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  • White House
Omarosa Manigault Newman, director of communications for the White House Public Liaison Office, is reportedly stepping down.
Omarosa Manigault Newman, director of communications for the White House Public Liaison Office, is reportedly stepping down. (Drew Angerer)

The White House says Omarosa Manigault Newman — one of President Trump's most prominent African American supporters — plans to leave the administration next month. 

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Manigault Newman's resignation is effective Jan. 20, one year since Trump's inauguration. 

Manigault Newman's decision comes at the start of what's expected to be a round of departures heading into the new year. 

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Ever since Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation in March, no Justice Department official has been more important to the case than Rod Rosenstein.

As the deputy attorney general, the No. 2 position at Justice, Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel and he has the sole authority to fire him.

The role has placed Rosenstein under immense political pressure, and on Wednesday he’ll face questions from the House Judiciary Committee at a time when Republicans are raising doubts about Mueller’s investigation.

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Democrat Doug Jones, who started the Alabama race for U.S. Senate as a massive underdog, swept to victory Tuesday night in a repudiation of scandal-stained Roy Moore. The upset also dealt a serious blow to President Trump.

The narrow victory slices the GOP’s already-thin margin in the Senate to a single seat, complicating the party’s legislative push and giving Democrats a major boost heading into the 2018 campaign, when control of Congress will be at stake.

The win — which Moore refused to acknowledge — marked the first time a Democrat has captured a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama in a quarter of a century.

Roy Moore addresses supporters Tuesday night in Montgomery, Ala.
Roy Moore addresses supporters Tuesday night in Montgomery, Ala. (Mike Stewart / Associated Press)

President Trump, who stuck with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore despite warnings from fellow Republicans that Moore was sullying their party, defended his decision after Democrat Doug Jones’ historic win on Tuesday.

“I was right!” Trump tweeted early Wednesday, alluding to his earlier endorsement of Luther Strange, the incumbent Republican senator whom Moore upset in a party primary. Moore, who faced allegations of preying on young girls decades ago, had “the deck stacked against him!” Trump wrote.

Trump said he nonetheless worked hard for the candidate, but that Moore’s loss justified his initial endorsement of Strange. 

A Roy Moore supporter weeps Tuesday at his election-night party in Montgomery, Ala.
A Roy Moore supporter weeps Tuesday at his election-night party in Montgomery, Ala. (Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)

The leader of the Alabama Republican Party recognized Democrat Doug Jones as the winner of Tuesday’s U.S. Senate election even as GOP candidate Roy Moore refused to concede defeat.

State GOP chairwoman Terry Lathan said party leaders were “deeply disappointed” in the close result.

“During this campaign, we heard Mr. Jones repeatedly say he would talk about ‘kitchen table issues’ and that he would ‘reach across the aisle’ to work with Republicans,” she said.

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  • Congress
Roy Moore addresses supporters Tuesday night in Montgomery, Ala.
Roy Moore addresses supporters Tuesday night in Montgomery, Ala. (Mike Stewart / Associated Press)

Roy Moore declined to concede defeat Tuesday night in the Alabama Senate election even after Democrat Doug Jones declared victory.

“It’s not over, and it’s going to take some time,” Moore said, citing the narrow margin between him and Doug Jones in the preliminary count. 

Appearing downcast at his election night party in Montgomery, Moore quoted Scripture and bemoaned attacks during the campaign.

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At the end of the day, this entire race has been about dignity and respect. This campaign has been about the rule of law. This campaign has been about common courtesy and decency. ​​​​​

Two FBI agents involved in the Russia investigation exchanged a series of insults about Donald Trump in private texts during the campaign last year, calling him an “idiot” and “awful,” according to documents released to Congress by the Justice Department on Tuesday night.

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III removed one of the agents, Peter Strzok, from the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, as soon as the texts surfaced in July during an inspector general investigation. Strzok also was involved in the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails that concluded last year.

In a March 2016 exchange of texts with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, Strzok wrote: “Omg he's an idiot," according to messages obtained by the Los Angeles Times.