Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager, is defending his decision to help write an editorial explaining his political work in Ukraine, a decision that the special counsel’s office said violated a judge’s order restricting out-of-court statements on the case.
“All he has tried to do is to correct the public record in Ukraine concerning his consulting activities in Ukraine,” Manafort’s lawyers said in a court filing. Manafort’s freedom of speech was being infringed, and the special counsel wants him to “simply remain silent while his reputation is battered,” the lawyers said.
Manafort is facing multiple charges of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. He has pleaded not guilty.
The House Ethics Committee on Thursday cleared House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes of Tulare of any wrongdoing after a complaint that he had disclosed classified information related to the House’s Russia investigation.
When the complaint was filed, Nunes said he would step away from leading the House investigation into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election, though he did not formally recuse himself.
In a statement, the ethics committee said experts it interviewed determined that the information Nunes disclosed was not classified.
Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, one of the most conservative members of the House, resigned Thursday after the House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into allegations that he had sexually harassed staff members.
The Ethics Committee separately announced an investigation into sexual misconduct by a second Republican lawmaker, Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas.
In a statement, Franks admitted that he had talked with two women who worked for him about bearing a child for him by surrogacy. He insisted he had done nothing wrong, but said he was stepping down because in the “midst of this current cultural and media climate” an investigation would be “distorted and sensationalized.”
Administration officials sought Thursday to clarify President Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel but raised more questions than they answered.
David Satterfield, acting assistant secretary of State for Near East affairs, said that although the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital, it has taken no position on what the contested city’s borders ultimately should be.
That would seem to leave open the possibility that part of the city could still belong to the Palestinians, as they have long claimed -- or not.
Rep. John Lewis, a prominent Georgia Democrat and veteran of the civil rights movement, said Thursday that he would boycott the opening of a civil rights museum in Mississippi because President Trump would attend the event.
Lewis is the latest in a growing number of politicians, civil rights groups and activists who have said they will boycott Saturday’s opening ceremony in Jackson, Miss., or have called on Trump to skip it.
“President Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum. The struggles represented in this museum exemplify the truth of what really happened in Mississippi,” Lewis said in a statement issued with Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat.
The White House created confusion over whether American athletes would compete in the Winter Olympics in South Korea next year, with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying on Thursday that “no official decision has been made on that.”
“The goal is to do so,” she said.
She later attempted to clarify, tweeting an “update” that the “U.S. looks forward to participating.”
UPDATE: The U.S. looks forward to participating in the Winter Olympics in South Korea. The protection of Americans is our top priority and we are engaged with the South Koreans and other partner nations to secure the venues.
President Trump will be examined at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center next year, and records from his physical will be released, Trump’s top spokeswoman said Thursday.
“He does have a physical scheduled for the first part of next year — the full physical that most presidents go through,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters. “That will take place at Walter Reed, and those records will be released by the doctor following that taking place.”
Trump, who is 71, is the oldest person elected to the White House. He bucked tradition during the campaign by refusing to disclose detailed medical records.
As the House and Senate begin to reconcile their different tax bills, they will have to sort through many little-known provisions that appear designed more to achieve policy goals or reward key lawmakers than deliver tax savings.
Here’s a look at some of the standouts, and their prospects for being included in the final legislation.
FBI Director Christopher Wray politely, but clearly, disagreed with President Trump’s recent claim that the bureau was in “tatters,” telling members of Congress that there is “no finer institution.”
"What I can tell you is that the FBI that I see is tens of thousands of agents and analysts and staff working their tails off to keep Americans safe,” Wray told members of the House Judiciary Committee when he was asked about Trump’s remark.
"The FBI that I see is tens of thousands of brave men and women,” he continued. “Decent people committed to the highest principles of integrity and professionalism."