An Obama, not the president, brings down the house at Democratic convention

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama speaks at the Democratic National Convention in PhiladelphiaBy Luciana Lopez and Amy Tennery PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Democrats divided over the future of their party agreed on at least one thing at their national convention in Philadelphia on Monday night: Michelle Obama was a star. The first lady gave a speech in support of a former first lady, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, and described America as "the greatest country on earth", clashing with Republican Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan and bringing an arena crowd riven by a fierce fight for the nomination to its feet. "I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves, and I watch my daughters - two beautiful, intelligent, black young women – playing with their dogs on the White House lawn," Michelle Obama said.

Ohio GOP official resigns over Trump nomination

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a town hall, Monday, July 25, 2016, in Roanoke, Va. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)CINCINNATI (AP) — A low-level Republican Party official from Ohio has resigned over the GOP's nomination of Donald Trump as its presidential candidate.

Behind Democrats' email leak, U.S. experts see a Russian subplot

The headquarters of the Democratic National Committee is seen in WashingtonBy Mark Hosenball and Arshad Mohammed WASHINGTON (Reuters) - If the Russian government is behind the theft and release of embarrassing emails from the Democratic Party, as U.S. officials have suggested, it may reflect less a love of Donald Trump or enmity for Hillary Clinton than a desire to discredit the U.S. political system. A U.S. official who is taking part in the investigation said that intelligence collected on the hacking of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails released by Wikileaks on Friday "indicates beyond a reasonable doubt that it originated in Russia." The timing on the eve of Clinton's formal nomination this week for the Nov. 8 presidential election has raised questions about whether Russia may have been trying to hurt her, to help Trump, her Republican rival, or to fan populist sentiment against establishment politicians as it has sought to do across Europe in recent years.

First lady draws sharp portrait of Trump, without naming him

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to delegates during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)WASHINGTON (AP) — Without mentioning Donald Trump by name, first lady Michelle Obama stood before the Democratic convention on Monday and drew a sharp sketch of the Republican nominee that stood in harsh contrast to her gauzy portrait of Hillary Clinton as a woman who has looked out for children and the disadvantaged all her life.

GOP Illinois lawmaker abruptly resigns over 'cyber' issues

FILE - In this June 30, 2016 file photo, Illinois state Rep. Ron Sandack, R-Downers Grove, speaks to reporters at the state Capitol in Springfield. In a statement Sunday, July 24, 2016, Sandack said he's resigning from the Illinois House, citing "cyber security issues." (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A ranking Republican has resigned from the Illinois House after saying he faced cybersecurity issues involving fraudulent social media accounts allegedly set up in his name.

Trump says he would consider alliance with Russia over Islamic State

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and vice presidential candidate Mike Pence pray at a campaign event in RoanokeBy Steve Holland WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Reuters) - Republican nominee Donald Trump said on Monday that if elected U.S. president he would weigh an alliance with Russia against Islamic State militants but rejected any suggestion Russian President Vladimir Putin might be trying to help him win. Speaking at a rally in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Trump dismissed any suggestion that Putin's intelligence services might have had a hand in hacking the Democratic National Committee's email system. Emails leaked last week disclosed that some party officials had been in favor of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton winning the Democratic presidential nomination over U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and sought ways to thwart Sanders.

Christie objects to Democrats' new transportation plan
A new Democratic plan to raise the state's gas tax by 23 cents a gallon while cutting other taxes is "dead on arrival," Gov. Chris Christie said Monday. Christie, a Republican, shot down a proposal ...

Hastert wants victim's suit over unpaid hush money tossed
YORKVILLE, Ill. (AP) — An attorney for Dennis Hastert has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by one of the former U.S. House speaker's sexual abuse victims who is seeking $1.8 million in outstanding hush-money payments from the imprisoned Illinois Republican, though the court didn't immediately rule on the request at a Monday hearing.

U.S. lawmaker wants new budget requests for Iraq, Afghanistan troops

Thornberry addresses a news conference following a House Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol in WashingtonBy Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chairman of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee called on the Obama administration on Monday to ask Congress for more money to fund its plans for Iraq and Afghanistan, amid expectations of a defense budget battle when lawmakers return to Washington this fall. "The administration needs to come over with a supplemental (budget request)," Republican Representative Mac Thornberry said at a roundtable discussion with reporters shortly after returning from a trip to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Trump back to freewheeling style on swing with Pence

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and vice presidential candidate Mike Pence pray at a campaign event in RoanokeBy Steve Holland ROANOKE, Va. (Reuters) - Donald Trump eagerly injected himself into the Democratic Party's email controversy on Monday, saying the revelations that the party apparatus backed Democrat Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders proved his charges that the system is rigged. Trump waved away Republican disunity as essentially isolated pockets of resistance and made an apparent reference to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, who was booed off stage in Cleveland when he did not endorse Trump after losing to him in a bitter primary race.

Illinois Republican lawmaker resigns, cites Facebook, Twitter hacks
By Fiona Ortiz CHICAGO (Reuters) - A prominent Illinois Republican has resigned from the state legislature, citing multiple incidents of fake Facebook and Twitter accounts set up in his name in recent weeks. "After some cyber security issues arose, I began to re-evaluate my continued public service," Representative Ron Sandack, House Republican floor leader, said in a resignation letter dated Sunday and provided on Monday by the Republican Caucus. Sandack, known as an adamant defender of Republican Governor Bruce Rauner's initiatives on the floor of the Democratic-dominated House, was up for re-election in November against Democrat Greg Hose.

Democratic candidate sorry for calling senator an expletive
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Katie McGinty is apologizing for using an expletive to describe her Republican opponent, Pat Toomey, in Pennsylvania's closely watched race.

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