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'What is the White House afraid of' with Mueller probe, Democratic senator asks
ABC News (WASHINGTON) -- The Democrat who heads the party's senatorial campaign committee said Republicans need to end what he called a “concerted effort” to undermine the credibility of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.“I think Republicans should end their concerted effort to undermine the credibility of the Mueller investigation,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview on This Week Sunday.The Maryland senator also questioned why the White House is concerned about Mueller’s probe.“The question is, 'What are they afraid...
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Firing special counsel Mueller 'would be a mistake', says GOP senator
ABC News (WASHINGTON) -- The No. 2 Senate Republican said it would be a "mistake" for the Trump administration to fire special counsel Robert Mueller.ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Sen. John Cornyn of Texas on This Week Sunday about reports that allies of President Donald Trump are laying the groundwork for the firing of Mueller, who is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion with Trump associates.Cornyn responded, "I read that the president’s own lawyer says that’s not going to happen. I think that would be a mistake, myself."The Texas senator added...
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Trump transition lawyer claims special counsel illegally obtained emails
Drew Angerer/Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- A lawyer for Donald Trump's presidential transition team has sent a letter to House and Senate lawmakers alleging that emails among transition officials have been illegally obtained by special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election.Counsel for Trump for America Kory Langhofer told ABC News in a statement Saturday, "This morning we sent a letter to the House and the Senate concerning unauthorized disclosure of private and privileged transition emails with the special counsel's office."The letter from Langhofer to the House and Senate oversight committees, obtained by ABC News, accuses the...
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Police beef up Sen. Cory Booker's security following death threat
Drew Angerer/Getty Images (NEWARK) -- Police in Newark, New Jersey, are stepping up their protection of Sen. Cory Booker after he and his family received a death threat, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said in a statement Saturday."The Newark Police Division has been notified by the United States Capitol Police (USCP) regarding a threat on the life of New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and his family members," Baraka said. "As a result, members of the Police Division’s Executive Protection Unit have been assigned to provide security at the senator’s residence in Newark."He continued, "The USCP provides protection to members of Congress...
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President Trump brushes off concerns on tax plan, calls it 'great gift' to middle class
Chris Kleponis/Pool/Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- President Trump is brushing off concerns that the GOP's final tax bill will unfairly benefit wealthy Americans over the middle class."I think the greatest benefit is going to be for jobs and the middle class," Trump told reporters Saturday on the South Lawn prior to his departure for Camp David.His comments followed congressional Republicans' release Friday evening of a thousand-page tax bill that includes deep tax cuts for corporations and tax breaks for the wealthy while offering what most economists say are more limited benefits for middle-class Americans.When asked Saturday why tax cuts for individuals...
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Amid sexual harassment claims, Rep. Kihuen says he won't seek re-election in 2018
ABC News (WASHINGTON) -- Facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment, Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-Nev.) has announced his decision not to seek reelection in 2018.“The allegations that have surfaced would be a distraction from a fair and thorough discussion of the issues in a reelection campaign,” Kihuen said in a statement Saturday. “Therefore, it is in the best interests of my family and my constituents to complete my term in Congress and not seek reelection.”On Friday the House Ethics committee announced their intention to launch an investigation into allegations made against Kihuen. The freshman Democrat has repeatedly denied allegations of sexual...
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Omarosa's exit raises questions about diversity in Trump administration
iStock/Thinkstock (WASHINGTON) -- Omarosa Manigault Newman's dramatic exit from the White House has brought renewed scrutiny to allegations of a lack of diversity within the Trump administration, specifically those politically appointed to positions by President Donald Trump.In her Good Morning America appearance on Thursday, Manigault referred to herself multiple times as "the only African-American woman in this White House" and later said "there is a lack of diversity that I will acknowledge" among Trump's senior staff.White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked in Thursday's daily briefing if she knew how many senior staffers currently in the White House are...
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President Trump sets record with appeals judge appointees
iStock/Thinkstock (WASHINGTON) -- With the confirmation of a 12th Circuit Court judge on Thursday, President Donald Trump set a record for the most appellate judges confirmed in a president’s first year in office.The latest confirmation was former Texas Solicitor General James Ho, whom the Senate confirmed 53-43 to serve the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.Ho's confirmation brings Trump's total number of confirmed federal judges to 19, including conservative Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.Here's the breakdown of Trump's judicial nominees: 19 federal judges confirmed (one Supreme Court justice, 12 Circuit Court judges, six District Court judges) 142 vacancies 41 nominees pendingAn...
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GOP unveils sweeping tax plan
Drew Angerer/Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- House and Senate negotiators released their thousand-page tax bill Friday evening, getting one step closer to passing sweeping legislation that would provide deep tax cuts for corporations and tax breaks for the wealthy, while offering what most economists say are more limited benefits for middle-class Americans.The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 would lower the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, eliminate the corporate alternative minimum tax which ensures corporations pay at least some tax on their income, lower the top individual income tax rate and raise the threshold for inheritances to...
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Omarosa Manigault Newman’s White House role fraught with tension, sources say
ABC News (WASHINGTON) -- Before she resigned from the White House earlier this week, Omarosa Manigault Newman, the firebrand antagonist from reality television's "The Apprentice," was serving as the most senior African American staffer in the White House and was tasked, in part, with fostering positive working relationships between the administration and leadership in the black community.However, multiple sources within the White House and outside of the administration with firsthand knowledge of her relationships with the black community tell ABC News they feel Manigault Newman, during her tumultuous 11-month tenure, turned off many of the constituencies with whom she'd promised...
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Trump lawyers expected to meet with Mueller and team next week
Alex Wong/Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump's legal team is expected to meet with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team next week, sources with knowledge of the meeting confirmed to ABC News.The meeting, first reported by CNN, was described as a chance for Trump's attorneys to receive an update from Mueller and his team on the status of the investigation into Russian election interference and potential collusion with the Trump campaign.The sources with knowledge of the summit indicated that it would come as the special counsel's office has completed its interviews with members of the White House with...
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Rep. Ruben Kihuen facing new ethics investigation
ABCNews.com (WASHINGTON) -- The House Ethics committee is opening an investigation into embattled Nevada Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen, who faces multiple allegations of sexual harassment.Kihuen, 37, denies the allegations and pledges to cooperate with the committee’s probe.“As I’ve said previously, I intend to fully cooperate, and I welcome an opportunity to clear my name,” Kihuen said.The freshman lawmaker is accused of making repeated unwanted sexual advances towards a campaign aide. Earlier this week, a second woman said Kihuen sexually harassed her during his time in the Nevada State Senate.Kihuen has told ABC News he will not resign, despite calls from...
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