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Under fire, Trump defends call to soldier's grieving family

Myeshia Johnson grieves over her husband U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson's casket at Miami International Airport. Johnson died during a mission fighting alongside Green Berets. Islamic militants ambushed them Oct. 4.

President Donald Trump emphatically rejected claims Wednesday that he was disrespectful to the grieving family of a slain soldier, as the firestorm he ignited over his assertions of empathy for American service members spread into a third contentious day. "I have proof," he insisted.

GOP, Dem senators push health deal as Trump keeps distance

President Donald Trump speaks at the Heritage Foundation's annual President's Club meeting in Washington, Oct. 17, 2017.

The authors of a bipartisan plan to calm health insurance markets said Wednesday they'll push the proposal forward, even as President Donald Trump's stance ricocheted from supportive to disdainful to arm's-length and the plan's fate teetered.

The Latest: Kelly defends Trump phone call to widow

The Latest on President Donald Trump and honoring the nation's fallen (all times local):

Bill would make animal sex in Wisconsin a felony

It would be a felony to have sex with an animal in Wisconsin under a bill circulating in the Legislature.

GOP leaders decry North Carolina governor's LGBT rights deal

North Carolina's Republican legislative leaders say a court should reject a deal by the Democratic governor to end protracted litigation over LGBT rights.

Utah governor calls Trump's tenure erratic, unfocused

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is describing President Donald Trump's tenure so far as erratic and lamenting that he seems to focus on too many issues rather than honing in on the most important ones.

Former Menendez staffers push counter narrative at trial

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez's former employees are telling a different story about an alleged bribery scheme than prosecutors have presented.

Lawmaker dismayed at decision to shut down 35W this weekend
The Drive

Minnesota House Transportation Finance Chairman Paul Torkelson said he is disappointed the department is carrying on with the closure when as many as 200,000 people could be making their way into downtown Minneapolis.

Rep. Paulsen to friend, housemate Scalise: "Welcome back roomie"
Hot Dish Politics

U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen welcomes his friend and housemate back, three months after Rep. Steve Scalise was gunned down at a congressional baseball practice.

Senate committee approves drunken driving sanction

The Senate judiciary committee has signed off on four bills that would impose tougher drunken driving penalties.

GOP to muscle budget through Senate as it eyes tax cuts

Republicans controlling the Senate appear set to muscle their $4 trillion budget plan through the Senate late Thursday, turning back successive attempts by Democrats to derail GOP plans for a tax cut later this year.

Obama pushing Democratic governor candidates in 2 states

People arrived early and were waiting in line for hours Thursday as former President Barack Obama returned to the campaign trail to stump for Democratic gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey and Virginia.

The Latest: HUD to speed housing help to wildfire victims

The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):

The Latest: Democrats lining up for Obama campaign stops

The Latest on former President Barack Obama campaigning for Democrats running for governor in New Jersey and Virginia (all times local):

Trump kicks issues to Congress, is erratic negotiator

President Donald Trump is proving to be an erratic negotiating partner as he punts policy issues to Congress and then sends conflicting signals about what he really wants.

Sen. John McCain to visit daughter on 'The View'

"The View" is giving new panelist Meghan McCain a birthday present on Monday. It's a visit from her dad.

Bush condemns Trump-era America: 'Bigotry seems emboldened'

Former President George W. Bush on Thursday denounced bigotry in Trump-era American politics, warning that the rise of "nativism," isolationism and conspiracy theories have clouded the nation's true identity.

GOP senator criticizes Trump's response on health proposal

GOP frustration burst into the open Thursday over President Donald Trump's erratic response to a bipartisan health deal, even as the agreement's authors announced a list of co-sponsors in an attempt to win over the president and Senate GOP leaders.

The Latest: Illinois man gets 15 years in terrorism case

The Latest on the sentencing of a suburban Chicago man convicted of seeking to join an al-Qaida-linked group in Syria (all times local):