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Minnesota Sen. Al Franken
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken (Michael Reynolds / EPA)

Democratic senators, starting with six women, demanded the resignation of Sen. Al Franken on Wednesday, as another woman surfaced to say that the Minnesota senator had kissed her against her wishes.

Within minutes of each other Wednesday morning, Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Patty Murray of Washington, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Claire McCaskill of Missouri forcefully called on their colleague to leave office.

Shortly after, several other Democratic senators joined the growing calls for Franken to step down. 

(Atef Safadi / EPA/Shutterstock)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson insisted Wednesday that President Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will not ruin efforts to find peace with the Palestinians.

“What I would encourage people to do: Listen carefully to the entirety of the speech, listen to the full content of the speech,” Tillerson said in a news conference in Brussels, where he is attending meetings with European allies — none of which recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“The president is very committed to the Middle East peace process,” Tillerson continued. “He has a team he put into place. That team has been working very diligently. … We continue to believe there is a very good opportunity for peace to be achieved.”

(Atef Safadi / EPA/Shutterstock)

President Trump will declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel in a speech at the White House on Wednesday, three senior administration officials said.

He will instruct the State Department to begin a multi-year process for building a U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, asking for funding from Congress, choosing a site and designing the building. In the meantime, Trump will sign a waiver to the 1995 law that demanded the State Department move the embassy from Tel Aviv by May 31, 1999, as every president has done.

The embassy won’t be moved immediately, the officials said. They would not commit to a timetable, but one senior official said that opening a new U.S. embassy routinely takes three to four years.

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake put his money behind his principles Tuesday, dashing off a $100 campaign contribution to Democrat Doug Jones in the Alabama Senate race after President Trump endorsed Jones’ opponent, Republican Roy Moore.

Flake has made no secret of his opposition to Moore, who faces accusations of sexual molestation and misconduct decades ago as a young prosecutor who allegedly dated teenagers as young as 14.

And Flake has spoken frequently and forcefully against Trump — penning a book, in fact, loaded with his concerns about the presidency and the party.

(Gerald Herbert / Associated Press)

Calling President Trump’s record on civil rights “abysmal,” the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People said on Tuesday that the president isn’t worthy of attending the Saturday opening of a civil rights museum in Mississippi.

“President Trump’s statements and policies regarding the protection and enforcement of civil rights have been abysmal, and his attendance is an affront to the veterans of the civil rights movement,” Derrick Johnson, NAACP president and chief executive, said in a statement. “He has created a commission to reinforce voter suppression, refused to denounce white supremacists, and overall, has created a racially hostile climate in this nation.”

Trump’s scheduled visit to the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson has ignited controversy among civil rights groups and Jackson residents who have criticized the president’s relationship to African Americans and other racial minorities.

(Scott Olson / Getty Images)

The allegations that Roy Moore made unwanted sexual advances to teenage girls are “very troubling,” President Trump’s top spokeswoman said Tuesday, but Trump endorsed Moore’s campaign anyway because the president wants the Senate seat to go to a fellow Republican.

“The president made that decision, and he decided that it was better to have somebody that supports his agenda than a Democrat that doesn’t,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.

“We find the allegations very troubling,” Sanders said, but the “people of Alabama” should decide at the ballot box next Tuesday if Moore should be in the Senate.

  • Taxes
President Trump gestures at a Saturday fundraising breakfast in New York.
President Trump gestures at a Saturday fundraising breakfast in New York. (Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images)

President Trump insists that the tax cut plan now before Congress will be seen as a boon to the middle class, a popular confirmation of a promise he made to those voters in his 2016 campaign.

It’s not seen that way yet.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday found only 29% of voters approve of the tax plan, while 53% disapprove.

  • White House
  • Congress

Senate Republicans are keeping their distance from Roy Moore, the U.S. Senate candidate from Alabama, despite President Trump’s recent endorsement, renewed funding from the Republican National Committee and Tuesday’s rally featuring former White House advisor Stephen K. Bannon.

Moore’s campaign continues to divide Republicans worried that their party may be irreparably damaged by supporting a candidate accused of sexual molestation and misconduct decades ago as a young prosecutor who allegedly dated teenagers, one as young as 14.

Unlike the RNC, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has no plans to resume funding for the Moore campaign that it halted last month after several women made their allegations public.

  • Russia
(J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III spent $3.2 million in the first 4½ months of his investigation into whether anyone from President Trump’s team helped Russian interference with last year’s presidential campaign.

The spending was summarized in a report released Tuesday, the first of what Mueller’s office said will be twice-a-year updates. 

The single biggest cost was $1.7 million for salaries and benefits, including $500,000 for special counsel employees and $1.2 million for Department of Justice staff working under Mueller.