Arnie Seipel

Updated at 6:37 p.m. ET

Less than a month after President Trump hired an outside lawyer to deal with inquiries related to the Russia investigations, Vice President Pence has followed suit.

Pence's office confirms he has hired Richard Cullen, who served as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia during the term of George H.W. Bush and later worked on George W. Bush's legal team during the 2000 Florida recount.

Updated at 7:28 p.m. ET

Former FBI director James Comey may have done more damage to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday than even President Trump, whom Comey publicly accused of waving him off part of the Russia investigation.

Comey said he expected Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia investigation weeks before he did because of reasons that are classified. That does not comport with Sessions rationale when he announced his recusal in early March.

Television viewers were confused and concerned when Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., took his turn to question former FBI Director James Comey Thursday — and McCain has now responded.

Fired FBI Director James Comey may tell the Senate Intelligence Committee next week that President Trump suggested he ease off at least part of the FBI's Russia investigation.

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

White House communications director Michael Dubke has resigned. Dubke offered his resignation on May 18, prior to President Trump's overseas trip to the Middle East and Europe. He is still working at the White House and has not set a departure date yet.

"I also protect myself by being flexible. I never get too attached to one deal or one approach."

Those words from Donald Trump's The Art of The Deal may be giving congressional Republicans some hope this week.

That's because Congress is facing a midnight Friday deadline to pass legislation to keep the federal government fully open — or face a partial government shutdown precisely on President Trump's 100th day in office.

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, announced that he will not run for re-election in 2018 and will not seek any public office next year.

Editors' note Monday, 12:55 p.m. ET: Since this story was first published, we have added material from another former student and former law clerks of Gorsuch, as well as more information about Jennifer Sisk's political affiliations. On Tuesday, Gorsuch disputed the allegation himself during his confirmation hearing and explained the lesson he intended to teach.

A handful of top Republicans are calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from a federal investigation into whether Russia interfered with last year's presidential election, as top Democrats call on Sessions to resign.

When you win an election, opposition can seem kind of, well, manufactured.

Asked about the protests facing members of Congress back home this week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said, "Some people are clearly upset, but there is a bit of professional protester, manufactured base in there."

On Monday evening, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn resigned as President Trump's National Security Adviser over his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the U.S.

Flynn had denied that he spoke to the ambassador about sanctions the Obama administration had imposed over suspected Russian meddling in the 2016 election when he spoke to the ambassador in December, before Trump was in office.

President Trump played golf this weekend, but he wanted to make it clear that he was not just kicking back and relaxing.

"The President enjoyed hosting Prime Minister Abe on the golf course today, which was both relaxing and productive," the White House said in a statement. "They had great conversations on a wide range of subjects."

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe joined Trump at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., for the weekend, and the two played a round with South African golfer Ernie Els at the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., on Saturday.

How could the first Super Bowl of the Trump era escape politics?

It couldn't.

If you were just watching the game on TV, the politics were mostly subtle. Sure, there were the political ads. There were ads for everyone from NASCAR to Airbnb, which has taken on President Trump's travel ban.

WARNING: Some of the jokes in the scene above easily qualify as adult humor, and may not be appropriate for younger readers.

For the second time in as many days, a Senate committee's GOP leadership has bypassed a boycott by Democrats to advance President Trump's Cabinet nominees.

The Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee boycotted the second meeting in a row to confirm Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA.

Updated 1:15 p.m. ET

A day after Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted votes to advance the nominations for President Trump's nominees to lead the departments of the Treasury and Health and Human Services, the panel's Republicans met in a surprise meeting Wednesday morning and voted to suspend committee rules to vote on those nominees without Democrats present.

Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET.

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted planned votes on Tuesday morning to advance the nominations of two Trump Cabinet nominees.

Former President George H.W. Bush wanted to be clear that there was no ill will keeping him from attending Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday.

The 92-year-old had decided to stay home weeks ago because of his advanced age and poor health. Bush is the only former president who will miss the ceremony. His son George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter are all expected to attend along with their wives.

With little power left in Washington, Democrats set out on Sunday to make a big statement against GOP efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act with rallies in dozens of cities.

It's also a step for the party toward regaining its footing after grassroots efforts in 2016 failed to keep the White House in Democrats' hands.

President-elect Donald Trump is unabashedly praising Russian President Vladimir Putin, a day after outgoing President Obama issued tough sanctions against the country in response to alleged cyberattacks intended to influence the U.S. elections.

President-elect Donald Trump doesn't seem to like suggestions that his victory over Hillary Clinton was anything but huge.

Trump made false claims that Clinton's lead in the popular vote was due to illegal voting.

He has chafed at recount efforts in states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — even though such recounts pose no risk to Trump's victory, since he won those states by tens of thousands of votes.

President-elect Donald Trump won a convincing electoral vote victory on Nov. 8, but he is claiming falsely that widespread voter fraud cost him the popular vote.

The latest totals show Hillary Clinton leading Trump in the popular vote by more than 2 million. Trump tweeted on Sunday afternoon, "I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally." He did not provide evidence to back up that claim, and Trump's representatives did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

A few weeks ago, Donald Trump told a New Hampshire crowd he loves to cite the polls — when he is ahead.

"When we do badly, I don't know about polls, right? But when we're doing well, I know about polls," Trump said in Sandown, N.H., on Oct. 6. Since then, Trump has fallen from about 4 points behind Hillary Clinton nationally, to about 6 points. But his positioning in battleground states that will determine which candidate gets to 270 electoral votes has become much more precarious.

Trump is now lashing out against those polls.

Well, maybe.

Democrats have fantasized about turning Texas blue for a long time. And Hillary Clinton sees a slight opportunity to do that.

Donald Trump has been raising doubts about the integrity of the election for months, but his running mate and other GOP leaders are taking a more cautious tone.

"We will absolutely accept the result of the election," Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said on NBC's Meet The Press Sunday. "Look, the American people will speak in an election that will culminate on November the 8th. But the American people are tired of the obvious bias in the national media."

Updated at 10:20 p.m. ET

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has had a strained relationship with Barack Obama, but he's putting in time to get off on the right foot with whoever succeeds the president.

Netanyahu met privately with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for more than an hour at Trump Tower in New York on Sunday morning. Netanyahu met with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for about 50 minutes Sunday evening.

It was 1995. Bill Clinton was president. His wife Hillary had been through a bruising political defeat after leading a charge to reform health care. And Forrest Gump won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Bill Clinton says that out of the hundreds of thousands of donors to the Clinton Foundation over the past 18 years, there must have been some people who gave to the foundation to gain influence with him and his wife.

But the former president told NPR that doesn't mean any donors received anything improperly.

President Obama is laughing off Donald Trump's sudden turn-around on his birth.

"There's an extra spring in my step tonight," Obama said to a dinner hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in Washington, D.C., on Saturday night. "I don't know about you guys, but I am so relieved that the whole birther thing is over. I mean, ISIL, North Korea, poverty, climate change, none of those things weighed on my mind like the validity of my birth certificate."

Updated at 9:40 a.m. ET

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign will begin airing its first television ads of the general election in the coming days, the campaign confirms to NPR.

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