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US military troops to be allowed to defend border patrol agents: Official
iStock/Thinkstock (WASHINGTON) -- The White House is set to announce on Tuesday that active duty troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border will be granted new authorities that allow them to protect Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel from a threat, according to a U.S. official.Currently, the 5,900 troops on the southern border can act in self-defense, but do not have the authority to intervene if CBP personnel were overwhelmed by migrants.CNN was first to report about the additional authorities.The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not confirm the expected White House announcement but stressed in a statement the importance of...
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Mueller maintains that Trump’s controversial DOJ pick 'has no effect' on the special counsel's authority
Steve Pope/Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- As speculation swirls over whether Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker might try to rein in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Mueller’s team argued to a federal appeals court Monday that Whitaker’s appointment “has no effect” on the special counsel’s authority and that Mueller continues to have “the full power and independent authority to exercise all investigative and prosecutorial functions of any United States Attorney.”“Acting Attorney General Whitaker’s designation neither alters the Special Counsel’s authority to represent the United States nor raises any jurisdictional issue,” Mueller’s team wrote in a brief filed Monday. “The Special Counsel...
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Two turkeys vying for presidential pardon strut their stuff
ABCNews.com (WASHINGTON) -- The midterms elections may have ended earlier this month but another election season is in full flight between the two turkeys vying to become this year’s official National Thanksgiving Turkey.This year’s candidates: Peas and Carrots.One of the two turkeys will be selected via an online White House poll to become this year's National Thanksgiving Turkey.The turkeys have been carefully groomed for a White House event, trained from a young age to be comfortable with lights, crowds, and music to make them comfortable in the limelight.“When we started we had 50 of them and then we worked with...
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White House drops efforts to suspend press pass for CNN's Jim Acosta; outlines rules to reporters
iStock/Thinkstock (WASHINGTON) -- The Trump White House in a letter says it is dropping its effort to suspend the press pass belonging to CNN's chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta but has outlined a set of rules that, if they aren't followed, "may result in suspension or revocation" of a journalist's press pass."Your hard pass is restored," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine wrote to Acosta. "Should you refuse to follow these rules in the future, we will take action in accordance with the rules," they wrote after outlining the rules....
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Trump continues squabble with commander of raid that killed Bin Laden
Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump continues to squabble with retired Adm. William McRaven, the commander of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, now falsely claiming credit in a tweet for pointing out the terrorist’s name in a book he authored before the 9/11 terrorist attacks.Here's how the back-and-forth is unfolding.Trump's Bin Laden claimTrump’s tweet is an apparent reference to a book he authored in 2000, titled "The America We Deserve," where the future president criticizes President Bill Clinton’s shifting national security policy.In the book's sole Bin Laden reference, Trump only briefly mentions...
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A ‘Cinderella story’: How this year’s White House Christmas tree came to Washington
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- This year's White House Christmas tree, a 19 1/2-foot-tall Fraser fir, was plucked from the North Carolina mountains, but was nearly abandoned before being chosen.Before it was presented Monday in Washington, D.C. the tree hailed from Larry Smith's tree farm in the mountains of Newland, N.C.The tree nearly had a different fate, according to Smith.“I’d basically abandoned it,” Smith told the Charlotte Observer.However, he told the newspaper that two White House officials who chose the tree loved the “natural look” of the fir that had not been trimmed in a few years.“It’s like a Cinderella...
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After a 181-year ban, House Dems aim to allow religious headwear on the floor
Mark Wilson/Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim women newly-elected to Congress, is helping spearhead an effort to allow religious headwear, such as hijabs or kippahs, on the House floor.The proposal would reverse a 181-year ban on headwear of any type in the House.Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, said on Twitter that wearing a religious headscarf is her First Amendment right.Omar, could be one of the first federal representatives to wear religious headwear in Congress. She’s joined by Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib as one of the first two Muslim women representing their districts on Capitol Hill.The rule...
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After messy Florida recount, Broward election official Brenda Snipes resigns
iStock/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- Florida's most embattled election official is resigning, effective January.After drawing more criticism than anyone in the state during the -- at times -- messy recount that unfolded in Florida following Election Day, Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes has submitted a letter of resignation to Gov. Rick Scott."Although I have enjoyed this work tremendously over these many election cycles, both large and small, I am ready to pass the torch," Snipes wrote to Scott. She asked for her resignation to be effective Jan. 4, 2019.Snipes had previously hinted she might step down after 2018's vote...
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Meghan McCain pens powerful note on 'sharp and primal' pain 3 months after losing father
Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images (NEW YORK) -- The View host Meghan McCain has penned a powerful note about her father John McCain almost three months after losing him to cancer.McCain, 34, shared an inside look into the strong bond and special relationship the father-daughter duo shared for years before his death earlier this year.Alongside a picture of McCain cooking breakfast, Meghan wrote on Instagram, "84 days without you. You used to get up early in the morning and go get us all Starbucks in town in the Cottonwood Safeway and then come home and make eggs and bacon. You...
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Kansas governor demands county commissioner resign over 'master race' comment to black consultant
Leavenworth County Board of County Commissioners (NEW YORK) -- The governor of Kansas is demanding the resignation of a white county commissioner who claimed he was "part of the master race" when talking to an African-American consultant during a public meeting last week. Gov. Jeff Colyer is asking Louis Klemp, chairman of the Leavenworth County Board of Commissioners, to step down following his "inappropriate remarks" made during a public meeting on Nov. 13. "Racial and discriminative language have no place in our society, and most especially when spoken by someone holding a public office," Colyer said in a statement. "The...
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Once Republican bastions, Democrats see gains in traditionally conservative districts
ABC News (NEW YORK) -- From Orange County, California, to rural Maine, to the congressional district that's home to one of President Donald Trump's golf courses, the Democratic majority that will preside over the 116th Congress will claim members from areas of the country once thought of as impenetrable bastions of conservatism and Republican dominance. While the laborious task of counting mail-in ballots delayed projections in many key California races, what once was a possibility has now become a reality for the GOP: they will have zero congressional representation in Orange County, once described by President Ronald Reagan as the...
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Trump's appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general 'unconstitutional': Top House intel Democrat
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said President Donald Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general was unconstitutional because the attorney general is a “principal officer” and those positions require Senate confirmation under the Constitution. “I think the appointment is unconstitutional,” Rep. Adam Schiff of California told “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz in an interview Sunday morning. “He is clearly a principal officer and the fact that he is a temporary principal officer doesn't mean that that is any less subject to Senate confirmation.” “Will Democrats still challenge that appointment and...
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