presidential election in a secret effort to aid the Trump campaign.

The 37-page indictment, the first charges by Mueller's office accusing Moscow of illegal meddling in the election, says the Internet Research Agency, a Russian firm known for using troll accounts to post on news sites, orchestrated the interference campaign and that its operatives tried to communicate with at least three unnamed Trump campaign officials using fake identities.


President Trump’s political troubles with alleged extramarital affairs deepened Friday with publication of new details of his reported sexual relationship with a former Playboy model.

(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

President Trump, who canceled a planned stop in Orlando on Friday in deference to the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., now is suggesting he will meet with victims of the tragedy this weekend while he visits his resort in Palm Beach.

Trump tweeted Friday morning that while in Florida, he would meet with “the bravest people on earth — but people whose lives have been totally shattered.”

Trump already had planned to spend the weekend at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, which is about 40 miles from Parkland.

Mitt Romney, the Republican Party's 2012 presidential standard-bearer, launched his anticipated political comeback Friday by announcing his front-running bid for U.S. Senate with an ode to Utah and a mild swipe at President Trump.

In a 2 1/2-minute feel-good video, Romney held up his adopted home state as a model for the country and example that Washington could learn from. "Utah has balanced its budget," he said. "Washington is buried in debt."

"Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world," he went on, contrasting that stance with Trump's hard-line stance. "Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion."


Dan Karr had little use for politics until Donald Trump came along. He captivated the small business owner with his wrecking-ball candidacy and Karr has grown even more supportive since Trump became president.

(Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon remained tight-lipped during a House Intelligence Committee hearing Thursday, repeatedly refusing to answer some questions despite receiving a congressional subpoena for the panel’s Russia inquiry. 

“I am not authorized to answer that question,” Bannon said dozens of times, according to two sources with knowledge of the closed-door hearing who did not have permission to speak publicly.

It was Bannon’s second appearance before the House committee, and his responses showed ongoing coordination between Bannon and the White House despite his estrangement from President Trump.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Beirut.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Beirut. (Nabil Mounzer / EPA/Shutterstock)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday delivered a warning to Lebanon’s leaders about Hezbollah, saying the Shiite Muslim movement’s growing arsenal and participation in foreign conflicts pose a threat to the country and the region.

Speaking at news conference in Beirut with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, whose coalition government includes Hezbollah members, Tillerson said it was unacceptable for the Iran-backed militia to operate outside the control of the Lebanese authorities.

  • White House
(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

President Trump blasted a bipartisan immigration deal in the Senate Thursday, moments before lawmakers prepared to vote, writing on Twitter that passing the proposal would be a “total catastrophe.”

Trump’s harsh criticism of the bill backed by Republicans and Democrats marks a hardening of his immigration position. Just last month, Trump had said he would take the “heat” for a compromise and sign whatever Congress sent him. White House officials said earlier Thursday that Trump would veto the bipartisan bill if it made it to his desk. 

The immigration deal was crafted over several weeks by a group of 16 senators — Republicans, Democrats and one independent — and would protect so-called Dreamers from deportation in exchange for $25 billion for border security.

  • Immigration
Advocates for so-called Dreamers protest outside Trump Tower in New York on Sept. 5, 2017.
Advocates for so-called Dreamers protest outside Trump Tower in New York on Sept. 5, 2017. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

President Trump on Thursday threatened to veto a bipartisan Senate immigration plan, all but ensuring the collapse of an effort to protect Dreamers from deportation in exchange for $25 billion for border security.

The veto threat is the first of Trump's presidency, a bold move against an effort that had been painstakingly crafted by a group of 16 senators, Republicans and Democrats, working weeks behind closed doors on a consensus.

10:28 a.m. This post was updated with staff reporting.