Ex-FBI deputy director 'disappointed' in Comey comments WASHINGTON (AP) - A lawyer for fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe says his client is "very upset and disappointed" with some comments by his former boss James Comey. Attorney Michael Bromwich on Friday addressed an inspector general investigation that led to McCabe's firing last month on allegations that he had misled officials about a news media disclosure. McCabe has said he told Comey that he had authorized FBI officials to share information with a Wall Street Journal reporter to push back against a story he felt would be unfair and inaccurate. Comey has said that McCabe did not tell him those specifics, and that he was left with the opposite impression.
In Comey memos, Trump talks of jailed journalists, 'hookers' WASHINGTON (AP) - In a series of startlingly candid conversations, President Donald Trump told former FBI Director James Comey that he had serious concerns about the judgment of a top adviser, asked about the possibility of jailing journalists and described a boast from Vladimir Putin about Russian prostitutes, according to Comey's notes of the talks obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday night. The 15 pages of documents contain new details about a series of interactions with Trump that Comey found so unnerving that he chose to document them in writing. Those seven encounters in the weeks and months before Comey's May 2017 firing include a Trump Tower discussion about allegations involving Trump and prostitutes in Moscow; a White House dinner at which Comey says Trump asked him for his loyalty; and a private Oval Office discussion where the ex-FBI head says the president asked him to end an investigation into Michael Flynn, the former White House national security adviser.
AP-NORC Poll: Americans expect Russia tension will get worse WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans largely fear the country's relationship with Russia and China will get worse in the coming year, and despite signs of diplomatic progress with Kim Jong Un on nuclear weapons, nearly half say the same about North Korea. That's according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research that provides insight into the public's view on the direction of U.S. ties with those key strategic rivals, 15 months after President Donald Trump took office. "Trump has opened up a whole bucket of worms, and he's doing it with too many countries all at once," said John Parker, 70, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
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First clues emerge about Cuba's future under new president HAVANA (AP) - Miguel Diaz-Canel has been the presumptive next president of Cuba since 2013, when Raul Castro named the laconic former provincial official to the important post of first vice president and lauded him as "neither a novice nor an improviser," high praise in a system dedicated to continuity over all. Castro said nothing about how a young civilian from outside his family could lead the socialist nation that he and his older brother Fidel created from scratch and ruled with total control for nearly 60 years. Exiles in Miami said Diaz-Canel would be a figurehead for continued Castro dominance.
Wells Fargo to pay $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses NEW YORK (AP) - Wells Fargo will pay $1 billion to federal regulators to settle charges tied to its mortgage and auto lending business, the latest chapter in a wide-ranging scandal at the banking giant. However, it appears that none of the $1 billion will go directly to the victims of Wells Fargo's abuses. In a settlement announced Friday, Wells will pay $500 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, its main national bank regulator, as well as a net $500 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The action by the CFPB is notable because it is the first penalty imposed by the bureau under Mick Mulvaney, who President Trump appointed to take over the consumer watchdog agency in late November.
EPA head showed penchant for travel, drivers even before DC OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Scott Pruitt's penchant for travel and concerns about security were notable even before he became head of the Environmental Protection Agency, according to newly obtained records that show that as Oklahoma's attorney general he frequently traveled out-of-state for appearances before conservative groups and used an office investigator as a driver. As Oklahoma's top prosecutor from 2011 to 2016, Pruitt was raising his profile nationally as a conservative in favor of rolling back regulation and federal authority. Records obtained by The Associated Press show Pruitt traveled extensively as Oklahoma's attorney general, taking 18 out-of-state trips in 2015 and 2016, for example, including 11 to Washington, D.C.
Israeli fire in new Gaza border protest kills 2 Palestinians GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Thousands of Palestinians joined the fourth weekly protest on Gaza's border with Israel on Friday, some burning tires or flying kites with flaming rags dangling from their tails. Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops firing from across the border fence, health officials said. Huge black plumes of smoke from the blazing tires engulfed the area, as Israeli troops fired tear gas and live bullets, witnesses said. Gaza's Health Ministry said 40 protesters were injured, but did not say how many of those were wounded by gunfire or overcome by tear gas. The protests are part of what organizers, led by Gaza's ruling Hamas group, have billed as an escalating showdown with Israel, to culminate in a mass march on May 15.
Barbara Bush believed literacy could cure other ills AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - On a hot summer day in 1978, as her husband mulled his first presidential run, Barbara Bush headed to Houston's leafy Memorial Park for a jog while she thought about what issues she'd like to focus on should she become first lady. Bush was concerned about stubborn societal problems like crime, the homeless, drugs and hunger. But as she ran, the then-53-year-old came to the realization that teaching more people to read could help decrease the other major problems, which can grow out of lack of literacy and educational opportunity. "After much thought, I realized everything I worried about would be better if more people could read, write and comprehend," Bush wrote in her 1994 autobiography, "Barbara Bush: A Memoir." It would be another decade before Bush became first lady, but, in the interval, she was active in literacy programs.
As Prince's health waned, alarm grew in inner circle MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Some of Prince's closest confidants had grown increasingly alarmed about his health in the days before he died and tried to get him help as they realized he had an opioid addiction - yet none were able to give investigators the insight they needed to determine where the musician got the fentanyl that killed him, according to investigative documents released Thursday. Just ahead of this weekend's two-year anniversary of Prince's death, prosecutors announced they would file no criminal charges in the case and the state investigation was closed. "My focus was lasered in on trying to find out who provided that fentanyl, and we just don't know where he got it," said Carver County Attorney Mark Metz.