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White House says negotiations continuing on border wall funding

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Negotiations between the White House and congressional leaders on a spending measure to keep the U.S. government running beyond this week are continuing, and President Donald Trump is still seeking border wall and military funding, the White House said on Monday.

Asked if Trump was insisting on some funding for his planned border wall in the current spending measure, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the money for the military and the border security wall were a priority for the president and he would not take them off the table yet.

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(Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)


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White House pulls new FEMA nominee for barroom brawl — but not for his boss’ bribery

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MSNBC host Rachel Maddow began her Wednesday show detailing that Jeff Byard, President Donald Trump's nominee to lead FEMA, has withdrawn his name from nomination because of an "altercation" previously reported.

Already Trump's FEMA is having problems because of the lead FEMA officials being named in serious bribery scandals. Byard's boss, in particular, is under a 10-count indictment. To make matters worse, a former deputy is also under indictment, but for a completely different case involving a 2013 Navy scandal.

"Any mystery around that part of the guy’s past would have been cleared up this past year in August when he was indicted by a federal grand jury for his alleged involvement in that Navy bribery scheme," Maddow reported. "He was arrested thereafter."

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Right-wing activists call on Mitch McConnell to stop blocking election security bills

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On Wednesday, CNN reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is facing renewed pressure to take up election security legislation, from a pair of unlikely sources: Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, and FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon.

Norquist — who once famously said that he wanted to slash government to a size where he could "drown it in a bathtub" — called for hand-marked paper ballots, and urged Congress to pass something similar to the bipartisan Secure Elections Act, which would have given states incentives to switch to secure voting methods and promoted data-sharing to identify threats. The measure was first introduced in 2017 by Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), James Lankford (D-OK), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), but never came to a vote.

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DNI whistleblower complaint stems from promise Trump allegedly made in phone call to foreign leader: report

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On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the source of the whistleblower complaint currently being suppressed by the Director of National Intelligence is a phone conversation between President Donald Trump and a foreign leader.

According to the report, the whistleblower became aware that the president made a "promise" to this unspecified foreign leader, and was so disturbed by the nature of that promise that he or she filed a complaint through channels set up to help whistleblower claims involving classified information.

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