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Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Omarosa Manigault, a high-profile member of President Donald Trump's team, is resigning, according to the White House.

She will stay on until Jan. 20.

This marks the departure of one of the most prominent supporters and members of the president’s team, a rare minority on the president's senior staff and most often the only person of color in the room.

"Omarosa Manigault Newman resigned yesterday to pursue other opportunities. Her departure will not be effective until Jan. 20, 2018. We wish her the best in future endeavors and are grateful for her service," a White House official said in a statement.

Manigault, a former Apprentice contestant, followed Trump to the White House from the campaign where she took on the role of public liaison. She had previously served in the office of Vice President Al Gore during Bill Clinton's administration.

She also had a very public feud with April Ryan, a White House reporter for American Urban Radio Networks, in which Manigault reportedly said she had a recording of an altercation between the two.

Manigault, 43, sparked controversy earlier this year, according to Politico, when she brought her 39-person bridal party to the White House for an “extended wedding photo shoot.”

She was banned from posting any of the photos online.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Democrats are already hailing Doug Jones’ victory as a moral triumph -- not just for Alabama, but for the entire country.

His election is a political shot in the arm for Democrats who believed this ruby-red seat was unattainable, a referendum on Roy Moore -- who faced multiple accusations of sexual misconduct towards the end of the race -- and on President Donald Trump’s outright endorsement of Moore.

But while his election has powerful political repercussions, Jones becoming the 49th Senate Democrat will likely have only a modest impact on Republicans’ ability to accomplish their legislative goals, although his joining the Senate ranks will be a strong catalyst for Republicans to finish their major agenda items before he is sworn in.

The biggest difference that Jones can make, in terms of Senate votes, is on bills and nominations requiring only a simple majority of 51 votes, such as budget-related measures and judicial nominees.

On taxes, Jones’ victory could vex Republicans’ whip count if he is in fact sworn in before Congress sends their bill to President Trump’s desk. Jones is expected to be sworn in by Dec. 27 at the earliest, but party leaders insist they will have the bill done by Christmas.

But if they fail to advance the bill before Jones is seated, Republicans would only be able to lose one of their remaining 51 votes in the Senate and still pass the bill on a party-line vote, with Vice President Mike Pence acting as a tie-breaker.

House and Senate Republicans are working in what’s known as a conference committee to merge their respective versions of the tax bill into a conference report together, and Senate leaders have said they’ll have a final version ready for votes by the end of this week.

But Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., already voted against Senate’s initial version of the bill. So in the event that he is still a "no" vote and Jones is sworn in before the conference report gets voted out of Congress, Senate leaders will no longer have any margin at all for losing additional Republicans.

Beyond the tax bill, most of the Senate’s major legislative pushes will require a supermajority, so Republicans will need to get nine Democratic “yes” votes in order to advance most bills instead of eight. Jones has political views in keeping with those of the mainstream of his party.

While Senate Democrats will no doubt relish the additional vote they have with Jones -- not to mention the political and moral messages his victory sends -- their bigger challenge will come in 2018, when 23 Democrats and two independents who caucus with Democrats are up for re-election and Republicans are defending only 10 seats.

“The '18 election will decide who will control the Senate, and I think it’s going to be us. I hope so,” Sen. Richard Shelby, Jones’ future fellow Alabama senator, told reporters hours before the vote.

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Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- Alabama's senatorial runoff day not only marked the first time a Democrat has won a Senate seat in Alabama in 25 years.

It also marked a major introduction for Doug Jones.

Jones' campaign for senator was often overshadowed by the bluster of, and litany of accusations against, his opponent, Roy Moore.

He stepped out on the national stage on Tuesday evening with a hard-fought victory, looking to leave an impression, and left the stage -- yes, honestly -- to the tune of "Teach Me How to Dougie."

Here's what you need to know about the Alabama senator-elect:

Legal background


Prior to stepping into the national spotlight in this special-election Senate race, Jones spent most of his career working on the state level.

He has worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Birmingham, Alabama, and was appointed to the role as a U.S. attorney by then-President Bill Clinton in 1997.

On his campaign website, Jones notes that while he was appointed by a Democratic president, he was confirmed by a majority-Republican Senate.

Jones left the U.S. attorney's office in 2001 and worked in a private practice.

He entered himself into the Senate special-election race in May, vying for the seat left open when Jeff Sessions was appointed as attorney general in President Trump's Cabinet.

High-profile cases


During the campaign, Jones pointed to some of the biggest legal cases that he was involved with through the years.

One was a 1963 church bombing that left four black teenage girls dead and two Ku Klux Klan members free for more than two decades after the crime.

One suspect in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing was put on trial and convicted in 1977, but it wasn't until 20 years later that the case against two other suspects -- Thomas Blanton and Bobby Cherry -- was reopened shortly after Jones was appointed as U.S. attorney. Blanton was convicted in 2001, and Cherry was found guilty a year later.

Jones was also involved in the prosecution of Eric Rudolph, whose 1998 attack on a Birmingham abortion clinic killed an off-duty police officer. Rudolph was convicted in 2005, after Jones left office.

Historic win

Alabama has not elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since Sen. Richard Shelby was re-elected in 1992. He switched his affiliation to the GOP in 1994 and still holds that seat.

After Moore’s victory over former Republican primary nominee Luther Strange, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and other Democratic groups sent out statements in support of Jones, signaling more national support heading his way.

“Doug Jones is a man of character and integrity who is unafraid to stand up for what’s right and has a proven record of independence that will serve Alabama families in the U.S. Senate,” DSCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen wrote in a statement Tuesday night.

“Doug subscribes to the founders’ immortal declaration that all men and women are created equal and, as such, he has always put people over party,” the DNC statement read. “And he’ll bring that same integrity and tenacity to Washington when Alabamians elect him to serve as their next senator in December’s special election.”

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Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- Negative perceptions among voters over the sexual misconduct allegations against Republican Roy Moore handed the Democrats a rare victory in deep-red Alabama, with broad gender and racial gaps and vast shifts among typically pro-GOP groups in the state, including independents, moderates and non-evangelical whites.

On the central issue of the election, 51 percent of voters said the allegations against Moore were definitely or probably true, vs. 44 percent who saw them as definitely or probably false. Those who believed Moore’s accusers backed Jones by 90-8 percent.

Among key groups, Democrat Doug Jones led Moore by 17 percentage points among women in exit poll results, 58-41 percent, a sharp shift from 12- and 21-point Republican margins among women in the 2012 presidential and 2008 Senate elections in the state, the last two races in which exit polls were conducted.

Jones’ support from women was concentrated, in particular, among women with children under 18 at home, who backed him by 66-32 percent. The Moore controversy involved his alleged advances toward young and underage women.

Jones won 31 percent of whites, double Barack Obama’s share in 2012 and nearly triple the Democratic share in the 2008 Senate race. College-educated white women and non-evangelical whites swung very sharply toward the Democrat. Blacks, a nearly unanimous group for Jones, accounted for 28 percent of voters, in line with their past turnout despite a more restrictive voter ID law enacted in 2014.

One big shift came among political independents. Twenty-one percent of voters, they favored Jones by 9 points, after voting Republican by an overwhelming 52-point margin in 2012 and by 45 points in 2008.

The result came in a state that’s about as solidly Republican as they come. Now-President Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 28 points here last year, the largest margin of victory in a presidential contest in the state since 1972 and Trump’s fifth biggest win -- after Wyoming, West Virginia, Oklahoma and North Dakota. Republican Sen. Richard Shelby won re-election also by 28 points last year, and then-Sen. Jeff Sessions beat the Democrat by 27 points in 2008. (Sessions was unopposed in 2014.)

Trump, who controversially endorsed Moore, managed only a 48-47 percent approval-disapproval rating among Alabama voters. Those who “strongly” disapprove of the president’s work in office, moreover, outnumbered strong approvers by 7 points, 40 to 33 percent.

Jones won even as Republicans outnumbered Democrats by 6 points, 43 to 37 percent. Reflecting the party’s built-in advantage in Alabama, more voters said they wanted the Republican Party to be in control of the Senate than the Democratic Party, 50-44 percent. At the same time, neither party is held in high regard: Forty-six percent saw the Democratic Party favorably, while 44 percent said the same about the GOP.

Among other factors, Jones scored on enthusiasm. Seventy-five percent of his voters said they strongly favored their candidate, compared with 55 percent of Moore’s voters. Indeed, 56 percent of voters saw Moore unfavorably overall. Jones did better, but not well; 48 percent saw him unfavorably.

Moore relied on traditional, core GOP groups in the state: conservatives, Republicans, white evangelicals, men, non-college whites and older voters. White evangelicals accounted for 44 percent of voters, compared with 47 percent in the 2012 presidential and 2008 Senate elections alike. Additionally, 53 percent of voters said abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. Moore is strongly anti-abortion, while Jones generally supports legal abortion.

Helpfully to Moore -- albeit insufficient -- voters under age 30 saw their share of the electorate fall to 13 percent, down from 18 percent in 2012 and 22 percent in 2008. They backed Jones by 60-38 percent.

Jones' win relied on support from women, independents, liberal, moderates, blacks, non-evangelical whites, white college graduates, younger voters, and residents of Birmingham and the surrounding south central region.

Much fewer than half of voters, 41 percent, said the allegations against Moore were at least one of several important factors in their vote. Of the rest, 19 percent called the controversy a minor factor and 35 percent said it was not a factor at all. That adds to 60 percent calling the controversy a factor, if even a minor one -- and they voted for Jones by 68-31 percent, enough to lift him to his improbable victory.

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- Doug Jones made history on Tuesday as the first Democrat to be voted into Senate from reliably red Alabama in more than two decades. But Jones called the day a historic one for another reason: It was also his 25th wedding anniversary.

“I have said throughout this campaign that I thought that Dec. 12 would be an historic day,” Jones said during his victory speech Tuesday night. “But I gotta tell you -- and you know where I’m headed -- Dec. 12 has always been an historic day for the Jones family.”

“This is, as you know, mine and Louise’s 25th wedding anniversary. My running mate, my partner. I could not have done this without her,” he added as he reached out to kiss his smiling wife.

Jones went on to thank her for her “love,” “support” and “encouragement” over the years.

“This has been a wonderful night,” he said. “I am truly overwhelmed."

“We have shown not just around the state of Alabama, but we have shown the country the way that we can be unified,” Jones added.

Jones, a former U.S. attorney, is projected by ABC News to have defeated Republican Roy Moore in a closely watched special election that gained national attention when several women accused Moore of sexual misconduct toward them. Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, denied those claims throughout the race.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting as of midnight Wednesday, Jones led Moore 49.9 to 48.4 percent, a difference of just under 21,000 votes.

Moore, however, refused to concede defeat late Tuesday, telling supporters that “it's not over.”

Jones is set to take over the seat left vacant by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. His term would expire in January 2021.

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Doug Jones, a Democratic former U.S. attorney whose long-shot candidacy was bolstered by a wave of sexual misconduct accusations against his opponent Roy Moore, will win the special election to become Alabama's junior U.S. senator, ABC News can project, based on its analysis of the vote.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting as of 12:00 a.m. ET Wednesday, Jones led Moore by a 49.9-48.4 percent margin, a difference of just under 21,000 votes. Slightly more than 22,000 voters cast write-in ballots.

Jones' victory is the first by a Democrat in an Alabama Senate race in 25 years and a powerful rebuke to both the Republican Party, which sees its majority in the Senate cut to a single legislator; and President Donald Trump, who supported two consecutive losing candidates in the race to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions' former seat.

The outcome is also the latest showcase of strength in the ongoing movement of backlash against alleged sexual harassers and assaulters. Starting in early November, Moore faced accusations from eight women that he engaged in sexual misconduct, including that he initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl in 1979 when he was 32.

Moore denied all of the claims and steadfastly remained in the race, even as members of his own party called for him to drop out and pledged to initiate his expulsion from the Senate if he were to win. As a result, Jones' campaign received the shot in the arm that resulted in a Democrat capturing one of the state's Senate seats for the first time since Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala. -- then a Democrat -- first won election in 1992.


Jones portrayed his win Tuesday evening as a sign to the rest of the country, saying during his victory speech that Alabama showed the U.S. that "we can be unified." He further praised the state for reversing course after a history of what he described as poor decisions.

"Alabama has been at a crossroads. We've been at a crossroads in the past, and we've usually taken the wrong fork," Jones said. "Tonight, ladies and gentleman, you took the right road."

Calling it his "lifelong dream" to serve in the Senate, Jones further expressed pride at running a campaign he said was about "dignity and respect" and "common courtesy and decency."

Speaking just after 11:30 p.m. ET, Moore refused to concede, raising the possibility of a recount and saying that he would "wait on God and let this process play out."

"It's not over," said Moore.

Prior to the accusations of sexual misconduct, Moore had already earned a long-standing reputation as a fierce defender of Christianity in the public sphere. His two stints as chief justice ended when he was removed from office for refusing to displace a Ten Commandments monument from the lobby of the Alabama Judicial Building and over a decade later when he resigned after he was suspended for ordering state judges to uphold a ban on same-sex marriages.

The Senate race has created a wedge between many prominent Republicans on Capitol Hill, who have maintained that Moore should step aside, and Trump, who endorsed Moore.

While he did not campaign in Alabama, Trump urged voters to support Moore at a weekend rally in Pensacola, Florida, roughly 20 miles from the Alabama state line and close enough to be seen in the Alabama media market.

The president also recorded a robocall over the weekend urging Alabama voters to back Moore.

"Roy Moore is the guy we need to pass our 'Make America Great Again' agenda," Trump said on the call, adding, "Roy is a conservative who will help me steer this country back on track after eight years of the Obama disaster. Get out and vote for Roy Moore."

Trump also argued that Moore has consistently denied the allegations as part of his rationale for endorsing him.

After a number of news organizations projected Jones the winner Tuesday evening, Trump tweeted his congratulations to the Democrat, but pledged the GOP would keep the senator-elect's seat in its sights.

"Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard-fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!"

National Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called on Moore to step aside in the wake of the sexual misconduct accusations, but Moore remained defiant. Republican senators, from Jeff Flake of Arizona to Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, expressed views that Moore is not fit to serve, and Flake went so far as to donate $100 to the Jones campaign.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said prior to the vote that even if Moore should win the election, he should be expelled from the United States Senate.

Shelby, Alabama's senior senator, was particularly outspoken about not backing Moore.

"I wouldn't vote for Roy Moore. I think the Republican Party can do better," Shelby said Sunday on CNN.

But despite the allegations and widespread backlash against Moore, Jones faced an uphill battle in a state that Trump won by over 20 points in 2016.

Moore strongly embraced the president and painted Jones, who was appointed as a U.S. attorney by Bill Clinton in 1997, as too liberal on issues such as illegal immigration, abortion and same-sex marriage.

Jones, in turn, pitched himself as a politician who would reach across party lines, and ran a campaign focused on turning out African-American voters and Alabama Republicans skeptical of the former chief justice both before and after the allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced.

This past weekend, Jones campaigned across the state with numerous high-profile African-American politicians, including Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Alabama's only Democrat in the House, Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala.

Jones further saved his fiercest attacks on Moore for the final weeks of the campaign.

“I damn sure believe that I have done my part to ensure that men who hurt little girls should go to jail and not the U.S. Senate," Jones said at a campaign rally in Birmingham last week.

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Al Drago/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Chuck Schumer’s office said the Senate Democratic Leader was the target of an attempted smear campaign in which someone forged a sexual harassment claim against him and shopped phony court documents to major media outlets.

Schumer’s office told ABC News that it has filed a report with the Capitol Police.

The 13-page document, which ABC had obtained from sources, resembles a legal complaint filed by a former Schumer staffer in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It appears to detail alleged incidents of sexual harassment directed at one of his female staffers on Capitol Hill.

During a phone conversation, the former staffer said flatly that she never experienced any misconduct during her time on Schumer’s staff and never filed a complaint with the Hill’s Office of Compliance.

“The claims in this document are completely false. My signature is forged, and even basic facts about me are wrong,” the former staffer listed as the plaintiff in the document told ABC News in a statement.

ABC News found no record of a federal court filing under the woman’s name in U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C.

“I have contacted law enforcement to determine who is responsible. I parted with Sen. Schumer’s office on good terms and have nothing but the fondest memories of my time there,” she said.

The woman told ABC News she had planned to report the matter to police on Tuesday.

A review of the document by ABC News found several unusual formatting and stylistic features. Numbering along the side of the page is not found on District of Columbia legal documents, for example. Also, the alleged plaintiff represented herself without a lawyer -- called "pro se" in legal terminology -- but yet the document used language heavy in legalese.

A source close to Schumer also questioned several of the dates associated with the alleged inappropriate behavior in the document. In one case, the claim alleges Schumer was in Washington when in fact he was in New York City on that date; in another instance, it lists an incident that took place in Washington when the senator was in France, the source said.

"The document is a forged document, and every allegation is false. We have turned it over to the Capitol Police and asked them to investigate and pursue criminal charges because it is clear the law has been broken,” said Schumer's communications director, Matt House, in a statement.

"We believe the individual responsible for forging the document should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to prevent other malicious actors from doing the same."

House said reporters from the Washington Post, CNN, BuzzFeed and others have all inquired about the document.

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Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Donald Trump Jr. is expected back on Capitol Hill Wednesday for a closed-door interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee, sources confirmed to ABC News.

The interview will be Trump Jr.’s third appearance before congressional Russia investigators. Last week, he was grilled by members of the House Intelligence Committee for roughly eight hours about his controversial Trump Tower meeting during the presidential campaign with a Russian lawyer who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton, as well as about his contacts with WikiLeaks.

The president’s eldest son told investigators that he spoke to his father shortly after reports revealed the 2016 Trump Tower meeting last summer. He infuriated Democrats by declining to detail those conversations with then-candidate Trump, saying that the conversation was protected by attorney-client privilege because lawyers for both were present at the time.

"Counsel made a claim of attorney-client privilege,” California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Committee, told ABC News after the interview. “This is a central communication about a very pivotal meeting, and a conversation between father and son is not subject to the attorney-client privilege. So we intend to persist and make sure we get answers to that question."

Sources familiar with his testimony said Trump Jr. also testified that he discussed responding to the reports with Hope Hicks, a Trump campaign aide-turned-White House communications director recently questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller's team as part of its ongoing investigation.

The sources said he also told lawmakers that he did not engage in any follow-up communications with WikiLeaks beyond the direct message exchanges on Twitter he recently revealed after the correspondence was first reported by The Atlantic.

Wednesday might not be Trump Jr.’s final appearance at the Capitol, as some senators have pushed for him to testify publicly about his Trump Tower meeting and activities during the presidential campaign.

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions invoked this week’s terror attack in New York City to criticize United States immigration policy at a Baltimore press conference Tuesday.

“As yesterday's New York events showed, in the starkest terms, the failures of our immigration system are also a national security issue,” Sessions said on Tuesday.

Sessions said chain migration -- the process of immigrants helping their family members immigrate -- and the diversity visa lottery were responsible for terrorists entering the U.S.

“How did it happen?” Sessions said regarding Monday’s attack. “An individual won the lottery in Bangladesh. He came here. He then, through the chain migration process, brought his sister, and she brought her son, 20 years old, and he’s the one who attempted to blow up the subway in New York.”

Sessions was speaking at a press conference focused on efforts to combat MS-13 gang violence and the administration's immigration priorities alongside the newly sworn-in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. This was her second public event since her swearing-in last week.

“This terrorist was clearly planning to kill Americans. That was his intent. He showed up to do just that and, through a variety of circumstances, we were lucky that no lives were taken, although three people were injured,” Nielsen said.

She said DHS was not aware of any additional specific, credible threats, but that the department was taking additional security precautions and assessing possible security enhancements as a result of the attack.

Nielsen also said the administration was planning to reform the overall immigration system in part to secure the homeland, calling current policies “misguided.”

She said that as a result of President Donald Trump’s “outspoken” concern that more be done to keep the country safe, the administration is “putting in place new measures to keep terrorists from entering our country.”

Those measures include intensifying vetting of U.S.-bound travelers, securing the border, reforming immigration policy and placing travel restrictions on high-risk countries, according to Nielsen.

The administration is "planning to modify our immigration system to end misguided and outdated visa systems such as the extended family chain migration and the diversity visa lottery,” she said.

Instead, Nielsen said the U.S. should focus on a “merit-based system,” similar to those of Canada and Australia, that would better support the U.S. economy and assimilation to the country.

Sessions also linked illegal immigration to the rise of MS-13 violence.

The attorney general said transnational gangs such as MS-13 have “taken advantage of our porous southern border and previously lax immigration law enforcement” in prepared remarks.

He said he ordered DOJ prosecutors to renew their focus on immigration offenses -- specifically when criminals have a gang and cartel affiliation or violent crime offenses.

The press conference was on the same day that Alabama held its special election for its open Senate seat, which was left vacant by Sessions when he joined the Trump administration. ABC News projected Democrat Doug Jones as the winner late Tuesday.

In November, Sessions said he had “no reason to doubt” Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore’s accusers.

“Well, I answered the question as I knew it at the time,” he said Tuesday when asked if he stood by the statement.

Moore faces allegations from eight women who have accused him of sexual misconduct toward them when he was in his 30s and, in some cases, when the women were in their teens.

He has denied the allegations.

Sessions said he voted as an absentee, but did not reveal for whom.

“I value the sanctity of the ballot,” he said, adding that the people of Alabama will “make the right decision, I’m sure.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The senior FBI agent removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team over the summer repeatedly called President Donald Trump "an idiot," and said the Republican Party "needs to pull their head out of their" rear-ends, according to text messages he sent to an FBI colleague that were reviewed Tuesday by ABC News.

ABC News first reported in August that Peter Strzok, who had been tapped only weeks earlier by Mueller to help lead the probe of alleged Russian meddling in last year's presidential election, had left Mueller's team. Strzok is now working for the FBI’s Human Resources Division.

The Justice Department’s inspector general, looking into an array of FBI actions tied to last year’s election, found the text messages sent between Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page, who also worked on Mueller’s team into the summer.

Even without knowing the contents of those messages, Trump and fellow Republicans seized on the news, using it to question the integrity of Mueller’s probe.

But now lawmakers know exactly what Strzok said in those messages, after the Justice Department sent copies of them to House and Senate committees on Tuesday night.

"God trump is a loathsome human," Page texted Strzok on March 4, 2016, the day after a Republican primary debate.

Strzok responded, "Yet he may win," adding later, “Omg he’s an idiot.”

In the early morning of Oct. 20, 2016, hours after the final debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton, Strzok texted, "I am riled up. Trump is [an] idiot, is unable to provide a coherent answer."

Numerous times over the next several months, Strzok expressed concern that "the absolute bigoted nonsense of Trump,” as he called it, could incite racial tensions inside the United States. "I am worried about what Trump is encouraging in our behavior,” he wrote to Page on Aug. 14, 2016. “The things that made me proud about our tolerance for dissent -- what makes us different from Sunnis and Shias losing each other up -- is disappearing."

And then on Nov. 21, 2016, after Trump had been elected the next president of the United States, Strzok told Page that he was “worried racial tension is going to get really bad."

In all, ABC News reviewed more than 375 messages exchanged between Strzok and Page from August 2015 to December 2016.

Their criticisms were not only aimed at Trump; they also targeted other Republican candidates for president and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

Strzok has spent much of his law enforcement career working counterintelligence cases, and he has been widely praised by federal law enforcement officials who spoke with ABC News.

According to The Washington Post, Strzok and Page were involved in a romantic relationship.

"Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the Special Counsel's Office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation," Mueller spokesman Peter Carr said in a recent statement. "Lisa Page completed her brief [assignment] and had returned to the FBI weeks before our office was aware of the allegations."

During a House hearing last week, FBI Director Chris Wray disputed any suggestions that FBI agents bring inappropriate biases to their work.

“The FBI that I see is tens of thousands of agents and analysts and staff working their tails off to keep Americans safe from the next terrorist attack, gang violence, child predators, spies from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran,” Wray said. "The FBI that I see is tens of thousands of brave men and women who are working as hard as they can to keep people that they will never know safe from harm."

He continued, "The FBI that I see is people -– decent people – committed to the highest principles of integrity, professionalism and respect."

Wray noted that the Justice Department’s "outside" and "independent" inspector general is currently looking into allegations related to Strzok and others. "And when that independent fact-finding is complete, we will hold our folks accountable if that’s appropriate," he said.


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William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, through his attorney, has formally asked the House Intelligence Committee to open a review into leaks during and after his meeting last week behind closed doors with the committee.

In a letter to House Intelligence Chairman Michael Conaway, Trump Jr’s attorney, Alan Futerfas, asks for an investigation to “determine whether any member or staff member violated the rules by leaking information to media concerning the interview or by purposely providing inaccurate information which led to significant misreporting.”

In his letter, Futerfas details the rules he and his client agreed to before attending including turning over their electronic devices for the duration of the closed door interview. Futerfas says he and his client fail to understand that, despite this agreement, several news organizations began reporting on events happening behind closed doors while the interview was on going.

Trump Jr’s attorney goes on to say after the interview the fact that committee members gave on camera interviews detailing what happened during the session also breaks the rules he and his client agreed to.

“The Committee’s integrity and credibility should never be in question,” Futerfas writes.

An aide to Conaway declined to comment on the letter from Trump’s attorney. Last week’s meeting lasted just under eight hours, and was the longest meeting Trump Jr. has had before a congressional committee after previously testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year. Trump Jr is expected to meet with the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday for another closed door interview.

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Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- More than 110 House Democrats have joined a letter to the leaders of the House Oversight Committee calling for an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against President Donald Trump.

"I think when you go back to the [election], there were so many issues being litigated that may have overshadowed the allegations of the many, many women who accused him of sexual abuse," Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Florida, the leader of the letter, said at a news conference Tuesday. "If you look at the mood of the country and the Me Too movement, the time is right to really get to the truth of the matter."

More than a dozen women have accused Trump of sexual harassment and assault in the years before he was president. Trump and the White House have denied the allegations.

On Monday, prompted by a national reckoning with sexual harassment in media, entertainment and politics, four of the women who had previously accused Trump of sexual harassment called on Congress to investigate their allegations.

The letter sent to the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday was initially organized by a group of female House Democrats, but many of their male counterparts asked to be a part of the effort, Frankel said.

Asked about the focus on allegations that predate the Trump administration, Frankel cited congressional investigations into Whitewater during the Clinton administration.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-California, also commented on Trump's tweet about Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., calling it "grotesque."

"It represents the conduct of a person who is ill equipped to be the president of the United States," she said.

Frankel told ABC News that Democrats should take up an investigation of the allegations against Trump in the Oversight Committee — which has broad jurisdiction over the federal government as well as subpoena power — if the party retakes the House in 2018.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, supported Democrats' push, and cited Paula Jones’ lawsuit more than two decades ago against President Bill Clinton as precedent to sue a sitting U.S. president.

“If there are allegations against the president, and someone wants to take him to court, there is the law and there is the precedent that this has already happened to a president,” Pelosi said. “When the president says that he has witnesses to the fact that none of this stuff ever happened, that would be quite a remarkable thing, but nonetheless, he may have his chance in court to prove that.”

In a reply to Frankel, House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, said he would refer the request to the Department of Justice.

“This committee, nor any other Committee of Congress, does not, and cannot, prosecute crimes," he wrote. "This is true for many reasons but especially true in crimes of this serious nature. Those alleging sexual assault or criminal sexual conduct deserve to be interviewed by law enforcement professionals, and charging decisions should be made by prosecutors based on the quantum and quality of the admissible and provable evidence.”

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Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  National security adviser H.R. McMaster on Tuesday gave a preview of the Trump administration’s new national security policy, which he said will be unveiled by the president on next Monday.

The strategy, McMaster said, will prioritize four “vital national interests,” the lenses through which the administration views national security challenges. Those four areas include protecting the homeland and American people, advancing American prosperity, preserving peace through strength, and advancing American influence.

Speaking alongside the United Kingdom’s national security adviser Mark Sedwill at an event hosted by Policy Exchange, a U.K.-based think tank, McMaster also summarized the main threats to American national security as “revisionist powers,” including China and Russia, who undermine international order and stability, and ignore rule of law; “rogue regimes,” including North Korea and Iran, who support terror and pursue weapons of mass destruction; and “transnational terrorist organizations” including radical Islamist groups who constantly seek new ways to attack the United States.

“Geopolitics are back, and back with a vengeance, after this holiday from history we took in the so-called post-Cold War period,” McMaster said.  McMaster characterized Russia as threatening the United states with “so-called new generation warfare,” sophisticated campaigns of subversion and propaganda “attempting to divide our community.” McMaster did not specifically mention Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election.

McMaster described China’s economic aggression as a threat that is “challenging the rules-based economic order that helped lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty,” and suggested the way to deal with these two threats was “competitive engagement.”

“We have to compete effectively across new domains,” he said. “I think in many ways we evacuated a lot of competitive space in recent years and created a lot of opportunities for those revisionist powers,” McMaster said.

This strategy of “competitive engagement” reflects the idea of American prosperity being a national security interest. “The U.S. and U.K. cannot serve as serve as a force for peace and stability in the world if we are not economically and fiscally secure,” McMaster said, suggesting re-negotiations of trade deals will be a major facet of the national security strategy.

On North Korea, McMaster called for all nations to go beyond the current United Nations Security Council resolutions, to take what he described “might be our last best chance to avoid military conflict.”
McMaster also touched on the Iran strategy, repeating President Trump’s goals to counter Iran’s destabilizing activities beyond those prohibited by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal.

McMaster echoed the message Secretary of Defense Mattis and Secretary of State Tillerson have taken abroad, calling for NATO members to spend at least 2% of their GDP on defense per year.

McMaster outlined a few key phrases that could be used to sum up the new national security strategy, including “competitive engagement,” “strengthen alliances through, in part, reciprocity,” “catalyze reforms that are necessary,” “ensure the U.S. is confident,” and “preserve this world order that has lifted so many out of poverty and maintained this world order for 70 years.”

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  Alabama's Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones arrived to greet diners at Martha’s Place Buffet and Catering around lunch time on the eve of election day and found the largely African-American crowd at the Montgomery restaurant pleased he had stopped by.

Roxanna Wingard, a local school bus driver, was inside having lunch when Jones, who is facing off against Republican Roy Moore in today's special election, came over.

"I think it was really nice for him to come in, he didn’t look over nobody,” she told ABC News Monday.

Wingard said she was voting for Jones the first chance she had and would bring a “boat load” of people with her.

“We are going to do this. We are going to win this,” Wingard said, predicting a Jones victory. “We are going to make history. It is time for a change.”

Jones has been working hard over the last few months to rally Alabama's African-American voters like Wingard, who tend to vote Democratic. He has enjoyed support on the ground from African-American leaders such as former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick and New Jersey senator Cory Booker.

Former President Barack Obama even recorded a robocall for Jones that the campaign put to work in the final days.

"Doug Jones is a fighter for equality, for progress," Obama says in the robocall, as first reported by CNN. "Doug will be our champion for justice. So get out and vote, Alabama."

Many of the diners at Martha's Monday said unequivocally they planned to vote for Jones and had seen him at other campaign events.  African-American turnout will be crucial for Jones as Moore has continued to garner strong support from white, evangelical voters. Voters in more rural communities have especially stood by Moore during this tumultuous campaign, marred by sexual misconduct allegations against Moore that he denies.

Moore’s past controversial statements also haven’t helped his standing with African-American voters, who make up 26.8 percent of Alabama's population, according to a 2016 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Although the makeup of Alabama's electorate is uncertain, a Fox News poll released Monday showed likely white voters prefer Moore over Jones by 55-35 percent. The same poll showed 83 percent of minority voters likely to cast ballots said they would vote for Jones.

In building support for Jones, Alabama's only congressional Democrat, Rep. Terri Sewell, criticized Roy Moore as a candidate who would “only take us backwards” if elected.

“We who have been proud Alabamians know that we have been trying to overcome our painful past, and this candidate will only take us backwards and harken us back to the days of segregation,” Sewell said on ABC News' “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

Kayla Moore, Roy Moore's wife, fired back Monday at accusations her husband holds negative views of African-Americans.

“We have many friends that are black and we also fellowship with them in church and in our home,” she said as she introduced her husband at a campaign rally.

While voting in Mountain Brook, Alabama, Jones was asked about his efforts to appeal to black voters.

"It is only natural the African-American community rally behind someone who has been there for them,” Jones told reporters.

Jones then pointed to his record. A former federal prosecutor, Jones had pursued a 30-year-old case against two members of the Ku Klux Klan responsible for the infamous 1963 Civil Rights era bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.

A middle-aged white woman who works at a car dealership in Montgomery said she was voting for Jones because he can represent everyone from Alabama and not just an extreme few.

“I think he is a good man and I think he can represent all of Alabama well,” Betty Ann Lloyd told ABC News, but added she thought a majority of Alabama voters would disagree with her.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Federal officials are in "a heightened posture" looking to thwart any hackers who may be targeting Tuesday's hotly contested Senate race in Alabama, where allegations of sexual misconduct against the Republican nominee, Roy Moore, have upended a once-presumed Republican victory, according to a top Homeland Security official.

Tuesday morning, officials from the Department of Homeland Security held a "coordination call" with state and local counterparts in Alabama, and similar conference calls are expected throughout the day, said Chris Krebs, who is acting as the undersecretary for DHS' National Protection and Programs Directorate.

Hoping to become the next U.S. senator from Alabama, Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, is facing off against Democrat Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney.

During the presidential campaign last year, cyber-thieves successfully stole voter-related information from the Illinois election system, and more than 20 other states had their systems scanned by hackers.

"We learned our lessons last year," Krebs told reporters Tuesday, warning that the hackers "will be back."

That's why authorities have made cybersecurity for states "a priority going forward" and are taking steps Tuesday to help state and local election officials in Alabama, according to Krebs.

"They know we’re here to assist," Krebs said. "We've been working with them kind of 'Game Day' planning for quite some time now."

He noted that a "protective security adviser" and a "cybersecurity adviser" from DHS are in Montgomery, Alabama, sitting "side by side" with state officials. DHS took similar steps last month, helping state officials in Virginia and New Jersey keep tabs on the cybersecurity of special elections for governor in their states.

Krebs emphasized that DHS is only there to offer "services and support."

"States manage their elections; that is a constitutional truism," he said. "We’re not getting in the way of that."

Instead, DHS offers states "a range of services," including "cyber hygiene scans" that regularly check state or local government systems for issues or vulnerabilities, he said. "For me it's a no-brainer. ... It doesn't cost anything to the states. It's free, and [it's] just a good insurance policy."

Krebs said he is "not aware" of any cyber-activity targeting today's election in Alabama.

"What I’m worried about is undermining the broader confidence in the vote," he said. "My [ideal] outcome is ensuring the American people have confidence that their vote matters when they show up to vote -- whether it's at a state, a mayor, county commissioner or for president."

As for DHS boots on the ground in Alabama, Krebs said: "We're not necessarily looking for anything. What we are doing is providing them technical support in the event that over the course of the day they see something. ... If there is something to detect, how do we respond? How do we ensure the integrity of the vote from a security perspective? How do we communicate with the people of Alabama?"

He said that if cyber-related issues arise, it's important to make sure Alabamans hear from a "trusted voice" and have confidence that their vote counts.

Speaking with reporters, Krebs also said he was "really excited" that last night the House passed its version of the "Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act," which he said clarifies certain questions surrounding federal efforts on cybersecurity.

In particular, Krebs praised the legislation for proposing a change to his department's name.

"'National Protection Programs Directorate,' or 'NPPD,' doesn’t really tell you much of what we do," he noted. "'The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency' does. The sign on the tent tells what we do."

He's now working with the Senate to make it into law, and he hopes that will happen "sooner rather than later," he said.

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