politics

Scott Vetoes Aquifer Bill, Signs 17 Others

Apr 9, 2018

Wrapping up work from the 2018 legislative session, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed 17 bills and vetoed one measure, which he said could “muddle” Florida’s efforts to protect its underground water system.

Embattled Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, announced Friday that he has resigned from Congress, months after reports surfaced that he had used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim by a former staffer.

"While I planned on serving out the remainder of my term in Congress, I know in my heart it's time for me to move along and look for new ways to serve," the four-term congressman said in a statement.

President Trump as a candidate once called for a ban on Muslim immigrants and declared that "Islam hates us." Now, he has alarmed American Muslims again with his choice of a new national security adviser and a new secretary of state, even as he has strengthened ties with Muslim allies in the Middle East.

Updated at 10:18 a.m. ET

As allegations continue to swirl about the president and a payout to a porn star to cover up a sexual encounter, evangelical leaders are organizing a sit-down with President Trump in June, four sources with knowledge of the planned meeting tell NPR.

Updated at 8:09 p.m. ET

President Trump says he was unaware that his attorney paid $130,000 to an adult film actress shortly before the 2016 election to prevent the woman from talking about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump.

The president told reporters traveling on Air Force One on Thursday that he didn't know where the money came from or why the payment was made.

"You'll have to ask Michael Cohen," Trump said. "Michael is my attorney. You'll have to ask Michael."

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright describes herself as an "optimist who worries a lot." And lately, it seems, there has been much to worry about.

Albright's new book, Fascism: A Warning, starts by describing how Hitler and Mussolini came to power in the 20th century, then warns about today's authoritarian rulers in Eastern Europe, North Korea, Turkey and Russia.

Javier Manjarres, the political consultant behind the conservative Shark Tank blog, is running for Congress against Parkland-area Rep. Ted Deutch.

Manjarres, whose interest in running against Deutch has been known for months, announced his candidacy Tuesday morning. In a press release touting his blue-collar background and “size 11 Ariat boots,” he criticized Deutch’s politics and accused him of trying to capitalize on February’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Fresh off her Sunday interview with CBS's 60 Minutes to discuss her alleged sexual encounter with President Trump, adult film actress Stormy Daniels is suing the president's personal lawyer Michael Cohen for defamation.

The suit from Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, against both Trump and Cohen was amended Monday in the U.S. District Court in California, asking for a jury trial to settle the claim of defamation against Cohen.

Updated at 7:50 p.m. ET

The Federal Trade Commission confirmed Monday that it is investigating the possible misuse of the personal information of as many as 50 million Facebook users. The probe comes after the social network admitted it suspended a firm that worked on behalf of the Trump campaign to use personal information gathered on Facebook to target potential Trump supporters.

Congress was in a generous mood when it passed a spending bill last week, giving the military at minimum an additional $61 billion and boosting its overall budget to $700 billion this year.

Government health agencies have spent more than two decades shying away from gun violence research, but some say the new spending bill, signed by President Trump on Friday, will change that.

That is because, in agency instructions that accompany the bill, there is a sentence noting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the authority to conduct research on the causes of gun violence.

Lauren Underwood is optimistic about her chances of winning a seat in Congress.

"This seat is 100 percent at play. It's winnable," the Democratic candidate says of the Illinois 14th Congressional District, which stretches along the western and northern sides of Chicago's outer suburbs.

It was Saturday afternoon, and Abigail Spanberger was in a busy hallway at the Chesterfield County Public Library in Midlothian, Va., minutes away from training a room of about 40 campaign volunteers. She seemed ready for a quick interview, but then abruptly called out to her campaign manager.

"Hey Dana, Eileen Davis is about to come through. Can you head her off at the pass so she doesn't interrupt the — "

She cut herself off and turned to me.

"That's my mother," Spanberger said, laughing.

Her mom is volunteering for her campaign?

"Evidently."

Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET

A federal grand jury has indicted 13 Russians and three Russian entities in connection with the attack on the 2016 presidential election.

The defendants are "accused of violating U.S. criminal laws in order to interfere with U.S. elections and political processes," according to a statement from the special counsel's office. The indictment charges them with "conspiracy to defraud the United States, three defendants with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and five defendants with aggravated identity theft."

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