presidential-race

White House Lawyer Tries to Distance Trump From Flynn
Cobb notes twice-fired general was national security adviser for just ‘25 days’

President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office of the White House, January 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. Also pictured, from left, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Press Secretary Sean Spicer and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The White House tried to put distance between President Donald Trump and Michael Flynn, a former member of his inner circle who pleaded guilty Friday to a charge in the Justice Department’s Russia probe.

In a statement released after Trump’s first national security adviser entered his plea in an Alexandria, Virginia, courtroom, White House legal counsel Ty Cobb tried to paint Flynn has a short-timer in the president’s roster of aides and confidants — both on the campaign trail and after he joined Trump in the West Wing.

Flynn Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements
To appear in federal court today

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, at podium, and then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attend a campaign event with veterans at the Trump International Hotel in Washington in  September 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday morning after being charged with making false statements to federal officials.

A U.S. government document released by the office of special counsel Robert Mueller said Flynn has been indicted for making “materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to federal officials. He is due in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, for a plea agreement hearing at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Trump Lambastes Dems Over Tax Bill, Steinle Murder Verdict
President contends GOP bill getting ‘better’ despite $1 trillion hurdle

President Donald Trump and the first lady Melania Trump attend the 95th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting at the White House Ellipse in on Thursday. On Friday Trump lashed out at congressional Democrats over their opposition to a Senate tax bill and their immigration stances. (Astrid Riecken/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is pinning blame for the acquittal of an undocumented man who was accused of killing a California woman on “weak” congressional Democrats and panning them for “trying to block” a GOP tax bill that ran into a $1 trillion iceberg late Thursday.

His public skewering of congressional Democrats comes just weeks before he will need some of their help to avoid a government shutdown during the first year of his presidency.

Opinion: Joe Biden — The Most Decent Man in Politics
Former vice president served with honor while dealing with a lifetime of suffering

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., conduct a count of the Electoral College votes during a joint session of Congress in the House chamber in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

NEW YORK — Joe Biden’s Monday night book launch at Lincoln Center was oddly apolitical for an ostensibly political event. The name Donald Trump was not even mentioned until 40 minutes into Biden’s onstage conversation with Stephen Colbert.

Rather than cataloging Trump’s transgressions — a task that would be daunting for the loquacious former vice president — Biden took the softer approach of uttering soothing lines like, “I really do think that this is about to end.” In contrast to Trump, “the American people are basically decent and honorable,” he said.

Trump on Putin Election Meddling Denials: He ‘Means It’
Chinese President Xi Jinping described as ‘more powerful’ than Mao Zedong

Chinese and U.S. flags are displayed in front of the portrait of China’s late communist leader Mao Zedong outside the Forbidden City in Beijing during President Donald Trump’s visit. Trump described Chinese President Xi Jinping as “more powerful” than Mao. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump said Saturday he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin “means it” when he denies meddling in last year’s U.S. presidential election. He also said Chinese President Xi Jinping is “more powerful” than Mao Zedong, one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.

Trump said he again asked Putin on the sidelines of a summit of powerful Pacific Rim countries if Russia meddled in the election. Putin again denied it — but the president did not tell reporters traveling with him aboard Air Force One if he warned Putin to cease such tactics.

Comey Drops His Cover on Twitter
Former FBI director drops Niebuhr on Twitter and emerges as @comey as he promotes book

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before a Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian interference in the 2016 election on June 8, 2017. (By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former FBI Director James B. Comey is no longer using Reinhold Neibuhr for cover, making his Twitter account official as he promotes his book.

The website Gizmodo discovered earlier this year while Comey was still FBI director, that he had a Twitter account with the handle @ProjectExile7 under the moniker Reinhold Niebuhr. Comey had written his college thesis about the theologian.

Weiner to Report to Prison Today
Begins 21-month sentence for sending explicit texts to an underage girl

Former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner exits federal court in Manhattan in May after pleading guilty to federal charges of transmitting sexual material to a minor. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images file photo)

Disgraced former New York Rep. Anthony Weinerwill begin his 21-month prison sentence Monday at a Massachusetts facility.

The former Democratic congressman pled guilty in May of sending sexually explicit messages to an underage girl. He is supposed to report to Federal Medical Center Devens, the New York Daily News reported.

Trump: Dems Must ‘Guarantee’ All Wall Funding in DACA Bill
President's demand could complicate work on immigration bill

Aurelia Lopez and her daughter Antonia overlook construction of border wall prototypes in October  in Tijuana, Mexico. The prototypes are being built just north of the U.S.- Mexico border. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images file photo)

Updated at 10:07 a.m. | President Donald Trump will insist Democrats give him a formal “guarantee” for the full amount of federal dollars for his proposed southern border wall, a demand that will further complicate work on a bipartisan immigration bill.

Trump in early September ended the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program, giving Congress six months to pass an immigration bill that addresses those affected by his cancellation plan. Weeks later, the White House released its priorities for that measure, which included full funding for the border wall project.

White House Tries to Distance Trump from Manafort, Papadopoulos
Indictment, guilty plea 'doesn't have anything to do with us,' Huckabee Sanders says

Then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, flanked by then-campaign manager Paul Manafort and and daughter Ivanka Trump at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016. The White House wants to distance Trump from federal charges slapped on Manafort on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House on Monday tried to distance President Donald Trump from two former campaign aides indicted for their business dealings and one who pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators.

The White House was mostly quiet Monday about the morning’s dramatic developments: former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his top associate, Rick Gates, were hit with a dozen charges stemming from their private private business practices from 2006-2016. Ditto for George Papadopoulos’s guilty plea on lying to federal officials about contacts he had with well-connected Russians was revealed.

How Monday’s Indictments Might Connect to Senate’s Russia Probe
Manafort met with the Senate Intelligence Committee months ago

A car said to be transporting former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort leaves the FBI’s Washington Field Office after Manafort turned himself in to the agency Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The three Trump campaign associates headlining Monday’s news have been known quantities to Senate investigators investigating Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. 

But the unsealing of a court filing showing that former campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos had already pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI and is a cooperating witness in the investigation led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III probably explains why he has been elusive.