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July 28, 2017

After Senate Republicans failed to repeal ObamaCare, GOP Rep. Mo Brooks (Ala.) on Friday morning suggested that it might be time for a change in party leadership. Brooks urged Senate Republicans not to quit pushing to repeal and replace ObamaCare, but he said that if they're willing to quit, maybe some Republicans should quit too. "If they're gonna quit, well then by golly, maybe they ought to start at the top with Mitch McConnell leaving his position and letting somebody new, somebody bold, somebody conservative take the reins," Brooks said on CNN's New Day.

"You think the problem is leadership? You think it's time for a change?" CNN's Chris Cuomo clarified. Brooks responded by noting that "unquestionably, the leadership at the top is responsible" for the failed repeal vote. "If Mitch McConnell cannot get the job done on this, how is he going to get the job done on the rest of President Trump's agenda over the next three and a half years?" Brooks said.

Brooks insisted that it isn't "necessarily anything bad about Mitch McConnell," but "he's got a job to do." "And if he can't do it, then as The Apprentice would say, 'You're fired,' and get somebody who can," Brooks said.

Watch it below. Becca Stanek

1:01 p.m. ET
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Actor Tom Hanks weighed in Saturday night on President Trump's allegedly insensitive condolence call to the widow of U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed in Niger earlier this month.

"I'm only knowing what I read in the newspapers and what have you, and it just seems like it's one of the biggest cock-ups on the planet Earth, if you ask me," Hanks said to CNN. "This is a tragedy of the utmost consequence, and it goes much longer beyond who's going to come out on top of the news story. I think it's very sad."

Hanks was in Washington, D.C., to be honored at the National Archives Foundation gala with the annual "Records of Achievement Award." In a speech at the event, he struck a more positive note. "As we continually move towards a more perfect union, [the U.S. Constitution] might be the only self-correcting, open-ended document anywhere on the planet Earth [that] keeps us going," Hanks said, "that keeps saying that we're going to learn how to do that one thing we've already sort of done. We're going to become better and better and better." Bonnie Kristian

12:35 p.m. ET
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won a resounding victory in Sunday's snap election. His Liberal Democratic Party-led (LDP) coalition is set to retain its two-thirds super-majority in Japan's lower house of parliament, and Abe is likely to secure a record-setting third term next fall.

With a fresh mandate from voters, Abe is expected to push for changes to Japan's "pacifist" constitution, in which Article 9, drafted by the United States government in the wake of World War II, prohibits the maintenance of armed forces. In practice, the clause has served as a mandate for a strictly defensive military; Abe wants to move toward a more interventionist pose.

"First, I want to deepen debate and have as many people as possible agree," Abe said of his plans. "We should put priority on that." Bonnie Kristian

12:10 p.m. ET
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Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who pleaded guilty last week to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy for his decision to leave his base in Afghanistan in 2009, said in an exclusive interview published in Britain's Sunday Times that coming home to the United States was as difficult as his years spent as a prisoner of war in Taliban hands.

"At least the Taliban were honest enough to say, 'I'm the guy who's gonna cut your throat,'" he said. "Here, it could be the guy I pass in the corridor who's going to sign the paper that sends me away for life."

Bergdahl's goal in leaving his base was to alert other officers of perceived mismanagement; instead he was kidnapped and held captive for five years until the Obama administration negotiated his release. His homecoming has been marked by vicious political controversy, including attacks from President Trump, who has suggested Bergdahl should be thrown from a plane without a parachute. Bonnie Kristian

11:32 a.m. ET
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on CNN Sunday he is prepared to call a vote on the bipartisan health-care proposal negotiated by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) if President Trump is prepared to sign it.

The proposal has the support of all 48 Senate Democrats plus 12 Republicans, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on NBC Sunday. "This is a good compromise," Schumer argued. "It took months to work out. It has a majority."

The Murray-Alexander bill would appropriate funds for two years of the insurance subsidies Trump recently ended while loosening some ObamaCare rules, including allowing "insurance companies to sell less comprehensive plans to all customers, not just those under age 29 as is the case under current law."

Trump has sent mixed signals about the plan, calling it both "a good start" and "a short-term fix." Bonnie Kristian

10:25 a.m. ET

President Trump returned to familiar stomping grounds on Twitter Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. He claimed Facebook supported Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election and painted himself as an underdog triumphant:

Later Saturday, Trump turned to the record of his presidency so far, promising tax reform and health-care progress while boasting of mostly unspecified accomplishments on a litany of issues:

On Sunday, Trump reiterated his belief that journalists habitually "FABRICATE STORIES" about him and promoted an interview with himself airing that day. Bonnie Kristian

10:06 a.m. ET
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Fox News renewed host Bill O'Reilly's contract in January of 2016, promising him $25 million per year for four years, even after he settled a sexual harassment lawsuit for $32 million with the network's knowledge, The New York Times reported Saturday.

While Times reports from earlier this year revealed O'Reilly and Fox together paid around $13 million in the pundit's various harassment settlements, this larger agreement was previously unknown. The settlement was paid over a woman's allegations of "a nonconsensual sexual relationship" and other repeated harassment including the sending of unwanted pornography.

Fox fired O'Reilly in April of 2017. He denies all wrongdoing. Bonnie Kristian

8:12 a.m. ET
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Former President Jimmy Carter would be willing to travel to North Korea for negotiations to avoid nuclear catastrophe, he told The New York Times' Maureen Dowd in an article appearing in the paper's Sunday edition.

"I would go, yes," Carter said, explaining that he, like many, is "afraid, too, of a situation" sparked by the war of words between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "They want to save their regime. And we greatly overestimate China's influence on North Korea," he continued. "Particularly to Kim Jong Un. He's never, so far as I know, been to China, and they have no relationship."

Carter, 93, said he has offered his services to National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, but the Trump administration has yet to accept. The ex-president previously negotiated in Pyongyang in 1994 and 2010, the first time paving the way for nuclear talks and the second time securing the release of an American prisoner. The North Korean regime enjoys the prestige of a visit from a former world leader. Bonnie Kristian

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