The Latest: Omarosa calls Trump a bigot in upcoming book
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) — Former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman says she has concluded, after years of defending Donald Trump, that he is a bigot.
She writes in a new book: “I had to go through the pain of witnessing his racism with my own eyes, and hearing it with my own ears, many times, until I couldn’t deny it any longer.”
She also says she saw Trump behaving “like a dog off the leash” at numerous events he attended without his wife, first lady Melania Trump.
The accusation is among a long list of scandalous claims contained in her new book, “Unhinged,” set to come out Aug. 14. The Associated Press purchased an early copy of the memoir, which the White House has already slammed as “riddled with lies and false accusations.”
Roger Stone associate held in contempt in Russia probe
WASHINGTON (AP) — An associate of former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone has been held in contempt of court after refusing to appear before a grand jury in the special counsel’s Russia investigation. His lawyer says he will challenge the constitutionality of Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel.
Paul Kamenar, attorney for Andrew Miller, says Mueller’s appointment is unconstitutional. He argues that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein didn’t have the authority to appoint a special counsel and that any prosecutor with Mueller’s broad powers should be confirmed by the Senate. Rosenstein appointed Mueller after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation.
Miller worked for Stone during Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Miller refused to appear before a grand jury Friday in Washington.
Miller plans to appeal.
The Latest: Official says sanctions lack ‘state seriousness’
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A Turkish official says U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to double tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports, which he announced on Twitter, lacked “state seriousness.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy also said on Friday that imposing sanctions on a NATO ally wouldn’t help Washington achieve its goals and would harm an “alliance that was built by surmounting arduous tests.”
Aksoy says Turkey “always backs the resolution of issues through diplomacy, dialogue, goodwill and mutual understanding,” but would retaliate for Trump’s decision.
He said: “All steps taken against Turkey will be given the necessary response, as they have in the past.”
WAREHOUSE PARTY FIRE-THE LATEST
The Latest: Judge rejects plea deals in deadly Oakland fire
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A judge is rejecting the plea deals of two men who were charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter after a 2016 California warehouse fire.
Judge James Cramer said Friday that 48-year-old Derick Almena didn’t accept “full responsibility and remorse.”
The plea deal called for sentencing Almena to nine years in prison and 28-year-old Max Harris to six years. Relatives of victims of the deadly blaze had slammed the proposed sentences as too lenient.
Almena’s attorney, Tony Serra, told reporters after the hearing that he will take the case to trial.
Prosecutors have charged the two men turned the warehouse into a residential death trap by cluttering it with highly flammable knick-knacks and blocking the few exits.
ROUNDUP WEED KILLER-CANCER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Man hopes Monsanto verdict boosts other cases
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The former school groundskeeper who won a $289 million verdict in a lawsuit alleging Roundup weed killer contributed to his terminal cancer says he hopes the decision is the first of thousands against Monsanto.
Dewayne Johnson said Friday in San Francisco that the jury’s verdict is far bigger than his lawsuit.
He said he hopes the case bolsters the thousands of lawsuits pending against the company and brings national attention to the issue.
Johnson spoke briefly in his lawyers’ offices after the verdict was announced Friday. Johnson declined to take questions from reporters.
Monsanto says it’ll appeal. Company spokesman Scott Partridge says Monsanto sympathizes with Johnson but hundreds of scientific studies and government agencies have concluded that Roundup doesn’t cause cancer.
COMPOUND SEARCH-CHILDREN REMOVED-THE LATEST
The Latest: Property owner questions timing in compound raid
TAOS, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico property owner says he told authorities in late spring that he met the father of a missing Georgia boy after he and others arrived in the area where they built a squalid desert compound.
Jason Badger said Friday that he doesn’t understand why authorities didn’t raid the site sooner, given his report about the father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj. He was being sought in Georgia in the disappearance of his young son.
Badger says he believes he saw the boy with his father this past winter. The owner later found out Wahhaj was wanted after searching online and reported him.
Authorities searched the compound for the severely disabled boy last week. They instead found Wahhaj, four other adults, and 11 other children whom authorities say were malnourished.
A second search uncovered a child’s remains that haven’t been identified.
The missing boy’s grandfather says they’re his grandson’s.
AP Analysis: On enthusiasm, Democrats have advantage
ATLANTA (AP) — Democratic voters were more enthusiastic than Republicans in nearly a dozen federal special elections since President Donald Trump took office, an Associated Press analysis found.
Election returns in nearly a dozen federal special elections show Democrats consistently drawing a larger share of the vote totals than the two parties could expect in a presidential election year when turnout is the greatest.
Republicans won most of the special elections. All but one of them occurred in heavily Republican territory. Democrats’ enthusiasm gap made many of the margins much closer than expected.
That leaves the party confident that its voters are more excited ahead of the November midterms and that Democrats have an advantage with independents.
Special elections ahead of the 2010 midterms showed a similar excitement advantage for the GOP.
Kobach’s take-no-prisoner style at forefront in Kansas race
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Secretaries of state from middle America aren’t generally household names. Kansas’ Kris Kobach is the exception.
The 52-year-old Republican has a take-no-prisoners style of conservatism that delights hard-right members of the GOP but makes him a target of Democrats and centrists.
Now Kobach, the state’s top election official, is locked in a too-close-to-call race for the nomination for governor. He is clinging to a shrinking lead of just 121 votes out of 311,000 cast in Tuesday’s primary. Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer is banking on a recount to turn the tide.
Kobach has the backing of President Donald Trump. He has advised the president on immigration issues and is a staunch advocate for strict voter ID laws.
CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES-THE LATEST
The Latest: DHS secretary: Fire damage ‘truly heartbreaking’
LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (AP) — U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen asked residents to prepare for future emergencies and thanked firefighters and other personnel battling California’s deadliest wildfire this year.
Nielsen spoke Friday at a press briefing in Redding, California, to update the public on the Carr Fire in Shasta County.
The fire was 51 percent contained as of Friday morning and was burning into remote and rugged forest land. Grass, brush and trees are so dry from years of drought and recent heat that the potential remains for the fire to grow.
It sparked nearly three weeks ago.
Nielsen said she saw “truly heartbreaking” scenes of homes reduced to ash and fences replaced with caution tape.
The Carr Fire has killed six people, including two firefighters, and burned more than 1,000 homes.
Porn star lawyer Avenatti takes his fighting message to Iowa
WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Avenatti’s crusade for the porn actress taking on the president has already catapulted him to cable news stardom and endeared him to many frustrated liberals.
Now the self-styled “dragon slayer” is taking his message to Iowa Democrats — who will have a huge influence in the 2020 White House race.
And the attorney insists this foray into early-voting terrain is not a stunt.
As the lawyer representing Stormy Daniels, Avenatti has become one of President Donald Trump’s leading critics. But he says he is not just “proposing this to get under the president’s skin.”
For now, Avenatti has plenty of spotlight as top 2020 prospects avoid Iowa. He toured the Iowa State Fair on Thursday and is scheduled for the Democratic Wing Ding in Clear Lake on Friday.