Report offers anonymous accounts of Statehouse harassment

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A new report details anonymous accounts of sexual harassment between male state lawmakers or male lobbyists and women working in Maryland's Statehouse.

The Baltimore Sun reported Friday that the Maryland Women's Caucus compiled the list of encounters. It offers an anonymous glimpse into what female ...

Trump pushes back against ‘Fake News Media’ coverage of Russian meddling

President Trump pushed back Saturday against coverage by what he called the “Fake News Media” on revelations about Russian meddling in the 2016 election -- saying the meddling began well before he ran for office and citing a Facebook official who said swaying the election was not Russia’s main goal.

GOP Donor: Unless GOP Bans Assault Weapons, No More Money

Al Hoffman Jr., a top GOP donor who has repeatedly blasted the Republican Party for its position on gun control, on Saturday said he would no longer contribute to candidates or groups, "unless they all support a ban on assault weapons," The New York Times reports.Hoffman...

Romney: Trump’s Been Effective But I’ll Call Him Out When Needed

Mitt Romney, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, on separate occasions Friday said he generally approves of the president's agenda but will not hesitate to call him out when he disagrees with his behavior or actions."I'm not always with the president on what he...

Utility offered Burgum more than free Super Bowl tickets

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum's trip to the Super Bowl as a guest of a Minneapolis utility included free invitations to a rock concert, private parties, meals and other events, The Associated Press found through an open records request.

Burgum spokesman Mike Nowatzki said Saturday the ...

Infamous Steele anti-Trump dossier disproven by Mueller’s first Russia indictments

The Christopher Steele dossier allegation that an “extensive conspiracy” existed between the Donald Trump campaign and the Kremlin wasn’t borne out in the special counsel’s first charges of Russian election interference.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller brought a grand jury indictment against 13 Russians for interfering in the election via social ...

Florida lawmakers struggle with how to respond to shooting

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Stunned by a horrific shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead, the state Legislature is grappling with what to do in the aftermath.

Lawmakers have just three weeks left in their annual 60-day session and normally are trying to wrap up work ...

Madigan says he’s taking steps to end harassment, abuse

CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says he's taking steps to end harassment or abuse at the statehouse and in his political operation, after a former staff member said party officials were too slow to act.

In a letter to Democratic caucus members Friday, Madigan says "We haven't ...

Costa: Trump Hearing ‘Positive Words’ At Mar-A-Lago This Weekend

President Donald Trump is spending the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida following the announcement that 13 Russian nationals were indicted on Friday for charges of interfering with the 2016 presidential election, in another visit that is a "retreat in every...

Trump’s National Security Advisor: Indictment Shows Evidence Of Russian Meddling Is “Incontrovertible”

Ralph Orlowski / Reuters

The indictment of 13 Russian citizens and three companies on Friday is "incontrovertible" evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 US election, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said Saturday.

The indictment, prepared by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, claimed that "operations to interfere with the US political system" began in 2014, with Russians using fake social media accounts to target US audiences and "traveling to the United States under false pretenses" to collect intelligence.

Although President Trump has wavered publicly on whether or not Russia interfered, his national security advisor says the indictment shows the US is becoming "more and more adept at tracing the origins of this espionage and subversion."

"As you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain," McMaster said at a security conference in Munich.

McMaster made his comments shortly after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed the indictment out of hand at the same conference.

"Until we see the facts, everything else is just blabber — I'm sorry for this expression," he said, adding he had "no response" when asked for comment on the allegations.

Ralph Orlowski / Reuters

"You can publish anything, and we see those indictments multiplying, the statements multiplying," he said, arguing that Vice President Mike Pence and other US officials have said no country influenced the election results.

Friday's indictment contained no allegation that the Russian conduct altered the outcome of the election, nor did it allege any American was a "knowing participant." However, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told reporters that Mueller's investigation was continuing.

In Washington, however, White House spokesman Raj Shah told Fox News on Friday night that the indictment "proved there was no collusion."

He also said the indictment did not mean that the Russian trolls had favored Trump over Hillary Clinton.

"All of these efforts were about sowing confusion in the electoral process and undermining the next president, not about supporting one candidate over the other." he told Tucker Carlson.

In fact, although the indictment stated that the Russians sought to organize pro- and anti-Trump marches after the election, they worked actively to support him and Sen. Bernie Sanders during the race.

"They engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump," the indictment reads.

"Use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump—we support them)," the Russians were directed, according to the indictment.

In Moscow, Russian officials also doubled down in denying the allegations.

"There are no official claims, there are no proofs for this. That's why they are just children's statements," said the presidential envoy for international information security, Andrei Kutskikh, according to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

When asked whether Washington would consider working with the Kremlin on cybersecurity issues, as President Trump proposed on Twitter last year, McMaster joked: "I'm surprised there are any Russian cyber experts available based on how active most of them have been undermining our democracies in the West."

"So I would just say that we would love to have a cyber dialogue when Russia is sincere," he added.

LINK: Federal Grand Jury In Special Counsel Probe Indicts Russian Troll Farm And Individuals For 2016 Election Meddling

Film showcases historically black colleges and universities

NEW YORK (AP) - Filmmaker Stanley Nelson knew he wanted to tell a story about the nation's historically black colleges and universities - not just about individual HBCUs, many of which have their own celebrated histories, but about what they collectively have meant to black people.

And in making the ...

AP Explains: Why is election board fight still unsettled?

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper won a big legal decision over Republican legislative leaders last month when the North Carolina Supreme Court sided with him in his lawsuit seeking to nullify a new GOP-backed elections and ethics enforcement board structure.

Since then GOP lawmakers decided to pass ...

Women’s March Group Plans National School Walkout for Gun Reform

A national school walk-out is planned next month by the organizers of the Women's March to protest Congress' lack of action on gun reform following mass shootings, The Hill reported Saturday.Students, teachers and parents are invited to participate in the event titled...

Rep. Kevin Cramer launches Senate campaign to unseat Heidi Heitkamp

Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer launched his campaign for U.S. Senate Friday at a rally in Bismarck, saying he had to jump in the race after his opponent celebrated voting against a 20-week abortion ban.

The North Dakota lawmaker has served three consecutive terms in the House, but decided to give ...

Workings of Russia’s ‘Troll Farm’ detailed in federal grand jury indictment

Accounts from as far back as 2014 described a "Troll Factory" in St. Petersburg where Russian tycoon Evgeny Prighozin, a longtime crony of President Vladimir Putin, reportedly began buttressing the regime of the former KGB spymaster and eventually morphed into a sprawling operation with international targets.

On Friday a federal ...

AP FACT CHECK: Trump on collapse of immigration effort

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is blaming Democrats for abandoning the young immigrants whose legal status is up in the air because of a step he took six months ago.

Those immigrants, who arrived in the United States illegally as children, became a bargaining chip in legislation that collapsed ...