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Trump Boasts Tapes Bluff Forced Comey’s Truthful Testimony
President calls Comey-Mueller friendship ‘very bothersome,’ special counsel probe ‘ridiculous’

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies durilast week. On Friday, President Donald Trump declared feeling “total and complete vindication.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Attempting to cast doubt over the Justice Department investigation of Russia’s election meddling and whether he obstructed justice, Donald Trump is calling the probe “ridiculous” and the close friendship of two men at its core “troublesome.”

What’s more, the president boasted that his May 12 tweet that raised the possibility he possessed recordings of his private talks with former FBI Director James Comey forced the onetime top cop to tell the truth earlier this month when he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. (Trump had fired Comey three days earlier.)

Meet the Man Behind the Ossoff Campaign — He’s Just Getting Started
Keenan Pontoni’s a rising star in a party desperate for fresh blood

Keenan Pontoni, campaign manager for Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s 6th District, conducts one final tele-town hall session in his Sandy Springs office on the final day of the runoff campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Just 45 minutes after polls closed Tuesday in Georgia’s 6th District, Keenan Pontoni knew Jon Ossoff was in trouble.

The Democratic candidate’s advantage in early voting didn’t look like it was going to be enough to make up for Republican turnout on Election Day.

Word on the Hill: House Men’s Workout
Vegan cooking and snacking

Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin, seen here with his daughter Larra at the Capitol on Wednesday, is a host of the annual men's workout. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As if you haven’t had enough bipartisan congressional athletic events, the annual Men’s Health Caucus workout is this morning, hosted by Reps. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., and Donald M. Payne Jr., D-N.J.

It’s at 7 a.m. in the park across from the Longworth House Office Building. Samantha Clayton, director of Global Fitness at Herbalife Nutrition, and Clifton Crosby, former NFL player, will also be there.

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.

Pelosi Blows Off Calls to Step Down
‘It's not up to them,’ she says of Democrats calling for new leadership

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed calls on Thursday for her to step down. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Describing herself as “worth the trouble,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday blew off calls from some chamber Democrats for her to step down from leadership in the wake of special election losses this year and a failure to win a House majority in four straight national elections. 

“It’s not up to them,” the California Democrat said of members calling for her to let someone else give it a try, before calling herself a “master legislator.”

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.

Will Georgia’s 6th District Do This All Again in 2018?
Closely watched district likely won’t be as competitive next year

Republican Karen Handel, seen here the day before the election, won the closely watched special election in Georgia’s 6th District on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Despite initial relief among Georgia’s 6th District residents that the barrage of campaign ads has come to an end, the reprieve might not last too long.

“Now we know what New Hampshire looks like,” said Chip Lake, a GOP consultant based in Georgia.

Ros-Lehtinen on Retirement: ‘I’ve Got No Complaints’
Florida Republican comments on Congress after softball game

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., says she goes to sleep happy and wakes up happy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s next to last Congressional Women’s Softball Game was bittersweet for the Florida Republican.

“Well, one more year to go and I’m going to miss it a lot,” she said after the members lost 2-1 to the media team.

Bipartisanship Continues to Show Strength in Congressional Softball Game
Members’ team lost but the focus was on camaraderie and charity

Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., greets members of the press team at the Congressional Women's Softball Game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The positive energy and sense of community spilled over to the Congressional Women’s Softball Game from the previous week’s Congressional Baseball Game. With a record number of tickets sold and money raised for young women with breast cancer, the members losing 2-1 to the media team didn’t seem so bad.

“We tried hard and we’ll try hard next year, but it was a great night and I felt like not only did we come together as a Congress, both Dems and Republicans, but as a community,” New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said. “I think it showed our strength.”