Government should pay compensation for secretive Cold War-era testing, St. Louis victims say
As Congress considers payments to victims of Cold War-era nuclear contamination in the St. Louis region, people who were targeted for secret government testing from that same time period believe they’re due compensation, too.
Trump's Ukraine impeachment shadows war, risks GOP response
Even the staunchest defense hawks in the Republican Party stood virtually united by Donald Trump’s side when the then-president was impeached in late 2019 after pressuring Ukraine’s leader for “a favor” and withholding $400 million in military aid.
Jackson heading for likely confirmation despite GOP darts
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson faced down a barrage of Republican questioning about her sentencing of criminal defendants on Wednesday, as her history-making bid to join the Supreme Court veered from lofty constitutional questions to attacks on her motivations as a judge.
Jackson pushes back at GOP critics, defends judicial record
Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson forcefully defended her record as a federal judge Tuesday, pushing back on Republican assertions that she would be soft on crime and declaring she would rule as an “independent jurist” if confirmed as the first Black woman on the high court.
White House pushes GOP to end blockade of ambassador picks
As President Joe Biden announces two more ambassador nominees, the White House and Democrats are warning that maneuvering by some Senate Republicans to block all but a small fraction of Biden’s diplomatic and other national security appointees is doing serious harm to U.S. diplomatic efforts around the globe.
Lawsuit: NRA illegally funded Trump, other GOP candidates
A federal lawsuit accuses the National Rifle Association of violating campaign finance laws by using shell companies to illegally funnel up to $35 million to Republican candidates, including former President Donald Trump, Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri and others.
Ambassador pick emphasizes US strengths in countering China
President Joe Biden’s pick for ambassador to Beijing has told lawmakers considering his nomination that Americans should “have confidence in our strength” when dealing with the rise of China, a nation he says the U.S. and its allies can manage.
Trump's heir? Pence reemerges, lays groundwork for 2024 run
FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2021, file photo, former Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen walk from the plane to greet supporters after arriving back in his hometown of Columbus, Ind. Conspicuously absent from the list: Mike Pence. The former vice president is steadily reentering public life as he eyes a potential run for the White House in 2024. Ad“Obviously Mike Pence has a very different persona, a very different tone. The anger at Pence took a dangerously personal turn on Jan. 6 when rioters paraded through the Capitol chanting “Hang Mike Pence” as a mob outside set up a makeshift gallows.
GOP Missouri Attorney General Schmitt running for US Senate
FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2020 file photo, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt speaks during a news conference in St. Louis. – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt on Wednesday announced he's making a bid to replace Roy Blunt in the Senate, setting up a Republican primary against disgraced former Gov. Voters first elected Schmitt to the state Senate in 2008 to represent a suburban St. Louis district. He was elected state treasurer in 2016, then took over as the state attorney general after Josh Hawley vacated the seat to join the U.S. Senate in 2019. He won another term as attorney general in 2020.
Democrats bank on relief aid to win back wary working class
“A lot of white, working-class Democrats thought we forgot them,” Biden said after touring a union training facility during a late September swing through Westmoreland County. Still, that proposition — which Republicans dismiss as a “liberal wish list” — will be tested in places such as Westmoreland County. “There’s a lot of people who are still registered Democrats, who still hold on to those working-class Democratic values," Bretz said. Trump won 62% of white voters without a college degree in November, according to AP VoteCast, a nationwide survey of the electorate. Ad“We are a working-class party now," Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley tweeted on election night.
Is Blunt's exit an opening for ex-Gov. Greitens to return?
Greitens' political future seemed doomed by scandal when he resigned as Missouri governor. – O'Eric Greitens' political future seemed doomed by scandal when he resigned as Missouri governor. Also like Trump, Greitens defeated establishment Republicans in the primary before winning in November. Many see Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft as the early favorite to win Blunt's seat, if Ashcroft opts to run. But Missouri Republican Party Treasurer Pat Thomas said Greitens retains “a definite following” among state Republicans.
Trump the dominant force at conservative conference
A conference attendee takes a selfie photo in front of a statue of former president Donald Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)WASHINGTON – A conference dedicated to the future of the conservative movement turned into an ode to Donald Trump as speakers declared their fealty to the former president and attendees posed for selfies with a golden statue of his likeness. Trump on Sunday will be making his first post-presidential appearance at the conference, and aides say he will use the speech to reassert his power. “If we do, we will lose the working base that President Trump so animated. Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., lit into Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. “And I assure you that it will solidify Donald Trump and all of your feelings about the MAGA movement as the future of the Republican Party.”
Conservative gathering to feature Trump's false fraud claims
Trump himself is headlining the three-day session in a Sunday speech that will be his first public appearance since leaving the White House on Jan. 20. Trump has been keeping a relatively low profile since he moved from the White House to Palm Beach a month ago. “I think the broader point will be: Here's where the Republican Party and conservative movement and the America First movement goes from here," said senior Trump adviser Jason Miller. Here we’ll see the president address the fact that the only divide in the Republican Party is between the elites and the conservative grassroots in the party." “In opposition, when you don’t have the White House, there are many more voices that lead the party,” Cotton said in an interview.
Takeaways from Congress' first hearing on Capitol riot
Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund appears before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs & Senate Rules and Administration joint hearing on Capitol Hill, Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, to examine the January 6th attack on the Capitol. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)WASHINGTON – Security officials testifying at Congress' first hearing on the deadly siege of the Capitol cast blame and pointed fingers on Tuesday but also acknowledged they were woefully unprepared for the violence. The security officials lost their jobs, and Trump was impeached by the House on a charge of inciting the insurrection, the deadliest attack on Congress in 200 years. But then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund testified that he only learned about it the day before Tuesday's hearing. But in closing, Klobuchar restated the testimony: “There was clear agreement this was a planned insurrection.”ONE OFFICER'S PERSONAL STORYThe hearing opened with Capitol Police Capt.
Capitol defenders cite missed intelligence for deadly breach
Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund testifies before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs & Senate Rules and Administration joint hearing on Capitol Hill, Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, to examine the January 6th attack on the Capitol. Sund said he hadn’t seen an FBI field office report that warned of potential violence citing online posts about a “war." Sund said he did see an intelligence report created within his own department warning that Congress could be targeted on Jan. 6. ”Sund and Irving disagreed on when the National Guard was called and on requests for the guard beforehand. A House subcommittee will examine damage to the Capitol on Wednesday and will hear testimony from currrent security officials, including Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman, on Thursday.
Trial highlights: Trump grievances, angry outbursts and more
"The Senate cannot ignore the First Amendment," said van der Veen. In a letter signed last week they wrote that “the First Amendment does not apply in impeachment proceedings, so it cannot provide a defense for President Trump." van der Veen bristled and inquired who had asked. Sanders responded, “I did.” van der Veen retorted: “irrelevant.”“No, it isnt!” Sanders angrily shot back from his desk, adding: “You represent the president of the United States!”He scoffed audibly when van der Veen avoided answering the question. “This is not whataboutism," said Michael van der Veen.
Riot video spotlights mob's focus on stopping Biden win
“Where are they counting the (expletive) votes!” they hollered as they streamed inside, wielding wooden beams and a metal baseball bat, forcing the officer to retreat, according to footage shown this week at Donald Trump's impeachment trial. Outside, others were setting up a makeshift gallows on the Capitol lawn for Trump’s own vice president, Mike Pence. They say the clips prove that without Trump’s attempt to overturn the election results, the Capitol riot would never have taken place. The trial was continuing Friday with a presentation from Trump's lawyers, who have decried the use of the video footage as unnecessary. AdOne of those people, Jessica Watkins, suggested as Biden’s inauguration neared that she “was awaiting direction from President Trump,” prosecutors said in court papers this week.
Trump lawyers: Impeachment based on hatred, not facts
Trump's lawyers made an abbreviated presentation that used less than three of their allotted 16 hours. But in trying to draw that equivalency, the defenders minimized Trump's months-long efforts to undermine the election results and his urging of followers to do the same. On Friday, as defense lawyers repeated their own videos over and over, some Democrats chuckled and whispered among themselves as many of their faces flashed on the screen. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet said it felt like the lawyers were “erecting straw men to then take them down rather than deal with the facts." Trump's lawyers say that goal only underscores the “hatred” Democrats feel for Trump.
Trial highlights: Harrowing footage, focus on Trump's words
NEW SURVEILLANCE FOOTAGETo reconstruct the siege for senators, Democrats aired never-before-seen security footage from inside the Capitol that showed the attack unfolding. Ad“Vice President Pence had the courage to stand against the president, tell the American public the truth and uphold our Constitution. Many Republicans had been appalled by Trump's treatment of his most loyal soldier during his final days in office. REPUBLICANS HOLD FIRMThere appears little chance enough Republicans will break with Democrats to convict Trump at the end of the trial. AdThe video evidence was “nothing new here, for me, at the end of the day,” said Hawley, who maintains the trial is unconstitutional.
White House budget chief nominee apologizes for past tweets
Neera Tanden also admitted to spending “many months” removing past Twitter posts, saying, “I deleted tweets because I regretted them." He said that included Tanden calling Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton "a fraud” and tweeting that “vampires have more heart” than Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford said Tanden had tweeted more over the past four years than even Trump did. Still, Senate discussion of Tanden's nomination is likely to center more on her past tweets than her budget priorities. Cotton has said they were “filled with hate.” Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn suggested previously that she'd face “certainly a problematic path” to nomination.
Hunter Biden's memoir 'Beautiful Things' out in April
This cover image released by Gallery Books shows "Beautiful Things" a memoir by Hunter Biden. Biden, son of President Joe Biden and an ongoing target for conservatives, has a memoir coming out April 6. (Gallery Books via AP)NEW YORK – Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden and an ongoing target for conservatives, has a memoir coming out April 6. The book is called “Beautiful Things” and will center on the younger Biden's well publicized struggles with substance abuse, according to Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Hunter Biden is a lawyer and former lobbyist whose work helped lead to the first impeachment of Trump.
Senate confirms Mayorkas as Biden's homeland security chief
Vice President Kamala Harris, right, ceremonially swears in Alejandro Mayorkas as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, accompanied by his wife Tanya Mayorkas, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Complex in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)WASHINGTON – The Senate confirmed Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday as President Joe Biden's homeland security secretary, the first Latino to fill a post that will have a central role in the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic, a sweeping Russia-linked cyber hack and domestic extremism. His nomination was stalled in the Senate by Republicans who wanted to question him further on Biden's plans for immigration policy. Mayorkas is uniquely qualified to make sure the Department of Homeland Security is working to protect people from all backgrounds, all communities and all walks of life,” Sen. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat and chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said from the Senate floor. “He has nominated a very good secretary for DHS, a secretary that understands that policies affect border security,” he said.
Democrats ask ethics panel to investigate Sens. Cruz, Hawley
Thousands had gathered that day as Congress voted to formally certify President Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in November. Hawley and Cruz led objections in the Senate to Biden’s victory, despite the widespread recognition that the effort would fail. And both senators used their objections for political fundraising,” the Democratic senators said in their letter. Cruz helped force a vote on Biden's victory in Arizona, while Hawley helped force one on Biden's victory in Pennsylvania. “This latest effort is a flagrant abuse of the Senate ethics process and a flagrant attempt to exact partisan revenge."
Senate confirms Biden 1st Cabinet pick as Democrats control
In a first vote, the Senate confirmed Biden's nominee for director of national intelligence, Avril Haines. The new Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urged colleagues to turn the spirit of the new president’s call for unity into action. The three Democrats complete a Senate narrowly split 50-50 between the parties, but giving Democrats the majority with Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to soon transmit to the Senate the House-passed article of impeachment against Trump, charged with incitement of insurrection, a step that will launch the Senate impeachment trial. Progressive and liberal Democrats are eager to do away with the filibuster to more quickly advance Biden’s priorities, but not all rank-and-file Senate Democrats are on board.
The Latest: Hawley blocks quick confirmation of DHS nominee
Homeland Security Secretary nominee Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during his confirmation hearing in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Hawley said he made the move because Mayorkas, in his confirmation hearing, would not commit to spending the $1.4 billion appropriated to expand the border wall with Mexico. Alejandro Mayorkas was asked about it Tuesday at his Senate confirmation hearing. ___10:30 a.m.One of President Donald Trump’s national intelligence directors is introducing President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for the job at her confirmation hearing. Avril Haines faces a confirmation hearing Tuesday before the Senate intelligence committee.
Sen. Josh Hawley has new publisher for 'Big Tech' book
In this image from video, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks as the Senate reconvenes to debate the objection to confirm the Electoral College Vote from Arizona, after protesters stormed into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (Senate Television via AP)NEW YORK – Sen. Josh Hawley has found a new publisher after his book was dropped by Simon & Schuster in the wake of the siege of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump. The conversative publisher Regnery announced Monday that Hawley's “The Tyranny of Big Tech” will come out this spring. And the warning in his book about censorship obviously couldn’t be more urgent,” Regnery President and Publisher Thomas Spence said in a statement. Hawley and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, also a Regnery author, led objections in the Senate to Biden's victory, citing baseless claims the election was stolen.
Harris prepares for central role in Biden's White House
Harris will make history Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, when she becomes the nations first Black, South Asian and female vice president. Biden and Harris knew each other prior to the 2020 presidential campaign in part through Harris’ friendship with Biden’s deceased son, Beau. Since joining the ticket, and particularly since the election, Harris has made efforts to deepen their relationship and is in frequent contact with the president-elect, people close to Harris say. “The relationship of the vice president to the president is the most important relationship. Harris is said to be looking at Biden’s vice presidency as a guide for her own.
Records: Trump allies behind rally that ignited Capitol riot
It said that if any former employees or independent contractors for the campaign took part, “they did not do so at the direction of the Trump campaign.”At least one was working for the Trump campaign this month. The AP’s review found at least three of the Trump campaign aides named on the permit rushed to obscure their connections to the demonstration. Between mid-March and mid-November, Donald J. Trump for President Inc. paid Wren $20,000 a month, according to Federal Election Commission records. Maggie Mulvaney, a niece of former top Trump aide Mick Mulvaney, is listed on the permit attachment as the “VIP Lead.” She worked as director of finance operations for the Trump campaign, according to her LinkedIn profile. Trump’s presidential campaign paid Event Strategies $1.3 million in 2020 for “audio visual services,” according to the campaign finance records.
More backlash for GOP’s Hawley as Loews Hotel cancels event
(Greg Nash/Pool via AP)ORLANDO, Fla. – Loews Hotels said Saturday it has canceled an upcoming fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, the latest fallout for the Republican lawmaker after the U.S. Capitol uprising. “We are horrified and opposed to the events at the Capitol and all who supported and incited the actions,” according to a Twitter statement from the hotel. Other than Trump himself, no politician has suffered the fallout as Hawley has. Hawley's office released a statement Saturday declaring he was undeterred by the backlash. But to equate leading a debate on the floor of the Senate with inciting violence is a lie, and it’s dangerous.
Donor backlash fuels GOP alarm about Senate fundraising
The GOP already faces a difficult Senate map in 2022, when 14 Democratic-held seats and 20 Republican ones will be on the ballot. That includes at least two open seats that Republicans will be defending because of the retirements of GOP Sens. One of those lawmakers, Florida Sen. Rick Scott, is the new chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, a post that makes him the public face of the Senate Republican fundraising efforts. But two senior Republican strategists involved in Senate races say the cumulative effect of the companies' decisions could have a bigger impact. That puts more pressure on the NRSC and the leading Senate Republican outside group, Senate Leadership Fund, to cover the difference.
Hawley, facing fallout, blames media, D.C. 'establishment'
FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021 file image from video, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. And the allegation itself is corrosive and dangerous.”Other than Trump himself, no politician has suffered the fallout as has Hawley. “Missouri is fed up,” Justice Horn, of Kansas City, who helped organize the event, said in a news release. Hallmark Cards, based in Kansas City, earlier this week asked Hawley and Republican Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas to return employee campaign donations. Hawley, in his 739-word essay, said those involved in the Capitol attack must be punished, saying, “Mob violence is always wrong.”“But democratic debate is not mob violence,” Hawley wrote.
Trump's wall of GOP support breaks during impeachment vote
The unbreakable wall of Republican support that encouraged and enabled Donald Trump's norm-shattering presidency cracked on Wednesday. But even some of those who opposed impeachment condemned Trump's behavior and blamed him for sparking the insurrection. “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters,” said House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., while warning that a second Trump impeachment would further divide America. A more consequential vote awaits later this month in the Senate, where Trump's party is hardly rallying to his side. But the House impeachment showed how challenging the coming months will be for the GOP.
Fury at the shaken Capitol over the attack, security, virus
Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON – This time the fury enveloping the U.S. Capitol comes not from an insurgent mob but from within. The anger on display is searing — Democrat against Republican; Republican against Republican; legislators of both parties against the catastrophic security failure that left top leaders of the government vulnerable to last week's violence as well as to the coronavirus in their ranks. Shaken members, long accustomed to protective bubbles, inquired whether they can expense their own bulletproof vests to taxpayers (yes they can). McCarthy had joined most House Republicans in December in supporting a lawsuit to block Biden’s election, and again last week in two votes against certifying Biden’s win. In their oath of office, lawmakers vow to defend the Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”