339 posts
Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call
Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call

Paul Manafort ghost-wrote an editorial about his political work in Ukraine, violating a court order, according to a new court filing from the special counsel’s office.

The allegation was disclosed Monday as the reason the special counsel was backing out of a deal on bail with Manafort’s lawyers. The deal would have loosened the terms of house arrest for President Trump’s former campaign manager.

Manafort wanted to be allowed to travel among a few states in return for agreeing to forfeit $11.6 million in property if he missed a court appearance. 

  • Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to fully enforce a ban on travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries.

The justices, with two dissenting votes, said Monday that the policy can take full effect even as legal challenges against it make their way through the courts. The action suggests that the high court could uphold the latest version of the ban that Trump announced in September.

The ban applies to travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Lower courts had said people from those nations with a claim of a "bona fide" relationship with someone in the United States could not be kept out of the country. Grandparents, cousins and other relatives were among those courts said could not be excluded.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) (Timothy D. Easley / Associated Press)

House and Senate Republicans are set to go to work this week to reconcile significant differences between their two tax bills.

Here are the biggest sticking points they need to resolve while making sure the legislation does not reduce revenues by more than $1.5 trillion over the next decade or, under Senate rules, add to the budget deficit after that. If it exceeds that amount, Republicans could no longer pass their tax package with a simple majority vote in the Senate.

President Trump, during an announcement at the Utah Capitol today, made a public lands declaration unlike any ever made by a U.S. chief executive.

The president shrank two big national monuments in southern Utah — Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante — by nearly 2 million acres.

"Some people think that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington," he told a cheering audience at the Utah Capitol. "And guess what, they're wrong."

  • White House
  • Russia
(Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump said he felt “very badly” for his ex-national security advisor Michael T. Flynn, who pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in the investigation into Russian meddling.

"I feel badly for Gen. Flynn. I feel very badly. He's led a very strong life, and I feel very badly about it,” Trump told reporters Monday as he left the White House for a trip to Utah where he is expected to announce cuts to two national monuments there.

“I will say this. Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI and nothing happened to her. Flynn lied, and it destroyed his life, and I think it's a shame,” Trump said.

  • White House
  • Congress
Roy Moore
Roy Moore (Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)

President Trump on Monday fully endorsed Roy Moore, going further in his support of the Alabama Senate candidate accused of making unwanted sexual advances on teenage girls than he had in backing Moore last month.

“Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama,” Trump tweeted early Monday. “We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!”

In November, Trump pointed to Moore’s denials of the allegations against the candidate from several decades ago, and the president spoke against voting for Democrat Doug Jones, but did not explicitly endorse Moore.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is known as an institutionalist, but some of his biggest victories have come from defying the Senate's long-held rules. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is known as an institutionalist, but some of his biggest victories have come from defying the Senate's long-held rules. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

The Republican tax bill is poised to become President Trump's most significant first-year accomplishment, but the Senate success rests largely with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the quiet Washington insider who accomplished the legislative feat only by shattering the very norms he long championed in Congress.

McConnell is known as an institutionalist, less a devotee of a defined agenda than to the traditions of the Senate, which he’s aspired to lead ever since winning his first election in Kentucky more than 30 years ago.

But despite his ascribed allegiance to upholding longstanding Senate rules, including so-called regular order, McConnell’s major achievements, including the tax bill, have come from sometimes abandoning those ideals.

President Trump announces the appointment of H.R. McMaster, left, as national security advisor in February.
President Trump announces the appointment of H.R. McMaster, left, as national security advisor in February. (AFP/Getty Images)

H.R. McMaster, President Trump’s national security advisor, on Sunday defended his boss’ retweeting of anti-Muslim videos posted by a far-right British group.

Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” McMaster said Trump’s intention was “to highlight the importance of creating safe and secure environments for our citizens.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May issued an unusual direct rebuke of Trump’s action last week, saying it was “wrong” for him to retweet content promoted by an extremist group, Britain First, whose aim is to stoke hatred and mistrust. British parliamentarians across the political spectrum were also highly critical of the president’s decision to use his Twitter account, with nearly 44 million followers, to give a boost to the group.

(Associated Press)

President Trump on Sunday tweeted criticism of the FBI, saying its reputation was “in tatters” following the tenure of former director James Comey, who was fired seven months ago.

The president also suggested bias against him in the investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, after news accounts said an agent was removed from Mueller’s team following an internal investigation of text messages interpreted as critical of Trump.

After 24 hours of silence following Friday’s guilty plea by former national security advisor Michael Flynn to charges of lying to the FBI, Trump on Saturday unleashed a Twitter barrage against the Justice Department and his vanquished presidential rival, Hillary Clinton. Earlier Sunday, the president asserted that he did not ask Comey to halt the investigation of Flynn, although the former director has testified under oath that Trump did so.

(European Pressphoto Agency)

President Trump said Sunday that he did not ask former FBI director James Comey to refrain from an investigation of fired national security advisor Michael Flynn.

The position, articulated in a tweet sent from Trump’s account, contradicts statements made under oath by Comey, who was subsequently fired by the president after refusing to back down in the probe into possible collusion between Russia and Trump's presidential campaign.

Comey has told Congress that the president, in a private conversation of which he made contemporaneous notes, asked him to desist in the Flynn investigation.