POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

The Point: It is officially impossible to understand what Trump is saying about Stormy Daniels

CNN POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:55
What we're seeing at the White House this week is damage control upon damage control upon damage control. And none of it is working.

Newspapers at Little Rock, Hot Springs take top APME awards

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:51

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock and The Sentinel-Record at Hot Springs have won general excellence awards from the Arkansas Associated Press Managing Editors group.

The winners were announced Friday.

Lisa Hammersly of the Democrat-Gazette and David Showers of The Sentinel-Record were honored for their ...

Missouri Gov. Greitens accused of violence, sexual assault, blackmail: What to know

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:41
Republican Gov. Eric Greitens has admitted to having an affair with a woman in 2015 but has denied ever having committed a crime.

The Latest: Pence defends gun rights in speech to NRA

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:39

DALLAS (AP) - The Latest on the annual meeting in Dallas of the National Rifle Association (all times local):

1:35 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence is offering a vigorous defense of gun rights an address to the National Rifle Association's annual convention in Dallas.

Pence is pointing to work by ...

Indiana Senate candidates Braun, Messer and Rokita face off in volatile GOP primary

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:29
It’s been a volatile primary season as three men, vying to become the Republican nominee for an Indiana Senate seat, fought to prove to voters which one is more conservative and undyingly loyal to President Trump.

Military Strikes Target ISIS Terrorists in Syria, Iraq

(USA) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:23
Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve and its partners continued to strike Islamic State of Iraq and Syria targets in designated parts of Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported.
Graphic of solider pointing for Operation Inherent Resolve

The Point: The worst candidate in America

CNN POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:20
Thousands of people run for federal office every two years. Some are terrific. Most are so-so. And a chunk are bad.

US Judge Questions Special Counsel's Powers in Manafort Case

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:18
A federal judge on Friday sharply criticized Special Counsel Robert Mueller's criminal case in Virginia against President Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and openly questioned whether Mueller exceeded his prosecutorial powers by bringing it. "I don't see what relationship this indictment has with anything the special counsel is authorized to investigate," U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis in the Eastern District of Virginia said. At tense hearing at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, the judge said Mueller should not have "unfettered power" in his Russia probe and that the charges against Manafort did not arise from the investigation into Moscow's alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. Manafort is facing charges in both Virginia and Washington. The Virginia case charges him with offenses including tax and bank fraud. The other case accuses him of conspiring to launder money and failing to register as a foreign agent when he lobbied for the pro-Russia Ukrainian government. None of the charges relate, however, to Trump's 2016 presidential campaign or possible collusion with Russia. Trump has denied any collusion. Lawyers for Manafort asked the judge in the Virginia case to dismiss an indictment filed against him in what was their third effort to beat back criminal charges by attacking Mueller's authority. The judge questioned why Manafort's case there could not be handled by the U.S. attorney's office in Virginia, rather than the special counsel's office. He also asked the special counsel's office to share privately with him a copy of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein's August 2017 memo elaborating on the scope of Mueller's Russia probe. He said the current version he has has been heavily redacted.

Trump backs WH chief, says Kelly 'doing a fantastic job'

AP POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:17
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump pushed back Friday against reports of a growing rift between himself and his chief of staff, declaring that John Kelly is "doing a fantastic job" and dismissing rumblings that the ex-Marine may soon leave the White House. 2018-05-04T12:17:19-04:00 2018-05-04T12:11:53-04:00

Trump says Giuliani needs to 'get facts straight' on Stormy

AP POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:17
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump insisted Friday that "we're not changing any stories" about the 2016 hush payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels, even as he further muddied the explanation for the settlement by suggesting the new face of his legal team needs to "get his facts straight." 2018-05-04T12:17:19-04:00 2018-05-04T11:15:19-04:00

Trump: Time, Place Set for N. Korea Summit

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:16
U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday a time and place have been determined for the planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "We now have a date and we have a location," Trump told reporters on the White House lawn before leaving for the southern city of Dallas, Texas. He added details of the historic summit would be announced soon. Trump said Washington and Pyongyang are engaged in "very substantive talks." He added that "a lot of things have already happened with respect to the hostages" — yet another hint that North Korea could soon release three detained Korean-Americans. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a newly-added member of Trump's legal team, said earlier in the week the Americans were expected to have been freed from a labor camp Thursday. The U.S. government is reviewing reports that the hostages had recently been relocated form a labor camp to a hotel near the capital of Pyongyang. Tony Kim and Kim Hak-Song were teaching at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, the only private university in the country. They were separately detained in 2017, and accused of participating in anti-state activities and trying to overthrow the government. The third detainee, Kim Dong-Chul, was arrested in Rason on the northeast tip of North Korea in October 2015. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison with hard labor in 2016 after being convicted of espionage. Trump also told reporters the withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea would be not be "on the table" for discussion with his North Korean counterpart. The New York Times reported Friday that Trump ordered the Defense Department to cut the number of U.S. troops who are stationed on the Korean peninsula. The Department of Defense said in a statement that the Times story is false. U.S. National Security Adviser called the story "utter nonsense."

Bill proposes eliminating seven-year statute of limitations

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:13

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island lawmakers are considering a bill to repeal the state's seven-year statute of limitations for prosecuting sex crimes against minors.

Several victims of sexual abuse appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday to testify in support of the bill.

The Providence Journal reports Dr. Herbert ...

Activists charged with stealing turkey from Utah plant

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:12

MORONI, Utah (AP) - Utah authorities have charged six members of a California-based animal rights group with felonies, accusing the activists of breaking into a plant and stealing a turkey.

Sanpete County prosecutors filed felony charges Wednesday of burglary and poultry theft against the members of Direct Action Everywhere.

According ...

Federal judge accuses Mueller's team of 'lying,' trying to target Trump: 'C'mon man!'

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:03
A federal judge on Friday harshly rebuked Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team during a hearing for ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort – suggesting they lied about the scope of the investigation, are seeking “unfettered power” and are more interested in bringing down the president.

US funding for Syrian White Helmets rescue group in question amid funding freeze

CNN POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:59
The US government recently froze funding for the Syrian search and rescue group known as the White Helmets -- a group celebrated internationally for their live-saving work but condemned by the Syrian government and its closest allies.

Trump Backs WH Chief, Says Kelly 'Doing a Fantastic Job'

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:58
President Donald Trump is offering support for his chief of staff, telling reporters that John Kelly is "doing a fantastic job." Trump walked with his Kelly at Joint Base Andrews and cited "false reporting" about Kelly's potential departure from the White House. Kelly told reporters everything is going "phenomenally well." Trump spoke to reporters shortly before departing for Dallas to speak at the National Rifle Association convention.

Giuliani’s claim that Trump repaid Cohen seems oddly shaky

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:53
Did Giuliani falsely seize on Cohen's retainer to prove that Trump repaid him?

Trump says site set for historic Kim summit

CNN POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:47
President Donald Trump said Friday that a date and location for his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been set and will be announced soon.

Here's who's speaking at the NRA convention

CNN POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:44
President Donald Trump is one of more than a dozen people scheduled to speak Friday at the National Rifle Association's leadership forum at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.

Obama press secretary Josh Earnest named United Airlines spokesman

CNN POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:37
Former White House press secretary Josh Earnest has landed a new job -- the chief spokesperson for United Airlines.

Judge skeptical of links between Manafort's charges, Russia meddling

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:34

A Virginia federal judge Friday barraged prosecutors from the office of special counsel Robert Mueller demanding to know how decade-old bank and tax fraud allegations against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort could relate to Russian election interference.

"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud," District Judge T.S. ...

Judge in Manafort case says Mueller's aim is to hurt Trump

CNN POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:31
A federal judge expressed deep skepticism Friday in the bank fraud case brought by special counsel Robert Mueller's office against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, at one point saying he believes that Mueller's motivation is to oust President Donald Trump from office.

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:26

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue headlines of the week. None of these stories is legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out. Here are the real facts:

___

NOT REAL: Breaking: Paul Ryan Nominates Joel Osteen ...

Giuliani becomes aggressive new face of Trump legal team

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:25

NEW YORK (AP) - Rudy Giuliani, once known as "America's Mayor" and hailed for helping unite a wounded city after Sept. 11, has become the aggressive face of President Donald Trump's forceful new legal team.

Giuliani, who is bonded with the president by a particular brand of New York bravado, ...

Reading elects one of the youngest councillors in UK

BBC POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:24
Labour's Ellie Emberson is one of the youngest councillors elected in the country.

Trump got a 'do-over' with white evangelicals. Will continuing Stormy Daniels news affect that?

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:18
As Trump's sex scandals grab more headlines, his support from white evangelicals remains strong.

Judge rules rich liberals can yank 'Trump' name from posh NYC condo

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:14
A judge has sided with a band of wealthy residents at a New York high-rise who want to yank President Trump's name from their building.

Donald Trump defends Rudy Giuliani: 'He knows it's a witch hunt'

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:13

President Trump on Friday defended his new lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who ignited a media firestorm when he revealed the Mr. Trump reimbursed a $130,000 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

"He's a great guy," the president told reporters as he left the White House en route to an ...

Trump: U.S. troop withdrawal from South Korea is not on the table — for now

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:13
The president said he won't offer to remove troops during his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but said he would like to save money in the future

Trump says he’d ‘love’ to testify in Russia probe if treated fairly

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:13
The president also said that Rudolph W. Giuliani, one of his new lawyers, is still “learning the subject matter.”

The Latest: Trump suggests Giuliani misspoke on porn star

AP POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:10
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels (all times local): 2018-05-04T11:08:28-04:00 2018-05-04T10:59:09-04:00

Wiretapping corrections by NBC and ABC bookend a rough week for the media

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:59
Mistakes are always bad, but the nature and timing of this one make it particularly unhelpful to the media's collective reputation.

Trump says he'd 'love to' talk to Mueller, wants fairness

AP POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:56
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he would "love to" speak to special counsel Robert Mueller in the Russia probe but tells reporters he wants to ensure he'd be "treated fairly." 2018-05-04T10:54:47-04:00 2018-05-04T10:45:59-04:00

The Latest: US troop levels in SKorea 'are not on the table'

AP POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:56
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. and North Korea (all times local): 2018-05-04T10:54:47-04:00 2018-05-04T10:45:51-04:00

Trump to speak at NRA meeting

CNN POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:51

Trump says he can't talk to Mueller unless it's 'fair'

REUTERS POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:49
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday shifted his position over possible talks with U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, saying his lawyers have advised him against any talks but that he would submit to questioning if it was "fair."

Labour MP Dan Jarvis elected South Yorkshire mayor

BBC POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:46
Dan Jarvis secured 144,154 votes after a count of second preference ballots

House leaders want to advance opioids bills by May 17

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:45

The House Energy and Commerce Committee wants to advance its sweeping opioids plan within two weeks, splitting a legislative markup into two sessions to try and mollify Democrats who say majority Republicans are moving too fast.

Panel lawmakers will take up the first bundle of bills on Wednesday and handle ...

Trump says Giuliani will 'get his facts straight,' knows Russia probe is 'witch hunt'

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:43
President Trump on Friday addressed the bombshell interviews given this week by Rudy Giuliani, saying his new attorney knows the Russia probe is a “witch hunt” and “will get his facts straight” – raising questions whether the two are on the same page.

The Latest: Trump suggests Giuliani misspoke on porn star

AP POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:42
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels (all times local): 2018-05-04T10:41:15-04:00 2018-05-04T10:38:45-04:00

Trump says he'd 'love to' talk to Mueller, wants fairness

AP POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:42
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he would "love to" speak to special counsel Robert Mueller in the Russia probe but tells reporters he wants to ensure he'd be "treated fairly." 2018-05-04T10:41:15-04:00 2018-05-04T10:26:11-04:00

Local elections 2018: Labour 'quietly satisfied', Tom Watson says

BBC POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:39
The party gains seats and wins Plymouth but fails to win control of any new London councils.

Trump says lawyers have advised him against Mueller talks

REUTERS POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:35
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday his lawyers had advised him against talking to U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, even though he would like to speak with him as part of the Russia probe.

Trump says he would 'love' talk to Mueller, but fears being mistreated in 'witch hunt'

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:29

President Trump said Friday that he would "love to speak" to special counsel Robert Mueller but doesn't believe he will be treated fairly.

He said the American public has seen that Mr. Mueller's Russia probe is a "complete witch hunt" run by a team of Democratic prosecutors.

"I would love ...

Curtice's view

BBC POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:25
Prof John Curtice looks at what the local election results mean for the state of the parties.

Trump on Giuliani: 'He'll get his facts straight'

CNN POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:24
President Donald Trump said Friday his new lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is "a great guy" and "he'll get his facts straight."

Trump says he would 'love to speak' with Mueller

CNN POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:22
President Donald Trump said Friday that he would "love to speak" with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump touts unemployment drop — but a ‘WITCH HUNT’ remains on his mind

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:12
In a short tweet, the president references both good economic news and a major preoccupation.

Black unemployment hits a new low - but still trails white unemployment significantly

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:12
Black unemployment has never been less than 66 percent higher than white unemployment -- even now at record lows.

New Labour mayor Rohksana Fiaz plans to abolish her role

BBC POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:03
Newly elected Rohksana Fiaz says she intends to hold a referendum during her four-year term.

UKIP official compares his party to the 'Black Death'

BBC POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:02
UKIP is "dormant" like the Black Death, its general secretary has said after the party suffered heavy losses in the English local elections.

Boris Johnson: EU customs pledge was 'key' to local election results

BBC POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 15:46
The foreign secretary says Brexit was "key" to the Tories' local elections performance.

Resignation, death leaves city without voice at Statehouse

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 15:45

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) - Taxation without representation?

The resignation of state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg will leave more than 40,000 residents of Northampton and the small town of Hatfield with no representation in the Legislature for the remainder of 2018.

Rep. Peter Kocut (KOH'-cut), who represented the communities in the House, ...

CNN's April Ryan misquotes Sarah Sanders to imply she wanted physical fight: 'It was street'

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 15:45
CNN political analyst April Ryan twisted Sarah Sanders' words on Thursday night in order to make the absurd suggestion that the White House press secretary is looking for a physical confrontation with the star reporter.

Richard Blumenthal: Stormy Daniels payment evidence of obstruction of justice

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 15:32

Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Friday that the issue of President Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen's payment to Stormy Daniels changes the Russia investigation.

"It changes the investigation very profoundly because it provides more evidence of criminal intent. The issue here is bigger than just campaign finance violations. It's bigger than ...

Conway says she had no knowledge of Daniels payment during campaign

CNN POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 15:29
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway -- who managed Donald Trump's campaign in its final months -- said Friday she had no knowledge during the campaign about the $130,000 payment from Michael Cohen to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Teen councillor Ellie Emberson to tackle issues affecting young people

BBC POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 15:27
Newly Reading councillor Ellie Emberson, 19, explains why young people 'deserve to be represented'.

Comey fires back at Giuliani over 'stormtroopers' reference

AP POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 15:19
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former FBI Director Jim Comey says it's "unacceptable" that Rudy Giuliani likened FBI agents who raided the office of President Donald Trump's lawyer to "stormtroopers." The reference by Giuliani, Trump's new lawyer, appeared to evoke Nazi soldiers. 2018-05-04T09:17:47-04:00 2018-05-04T09:06:26-04:00

Greek court hears appeal on Turkish serviceman's asylum

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 15:13

ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Greece's supreme court is hearing the government's appeal against the granting of asylum to one of the eight Turkish servicemen who fled Turkey after the failed military coup in 2016.

The serviceman has already been granted asylum, but the courts have suspended the decision following the ...

Trump says southern border is 'under siege,' despite latest crossing figures

CNN POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 15:08
President Donald Trump said Friday that the southern border is "under siege" -- a day after his administration released statistics that showed illegal border crossings held steady in April and are in line with historical trends.

Caravan migrants say Donald Trump is discriminating against them

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 15:03

Migrants who came to the U.S. as part of the illegal immigrant caravan accused President Trump of discrimination this week, saying he ordered his Justice Department to prosecute people from Central America who jumped the border, while ignoring people from other countries such as India.

Some of the migrants have ...

Kellyanne Conway says she didn’t know about payment to porn star while she ran Trump’s campaign

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 15:02
The White House counselor tells reporters that she ‘never heard’ about the $130,000 outlay made the month before the election.

The Energy 202: Three senior Scott Pruitt aides resigned from the EPA this week

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 14:51
The departures come as federal investigators scrutinize the EPA chief's spending and management decisions.

James Comey says he's learned about perception from media criticism

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 14:40

Former FBI Director James B. Comey said Friday that he's learned a lot about perception during his recent book tour.

"What I've learned is that sometimes the way I see myself is not the way reasonable, thoughtful people see me," Mr. Comey said on CBS News.

Mr. Comey's book "A ...

The very big difference between a wiretap and how the feds tracked Michael Cohen

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 14:40
The government got far less information than originally reported.

Curtice: What election night taught us

BBC POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 14:34
The politics professor on three things we can learn from the local election results.

Ex-Dem IT aide Imran Awan’s case hit with repeated delays, as feds probe new allegations

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 14:30
The federal court case against Imran Awan, the former IT aide to congressional Democrats, has been hit with repeated delays over the last six months -- a situation fueled by allegations in the media that, according to his attorney, have piqued the curiosity of prosecutors.

Democratic Midterm Gains Could Alter Trump Presidency

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 14:29
U.S. voters head to the polls in November for a high-stakes congressional midterm election in which Republican control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate appears to be in jeopardy. The outcome of the elections could have a profound impact on U.S. President Donald Trump as well, and the president is starting to take notice. At a recent campaign-style rally in Washington, Michigan, Trump turned up the heat on opposition Democrats: "A vote for a Democrat in November is a vote for open borders and crime. It's very simple," he said. WATCH: Democratic Gains in Midterms Would Alter Trump's Presidency Opinion polls give Democrats an edge looking ahead to the balloting in November, and Trump is trying to get his supporters excited about turning out at the polls. "You know what it is? You get complacent," he said. "We cannot be complacent. We have to go out, right?" The president also told supporters not to pay attention to Democrats who insist they have the House all but won in November. "We've got to go out and we've got to fight like hell and we have got to win the House and win the Senate," Trump told the audience. "And I think we are going to do great in the Senate and I think we are going to do great in the House because the economy is so good." Democratic advantage According to the website RealClearPolitics, the Democrats enjoy a generic ballot advantage of nearly 7 percentage points over the Republicans looking ahead to November. RealClearPolitics averaged several recent polls and found that 45.6 percent of those surveyed said they would support Democratic congressional candidates in November, compared with 38.9 percent who said they would vote for Republicans. Analysts see the generic ballot as a key indicator of party strength heading into the midterms. Historically, the president's party usually loses congressional seats two years after winning the White House.The losses are usually worse if the president's public approval rating is under 50 percent. Trump's approval has recently averaged about 41 percent. Democrats are organizing with help from billionaire Tom Steyer, who is on what he calls a "Need to Impeach" tour around the country with the aim of helping Democrats win back the House in November so they can initiate impeachment proceedings against the president. "We now know that this partisan fight has become a fierce battle for the soul of America, and we, the people, have to win this battle," he said. Steyer was in Orlando, Florida, this week and said his political action committee, NextGen America, planned to spend $35 million in organizing young people to vote in November. Trump front and center Apart from what appears to be building energy on the Democratic side, analysts said the president's low public approval ratings also leave Republicans vulnerable in November. "He is at a low level — not the lowest ever, but he is in the 41 or 42 percent job approval range," said John Fortier of the Bipartisan Policy Center, a frequent guest on VOA's Encounter program."He still has the support of his Republican base very strongly, but has motivated many Democrats against him, and we see that in the special elections that have been going against Republicans." In addition, a large number of congressional Republicans have announced their retirements this year, opening up more potential gains for Democrats. As of late April, 38 House Republicans had announced they were either retiring or running for another office, compared with 18 on the Democratic side. Three Senate Republicans have also announced they are retiring. Jim Kessler of the centrist Democratic group said that was "a real sign of pessimism. Even the speaker [Paul Ryan of Wisconsin] has decided not to run for re-election. Democrats are overperforming in every race and special election since Donald Trump was elected." Midterm consequences For Trump, the loss of Republican control of even one congressional chamber could have enormous political consequences. "Losing control of the House of Representatives would stop the administration's legislative agenda in its tracks. Losing control of the Senate would stop its appointments in their tracks," said Brookings Institution political scholar Bill Galston. He is a guest on this week's Press Conference USA program on VOA. From the looks of his recent rally in Michigan, Trump seems determined to spend a lot of time on the campaign trail this year. In certain states and congressional districts, that could help boost Republican turnout in a year when Democrats are expected to flood the polls. Most political analysts believe Democrats have at least a 50 percent chance of taking the House in November, which would require picking up 23 seats now held by Republicans. Some analysts believe if the Democratic wave is big enough, it could also allow them to wrest control of the Senate away from Republicans, who currently hold a narrow 51-49 seat edge.

White House denies Trump seeking plan for SKorea troop cut

AP POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 14:25
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is denying a published report that President Donald Trump is seeking options to reduce the U.S. troop presence on the Korean peninsula. 2018-05-04T08:22:01-04:00 2018-05-04T08:12:52-04:00

GOP candidate's ad shows him 'hunting terrorists' in Iraq: 'Faith in God, and a Hellfire missile'

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 14:20
Candidates talk about bringing terrorists to justice all the time. One Republican candidate is now providing video evidence that he’s been there, done that.

Rudy Giuliani tries to clean up his hubris-inspired mess

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 14:17
Giuliani walks back his Comey and North Korea comments.

John McCain in new book: 'I don't know how much longer I'll be here'

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 14:11

An audio excerpt of Sen. John McCain's new book released Thursday addresses his battle with cancer and message he'd like to leave behind.

"I don't know how much longer I'll be here," Mr. McCain, Arizona Republican, says on the recording released to National Public Radio. "Maybe I'll have ...

Lebanese citizens vote Sunday. Here are 4 things to know about the first parliamentary elections since 2009.

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 14:09
Civil society activists and a new electoral law will challenge the country's status quo.

The Daily 202: Hey, Republicans: Pelosi attack ads may not be enough to keep the House

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 14:09
The would-be speaker can't be the GOP's only message.

Ex-coal baron takes swipe at "China people" in political ad

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 13:50

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - An ex-coal executive who's running for U.S. Senate after serving a prison sentence has unleashed a political ad that takes swipes at "China people" and calls the Senate majority leader "Cocaine Mitch."

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is seeking the West Virginia seat now held ...

Harlow councillor elected by one vote after recounts

BBC POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 13:43
The vote is so close it takes three recounts before the result is declared.

Trump promotes TV appearance by lawyer who questions Mueller’s right to interview him

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 13:40
Former U.S. attorney Andrew C. McCarthy has argued in recent days that the special prosecutor is overstepping his bounds.

Anthony Scaramucci: Rudy Giuliani's comments on Stormy Daniels payment 'strategic'

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 13:35

Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said Friday that Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani's comments regarding a payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels were premeditated.

"I know that that was a strategic deployment of the information. It caught everybody off guard, and then of course the fire started with ...

Trump attacks NBC after Cohen wiretap story correction

AP POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 13:29
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is attacking NBC News after it corrected a story that said federal investigators had placed a wiretap on the phone lines of Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen. 2018-05-04T07:27:08-04:00 2018-05-04T07:21:17-04:00

Trump blasts NBC over botched Cohen report: 'wrong again!'

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 13:18
President Trump blasted NBC as “wrong again” early Friday over its erroneous report suggesting the phone lines of his attorney Michael Cohen had been wiretapped in the weeks leading up to the FBI raid on his properties.

Congressman says visa approval amid crab crisis 'imminent'

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 13:13

BALTIMORE (AP) - A Maryland congressman says federal immigrant officials have agreed to approve 15,000 more seasonal guest worker visas.

The Baltimore Sun reports the announcement Thursday from U.S. Rep. Andy Harris came amid reports that Maryland's crab industry is suffering a labor shortage. Nearly half of Maryland crab workers ...

Pompeo knows to boost morale; boosting foreign aid also should be on his agenda

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 13:09
Under Republicans and Democrats, the U.S. has provided much less for international aid than many believe, and much of what the nation does spend is for American goods and services.

Then and now: How Congress reacted to impeachment threats against Presidents Clinton and Trump

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 13:08
On April 27, 1998, House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) laid out what would soon become one of the four articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton. “What you have lived through, for two-and-a-half long years, is the most systematic, deliberate obstruction of justice, coverup and effort to avoid the truth, we have ever seen in […]

Donald Trump slams NBC for corrected Michael Cohen report

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 12:55

President Trump criticized NBC News on Friday after the network corrected a story involving his personal attorney Michael Cohen.

"NBC NEWS is wrong again! They cite 'sources' which are constantly wrong. Problem is, like so many others, the sources probably don't exist, they are fabricated, fiction! NBC, my former home ...

Theresa May: We'll build on local election results

BBC POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 12:49
The prime minister visited Conservatives who retained control of the south London borough of Wandsworth despite a high-profile campaign from Labour.

Sir Vince Cable: Lib Dem fightback on after local elections

BBC POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 12:27
The party gains seats and wins control of Richmond-upon-Thames council in England's local elections.

What Netanyahu's dramatic speech about Iran's nuclear program revealed — and concealed

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 12:09
Iran's archive didn't violate the nuclear deal. But it might have violated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

#FBF: Ronald Reagan and Star Wars

CNN POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 12:07
Friday, May 4, is what is unofficially known as Star Wars Day. For those of you who (or whose parents) didn't have a hard time finding a date in high school, it's Star Wars Day because in the Star Wars series, "May the Force be with you" is a classic line. Get it? May the Force Fourth. Good news is that it's also Star Wars Day on our very special #FlashbackFriday post. Gather 'round, fellow nerds.

Democratic Gains in Midterms Would Alter Trump's Presidency

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 12:00
U.S. voters head to the polls in November for a high stakes congressional midterm election in which Republican control of the House of Representatives and the Senate is in jeopardy. The outcome of the elections could have a profound impact on President Donald Trump as well, and the president is starting to take notice. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

A year after 'Obamacare' vote, Democrats see election cudgel

AP POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 11:53
WASHINGTON (AP) — When Republicans muscled legislation scuttling the Obamacare health care law through the House a year ago Friday, Democrats waved sarcastically and giddily serenaded them with chants of, "Nah nah nah nah, hey hey, goodbye." 2018-05-04T05:52:00-04:00 2018-05-04T05:43:21-04:00

Local Elections 2018: Anti-semitism row 'caused' Barnet loss

BBC POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 11:41
The Labour group leader says the anti-semitism row "made a difference" to the borough's results.

'Were you lying?' Sanders faces new credibility questions

AP POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 11:39
WASHINGTON (AP) — White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is facing a barrage of questions about whether she purposely misled the American people amid fallout over Rudy Giuliani's stunning revelation about hush money paid by President Donald Trump's lawyer to a porn star who alleges a tryst with Trump. 2018-05-04T05:38:05-04:00 2018-05-04T05:34:36-04:00

Election night's big results

BBC POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 11:18
A look at the winners and losers from the local elections.

Pruitt's EPA denies climate science. Republicans can correct him. Will they?

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 11:07
Republican leaders are more likely to change public opinion on climate change than either Democrats or scientists.

Local elections: Greens say they are 'England's fourth party'

BBC POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 10:52
Caroline Lucas says her party defied expectations in a "David and Goliath" battle against big parties.

Jeremy Corbyn: Much more to come from Labour

BBC POLITICS - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 10:13
The Labour leader is happy with his party's council wins and says he's read for a general election.

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