339 posts
(Associated Press)

in a tweet from Manila, President Trump on Monday announced that he will nominate Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical executive and healthcare official during the Bush administration, to be his new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

If confirmed by the Senate, Azar would replace Tom Price, who resigned as secretary under pressure on Sept. 29 after a series of stories in Politico documented his repeated use of private jets and government aircraft instead of commercial planes, at a cost of more than $400,000. Investigations into Price’s actions are ongoing.

Price, a Republican who represented a Georgia district in Congress before he was named to the Cabinet, also presided over the failure of the president’s effort to make good on a campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.

(J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Republicans have repeatedly noted that it’s been more than 30 years since Congress enacted a major tax overhaul — and within the span of a couple of hours last week, they unintentionally demonstrated why.

As a House committee prepared to pass one version of a tax bill on a party-line vote Thursday, Republicans on a Senate panel unveiled their own legislation, which contained major differences in key areas involving individual and business taxes.

Trump administration officials and Republican congressional leaders downplayed the disparities even as the differences loomed as significant hurdles in the rush to pass legislation by the end of the year.

(Jim Watson /AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump touted a "great relationship" with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has been condemned by human rights organizations for overseeing a deadly war on drugs.

The brief comments came as the two men held their first official one-on-one meeting Monday morning, though they had already met informally since Trump's arrival on Sunday.

Trump ignored reporters' questions about human rights and instead joked with Duterte and talked about the weather in the Philippines and Duterte's hospitality in hosting world leaders for the Assn. of Southeast Asian Nations summit, which Trump said was "handled beautifully by the president and the Philippines.”

Roy Moore
Roy Moore (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, has lost his lead in the race in the aftermath of allegations that he had sexual contact with teenagers years ago, and the election is now a toss-up, a new poll indicated Sunday.

Moore trails Democratic candidate Doug Jones 46% to 42% among Alabama voters, a lead for the Democrat that is well within the poll's margin of error of 4.1 points in either direction, according to the new survey by Louisiana-based JMC Analytics. That finding is consistent with two overnight polls that were released since the allegations first came to light Thursday.

Before the news broke, Moore had an eight-point lead in the race, reflecting Alabama's heavily Republican tilt. The election is scheduled for Dec. 12.

Democrat Doug Jones speaks at a campaign rally in Birmingham, Ala., in the race to fill Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions' former Senate seat. (AP)
Democrat Doug Jones speaks at a campaign rally in Birmingham, Ala., in the race to fill Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions' former Senate seat. (AP)

Many politicians might seize on allegations that Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore pursued sexual relations with teenage girls. But Democrat Doug Jones isn’t going there.

The former prosecutor, who won convictions against Ku Klux Klan members for killing four young girls in the infamous1963 Birmingham church bombing, has his own story to tell as his unlikely campaign gains sudden momentum.

At a Friday night fish fry in a modest, working-class neighborhood outside Mobile, Jones spent more time talking about his own record and what he would do in Washington than about the scandal engulfing Moore.

Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a campaign rally in September in Fairhope, Ala. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a campaign rally in September in Fairhope, Ala. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Pressure mounted Friday on U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama to drop out of the race amid growing Republican angst over potential damage to the party after a woman accused him of molesting her when she was 14.

GOP senators began pulling their endorsements of Moore as it became more apparent that his Democratic rival, Doug Jones, could now win a Senate seat in one of America’s most reliably Republican states.

(Andrew Harnik / AP Photo)

President Trump is attending a gala in the Philippines celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Assn. of Southeast Asian Nations. 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte greeted Trump and other leaders one by one as they arrived at a convention center in Manila for the glitzy event. 

Trump and Duterte shook hands twice and exchanged pleasantries before the leaders posed for a group photo and everyone filed into dinner. 

  • White House
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (AP)

As President Trump headed to a controversial meeting in the Philippines with President Rodrigo Duterte, the White House chief of staff declined to weigh in on Duterte's human rights record.

Philippine police, at Duterte's direction, have killed thousands of people accused of drug crimes without trials, incurring condemnations from human rights groups, the United Nations, the U.S. Congress and the European Union.

John F. Kelly, Trump's chief of staff, said human rights would be a "hot topic" in the Philippines but declined to make definitive statements about Duterte's possible role in abuses--or whether reports of abuses were true. 

  • White House
John Kelly (Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)

Hours after President Trump provoked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Twitter, suggesting he is "short and fat," the White House chief of staff said he tells aides not to react to Trump's comments on social media.

"Someone, I read the other day, said we all just react to the tweets," said Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, speaking with a group of reporters after a presidential news conference Sunday in Vietnam. "We don’t. I don’t. I don’t allow the staff to. We know what we’re doing.”

Kelly said, "Believe it or not, I do not follow the tweets.” 

  • Russia
(Mikhail Klimentyev / Sputnik, Kremlin)

President Donald Trump said Russia's Vladimir Putin once again vehemently denied interfering in the 2016 U.S. elections during their discussions on the sidelines of an economic summit Saturday. Trump declined to say whether he believed Putin, but made clear he's not interested in dwelling on the issue.

“He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did,” Trump said of Putin, speaking with reporters aboard Air Force One as he traveled to Hanoi, the second-to-last stop of his Asia trip. 

“Every time he sees me, he said: 'I didn't do that.’ And I believe, I really believe that when he tells me that he means it,” Trump said, noting that Putin is “very insulted” by the accusation. Trump called the accusation an “artificial barrier” erected by Democrats — once again casting doubt on the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia did try to interfere in the election to help Trump win.