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AP Top Political News at 3:18 p.m. EDT

Illinois primary could set up most expensive governor's race
CHICAGO (AP) -- Two inordinately wealthy front-runners who have largely bankrolled their campaigns for Illinois governor faced nomination challenges Tuesday in a primary that also features a self-described "middle-class candidate," a member of a famous political family and an insurgent state legislator....

Senators push for better security for 2018 election season
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Government efforts to protect state and local elections from Russian cyberattacks in 2016 didn't go far enough, leaders of the Senate intelligence committee said Tuesday as the panel released recommendations to safeguard against foreign meddling in the 2018 primary season that's already underway....

Trump calls Putin to congratulate him on re-election
MOSCOW (AP) -- President Donald Trump called Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to congratulate him on his re-election to a fourth term, and they discussed arranging a meeting against the backdrop of heightened tensions between their two nations over election meddling....

Cambridge Analytica: We designed Trump campaign strategy
LONDON (AP) -- Cambridge Analytica chief executive Alexander Nix has said in comments that were secretly recorded and broadcast Tuesday by Britain's Channel 4 news that his company played a major role in securing Donald Trump's narrow victory in the 2016 presidential election....

Trump praises Saudi crown prince over economic ties, sales
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman opened a marathon tour of the United States on Tuesday by soaking in praise from President Donald Trump, who championed close economic ties and increased military sales to the Saudis as he hosted the young heir to the throne in the Oval Office....

The Latest: Trump doesn't raise ex-spy death with Putin
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin (all times local):...

Republicans opt to wait out Trump's storm against Mueller
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congressional Republicans made clear Tuesday they won't take steps to protect special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired, insisting it's unnecessary and opting instead to wait out the storm....

The Latest: Trump team makes overture to high-profile lawyer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on the special counsel investigation into contacts between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia (all times local):...

Federal official calls air bag replacement rates 'uneven'
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal officials say they're exploring new ways to reach out to car owners to get more people to participate in the Takata air bag recall....

Judge won't dismiss 'Apprentice' contestant suit vs. Trump
NEW YORK (AP) -- Saying no one is above the law, a New York state judge refused to toss out a defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump by a former contestant on "The Apprentice."...