Conflict over Russia is rocky start for Trump and intelligence agencies

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at the USA Thank You Tour event at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, IowaBy John Walcott WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump's rejection this weekend of U.S. intelligence analysts' conclusion that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help him win the White House is the latest in a string of conflicts between Trump and the intelligence community he will command. Most of them involve Russia, which has grown increasingly aggressive - according to what U.S. intelligence agencies have told Congress and the administration of President Barack Obama - in Syria and Ukraine.



Trump cheered by fans at annual Army-Navy game

President-elect Donald Trump speaks with members of the military, including Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, right, during an Army-Navy NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)BALTIMORE (AP) — Donald Trump was greeted with cheers on his arrival at the annual Army-Navy game on Saturday, basking in one of the nation's most storied football rivalries as he prepares to enter the White House.



Adding 200 more troops to Syria, US deepens involvement

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2016 file photo, Defense Secretary Ash Carter testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Saturday that as many as 200 more American troops are being sent to Syria to help Kurdish and Arab fighters capture the Islamic State group's key stronghold of Raqqa. Carter made the announcement Saturday at a security conference in Manama, Bahrain. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Drawing the U.S. deeper into the Syria conflict, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Saturday he is sending 200 more troops to accelerate the push on the Islamic State's self-declared capital of Raqqa.



Trump team challenges intel on Russian election influence

FILE - In this Dec. 9, 2016 file photo, President-elect Donald Trump speaks in Grand Rapids, Mich. Trump's presidential transition team on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, challenged the veracity of U.S. intelligence assessments that Russia was trying to tip the November election to the Republican. A top Senate Democrat demanded a full congressional investigation. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump's presidential transition team on Saturday challenged the veracity of U.S. intelligence assessments that Russia was trying to tip the November election to the Republican. A top Senate Democrat demanded a full congressional investigation.



Russia intervened to help Trump win election: intelligence officials

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a "Thank You USA" tour rally in Grand RapidsBy John Walcott WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help President-elect Donald Trump win the White House, and not just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, a senior U.S. official said on Friday. U.S. intelligence agencies have assessed that as the 2016 presidential campaign progressed, Russian government officials devoted increasing attention to assisting Trump's effort to win the election, the U.S. official familiar with the finding told Reuters on Friday night, speaking on condition of anonymity. The president-elect's transition office released a statement that exaggerated his margin of victory and attacked the U.S. intelligence community that Trump will soon command, but did not address the analysts' conclusion.



As 114th Congress limped to a close, uncertainty is ahead

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2016 file photo, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Ky. on Capitol Hill in Washington. The 114th Congress has limped to a close, two years of partisan acrimony punctuated by the occasional burst of bipartisan deal-making in the waning days of President Barack Obama’s tenure. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The 114th Congress has limped to a close, two years of partisan acrimony punctuated by the occasional burst of bipartisan deal-making in the waning days of Barack Obama's presidency.



Candidates rally support for La. runoff drawing low interest

President-elect Donald Trump, left, waves on stage with Republican Senate candidate John Kennedy, right, at a rally in a DOW Chemical Hanger at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's candidates were trying to stir up enthusiasm ahead of Saturday's election, seeking to persuade people to cast ballots in a runoff expected to draw less than a third of registered voters.



Congress sends bill to Obama on civil rights-era killings
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has sent legislation to President Barack Obama's desk that would continue reviews of racially motivated killings in the civil rights era that are now cold cases.

Governor Joe Piscopo? Comedian eyes run in New Jersey

Joe Piscopo sings an updated "New York, New York,"as "New Jersey, New Jersey" during an event to help raise funds for the Boys and Girls Club of America at the Stress Factory Comedy Club Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, in New Brunswick, N.J. Famous for his SNL portrayal of Frank Sinatra, the actor, comedian and radio host is a potential candidate for governor in 2017 to succeed Republican Gov. Chris Christie.(AP Photo/Mel Evans)NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Joe Piscopo's Frank Sinatra impression, made famous from his days on "Saturday Night Live," has gotten an update.



What the 114th Congress did and didn't do

In this photo taken Dec. 8, 2016, the Capitol Building as seen in Washington. Congress wrapped up the 114th session early Saturday, a tumultuous two years marked by the resignation of a House speaker, a fight over a Supreme Court vacancy, bipartisan bills on health care and education and inaction on immigration and criminal justice. The new Congress will be sworn-in Jan. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress wrapped up the 114th session early Saturday, a tumultuous two years marked by the resignation of a House speaker, a fight over a Supreme Court vacancy, bipartisan bills on health care and education and inaction on immigration and criminal justice. The new Congress will be sworn-in Jan. 3.



U.S. boosts Syria anti-IS forces, urges Gulf military self-reliance

U.S. Defense Secretary Carter attends a meeting with Japan's Defense Minister Inada at the Defense Ministry in TokyoBy William Maclean MANAMA (Reuters) - The United States will send 200 additional military personnel including special forces to the campaign against Islamic State in Syria to create a "tornado" of pressure against the group's Raqqa hub, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Saturday, Carter, speaking in Bahrain to regional security chiefs, twinned the announcement with a call on Middle East allies to do more for their own defense, a sore topic with some Gulf states who resent being seen by Washington as military "free riders". The arrival of the 200 additional forces in Syria, joining 300 special forces already there backing local allies, would bring to bear the "full weight of U.S. forces around the theater of operations like the funnel of a giant tornado", Carter said.



Shutdown averted, Senate backs stop-gap spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks on Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, during the signing ceremony for the 21st Century Cures Act. From left are, McConnell, Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., and Max Schill, 7, who suffers from Noonan Syndrome. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)WASHINGTON (AP) — With less than hour to spare, the Senate late Friday backed legislation averting a government shutdown as coal-state Democrats retreated on long-term health care benefits for retired miners and promised a renewed fight for the working class next year.



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