Romney, favored in Senate bid, could take on outsized role

WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney’s extensive resume has many Republicans looking to him to take on a role in the Senate as a political and moral counterweight to a president many in the GOP see as divisive and undignified. First he has to get elected. The 2012 GOP nominee for president announced Friday he is running for the Utah Senate seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch. Romney, 70, is

Pain turns political in Parkland after school shootings

PARKLAND, Fla. – On a day when Parkland began burying its young dead, a dozen people stood on a street corner holding up “More Gun Control” signs as passing drivers honked and shouted in support. “Look what we started,” said Carlos Rodriguez, 50, who was on his way to work when he stopped to join the protest on Friday. “Look at all these people. One match started a whole forest

Trump adviser: Russian meddling “incontrovertible”

MUNICH — President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said Saturday there was “incontrovertible” evidence of a Russian plot to disrupt the 2016 U.S. election, a blunt statement that shows how significantly the new criminal charges leveled by an American investigator have upended the political debate over his inquiry. The statement by H.R. McMaster at the Munich Security Conference stood in stark contrast to Trump’s oft repeated claim that Russian interference

Russia dismisses U.S. charges as “just blabber,” “Russophobia”

MOSCOW — Russian officials had disdainful words Saturday for a U.S. indictment that charged 13 Russians with interfering in the 2016 presidential election. Children’s stories, the plot of a preposterous Hollywood movie and “just blabber” were a few of the glib analogies they pressed into service. The language, while dismissive, suggested that Russia feels cornered by the unrelenting allegations that the Kremlin had a role in President Donald Trump’s election.

Trump administration assault on bipartisan immigration plan ensured its demise

WASHINGTON – As much of the country was gripped Wednesday by horrific images from the mass shooting at a Florida high school, two dozen senior Trump administration officials worked frantically into the night to thwart what they considered a different national security threat. The looming danger on the minds of the officials was a piece of legislation scheduled for a vote the next day in the Senate. It was designed

Trump claims indictment proves “no collusion”

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has consistently pushed back against the idea of Russia meddling in the election that put him in power, dismissing that claim as a hoax and an affront to the legitimacy of his victory. Now, in a 37-page indictment Friday, special counsel Robert Mueller has laid bare the details of one Russian scheme, designed in part to benefit Trump’s election run. It even shows contacts between

Kept out: Loophole in law for the poor spurs gentrification

By Aaron Glantz and Emmanuel Martinez, Reveal PHILADELPHIA — Jonathan Jacobs had almost no savings, a modest income and a credit report marred by a disputed cellphone bill. But he easily bought a newly renovated row house in Point Breeze, a South Philadelphia neighborhood that’s historically African American. “It took about 15 minutes” to fill out the paperwork, the career counselor said. “Now I pay less to own a house

Indictment: Social media firms got played by Russian agents

Friday’s election-interference indictment brought by Robert Mueller, the U.S. special counsel, underscores how thoroughly social-media companies like Facebook and Twitter were played by Russian propagandists. And it’s not clear if the companies have taken sufficient action to prevent something similar from happening again. Thirteen Russians, including a businessman close to Vladimir Putin, were charged Friday in a plot to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election through social media propaganda.

Under fire, Kelly overhauls White House clearance procedure

NEW YORK — Under pressure over his handling of abuse allegations against a top aide, White House chief of staff John Kelly on Friday ordered sweeping changes in how the White House clears staff members to gain access to classified information, acknowledging that the administration “must do better” in how it handles security clearances. Kelly issued a five-page memo that acknowledged White House mistakes but also put the onus on

Donald Trump signs bill providing more access to 911 calls

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has signed a bill into law that will provide more direct access to the 911 system for callers using a multi-line telephone in an emergency. The White House says the president signed the “Kari’s Law Act of 2017,” which ensures that anyone who dials 911 can reach emergency responders, even if the phone typically requires someone to dial “9” or another digit to reach an

Five U.S. states allow guns to be seized before someone can commit violence. Colorado isn’t one of them.

In the wake of massacres like Wednesday’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, a small number of states have passed “red flag laws” that allow the seizure of guns before people can commit acts of violence. California, Washington, Oregon, Indiana and Connecticut have statutes that can be used to temporarily take guns away from people whom a judge deems a threat to themselves or others. Lawmakers in 18 other states –

The AR-15, a symbol of America’s political gulf, is easy to use and obtain

The AR-15, the military-style rifle that a gunman used to kill 17 people at a south Florida high school Wednesday, is at once a ferociously powerful weapon, a symbol of freedom and individualism, and an object of despairing worry about the future of democracy. It is, depending on which political and social camp you belong to, “America’s rifle,” a way to “Control Your Destiny” or a killing machine that has

Russia used mainstream media to manipulate American voters

Russia’s disinformation campaign during the 2016 presidential election relied heavily on stories produced by major American news sources to shape the online political debate, according to a new analysis published Thursday. The analysis by Columbia University social media researcher Jonathan Albright of more than 36,000 tweets sent by Russian accounts showed that obscure or foreign news sources played a comparatively minor role, suggesting that the discussion of “fake news” during

VA chief David Shulkin, under fire for Europe trip, acknowledges “the optics of this are not good”

WASHINGTON — Veterans Affairs Secretary David J. Shulkin promised House lawmakers Thursday that he will repay parts of his taxpayer-funded travel to Europe last year, a 10-day trip that included choice accommodations for a Wimbledon tennis match and several sightseeing excursions with his wife. Shulkin, appearing shaken and remorseful, told members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs that he would “do whatever I have to do to make things

Trump shows willingness to raise fuel taxes

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday signaled his openness to a 25-cent fuel tax increase to help pay for his infrastructure proposal. Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware said Trump told lawmakers in a White House meeting that he would be willing to provide leadership on such an increase. “To my surprise, President Trump, today in our meeting, offered his support for raising the gas and diesel tax by 25

“Resist White Supremacy”: A sign. A Virginia farm. And the fury that followed.

It had been a week since the road sign had gone up near the entrance of their 116-acre farm in northern Virginia, and the furious emails, calls and Facebook messages were still pouring in. The responses didn’t surprise the owners of Cox Farms, who had long taken politically charged stands on their land, locally famous for its massive fall festival. In 2015, a Black Lives Matter poster led a local

Bipartisan immigration proposal emerges from Senate

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of senators reached a deal on immigration Wednesday as President Donald Trump attempted to preemptively undercut the proposal by delivering an ultimatum: Pass my plan or risk a veto. The self-dubbed “Common Sense Caucus” of senators late Wednesday circulated legislation that would fulfill Trump’s calls to grant legal status to 1.8 million young immigrants and would appropriate $25 billion for southern border security construction projects

George W. Bush to headline Texas fundraiser for his cousin, Colorado’s Walker Stapleton

Walker Stapleton is once again tapping his Bush family ties to raise big money in the Colorado governor’s race. The Republican candidate’s campaign is hosting a Feb. 22 fundraiser in Dallas featuring former President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush as the special guests, according to an event invitation. To attend the event, top donors are being asked to give $1,150 a person — the maximum contribution for

The outdoor recreation industry generated $374 billion in 2016. It’s ready to wield that influence in Washington and on Wall Street.

WASHINGTON — The outdoor recreation industry accounted for an estimated 2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product last year — with $374 billion in economic activity — according to a government report out Wednesday. As significant as those figures, however, is the fact that federal economists have for the first time studied and publicized its contributions: evidence that the industry is gaining clout on Wall Street and Capitol Hill. Outdoor recreation’s new

White House reels as FBI director contradicts official claims about alleged abuser

WASHINGTON – The White House struggled Tuesday to contain a widening crisis over its handling of domestic violence allegations against a senior official, as it reeled from sworn testimony by the FBI chief that directly contradicted what President Donald Trump’s aides had presented as the official version of events. FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the agency completed a background report on then-staff secretary Rob Porter