Politics

Trump says he misspoke on Russia meddling

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says he meant the opposite when he said in Helsinki that he doesn’t see why Russia would have interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections. Back at the White House on Tuesday, the president told reporters that he said he meant he doesn’t see why Russia “wouldn’t” be responsible. He also said he accepts the…

House Speaker Paul Ryan may consider new Russia sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Speaker Paul Ryan says he’s willing to consider additional sanctions on Russia, but there’s no rush to act. Ryan had pointedly reminded President Donald Trump on Monday “that Russia is not our ally,” after Trump cast doubt on U.S. intelligence findings of election meddling by Vladimir Putin’s operatives. On Tuesday, Ryan underscored that Russia did interfere…

Trump to host European Commission president amid trade spat

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump will meet with the president of the European Commission next week at the White House, days after labeling the European Union a “foe” of the United States. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says President Jean-Claude Juncker will meet with Trump at the White House on July 25. She says security, counterterrorism, and energy…

Trump says ‘Fake News’ misreporting Putin summit

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is unbowed by bipartisan criticism of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In a Tuesday tweet the President calls the Monday summit in Helsinki “even better” than his meeting with NATO allies last week in Brussels. Trump is facing bipartisan criticism for his refusal to publicly challenge Putin over Russia’s election hacking and…

EPA proposal to limit science studies draws opposition

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democratic lawmakers are joining scientists in denouncing an industry-backed proposal to dramatically limit what kind of science the Environmental Protection Agency can consider in rule-making. The opposition is coming at a Washington public hearing Tuesday on a rule proposed by former EPA chief Scott Pruitt. The rule would allow EPA administrators to throw out scientific studies when…

Trump tweets US, Russia ‘must get along’ after summit backlash

HELSINKI (AP) – Facing withering bipartisan criticism over his refusal to publicly acknowledge Russian election meddling during his meeting with President Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump says the two superpowers “must get along.” In a Monday tweet sent as he is flying back to the U.S. aboard Air Force One, Trump says, “As I said today and many times before,…

US intel chief stands by assessment of Russian meddling

WASHINGTON (AP) – The top U.S. intelligence official says assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election have been “clear” and describes the Kremlin’s efforts to undermine the United States’ democracy as “ongoing” and “pervasive.” The statement from Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, followed comments earlier Monday from President Donald Trump at a news conference with Russian leader…

Trump: Putin made ‘incredible offer’ in Russian hacking case

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says Russian President Vladimir Putin made an “incredible offer” of law enforcement collaboration during the leaders’ one-on-one summit. Trump told reporters Monday that Putin said American investigators who have charged 12 Russian hackers with hacking the 2016 presidential election can come work with Russian investigators on the case. Trump called that an “incredible offer.”…

Trump sees ‘no reason’ why Russia would meddle

HELSINKI (AP) – President Donald Trump says he sees no reason why Russia would interfere in the 2016 election. Trump resisted when asked Monday to condemn Russian meddling in the election. Instead, he complained about a Democratic National Committee computer server and emails belonging to Hillary Clinton, the Democrat he defeated to win the presidency. At a joint appearance in…

‘Credible fear’ for US asylum harder to prove under Trump

LOS FRESNOS, Texas (AP) – Attorney General Jeff Sessions has quietly tightened restrictions on the types of cases that can qualify someone for asylum in the U.S., as part of the Trump administration’s broader crackdown on immigration. That has made it harder for Central Americans who say they’re fleeing the threat of gangs, drug smugglers or domestic violence to pass…

House candidate Tim Bjorkman ends June with $218K in bank

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota Democratic congressional candidate Tim Bjorkman is reporting slower fundraising than his Republican opponent in the House race, but Bjorkman ended June with a bigger bank balance overall. Federal campaign finance reports show Bjorkman, a former judge, raised about $82,000 from May 17 through June 30, short of Johnson’s roughly $120,000 haul during that period….

US challenges China, EU and others at WTO over steel tariffs

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration is filing a challenge at the World Trade Organization against China, the European Union, Canada, Mexico and Turkey for retaliating against American tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. The United States has imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum on the grounds that the imported metals pose a threat…

12 Russians accused of hacking Democrats in 2016 US election

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Justice Department has announced charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses during the 2016 presidential election. The indictments were announced Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as part of the ongoing special counsel probe into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. The Russians are accused of hacking into the computer networks…

Dusty Johnson ends June with $151K on hand in House race

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota congressional candidate Dusty Johnson closed out June with roughly $151,000 in the bank after easily winning the Republican primary earlier that month. A federal campaign finance report filed this week shows Johnson, a former public utilities commissioner, raised about $120,000 from May 17 through June 30. Johnson beat Secretary of State Shantel Krebs and…

Millions from anonymous donors to influence Kavanaugh fight

WASHINGTON (AP) – Millions of dollars from anonymous donors are helping shape the fight over President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. Even before Trump’s announcement Monday that he had picked Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, advocacy groups had begun lining up for and against the nomination. Those groups say they’ll spend heavily to influence the outcome of what’s…

US says all eligible youngest children, families reunited

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration says all eligible small children separated from their families as a result of its zero-tolerance immigration policy have been reunited with their parents. But it says 46 children under 5 weren’t reunited with their families because of safety concerns, the deportation of their parents and other issues. The administration said in a statement that…

States brace for abortion fights after Kavanaugh nomination

BOSTON (AP) – Anticipating renewed fights over abortion, some governors and state lawmakers already are looking for ways to enhance or dismantle the right in their own constitutions and laws. President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court has raised both fears and hopes that a conservative court majority could weaken or overturn the 1973…

Battle over family separations flairs anew in Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) – Congress’ election-year fight over President Donald Trump’s now abandoned policy of separating migrant families is stirring anew. At the House Appropriations Committee, Republicans are batting down Democratic proposals that undercut the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting and detaining migrants caught entering the U.S. But in a tacit admission that Trump’s actions have left them politically vulnerable,…

Trump administration slashes ‘Obamacare’ sign-up assistance

TWASHINGTON (AP) – For the second time in days, the Trump administration is taking action to undercut the Obama-era Affordable Care Act. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Tuesday announced steep funding cuts for sign-up assistance through state-based programs called “navigators.” Financing for the 2019 enrollment season is being cut to $10 million from $36 million. The program…