Politics

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A North Carolina senator collapsed while running a race in Washington Wednesday morning, but said he was "doing well" after being hospitalized.

Sen. Thom Tillis, a Republican, was seen on the ground about 20 minutes into the ACLI Capital Challenge, an annual three-mile race in the southeast part of D.C.

The teeth of Tyrannosaurus rex have been called "killer bananas," and a new study in the journal Scientific Reports shows just how hard those fearsome chompers could clamp down.

"What we came up with were bite forces of around 8,000 pounds," says Gregory Erickson of Florida State University. "That's like setting three small cars on top of the jaws of a T. rex — that's basically what was pushing down."

Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET

President Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to close down the agency's investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn just one day after Flynn was let go, according to two sources close to Comey.

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse shares something in common with President Trump: both are serving in elected office for the very first time.

The similarities pretty much end there.

Sasse earned a doctorate in history. Before his election in 2014, he was a federal health official, and president of Midland University, which is linked with the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Updated at 10:20 a.m. ET

Donald Trump hadn't yet taken his oath as president when, last Dec. 21, he named Carl Icahn as "special adviser to the president on regulatory reform." He said Icahn would help him deal with "the strangling regulations that our country is faced with."

The Senate is negotiating its own legislation to repeal and replace much of the Affordable Care Act in secret talks with senators hand-picked by party leaders and with no plans for committee hearings to publicly vet the bill.

"I am encouraged by what we are seeing in the Senate. We're seeing senators leading," said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, one of the 13 Republicans involved in the private talks. "We're seeing senators working together in good faith. We're not seeing senators throwing rocks at each other, either in private or in the press."

Monday marks the start of candidate filing week in Washington state. It’s the week when people running for public office must file with the secretary of state’s office. But one political contest is already underway in a big way.

Supporters of a proposal to cover the medical costs of all Oregon children rallied at the state Capitol Friday. A pair of bills under consideration in Salem—HB 2726 and SB 558—would extend Oregon Health Plan coverage to include kids who are in the country illegally.

In a letter released Friday, President Trump's lawyers said a decade's worth of his tax returns show that he doesn't owe money to Russian lenders and that he has received no income from Russian sources, "with a few exceptions."

The exceptions include this: "In 2008, Trump Properties LLC sold an estate in Florida, that it had acquired in 2005 for approximately $41 million, to a Russian billionaire for $95 million."

Updated at 9:25 p.m. ET

President Trump suggested on Twitter Friday morning there might be recordings of his private conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, whom he fired earlier this week, in an apparent attempt to caution Comey against "leaking to the press."

When President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska was one of several Republicans in Washington voicing concern. As details unfolded throughout the week, Sasse, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, continued to call the timing of the firing "troubling," though he maintains there is not yet a need for an independent investigation or special prosecutor to look into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The White House has nominated Mark Andrew Green to what could be one the toughest jobs in the Trump administration.

The former Republican congressman from Wisconsin has been tapped to run USAID — the U.S. Agency for International Development. If confirmed, the 56-year-old Green will take over USAID at a time when global humanitarian crises are mounting. And he'll have to answer to a president who's been openly hostile to handing out American taxpayer dollars abroad.

Across the development world, Green's nomination has been widely praised.

Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown has been found guilty of siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from a charity that she and her chief of staff had passed off as a scholarship service for students. The Florida Democrat had faced 22 counts ranging from conspiracy to tax fraud; she was convicted of 18.

Updated at 7:45 p.m. ET

Undermining the prior rationale laid out by the White House, President Trump said he decided to fire James Comey as FBI director without regard to the Justice Department's recommendation.

"It was set up a while ago," Trump admitted to NBC's Lester Holt in his widest-ranging remarks about his firing of Comey. "And frankly, I could have waited, but what difference does it make?"

He added, "Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey."

More than three months after President Trump vowed to investigate unfounded claims that last November's election was tainted by as many as 5 million fraudulent votes, the White House has announced the creation of a presidential commission led by Vice President Mike Pence to investigate voter fraud.

If the giant inflatable Trump chicken outside New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur's town hall didn't make it clear — or the group of people singing health care-themed protest songs; or the Affordable Care Act cemetery; or even the plane circling overhead trailing an anti-MacArthur message — an early moment in the Republican's constituent town hall provided a sign this was going to be a long, contentious night.

That's when several people in the Willingboro, N.J., crowd started to boo and jeer when MacArthur talked about his daughter, Grace, who died at age 11.

The New Hampshire state Legislature is deciding whether to discipline one of its members for his role in setting up a misogynistic online forum.

For Sale: Spectacular Caribbean waterfront property in French St. Martin.

Amenities: Swimming pools, tennis court, full staff.

Owner: President of the United States, Donald Trump.

This sale is the first known major divestiture of a Trump property since he became president. Trump bought Le Chateau des Palmiers about four years ago; the asking price at the time was $19.7 million.

Gun dealers in Washington state will soon be required to report when someone tries to buy a gun and fails a background check. Gov. Jay Inslee signed that requirement into law Wednesday as part of a crackdown on prohibited gun buyers. 


Craig McCulloch

After a 28-day campaign, the results are still not final in the British Columbia general election. The current numbers are very tight, with the Green Party potentially playing a significant role in deciding which party will lead the next provincial government.

The results were expected to be close, but few political watchers expected them to be this tight.

The politically right leaning B.C. Liberal Party of incumbent Premier Christy Clark currently has enough elected members to form a minority government. 

In a rare victory for environmentalists under President Trump, the Senate rejected efforts to roll back an Obama-era rule limiting methane emissions from energy production sites on federal land.

The vote over the greenhouse gas was close — 49-51 — with Republican Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins coming down against the resolution, which would have repealed the Bureau of Land Management's Methane Waste and Prevention Rule.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were interviewing four candidates Wednesday to serve as interim FBI director, following the firing of James Comey.

Updated at 9 p.m. ET

Questions about the abrupt dismissal of FBI Director James Comey swirled on Wednesday, but Comey himself reportedly told staff he would not "spend time on the decision or the way it was executed. I hope you won't either."

In a farewell letter, Comey said, according to CNN, "It is done, and I will be fine, although I will miss you and the mission deeply." He added:

The White House says President Trump fired James Comey because of how he handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Let that sink in for a moment.

The president, who campaigned before crowds that chanted, "Lock her up," is telling the American people that he summarily fired the FBI director, by letter, because he went outside Department of Justice protocols in speaking out about the Clinton investigation months ago.

President Trump hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the White House on Wednesday, one day after firing the man whose agency is investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election that brought Trump to power.

As work gears up for the 2020 Census, the bureau announced on Tuesday that Director John Thompson will leave the agency next month instead of at the end of the year.

"As I pursue opportunities in the private sector, please be assured that I will continue to be supportive of the administration's priority to have a complete and accurate 2020 Census," Thompson said in a statement.

The halfway mark has come and gone in Washington’s 30-day special session of the legislature. But there’s still no deal on a budget or a school funding solution.

It was like two different hearings in one.

Democrats quizzed former Obama administration officials on Russia, how former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn had been "compromised" and how the White House officials conducted themselves when confronted with the information.

Republicans wanted to know how the information got out in the first place.

It was striking watching the two distinct focuses on a topic — national security — that shouldn't be so hotly partisan.

And the data bear out the different approaches.

The White House and Congress reached a deal last week to keep the government open — at least until this fall.

But in reality, the compromise may well have just kicked the can down the road until September, when both sides may be spoiling for a fight amid the specter of a government shutdown.

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