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January 17, 2017
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At a news conference Tuesday morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused President Obama's administration of attempting to "undermine the legitimacy" of President-elect Donald Trump. Addressing the unconfirmed dossier that surfaced last week alleging Russia has compromising information on Trump, Putin reportedly said anyone circulating the "fake" claims about the president-elect is "worse than prostitutes."

Putin insisted the dossier is a "hoax," Reuters reported, and also said he has never met with Trump. He particularly cast doubt on the dossier's unverified claims about Trump's conduct with prostitutes, saying Trump would have no need for such behavior because he "has been with the most beautiful women in the world."

Trump has strongly denied the allegations, calling the reports "phony stuff." Becca Stanek

January 16, 2017
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On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, two of the late civil rights leader's children participated in two very different events.

Speaking at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where her father once preached, Bernice King, his youngest daughter, told the crowd not to be "afraid of who sits in the White House," adding, "God can triumph over [Donald] Trump." She received a standing ovation and thunderous applause. At the same time, Trump, who received 8 percent of the black vote, was in New York meeting with Bernice King's brother, Martin Luther King III. As he left Trump Tower, King said he believes the U.S. voting system is broken, and he spoke with Trump about how to improve it.

On Saturday, Trump was blasted for attacking 1960s civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) on Twitter. In an interview with NBC News, Lewis had said that because of evidence of Russia meddling in the election to help Trump win, "I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president." Trump accused Lewis, whose skull was fractured when he was beaten by a state trooper on a day that became known as Bloody Sunday, of being "all talk, talk, talk‚ no action or results." King did not directly comment on whether he was offended by what Trump said about a man who worked side by side with his father, saying: "First of all, I think that in the heat of emotion a lot of things get said on both sides. I think at some point, I bridge-build. The goal is to bring America together." Catherine Garcia

January 15, 2017
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The war of words between President-elect Donald Trump, Rep. John Lewis (R-Ga.), and their respective defenders continued Sunday in morning talk shows.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence said in an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that he finds Lewis' rejection of Trump's legitimacy as president "disappointing" despite admiring the congressman's personal history. "Donald Trump won this election fair and square," Pence said. "The American people know that, and while I have great respect for John Lewis and his contributions, particularly with the civil rights movement, I was deeply disappointed to see someone of his stature question Donald Trump's election as president and say he's not attending the inauguration."

Meanwhile, Lewis joined Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, where Todd asked whether he would consider inviting Trump to Selma, Alabama, the site of Lewis' historic civil rights march with Martin Luther King, for a conversation of reconciliation. "I would not invite him to come," Lewis said, but, if the president-elect did go to Selma, "maybe he would learn something, maybe he would get religion." Bonnie Kristian

January 13, 2017
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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's experience in the 2016 Republican presidential primary was apparently enough to make him swear off ever running for political office again. While speaking Thursday at Texas A&M University, where he's spending two weeks teaching a course about governors, Bush admitted that he thinks 2016 was his best — and only — shot at making his presidential dreams a reality. "I unraveled everything I was doing to prepare for this — you don't do that lightly," Bush said. "I just think this was my chance."

But Bush swears he's doing okay in spite of his loss. He's moved on from giving out tiny toy turtles, and has turned his focus back to his education policy foundation and consulting work. "The conditions of this election weren't tailormade for me and I lost," Bush said. "But I'm not in therapy. I'm not in the fetal position. Life goes on." Becca Stanek

January 12, 2017

On Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump and his incoming press secretary, Sean Spicer, conflated CNN's report about unverified intelligence presented to Trump about Russian blackmail material on him and BuzzFeed's publishing of the entire unsubstantiated dossier. Anderson Cooper began his heated and entertaining interview with Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway by futilely asking for clarification: "Do you acknowledge here and now that CNN did not release the 35-page unsubstantiated claims against Donald Trump and it was misleading and untrue for Sean Spicer to suggest otherwise?" She would not. "CNN went first yesterday," Conway said, "and BuzzFeed went second."

"We didn't report what BuzzFeed reported," Cooper protested. Conway said that CNN's headline on Tuesday "is just false," and to prove it she cited "NBC News reports" and "tweets from people at Politico." Cooper pointed out the NBC News article just says the dossier summary was not verbally presented to Trump, something CNN did not assert. "Anderson, CNN went first and had this breathless report, you know, everybody said it was a 'bombshell,'" Conway said, and when Cooper noted that CNN never referred to it as a bombshell, Conway said that Seth Meyers had called it that on Late Night.

"What you're saying doesn't make sense," Cooper told Conway. "On the one hand you're saying our reporting is inaccurate, on the other hand you're saying you don't know if it was in the intelligence briefing and you can't say even if you did know." "I can tell you credible news reports today say it was not in there," she replied. "An NBC News report based on one source," Cooper said. "And what is yours based on?" Conway asked. "Multiple sources, and The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal as well say it," Cooper said.

"I get why politically it makes sense for you to link CNN to what BuzzFeed did," Cooper said, but it's apples and oranges. Conway argued that CNN is complicit because a story on its website linked to the BuzzFeed article, and "I think if you link to something on your website, you're reporting it." She never did say what CNN got wrong, but she did find a way to tie up loose ends. "CNN and BuzzFeed have a lot in common," she said, because "you both were absolutely convinced and told all of your viewers that Hillary Clinton was going to win this election." Peter Weber

January 11, 2017
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On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed a report from the U.S. intelligence community that asserted Russia tried to sway the U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump, saying the "amateurish" findings are "reminiscent of a witch hunt." On Tuesday, CNN and other news organizations reported that a former British MI6 agent had found evidence that Russia has "compromising personal and financial information" on Trump, and after Trump tweeted that the new allegations were "A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT," Peskov said early Wednesday that "the Kremlin has no compromising information on Trump."

"This report does not correspond to reality and is nothing but an absolute fiction," Peskov told reporters. "This is a total bluff, an absolute fabrication, complete nonsense.... The Kremlin does not collect compromising information." Whether or not that's true, technically, neither does the White House; typically, intelligence gathering is done by spy agencies. "The Kremlin might not" collect "kompromat," or compromising information, "but the FSB probably does," notes Politico's Jake Sherman, referring to the Russian successor to the KGB. Peter Weber

January 8, 2017
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President Obama did not misjudge possible threats from Russia, he said Sunday in an interview with ABC News, but did not realize the risk of digital election interference.

"I don't think I underestimated [Russian President Vladimir Putin]," Obama mused, "but I think that I underestimated the degree to which, in this new information age, it is possible for misinformation, for cyberhacking and so forth, to have an impact on our open societies, our open systems, to insinuate themselves into our democratic practices in ways that I think are accelerating."

Obama was speaking in response to this week's report from the FBI, NSA, and CIA that the Russian government hacked Democratic targets in an effort to manipulate the U.S. presidential election, a conclusion Trump rejected until Sunday. Obama also expressed his concern that some Republicans have "more confidence in Vladimir Putin than fellow Americans because those fellow Americans were Democrats. That cannot be." Bonnie Kristian

January 7, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter Saturday morning to criticize those who oppose his efforts to establish positive relations between the United States and Russia.

Trump's comments come in the wake of Friday's report from the CIA, FBI, and NSA which concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to help Trump's "election chances" and undermine Hillary Clinton's campaign. Bonnie Kristian

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