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Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions.
Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)

President Trump on Tuesday said he has “some people that I want to change” in his administration and then refused to express support for his beleaguered attorney general when asked if Jeff Sessions was on the firing line.

The comments came before news early Tuesday evening of the resignation of Trump’s top economic advisor, Gary Cohn, who had fought a losing internal battle against the president’s plans to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The president ignited speculation about additional staff departures early Tuesday, with a tweet in which he disputed media reports of chaos in his White House while acknowledging his desire for unspecified changes. Hours later he refused to say more when asked about his tweet — and specifically about Sessions — during a news conference with Sweden’s prime minister, Stefan Lofven.

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In the span of two hours on Capitol Hill Tuesday, the sharp split between liberal and moderate Senate Democrats on a major bank deregulation bill became crystal clear.

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  • White House
The Office of Special Counsel says Conway’s support for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, a Republican, in two televised interviews amounted to violations of the law.

A federal watchdog says White House counselor Kellyanne Conway violated the federal law prohibiting government officials from using their positions to influence political campaigns.

The Office of Special Counsel, which is unrelated to Robert Mueller III's office, says Conway violated the Hatch Act twice last year when she spoke out in support of Republican Roy Moore and against his Democratic rival, Sen. Doug Jones, in the Alabama Senate race.

"Ms. Conway, in her official capacity, attempted to influence the Alabama special election by advocating for the success and failure of candidates in that race," the report stated. Her comments came in separate interviews with Fox News and CNN.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testifies on Tuesday.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testifies on Tuesday. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Tuesday that he spoke directly to President Trump about Russian cyberattacks and said it’s a “high priority” for the White House.

“He has said, ‘I assume you’re doing your job, all of you who head up these agencies,’ ” Coats testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, quoting the president. “ ‘But if you need for me to ... direct you to do it, do it.’ ”

Coats said the meeting occurred after a recent hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, an event that highlighted the disconnect between the president and his own national security officials who view Russian interference as an ongoing threat.

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Before the 2008 financial crisis, BAC Community Bank in Stockton made about 100 mortgage loans a year. Now, after new regulations mandated in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the figure is down to about two dozen.

President Trump threw a wrench Monday into long-stalled regional trade talks, saying that Mexico and Canada could avoid planned new tariffs on aluminum and steel if they agreed to make concessions to Washington in negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) at the Capitol in January.
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) at the Capitol in January. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi announced Monday that he will resign effective April 1.

Cochran, who has appeared increasingly feeble in recent years, said in a statement released by his office that his health “has become an ongoing challenge.”

“I intend to fulfill my responsibilities and commitments to the people of Mississippi and the Senate through the completion of the 2018 appropriations cycle, after which I will formally retire from the U.S. Senate,” said Cochran, who is 80.

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  • Congress
In a file photo, President Trump talks to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan during a meeting at the White House
In a file photo, President Trump talks to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan during a meeting at the White House (Associated Press)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan publicly broke with President Trump on Monday, the latest Republican to call on the president to reverse his planned imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports that many fear could set off a trade war.

“We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan,” said AshLee Strong, Ryan’s spokeswoman. “The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don't want to jeopardize those gains.”

Trump stunned Congress last week when, without apparent consultation with members of his staff, Republican leaders or trading partners, he announced that he would impose 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% penalties on aluminum imports.

(Associated Press)

For years, lobbyists treated the Foreign Agent Registration Act the same way some drivers treat speed limits — not something to worry about if there isn’t a speed trap around the corner.

Most people registering as advocates for foreign governments or political parties didn’t bother to file their paperwork on time, according to the Department of Justice’s inspector general. Some didn’t register at all.

But that’s changing now that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is prosecuting violations. Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager, is facing charges of undisclosed lobbying on behalf of Ukraine’s pro-Kremlin government.