EXBR

Trump Appears to Finally Admit Russia Meddled in Presidential Race
President demands an apology, saying investigators have no evidence of collusion

President Donald Trump is accusing former President Barack Obama with opting against responding to Moscow's meddling in the U.S. presidential election.(Wikicommons)

President Donald Trump for the first time appeared to definitively acknowledge an unanimous U.S. intelligence community conclusion that Russia interfered in America's 2016 presidential election.

He even demanded an apology from those investigating the matter.

Analysis: Mike Pence Works the Trenches
Vice president plays small ball, seeking to shore up support

Vice President Mike Pence greets tourists in the Capitol Rotunda on May 2. He has been busily addressing key issue-specific groups, trying to shore up support with key voters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump and Mike Pence are the most effective pitchers in the Republican bullpen. The president has the starpower and gets the headlines, but the vice president’s emerging role could be just as valuable.

Trump is the flame-throwing closer with one pitch: his signature sharp rhetoric that metaphorically is his political fastball. But Pence’s recent public appearances showcase his role as the in-the-trenches long reliever who huddles with GOP members and reassures key constituent groups, and could be even more valuable.

House GOP Still Bickering Over Budget
Defense increase, mandatory spending cuts primary areas of disagreement

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent says Republicans should not waste time arguing over topline levels for nondefense discretionary spending since those will likely be raised in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican squabbling over a defense spending increase and mandatory spending cuts continues to put in danger a fiscal 2018 budget resolution, and subsequently, plans to overhaul the tax code.

After a Friday conference meeting to discuss the budget and appropriations process, their second “family conversation” of the week on the topic, the House GOP appeared no closer to consensus on a budget resolution that could get the 218 needed votes on the floor.

Trump Says Senate GOP Health Care Holdouts Are ‘Four Good Guys’
President appears eager to avoid offending conservative senators in quest for 50 votes

President Donald Trump told Fox News four Senate Republican holdouts on the health care bill want to see some changes, “and we’ll see if we can take care of that.” (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump called four conservative holdouts who could wreck Senate Republican leaders’ health care bill “good guys,” saying there is a “narrow path” to win their support and pass the measure.

Hours after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other GOP leaders briefed senators on then released a “discussion draft” of a bill that would repeal and replace the 2010 health law, GOP Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah announced they could not support the bill as-is.

Schiff Wonders, is a Tweet an Official Response?
Top Intel House Dem concerned that Devin Nunes still involved in Russia probe

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, is wondering if President Donald Trump’s tweets constitute an official response. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee wants to clarify with White House counsel whether President Donald Trump’s tweets about not having tapes of conversations with former FBI Director James B. Comey constitutes an official statement from the White House.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the committee, said Thursday he believes a request that the panel receive any evidence of tapes by Friday prompted Trump to respond the day before in an effort to avoid the administration from being subpoenaed. 

Trump Has ‘No Idea’ if There Are Comey Tapes
President tweets he did not make recordings of former FBI director

President Donald Trump says he did not tape his conversations with former FBI Director James B. Comey. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

On the day Senate Republicans released their until now secret health care bill, President Donald Trump used Twitter to answer a question hanging over his embattled presidency: He does not have recordings of his conversations with former FBI Director James B. Comey.

The president and his top aides had promised to provide information before week’s end about whether or not he had, as he alluded to in a May 12 tweet, “tapes” of his private talks with Comey. His Twitter disclosure also came one day before a House Intelligence Committee deadline for the White House to hand over any such recordings or information.

Trump Says He Hopes Dems Don’t Force Pelosi Out
‘That would be very bad for the Republican Party,’ president tweets

President Donald Trump wants Nancy Pelosi to stay on as House Democratic leader. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that he hopes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stays as leader of the Democrats.

But the presidential tweet was not well-wishing. Rather, Trump said, “That would be very bad for the Republican Party” if Pelosi were forced out.

Trump on Lack of Democratic Support: 'Who Cares?'
Foes 'lucky' his supporters don't protest, president tells friendly Iowa crowd

Guests arrive for a rally with President Donald Trump on Thursday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Back on the road in Iowa on Wednesday night, President Donald Trump at a campaign-style rally signaled he is unconcerned with garnering Democratic support on legislation and warned foes they are “lucky” his supporters are not the protesting kind.

The president returned to the combative and provocative style he used during the 2016 GOP primary and general election campaigns, blasting his critics and making statements like this one, to loud applause, of the Paris Climate Agreement: “Like hell its non-binding.”

Embattled AG Sessions Gets Vote of Confidence from Pence
VP: Trump administration trying to ‘make this country safe again’

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, center, is seen with Vice President Mike Pence, second from left, and senators in the Capitol’s Old Senate Chamber in February. On Wednesday, Pence said he and President Trump are “proud” to have the former Alabama senator as attorney general. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday gave a vote of confidence to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is engulfed in the Russia controversy hovering over the Trump presidency.

The VP hailed Sessions as a “law and order attorney general,” and said he and Trump are “proud to have him on our side.”

Karen Handel Proves Third Time’s the Charm
Georgia Republican heads to Congress after 2 losing bids for higher office

Karen Handel gives her victory speech to supporters in Atlanta on Tuesday, as her husband Steve Handel looks on. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Republican Karen Handel comes to Congress after a 28-year career with a diverse portfolio of public- and private-sector jobs ranging from overseeing elections as Georgia’s secretary of state to heading the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to serving as the vice president of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which supports breast cancer research.

Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff 52 percent to 48 percent in Tuesday’s 6th District special election runoff to replace former Rep. Tom Price, who vacated the seat to become secretary of Health and Human Services.