Despite support from her fellow Republicans and the fact that she did better in Iowa than some of her counterparts, Carly Fiorina was not invited to participate in the ABC News Republican debate on Saturday.
The network said Fiorina did not meet its criteria — namely, she did not finish in the top three in the Iowa caucuses, and is not averaging in the top six in polls nationally and in New Hampshire. There won't be an undercard debate this time around, and Fiorina sent the Republican National Committee a letter asking that it "demand that media executives step aside and let voters hear from all of us." She received support from former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, and even rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who said she "deserves to be there." Also in her corner is the 2012 Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, who tweeted that Fiorina did better in Iowa than New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and ABC would be wrong to "exclude" the "only woman" in the field.
In addition to Fiorina, Jim Gilmore was not asked to attend the debate. Invitations were sent to Donald Trump, Cruz, Ben Carson, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Christie, Kasich, and Jeb Bush. Catherine Garcia
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will ask the Senate as early as Tuesday to begin debate on a bill to gut the Affordable Care Act, but not even Senate Republicans know what bill they will be asked to vote on. It isn't entirely clear they will know before voting to open debate, either. Some senators said that McConnell has assured them they would be told before voting on the "motion to proceed" whether they would be proceeding to a vote on one of the versions of a bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare or just repeal much of the law. The No. 2 Senate Republican, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), said late last week that letting senators know what bill they would be voting on is "a luxury we don't have."
McConnell's current strategy "is to lean heavily on lawmakers to at least vote to allow debate on the bill, in the hopes that amendments and other tweaks could yield an agreement," The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. That strategy carries some risk, as do all the others. McConnell put together his version of the bill with no public hearings or deliberation in committee. On Friday, the Senate parliamentarian issued a preliminary ruling that some two dozen provisions in the GOP bill would require 60, not 50, votes, throwing a new wrinkle in McConnell's plans to pass the bill using the budget reconciliation process.
On Saturday, President Trump urged Senate Republicans to "step up to the plate" and "vote to repeal and replace" ObamaCare.
When CBS News political director John Dickerson asked Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) what's going on with the legislation on Sunday's Face the Nation, she said that was a good question. "It appears that we will have a vote on Tuesday," she said. "But we don't know whether we're going to be voting on the House bill, the first version of the Senate bill, the second version of the Senate bill, a new version of the Senate bill, or a 2015 bill that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act now and then said that somehow we'll figure out a replacement over the next two years. I don't think that's a good approach to facing legislation that affects millions of people and one sixth of our economy." The part on health care begins at the 4-minute mark. Peter Weber
The New York Times is accusing Fox & Friends of running a "malicious and inaccurate segment" regarding a story it published in 2015, and it's requesting that the Fox News morning show apologize on-air and in a tweet.
Danielle Rhoades Ha, a spokeswoman for the Times, told The Associated Press Sunday that on Saturday, a Fox & Friends host inaccurately claimed that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was able to "sneak away under the cover of darkness" after the Times published an article that tipped him off. The host went on to say the U.S. would "have had al-Baghdadi based on the intelligence that we had, except someone leaked information to the failing New York Times." The newspaper defended itself by pointing out that more than three weeks before the article appeared in print, the Pentagon issued a press release that al-Baghdadi could have seen, and the Pentagon "raised no objections" about the report, based on intelligence gathered from a raid, before it was published.
The segment was seemingly based on an interview Fox News did with Gen. Tony Thomas, who was head of U.S. Special Operations Command. He said in 2015, they were "close" to al-Baghdadi, following a raid, but the "lead went dead" after it "was leaked in a prominent national newspaper." Caley Cronin, a spokeswoman for Fox, told AP in a statement that Fox & Friends will "provide an updated story to viewers tomorrow morning based on the FoxNews.com report." President Trump, a faithful viewer of Fox & Friends, tweeted on Saturday that the "failing" New York Times "foiled" the government's attempt to kill al-Baghdadi; the Times responded on Sunday with a story saying he was incorrect. Catherine Garcia
The oldest manatee living in captivity, Snooty, died two days after his 69th birthday in a "heartbreaking accident," the South Florida Museum said Sunday.
Officials said Snooty, who was also the first manatee born in captivity, in 1948, drowned after being trapped by a hatch door at the museum's Parker Manatee Aquarium. Jeff Rodgers, provost and chief operating officer of the museum, said the hatch was normally bolted shut, and they will investigate how it opened. It's believed that Snooty, who weighed 1,300 pounds and moved to the aquarium in 1949, was also the oldest captive manatee on record.
Rodgers said the staff is "heartbroken" and grieving alongside Snooty's fans, who have been leaving flowers for him outside the aquarium. The museum has a manatee rehabilitation program that takes care of manatees and prepares them to return to the wild, but Rodgers said the staff is "still processing Snooty's loss right now," and it's yet to be determined if they will have another resident manatee. Catherine Garcia
President Trump ended his weekend lamenting in the third person the lack of support he has from his fellow members of the GOP.
It's very sad that Republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their President.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2017
In between messages about "the disastrous ObamaCare" and "the phony Russian Witch Hunt," Trump tweeted about his disappointment, saying, "It's very sad that Republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their President." In the replies, many people helpfully pointed out that elected Republicans are there to serve the voters in their states, not Trump.
He didn't call out any of the ungrateful Republicans by name, but the president must be really hurting, as there was nary an exclamation point in sight. Catherine Garcia
Donald Trump Jr.'s legal team is growing, with the hiring of Karina Lynch, a Washington, D.C., attorney who concentrates on legislative, regulatory, and oversight issues, ABC News reports.
Lynch, from the law firm Williams and Jensen, confirmed that she is now part of the Trump Jr. team, but did not say what she will be working on. Lynch once served as investigative counsel for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and counsel to the Senate Government Affairs Committee's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The Senate Judiciary Committee wants to interview Trump Jr. as part of the investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 presidential election. Catherine Garcia
A shooting at the Israeli embassy in Amman, Jordan, on Sunday killed two Jordanians and wounded an Israeli, police said.
The Jordanians, employees of a furniture company sent to a residential building at the heavily guarded embassy to do repairs, arrived before the shooting started, authorities said. It is not clear what started the shooting. Thousands of Jordanians protested in Amman on Friday following the installation of metal detectors by Israel at the Temple Mount, a sacred place for both Muslims and Jews in East Jerusalem. The metal detectors were put in following the shooting of two Israeli policemen earlier this month, and sparked protests in Israel that left at least six people dead. Catherine Garcia
Kellyanne Conway says CNN 'made a business decision' to be 'incredibly unfair and systematically against' Trump
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway made a combative appearance on CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, leveling charges that the network "has been incredibly unfair and systematically against" President Trump because the outlet "made a business decision to do so."
"You said the company made a business decision to be unfair to the president," replied host Brian Stelter, "when in fact what we are trying to do is cover an unusual president and try to figure what the heck is going on in a White House that seems awfully dysfunctional."
Conway responded by again cheerily alleging the media is "unfair" and "incredibly disrespectful" to a "tough but humble" administration, "using words that are meant to deride and deny the president his due." "It's not our job to do your PR," Stelter shot back. "It's your job."
Watch two excerpts of the exchange below, including Conway's comments on the Friday resignation of outgoing White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Bonnie Kristian
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 23, 2017
— CNN (@CNN) July 23, 2017