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(Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

From the moment he launched his candidacy by attacking Mexican immigrants as criminals, President Trump has returned time and again to language that is racially charged and, to many, insensitive and highly offensive.

Whether it is a calculated strategy to appeal to less tolerant and broadminded supporters or simply a filter-free chief executive saying what’s on his mind, the cycle is by now familiar: The president speaks, critics respond with outrage, and Trump’s defenders accuse his critics of hysterically overreacting.

The latest instance came Thursday, during a White House meeting with congressional lawmakers on immigration. Trump asked why the United States would accept immigrants from “shithole countries” in Africa and the Caribbean rather than people from places such as Norway, according to two people briefed on the meeting.

McMaster last year with Trump
McMaster last year with Trump (Associated Press)

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said Saturday that evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election was “now really incontrovertible” following the indictment of 13 Russian individuals and three companies.

Speaking at an international security conference in Munich, Germany, McMaster lent credence to a widening scandal that President Trump has routinely dismissed as a hoax.

"As you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain," McMaster said, noting that the United States was becoming "more and more adept at tracing the origins of this espionage and subversion."

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Most politicians would have been swallowed up in scandal after new details emerged Friday of an alleged affair — with a Playboy Playmate, no less — that occurred the same weekend of a reported dalliance with a porn star.

Not Donald Trump.

(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.

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Most politicians would have been swallowed up in scandal after new details emerged Friday of an alleged affair — with a Playboy Playmate, no less — that occurred the same weekend of a reported dalliance with a porn star.

Not Donald Trump.

(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.

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.

"He's actually doing what he said he would do, which is unusual," the rangy 57-year-old marveled. Things like cutting taxes and rolling back government regulations.

But Karr's enthusiasm doesn't translate into excitement over November's midterm election — he may or may not vote — and that's a problem for Republicans fighting to keep their majorities on Capitol Hill.

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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.

"He's actually doing what he said he would do, which is unusual," the rangy 57-year-old marveled. Things like cutting taxes and rolling back government regulations.

(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.

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