Politics & Government

Politics, elections, law, military and veteran's affairs

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The Federal Election Commission is moving to improve disclosure of the money behind Internet and digital ads, as the shadow of Russian-funded social media ads in last year's presidential race hangs over the agency.

"We can't, obviously, take over the role of the Justice Department or of Congress," Democratic Commissioner Ellen Weintraub told other commissioners Thursday, "but I do think that we could do this little piece."

The Rev. Jesse Jackson announced Friday that he has Parkinson's disease, saying that he first noticed symptoms "about three years ago."

Jackson, 76, released the news in what he called an update "on my health and the future."

The longtime political and social activist, who was part of Martin Luther King Jr.'s inner circle in the 1960s and who later founded the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, said that after noticing signs of the motor system disorder, he attempted to work through it.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

President Trump lashed out on Twitter on Thursday night against Sen. Al Franken, who has been accused by a Los Angeles radio host of sexually assaulting her. Leeann Tweeden, a former model, was on a USO tour with Franken in 2006, before he was a senator, when the incident occurred. She also produced a photo of Franken posed with his hands on her chest as she slept.

For seven years, Angela Merkel has topped Forbes magazine's list of the most powerful women in the world. In the wake of populism's rise in European and U.S. politics, she's seen by many as a vital pillar of Western values and multilateralism.

But the 63-year-old chancellor of Germany could soon lose her job if she fails to form a new government.

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House Republicans passed a $1.4 trillion tax bill yesterday by a comfortable margin. If also passed by the Senate, this would be the most sweeping tax overhaul since Ronald Reagan was president.

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Republicans are doing some celebrating this morning because, yesterday, the House passed a Republican bill to overhaul the U.S. tax code. This plan slashes the corporate tax rate, and it eliminates some popular deductions.

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The Harvey Weinstein effect has reached Capitol Hill. Minnesota Senator Al Franken is apologizing after a woman said that he forcibly kissed her 11 years ago.

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The law intended to shine a light on foreign entities and foreign governments working to influence policy in Washington, D.C., has been called everything from "toothless" to "a complete joke."

But Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller isn't laughing — and neither may potential violators if he decides to make it his new weapon of choice.

Senior White House adviser and son-in-law to the president Jared Kushner failed to hand over to Senate investigators emails concerning contacts with WikiLeaks and a "Russian backdoor overture," according to a letter sent by two senior lawmakers.

The letter, released Thursday by Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and its ranking Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, says Kushner failed to turn over "September 2016 email communications to Mr. Kushner concerning WikiLeaks" and other emails pertaining to a "Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite."

Updated on Friday, Nov. 17, at 10:30 p.m. ET

Updated at 6:55 p.m. ET

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday that President Trump believes the allegations of sexual misconduct and sexual assault against Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore are "very troubling and should be taken seriously" but stopped short of calling on him to step aside as other national Republican leaders have.

"He believes the people of Alabama should make the decision of who their next senator is going to be," said Sanders, who added later that she didn't expect Trump to campaign for Moore.

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The House passed a $1.4 trillion tax overhaul today. The vote came after President Trump traveled to Capitol Hill to rally House Republicans ahead of the vote.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Pete Souza spent eight years in the White House, photographing President Barack Obama.

“He was so comfortable in front of the camera,” Souza says. “Meaning that he didn’t really change how he did anything. The presence of my camera didn’t affect him in one way so I was able to make these really intimate pictures even on his first day.”

From the fun to the solemn to the iconic (see below for examples), Souza’s photographs defined an administration. He joins us to offer a glimpse inside Obama’s White House.

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The much-vaunted Senate tax bill is now a health bill.

Internet freedom is on the decline for the seventh consecutive year as governments around the world take to distorting information on social media in order to influence elections, a new report says.

The nongovernmental organization Freedom House released its annual Freedom on the Net report this week, which found that online "manipulation and disinformation tactics played an important role" in elections in 18 countries, including the U.S.

The House has narrowly approved a $1.4 trillion tax overhaul, clearing the first major hurdle in Republican attempts to cut taxes and rewrite the tax code.

The vote was almost along party lines, with no Democrats voting in support of the bill and some GOP defections over provisions in the measure that would eliminate important tax deductions taken by constituents in some high tax states.

A federal judge in New Jersey has declared a mistrial in the corruption trial of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez.

It came after the 12-person jury told the judge for a second time that it was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on any of the bribery, conspiracy, fraud or false statements charges facing the Democrat and his co-defendant, Salomon Melgen.

Around 1 p.m., after emerging from chambers, Menendez hugged and kissed his daughter and son. Defense attorneys shook hands and patted each other on the back, as prosecutors huddled at their table.

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