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Russell Building Evacuated After Fire
Saturday night incident under investigation, building still closed Sunday

A fire broke out in the Russell Senate Office Building Saturday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Fire and smoke in the Russell Senate Office Building prompted an evacuation Saturday night. The building remains closed Sunday morning.

Capitol Police and the Architect of the Capitol personnel are conducting an investigation and all other personnel will be restricted from entering the building.

John Kelly Out as White House Chief of Staff, Trump Says
Nick Ayers, VP Pence’s chief of staff, is leading candidate for job

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly speaks during a White House briefing on Oct. 19. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump said Saturday White House Chief of Staff John Kelly will leave his post at the end of the year, concluding a rocky tenure during which he clashed with his boss.

“A great guy,” Trump said of the retired Marine Corps general as he left the White House for the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.

3 Takeaways for Trump as Mueller Details Russia’s ‘Political Synergy’ Offer
Special counsel adds intrigue to House Democrats’ expected investigations of 2016 campaign

President Donald Trump arrives back at the White House on Friday from a trip to Kansas City without taking questions from reporters. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump was watching television Friday evening when he reached for his phone after a subdued trip to Kansas City. Though federal court documents did not name him, he felt the need to declare his innocence.

“Totally clears the President. Thank you!” Trump wrote.

Trump to Nominate Top Army General for Joint Chiefs Chairman
Gen. Mark Milley has been Army chief of staff since 2015

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, second from right, applauds President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in January with, from left, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, and Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump said Saturday he intends to nominate Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley to replace Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The commander-in-chief hinted Friday he intended to make the personnel announcement during the Army-Navy football game he will attend in Philadelphia Saturday.

Mark Harris Open to ‘New Election’ in North Carolina’s 9th District
Harris says he needs to see proof that illegal activity would have changed the results

North Carolina Republican Mark Harris said Friday he would support a new election in the 9th District if illegal activity is found to have changed the results. (John D. Simmons /The Charlotte Observer via AP file photo)

North Carolina Republican Mark Harris said Friday he’s open to a new election in the 9th District, where allegations of election fraud have thrown his victory into question.

The state board of elections is investigating absentee voting irregularities and confirmed Friday that a contractor for the Harris campaign is a person of interest in connection with an alleged absentee ballot operation. 

Harvard Tradition Agitates Democrats’ Left Wing
Number of lobbyists, not identifying some as such, at orientation for incoming Democrats draws criticism

New York Democratic Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke out against the many corporate interests present at the Harvard Bipartisanship Orientation for New Members. (Mario Tama/Getty Images file photo)

A prestigious, 50-year-old orientation for new members of Congress at Harvard University predicated on the virtues of bipartisanship and civility has drawn intense criticism this week for the presence of lobbyists and business executives — evidence of the growing influence of the left wing of the Democratic Party that has abstained from corporate PAC money.

Most incoming members of Congress attend the storied Bipartisan Program for Newly Elected Members of Congress, which ran from Tuesday to Thursday. Since 1972, the Harvard Institute of Politics has hosted more than 700 current and former representatives, according to the school’s website.

Oregon Christmas Trees, Hatch’s Bacon and Tributes to Bush That Made Us Smile: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of Dec. 3, 2018

“He placed great value on a good joke,” former President George W. Bush said of his father, former President George H.W. Bush, whose state funeral was held at the Washington National Cathedral on Wednesday. The younger Bush and former Sen. Alan Simpson gave heartfelt tributes filled with zingers about the 41st president's life.

And Speaker Paul D. Ryan entertained musings at the lighting of the Capitol Christmas tree about the pronunciation of the word Oregon, where this year's fir is from.

Why Trump’s Call for ‘Overwhelming Bipartisan’ Vote for Barr Seems Unlikely
Wyden: Bush 41-era AG holds ‘anti-democratic’ view that president is ‘effectively royalty’

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., flanked by other Senate Democrats, at a news conference in March. The two senators have voiced concerns about President Trump's pick, William Barr, to make his second run as attorney general. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump and acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker on Friday gave a full-throated endorsement to the president’s pick to fill the post, former Attorney General William Barr,  but Democratic senators and civil rights advocates are sounding alarms.

William Barr “deserves” from the Senate “overwhelming bipartisan support,” Trump said while addressing a law enforcement conference in Kansas City. “There’s no one more capable or qualified for this position,” he claimed.

Retiring Kansas Lawmaker Opens Lobbying Shop While Still in Office
Watchdogs say Lynn Jenkins’ new business flouts ethics laws

Retiring Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., shown here with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., has raised the ire of ethics watchdogs for opening a lobbying firm before she finishes her term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Retiring Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins launched a new lobbying firm in her home state weeks before she officially steps out of public office, according to a local media report published Friday.

Lawmakers are restricted from working as lobbyists until they have been out of office for a year. But the federal law that restricts their activities is porous, and former lawmakers routinely find ways to trade their influence before the prohibition expires.