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    The Latest on CNN's retracted Russia story (all times local): 3:46 p.m. President Trump's press aide Sarah Huckabee Sanders urged all Americans to watch an online video posted by a conservative provocateur with a CNN producer commenting on his network's coverage of Trump's connections to Russia. Sanders, in the White House briefing, called producer John Bonifield's statements a disgrace to journalism. In the hidden camera video posted by James O'Keefe's Project Veritas, Bonifield is heard to say that the story was getting extensive coverage because it is good for the ratings. Sanders said, 'if the media can't be truthful and report the news, then that's a dangerous place for America.' During her briefing, she did not take any question from CNN correspondent Jeff Zeleny. The video of Bonifield was released after three CNN journalists resigned Monday following the network's retraction of a story Friday about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between a Trump associate and the head of a Russian investment fund. ___ 11:40 a.m. CNN says President Donald Trump is wrong to suggest the network is failing. The president, in a morning tweetstorm related to CNN's retraction of a story about a Trump associate's meeting with a Russian financial leader, suggested that the network is looking at management changes. 'Ratings way down,' the president tweeted. But CNN's public relations team tweeted back at him Tuesday morning that the network just recorded its most-watched second quarter in history. Said CNN: 'Those are the facts.' ___ 10:55 a.m. A conservative provocateur posted a video Tuesday of a man identified as a CNN producer commenting on his network's coverage of President Donald Trump and connections to Russia. The producer, identified as John Bonifield, said it appeared CNN had no 'smoking gun' evidence of wrongdoing by the president and was giving the story extensive coverage because it was good for the ratings. A CNN biography lists Bonifield as a producer for the network's medical unit, with no indication that he's involved in political coverage. The video, posted by James O'Keefe's Project Veritas, had Bonifield talking with an unidentified person while sitting at a table behind a drink and later in an elevator. CNN has not commented on the video. O'Keefe and his website have a long history of aiding Republican causes, often with the use of hidden cameras. The law firm of one victim recently sued O'Keefe, alleging violation of a federal wiretap law. The video was released after three CNN journalists resigned Monday following the network's retraction of a story Friday about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between a Trump associate and the head of a Russian investment fund. ___ 9:11 a.m. President Donald Trump is using the resignations of three CNN journalists involved in a retracted Russia-related story to rail against media credibility. On Tuesday morning he tweeted, 'Wow, CNN had to retract big story on 'Russia,' with 3 employees forced to resign. What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!' He also wrote, 'So they caught Fake News CNN cold, but what about NBC, CBS & ABC? What about the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost? They are all Fake News!' The CNN story was about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between a Trump associate and the head of a Russian investment fund. The story was posted on the network's website Thursday and was removed, with all links disabled, Friday night. CNN accepted the journalists' resignations Monday.
  • President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Tuesday to sound off after three employees on CNN’s new investigative unit resigned Monday over a retracted online story regarding the Senate’s Russia investigation. 'Wow, CNN had to retract big story on 'Russia,' with 3 employees forced to resign,' he wrote. 'What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!' He added later: “Fake News CNN is looking at big management changes now that they got caught falsely pushing their phony Russian stories. Ratings way down!” He continued: “So they caught Fake News CNN cold, but what about NBC, CBS & ABC? What about the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost? They are all Fake News!” Thomas Frank, a veteran reporter who wrote the story; his editor, Eric Lichtblau, who recently came from the New York Times; and Lex Haris, the man who oversaw the CNN Investigates unit and has worked at CNN since 2001, chose to depart Monday. Frank and Lichtblau worked out of the CNN D.C. bureau; Haris was based in New York. A spokesman for CNN said: “In the aftermath of the retraction of a story published on CNN.com, CNN has accepted the resignations of the employees involved in the story’s publication.” The story, which linked Anthony Scaramucci, a hedge-fund manager close to Trump, to a Russian investment fund allegedly being investigated by a Senate intelligence committee, did not go through the proper fact-checking process, CNN said. The retracted story cited a single anonymous source. >> Read more trending news “The story wasn’t solid enough to publish as-is,” one of the people briefed on the investigation told CNN media writer Brian Stelter. As The Washington Post noted, this mistake provided right-wing media fodder that feeds into the perception that CNN is improperly going after Trump. Breitbart dubbed the news “Very Fake News” in a headline. In the past couple of years, CNN has been aggressively beefing up its investigative forces. “CNN needs to be an organization that breaks news, not just an organization that covers breaking news or talks about breaking news on television,” Andrew Morse, the executive vice president of editorial for CNN/U.S. and general manager of CNN digital worldwide, told NPR in January. “There’s no better way to do that than to invest in investigative reporting.” – The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.
  • White House press secretary Sean Spicer's briefing with reporters turned testy on Monday, with CNN's Jim Acosta interrupting President Donald Trump's chief spokesman to demand he explain why television cameras were ordered off. Trump's relations with the media — never strong to begin with — have taken another sour turn with dwindling opportunities for on-camera engagement with the president's representatives. The White House has appeared to adopt a communications strategy of dealing primarily with its base of supporters, as witnessed by Trump's two interviews in the past week with Fox News Channel's morning show, 'Fox & Friends.' Spicer has been one of the most visible media personalities of 2017, with his near-daily briefings at the beginning of the administration lampooned memorably on 'Saturday Night Live' by Melissa McCarthy. Lately, however, there's been less willingness to mix it up with reporters. Board members of the White House Correspondents Association met with Spicer on Monday and expressed the importance of Americans getting the chance to question leaders. 'We believe it is in the interest of transparency to have regular televised briefings,' said Jeff Mason, a Reuters correspondent and president of the White House reporters' group. 'We aren't satisfied with the current situation and won't be until it changes.' Shortly after the meeting, Spicer held an off-camera briefing. Television networks were allowed to record audio, but not air it live. When a reporter noted there had been a 'drastic shift' in the briefings starting around the time of Trump's foreign trip in late May, Spicer said 'We'll continue to mix things up.' Spicer's answer prompted Acosta, CNN's senior White House correspondent, to interrupt and demand that Spicer 'tell us why you turned the cameras off.' Acosta had interrupted a reporter earlier in the briefing with a similar outburst. 'Why are they off, Sean?' Acosta said. 'You are a taxpayer-funded spokesman for the United States government. Could you at least give us an explanation as to why the cameras are off?' Spicer said 'some days we'll have them' on camera, some days not. 'The president's going to speak today in the Rose Garden. I want the president's voice to carry the day,' he said, referring to scheduled statements later Monday from Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Trump was not scheduled to take questions during the garden appearance with Modi. 'This is nothing inconsistent with what we've said since Day One,' Spicer added. NBC News' Lester Holt conducted the last non-Fox television interview with Trump on May 11. This past week, he gave interviews to Ainsley Earhardt and Pete Hegseth of 'Fox & Friends,' a talk show so friendly to the president that CNN media reporter Brian Stelter described it as a Trump 'infomercial.' Hegseth, in his interview over the weekend, asked Trump, 'Who's been your biggest opponent? Has it been Democrats resisting? Has it been the fake news media? Has it been deep state leaks?' He asked 'how frustrating is it to have former President Obama out there, leading the resistance?' It was an apparent reference to a social media message the former president sent out in support of his health care law. In Earhardt's interview, she discussed Trump's admission that he did not tape conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, despite earlier suggesting that there might be tapes. Raising the idea that Comey may have been taped in the White House 'was a smart way to make sure he stayed honest in those (congressional) hearings,' she said. 'Well,' Trump replied, 'it wasn't very stupid, I can tell you that.' ____ AP White House correspondent Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.
  • CNN accepted the resignations Monday of three journalists involved in a retracted story about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between an associate of President Donald Trump and the head of a Russian investment fund. The story was posted on the network's website on Thursday and was removed, with all links disabled, Friday night. CNN immediately apologized to Anthony Scaramucci, the Trump transition team member who was reported to be involved in the meeting. The story's author, Thomas Frank, was among those who resigned, according to a network executive who requested anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss personnel issues. Also losing their jobs were Eric Lichtblau, an assistant managing editor in CNN's Washington bureau, and Lex Haris, head of the investigations unit. CNN, in initially taking down the story, said it didn't meet its editorial standards. The episode is a damaging blow for a network that Trump has frequently derided as 'fake news,' and for a story that never even made it onto any of CNN's television networks. The story had been quickly questioned both internally and externally, including by the conservative site Breitbart News. It was determined that the story was posted without going through the expected checks and balances for a story of such sensitivity, the executive said. The failure to follow proper procedures is what led to the resignations, the CNN executive said. It's not immediately clear what in the story is factually incorrect, or whether CNN will continue to report on the issue. The retracted story had said the Senate intelligence committee was looking into a January 16 discussion between Scaramucci and Kirill Dmitriev, whose Russian Direct Investment Fund guides investments by U.S. entities in Russia. Scaramucci, in the story, said he exchanged pleasantries in a restaurant with Dmitriev. The report also said that two Democratic senators wanted to know whether Scaramucci had indicated in the meeting whether sanctions against Russia would be lifted, a decision that could impact the investment fund. Following the retraction, Scaramucci tweeted that CNN 'did the right thing. Classy move. Apology accepted. Everyone makes mistakes. Moving on.' Haris, in a statement to CNN's 'Reliable Sources,' noted that he'd been with CNN since 2001, 'and am sure about one thing: This is a news organization that prizes accuracy and fairness above all else. I am leaving, but will carry those principles wherever I go.' ___ This story has been amended to correct congressional committee's name to Senate intelligence committee, and to correct the spelling of Lex Haris' name.
  • Chief lieutenants in the Koch brothers' political network lashed out at the Senate Republican health care bill on Saturday as not conservative enough, becoming a powerful outside critic as GOP leaders try to rally support for their plan among rank-and-file Republicans. Tim Phillips, who leads Americans For Prosperity, the Koch network's political arm, called the Senate's plans for Medicaid 'a slight nip and tuck' of President Barack Obama's health care law, a modest change he described as 'immoral.' 'This Senate bill needs to get better,' Phillips said. 'It has to get better.' Some Republican senators have raised concern about cuts to Medicaid, which provides health care coverage to millions of poor and middle-income Americans. Several more conservative senators have voiced opposition because they feel it does not go far enough in dismantling what they call 'Obamacare.' The comments came on the first day of a three-day private donor retreat at a luxury resort in the Rocky Mountains. Invitations were extended only to donors who promise to give at least $100,000 each year to the various groups backed by the Koch brothers' Freedom Partners — a network of education, policy and political entities that aim to promote small government. 'When I look at where we are at the size and effectiveness of this network, I'm blown away,' billionaire industrialist Charles Koch told hundreds of donors during an outdoor evening reception. His brother, David Koch, looked on from the crowd along with Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jeff Flake of Arizona. 'We've got to keep doing it at an accelerated pace,' Charles Koch said. No outside group has been move aggressive over the yearslong push to repeal Obama's health care law than the Kochs', who vowed on Saturday to spend another 10 years fighting to change the health care system if necessary. The Koch network has often displayed a willingness to take on Republicans — including President Donald Trump — when their policies aren't deemed conservative enough. Network spokesman James Davis said the organization would continue to push for changes to the Senate health care bill over the coming week. 'At the end of the day, this bill is not going to fix health care,' Davis declared. The network's wishes are backed by a massive political budget that will be used to take on Republican lawmakers, if necessary, Phillips said. He described the organization's budget for policy and politics heading into the 2018 midterm elections as between $300 million and $400 million. 'We believe we're headed to the high end of that range,' he said. On Friday, Nevada Republican Dean Heller became the fifth GOP senator to declare his opposition to the Senate health care proposal. Echoing the other four, Heller said he opposes the measure 'in this form' but does not rule out backing a version that is changed to his liking. Heller, facing a competitive re-election battle next year, said he was opposing the legislation because of the cuts it would make in Medicaid. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he's willing to alter the measure to attract support, and promised plenty of back-room bargaining as he tries pushing a final package through his chamber next week. Republican leaders have scant margin for error. Facing unanimous Democratic opposition, McConnell can afford to lose just two of the 52 GOP senators and still prevail. At least two of the current opponents, Lee and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, were among 18 elected officials scheduled to attend the Koch retreat. Two more undecideds were also on the guest list: Flake and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse. President Donald Trump continued to push for replacing Obama's health care law, tweeting Saturday: 'I cannot imagine that these very fine Republican Senators would allow the American people to suffer a broken ObamaCare any longer!' The Senate measure resembles legislation the House approved last month that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said would mean 23 million additional uninsured people within a decade and that recent polling shows is viewed favorably by only around 1 in 4 Americans. Charles Koch and his chief lieutenants met privately with Vice President Mike Pence for nearly an hour Friday. Pence, a longtime Koch ally, was in Colorado Springs to address a gathering of religious conservatives. Phillips said it was 'a cordial discussion' about policy, but that neither side asked the other for anything specific. Also Saturday, retired football star Deion Sanders announced plans to partner with the Kochs to help fight poverty in Dallas. The unlikely partnership aims to raise $21 million over the next three years to fund anti-poverty programs in the city where Sanders once played football. The outspoken athlete also defended Koch, who is often demonized by Democrats, as someone simply 'trying to make the world a better place.' 'I'm happy where I am and who I'm with because we share a lot of the same values and goals,' Sanders said when asked if he'd be willing to partner with organizations on the left.
  • President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were among the guests as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO'-shin's) married a Scottish actress. Mnuchin exchanged vows Saturday night with Louise Linton at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington. Mrs. Trump wore a pink blush dress and the president was in a tux. Vice President Mike Pence also attended. The 54-year-old Mnuchin worked for the Goldman Sachs investment firm for nearly two decades before founding a hedge fund. He also ran a company that invested in Hollywood movies and was finance chairman of Trump's presidential campaign. The 36-year-old Linton has appeared in movies and TV shows. Mnuchin also produced movies before joining the government. It's Mnuchin's third marriage and the second for Linton.
  • President Donald Trump says he'll nominate New York Jets owner Woody Johnson to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom. Johnson raised money for Trump's presidential campaign and donated funds to help pay for inaugural festivities. Johnson is chairman and CEO of The Johnson Co., a private asset management firm in New York. He has owned the National Football League team since 2000. Johnson's nomination was expected after Trump made a public reference to it in January. Trump also announced his choice of Jamie McCourt, an attorney and former co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, to be the U.S. ambassador to Belgium. The president says he wants career foreign service officer Maria Brewer to fill the ambassador's post in Sierra Leone. The Senate must confirm the nominations.
  • The Latest on President Donald Trump's claim that there are no recordings of his private conversations with fired FBI director James Comey (all times EDT): 11 p.m. President Donald Trump says it's 'bothersome' that the man investigating possible ties between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia is good friends with fired FBI director James Comey. Trump tells 'Fox and Friends' in an interview to be broadcast Friday that special counsel Robert Mueller is 'very, very good friends with Comey, which is very bothersome.' Comey was overseeing the investigation until Trump fired him last month out of frustration with the inquiry. Asked whether Mueller should step down from the investigation because of his friendship with Comey, Trump says, 'We're going to have to see.' Mueller and Comey worked together at the Justice Department in the Bush administration. Fox News Channel released excerpts late Thursday after interviewing the president at the White House. ___ 3:20 p.m. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia is responding to President Donald Trump's tweet that there are no recordings of his private conversations with fired FBI director James Comey, saying, 'This administration never ceases to amaze me.' Warner is the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. He says the tweet is an example of Trump's 'willingness to just kind of make things up.' Warner says: 'It's remarkable the president was so flippant to make his original tweet and then frankly stonewall the media and the country for weeks. I don't know how this serves the country's interests. I think in many ways it was maybe an attempt to try to intimidate Jim Comey, which obviously he didn't.' Warner says Trump's tweet has no effect on the committee's investigation of Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election. __ 1:10 p.m. President Donald Trump says he 'did not make' and doesn't have any recordings of his private conversations with James Comey — his fired FBI director. Trump also tweets that he has 'no idea' whether other 'tapes' or recordings exist. Trump has disputed Comey's assertion that Trump asked Comey for a pledge of loyalty during a dinner meeting they had. When news of Comey's account broke, Trump tweeted that Comey 'better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!' Under a post-Watergate law, presidential recordings belong to the people and eventually can be made public. Destroying them would be a crime. The House committee investigating Russian meddling in the election set a Friday deadline for the White House to hand over any tapes.
  • Donald Trump said he had a secret. He dangled it on Twitter. He parried reporters' questions about it. He milked the moment, drawing out the drama for weeks. That big tease played out in 2011, when Trump promised to reveal what his private investigators had found in Hawaii about President Barack Obama's birth certificate. (Trump never did release anything.) Now, Trump has stretched out a new high-stakes guessing game, this time in the White House, by hinting that he might have recordings of his conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey. Trump is expected to answer the tapes question this week. If they do exist, they could become a central piece of evidence in the Russia investigation that has transfixed Washington and cast a shadow over the future of Trump's presidency. If they don't, questions will be raised about why the president would stake his reputation and political capital on promoting something that just isn't real. Several outside advisers who speak to Trump regularly said the president has not mentioned the existence of tapes during their conversations. White House aides have been known to grimace when the subject comes up, and more than a half-dozen staffers said they were unaware of any recording devices. All demanded anonymity to speak about private discussions with the president. Whether the tapes exist or not, this is far from the first time that Trump, the former star of reality TV and tabloids, has manufactured a melodrama that begins with bluster but often ends with a whimper. 'I think he was in his way instinctively trying to rattle Comey,' says former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a longtime Trump confidant. 'He's not a professional politician. He doesn't come back and think about Nixon and Watergate. His instinct is: 'I'll outbluff you.'' The latest chapter in Trump's tale of mystery began last month, just days after he fired Comey, then leading the investigation into contacts between the president's campaign and Russian officials. A New York Times report cited two unnamed Comey associates who recounted his version of a January dinner with the president in which Trump asked for a pledge of loyalty. Comey declined, instead offering to be 'honest.' When Trump then pressed for 'honest loyalty,' Comey told him, 'You will have that,' the associates said. Trump tweeted the next day that Comey 'better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!' That immediately evoked the secret White House recordings that led to Richard Nixon's downfall during Watergate. Under a post-Watergate law, the Presidential Records Act, recordings made by presidents belong to the people and can eventually be made public. Destroying them would be a crime. Comey has claimed that any recordings would support his claims that Trump asked him to pledge loyalty and to drop the investigation into Trump's former national security adviser. 'Lordy, I hope there are tapes,' Comey declared at a congressional hearing. But the president has steadfastly refused to clarify whether any tapes exist. Two weeks ago, he teased reporters in the White House Rose Garden by saying that he'd explain 'maybe sometime in the very near future.' He cryptically added: 'You are going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer.' White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said Wednesday that an answer would be provided this week, presumably by the Friday deadline set by the House intelligence committee for turning over any tapes. Trump's private counsel, Marc Kasowitz, would not be involved in the handover of any tapes, his spokesman said. A White House spokesman did not respond to a question on whether White House counsel Don McGahn would have a role. The Secret Service has no audio copies or transcripts of any tapes recorded within Trump's White House, according to a freedom of information request submitted by The Wall Street Journal. But that doesn't exclude the possibility that recordings were created by another entity. At his office in New York, Trump was known to worry about possible listening devices, but he also occasionally taped his own phone conversations. Some campaign workers also believed Trump had a system set up to record phone calls. Trump has a long history of making outsized claims. In the 1980s, he got ensnarled in a battle over a valuable tract of property on Manhattan's west side he dubbed 'Television City,' claiming without proof that major TV networks had promised to build there, according to George Arzt, press secretary for then-Mayor Ed Koch. The project never was built. 'This is all about gamesmanship for him,' said Arzt. 'It doesn't matter what the outcome of the gamesmanship is. He's a showman and it keeps him in the headlines. There haven't been repercussions if his bluff fails.' Trump flirted with presidential runs in 1988 and 2000 before abandoning them. He offered to help rebuild the World Trade Center in 2004 but never followed through. And his embrace of birtherism, which questioned whether Obama was born in the United States and eligible to become president, fueled his political rise. He claimed to have sent investigators to Hawaii and teased their possible findings for months, but never produced any evidence. The pattern has continued since his election. Sometimes he's delivered on the tease: He spent weeks building suspense about whether the United States would remain in the Paris climate agreement and eventually announced in a lavish Rose Garden ceremony that the U.S. would pull out. But other times he has not. On New Year's Eve, he claimed he knew 'things that other people don't know' about foreign hacking of last year's election, and that the information would be revealed 'on Tuesday or Wednesday.' Those days came and went without an answer. In March, he tweeted the incendiary claim that he was wiretapped by his predecessor, a charge he's never supported. 'He follows the paradigm that no news is bad news,' said Sam Nunberg, a former campaign aide. 'He knows how to play to America's insatiable appetite not just for news but for drama and interest. He brought that to Washington: you have a mogul sitting in the White House and he's going to keep doing it his way.' ___ Associated Press writers Ken Thomas and Deb Riechmann contributed reporting. ___ Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire
  • Republican Karen Handel won a nationally watched congressional election Tuesday in Georgia, and she thanked President Donald Trump after she avoided an upset that would have rocked Washington ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Returns showed Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, winning about 52 percent of the vote over Democrat Jon Ossoff, who won nearly 48 percent in Georgia's 6th Congressional District. 'A special thanks to the president of the United States of America,' she said late Tuesday night as her supporters chanted, 'Trump! Trump! Trump!' It was Handel's most public embrace of the man whose tenuous standing in this well-educated, suburban enclave made a previously safe Republican district close to begin with. Handel's margin allows Republicans a sigh of relief after what's being recognized as the most expensive House race in U.S history, with a price tag that may exceed $50 million. Yet the result in a historically conservative district still offers Republicans a warning that Trump, for better or worse, will dominate the looming campaign cycle. Georgia's outcome follows similar results in Montana, Kansas and South Carolina, where Republicans won special House races by much narrower margins than they managed as recently as November. Republicans immediately crowed over winning a seat that Democrats spent $30 million trying to flip. 'Democrats from coast to coast threw everything they had at this race, and Karen would not be defeated,' House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. Democrats still must defend their current districts and win 24 GOP-held seats to regain a House majority next November. Party leaders profess encouragement from the trends, but the latest losses mean they will have to rally donors and volunteers after a tough stretch of special elections. Handel, 55, will become the first Republican woman to represent Georgia in the U.S. House, according to state party officials. Her win comes after losing bids for governor in 2010 and the Senate in 2014, and it builds on a business and political career she built after leaving an abusive home as a teen. 'It's that fighting spirit, that perseverance and tenacity that I will take to Washington,' she said Tuesday night. Handel is the latest in a line of Republicans who have represented the district since 1979, beginning with Newt Gingrich, who would become House speaker. Most recently, Tom Price resigned in February to join Trump's administration. The president himself struggled here, though, edging Democrat Hillary Clinton but falling short of a majority among an affluent, well-educated electorate that typically has given Republican nominees better than 60 percent of the vote. Handel emphasized that Republican pedigree often in her campaign and again in her victory speech. She also noted throughout the campaign that she has lived in the district for 25 years, unlike Ossoff, who grew up in the district but lives in Atlanta, a few miles south of the 6th District's southern border. In victory, she commended Ossoff and pledged to work for his supporters. She noted last week's shooting of Republican Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and said politics has become too embittered. 'My pledge is to be part of the solution, to focus on governing,' she said. Ossoff, taking the stage at his own party after conceding the race, told his supporters his campaign 'is the beginning of something much bigger than us,' adding, 'The fight goes on.' Party organizations, independent political action committees and donors from Los Angeles to Boston sent a cascade of money into a race, filling metro Atlanta's airwaves with ads and its 6th District neighborhoods with hordes of paid canvassers. Contrary to the chants at Handel's victory party, she insisted for months that voters' choice had little to do with Trump. She rarely mentioned him, despite holding a closed-door fundraiser with him earlier this spring. She pointed voters instead to her 'proven conservative record' as a state and local elected official. Her protestations aside, Handel often embraced the national tenor of the race, joining a GOP chorus that lambasted Ossoff as a 'dangerous liberal' who was 'hand-picked' by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California. She also welcomed a parade of national GOP figures to Atlanta to help her raise money, with Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence holding fundraisers following Trump's April visit. It was enough to help Handel raise more than $5 million, not a paltry sum in a congressional race, but barely a fifth of Ossoff's fundraising haul. The Republican campaign establishment, however, helped make up the difference. A super PAC backed by Ryan spent $7 million alone. On policy, she mostly echoes party leaders. She said she'd have voted for the House Republican health care bill, though she sometimes misrepresented its provisions in debates with Ossoff. She touts traditional supply side economics, going so far as to say during one debate that she does 'not support a living wage' — her way of explaining her opposition to a minimum-wage increase. ___ Follow Barrow on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/BillBarrowAP.

The Latest News Headlines

  • A 2-year-old Idaho boy died after he was left over the weekend for more than six hours in a hot car near St. George, Utah, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news Authorities found the boy after they were called around 6:40 p.m. Saturday to a report of an unresponsive child at a home in Winchester Hills, St. George News reported. The child was pronounced dead at the scene, the news site reported. The Washington County Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case to determine whether any charges will be filed, although sheriff’s office spokesman David Crouse told The Salt Lake Tribune that it appeared the child’s death was “a tragic accident.” >> Related: 4-day-old baby left in hot car in Massachusetts In a statement released to St. George News, deputies said the 2-year-old boy was one of as many as 35 children brought to St. George for a family reunion. The group traveled to St. George for an activity. Deputies believe that the 2-year-old fell asleep on the trip back to Winchester Hills, but no one noticed that he didn’t get out of the van. Meanwhile, a majority of the adults got ready for a religious meeting in St. George. >> Related: 10 ways to prevent a hot car death Crouse said at a news conference Monday that teenage family members were watching the children as the adults went to the meeting, KSTU reported. When they returned to Winchester Hills, the boy’s absence was noticed. His father found him in the van, according to deputies. >> Related: Waze traffic app includes feature to remind parents kids are in car It was not clear how long he had been left in the vehicle, although Crouse told the Tribune that the boy appeared to have been in the car for at least six hours. St. George saw a high of 109 degrees on Saturday, according to the Tribune.
  • She heard the front door open and then found a shirtless man standing in her house.   A St. Augustine woman is shaken-up, but otherwise OK, after pushing an intruder out of her home.   The offense report from the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office says they found a man matching the description of the intruder a short time later, during a patrol of the woman's neighborhood.   Deputies say he appeared to be swaying from side to side and that his speech was slurred. The man, identified as Devin Howell, 20, initially admitted to drinking a couple of beers, but later said he drank an entire case of beer.   Deputies searched his backpack and found him to be in possession of marijuana as well.   Howell is now charged with trespassing, disorderly intoxication, and possession of marijuana.
  • Police say the body of a woman was found Monday inside a family bathroom at an Oklahoma Walmart. At this time, police are not sure how long the woman was in the bathroom at the Sand Springs store. >> Read more trending news According to police, employees assumed that the family bathroom was out of order because it was locked. Employees placed an out-of-order sign on the door that remained there through the weekend. On Monday, employees unlocked the bathroom door and found the woman.  Sand Springs Police say their preliminary investigation shows nothing suspicious about the woman's death.
  • On Aug. 27 of last year, Breyana Davis dialed 911 to report a stabbing. Davis had just plunged a knife into the heart of her roommate, a 21-year-old Georgia State University student, and doused him with boiling water at their DeKalb County apartment. >> Read more trending news On Monday, Davis, 22, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the killing of Charles Rudison, a business major who also worked at a Publix distribution center. Judge Gregory A. Adams sentenced her to 20 years in prison. Davis was initially charged with murder, but the district attorney’s office allowed her to plead to the lesser offense after “extensive discussions with the victim’s family,” DA spokeswoman Yvette Jones said. Rudison’s sister, Karla Jones, had mixed feelings. “I wish the years were longer,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “but (at) least she's getting punishment for this.” Jones and the rest of the family were devastated and confounded by the crime. >> Related: Woman killed, five others hurt in valet parking accident Rudison, who had met Davis on an online student housing board, died after a night out in downtown Atlanta. Davis, whose attorney could not immediately be reached for comment, left him and another friend at one point and went back to their shared apartment. Rudison and the other friend were angry with Davis because they had to catch a ride home with a ride-sharing service. Once they arrived at the apartment, it took only moments for Davis to douse Rudison with boiling water and stab him, a detective testified in a previous hearing. Even now, the motive for the crime is still mysterious. Read more here.
  • Unable to muster enough votes, Republican leaders in the Senate said on Tuesday that they would not force a final vote on a GOP health care bill this week, trying to get extra time to negotiate a plan which could win the backing of 50 Republican Senators, as a vote seemed like to slip into the month of July. “It’s a big complicated subject,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who downplayed GOP troubles, vowing not to give up on changes to the Obama health law. “Legislation of this complexity almost always takes longer than anybody would hope,” McConnell added, as GOP Senators were to meet later in the day with President Donald Trump at the White House. .@SenateMajLdr on health care vote delay: 'We're going to continue discussions' within conference, White House 'very anxious to help.' pic.twitter.com/MYkLRc8nQH — ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) June 27, 2017

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