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Tammy Duckworth makes Senate history, votes with infant daughter in her arms 

Maile Pearl Bowlsbey doesn’t know it, but the 10-day-old infant made history Thursday at the U.S. Senate.

>> Read more trending news

Her mother, Tammy Duckworth, became the first person to cast a vote on the Senate floor with her newborn in her arms, The New York Times reported.

The Democrat from Illinois participated in Thursday’s vote on the confirmation of Republican Rep. James Bridenstine as NASA’s new administrator. Duckworth voted against confirmation, but the Senate approved Bridenstine by a 50-49 vote, CNN reported.

Duckworth, who already made history as the first U.S. senator to give birth, was elated about another groundbreaking day.

"It feels great," Duckworth said. "It is about time, huh?"

>> Tammy Duckworth becomes 1st senator to give birth while in office

Wednesday, the Senate changed a longtime rule to allow newborns on the Senate floor during voting, CNN reported. The vote passed by unanimous consent and allows senators with infants under 1 year old to bring the child onto the Senate field and even breastfeed during the voting, CNN reported.

"I think it's historic, I think it's amazing," Duckworth told reporters.

Duckworth led the charge for the rule change.

Before Thursday’s vote, she tweeted: "May have to vote today. Maile's outfit is prepped. Made sure she has a jacket so she doesn't violate the Senate floor dress code requiring blazers. Not sure what the policy is on duckling onesies but I think we're ready."

The tweet referenced Capitol Hill's previous rule, which required women -- reporters and lawmakers -- to wear dresses and blouses with sleeves, CNN reported.

The infant brought a more gentle atmosphere to the Senate.

“She’s so beautiful,” New York Democrat Chuck Schumer said. 

When reporters responded with an “awwww,” Schumer cracked that “The press is finally interested in something worthwhile,” the Times reported.

Former first lady Barbara Bush in failing health

Former first lady Barbara Bush is in failing health, the office of former President George H.W. Bush confirmed Sunday.

Bush, 92, has made several visits to the hospital in the past year while battling Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and congestive heart failure, the family said.

A family spokesman said Bush will not receive more medical treatment and will focus on "comfort care."

>> Photos: Barbara Bush through the years

>> Read more trending news

What is a Tomahawk cruise missile and what does it do?

Tomahawk missiles are highly accurate weapons. The modern version was first used by the United States in the 1991 Gulf War.

>> Read more trending news

Here’s what you need to know about Tomahawk missiles:

What are they?

Tomahawk missiles are subsonic, jet engine-powered missiles. They fly low, about 100 feet off the ground.

Where are they launched from?

Tomahawks can be launched from many surfaces, but the U.S. generally uses ships or submarines to launch the missiles. 

How much do they cost?

Each missile cost $1.41 million.

Who makes them?

Raytheon Systems Company makes the Tomahawk Block IV.

How fast can they fly?

The missiles travel at 550 miles per hour.

How big are they?

The Tomahawk is a 20-foot-long missile, and weighs 2,900 pounds. It has a wingspan of eight feet,  nine inches. It carries a 1,000-pound-class warhead.

How accurate are they?

According to the Navy, they hit their target about 85 percent of the time. How do they find their target?

The missile uses a system called "Terrain Contour Matching." An altimeter along with an inertia detector direct the Tomahawk along a flight path against a pre-loaded map of the terrain. They are unlike drones as they are not guided by pilots on the ground. According to Raytheon, “The latest variant (Tomahawk Block IV) includes a two-way satellite data-link that enables the missile to be retargeted in flight to preprogrammed, alternate targets. The Block IV design was initiated as both a cost savings and a capability improvement effort.”

Is the United States the only country with cruise missiles?

No. More than 70 nations have cruise missiles.

Sources: The U.S. Navy; Popular Science; Raytheon

Trump pardons former Dick Cheney aide Scooter Libby

President Donald Trump on Friday pardoned Scooter Libby, who served as chief of staff for former Vice President Dick Cheney.

>> READ MORE: Trump pardons Scooter Libby: Who is he and what did he do | MORE

First hearing set for Trump attorney Michael Cohen after raid

Lawyers for President Donald Trump and his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, appeared in court Friday morning for the first hearing following a recent FBI raid on Cohen’s home and office.

>> READ MORE: Trump allies fear investigators seized Cohen recordings in raid: reportsFBI sought records related to Trump 'Access Hollywood' tape in Cohen raid: reportsFBI raids office of Donald Trump’s longtime attorney Michael CohenWho is Michael Cohen, personal attorney to Donald Trump?MORE

Trump allies fear investigators seized Cohen recordings in raid: reports

President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, would sometimes tape conversations he had with associates, leaving some worried that investigators might have seized the recordings during a raid earlier this week on his hotel and office, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Cohen kept the recordings as digital files that he would replay for colleagues, The Washington Post reported, citing unidentified sources. The newspaper earlier reported that the attorney’s computers and phones were among the items seized in the raid, which was made public Monday.

>> Related: Trump attorney Michael Cohen to appear in court after raid

Two unidentified former Trump campaign officials told CNN that Cohen was known to have been taping conversations he had with people in his Trump Tower Office.

"It's one of the first things people entering Trump world would be told: Don't have conversations in his office,” a former campaign official told CNN. “He's recording it.”

In some recorded conversations, Cohen and others discussed the campaign and the media, CNN reported. It was not immediately clear whether Cohen recorded his conversations with Trump.

>> Related: FBI sought records related to Trump 'Access Hollywood' tape in Cohen raid: reports

“Now we are wondering, who did he tape?” an unidentified Trump adviser told the Post. “Did he store those someplace where they were actually seized? … Did they find his recordings?”

If authorities did seize the recordings, they would not immediately have access to them, the Post reported. Legal experts told the newspaper that they would first be reviewed by a Justice Department team and that they might face the scrutiny of a federal judge before investigators are able to review them. The checks are intended to protect lawyer-client privilege, according to the Post.

>> Related: National Enquirer paid Trump doorman $30K to spike unproven 'illegitimate child' rumor: AP report

Investigators seized Cohen’s computer, his phone and several records while conducting search warrants earlier this week, according to The Washington Post.

Authorities sought details on Cohen’s efforts to stave off negative publicity about Trump during a raid on his home and office earlier this week, CBS News and The New York Times reported. Among other things, authorities sought information on the release of an infamous tape in which the president could be heard on a hot mic making derogatory comments about women and payments Cohen made to a pair of women who claim they had sexual relationships with Trump, The New York Times reported.

>> Related: Trump tweets 'attorney-client privilege is dead' after FBI raid on Michael Cohen's office

Adult film star Stormy Daniels said she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006. Karen McDougal, a former Playboy Playmate, claimed she had a nearly year-long affair with the president in 2006 and 2007.

Officials also sought details on the role that the publisher of The National Enquirer played in keeping the women’s stories from going public, according to The Times.

Trump fires back at James Comey on Twitter

President Donald Trump fired back at James Comey on Friday, calling him a “proven leaker and liar” as excerpts from the former FBI director’s upcoming book were released Thursday.

>> Read more trending news

“James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR,” the president tweeted Friday morning, saying that Comey leaked classified information “for which he should be prosecuted.”

Trump went on to refer to Comey as “a weak and untruthful slime ball,” and concluded his two-part tweet by writing that it was his “great honor” to fire him.

Comey has some harsh words for Trump in his memoir “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership,” which is due out Tuesday.

According to an excerpt from the book published by The New York Times, Comey said that Trump “is unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values. 

>> Jamie Dupree blog: Trump attacks Comey as ‘slime ball’

“His leadership is transactional, ego driven and about personal loyalty,” he wrote.

Comey was fired by Trump last May. In his book, written after serving under two previous administrations, details conversations with Trump about the Steele dossier for the first time. The information gathered by former British spy Christopher Steele on Trump includes alleged interactions between Trump and prostitutes in Moscow in 2013 that the Russians had allegedly filmed.

Doorman confirms he was asked to keep quiet about Trump and housekeeper’s ‘illegitimate’ child

Update  Apr 12, 2018 5:30 p.m. EDT: The Trump Towers doorman allegedly paid to keep quiet about an unsubstantiated rumor in 2016 involving then-candidate Donald Trump and an illegitimate child has released a statement on the incident, according to CNN.

"I was instructed not to criticize President Trump's former housekeeper due to a prior relationship she had with President Trump which produced a child,” doorman Dino Sajudin said Thursday.

Sajudin's statements about Trump fathering a child with a former family housekeeper have not been independently confirmed.

(Previous story)

The National Enquirer's parent company paid a former Trump World Tower doorman $30,000 several months before the 2016 election to kill an unsubstantiated rumor that could have hurt then-candidate Donald Trump's presidential campaign, The Associated Press is reporting.

>> FBI raids office of Donald Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen

According to the report, the doorman, Dino Sajudin, received the payout "in exchange for signing over the rights, 'in perpetuity,' to a rumor he’d heard about Trump’s sex life — that the president had fathered an illegitimate child with an employee at Trump World Tower, a skyscraper he owns near the United Nations" headquarters in New York.

The woman, whom the AP did not name, denied the rumor and called allegations of an affair with Trump "fake."

>> Stormy Daniels on '60 Minutes': 5 revelations from the interview

"The AP has not been able to determine if the rumor is true," the report added.

The payment to Sajudin occurred in late 2015, according to the AP.

Dylan Howard, vice president and chief content officer for AMI, confirmed that the publication paid Sajudin but killed his story because it "lacked any credibility," the AP reported. However, four Enquirer employees told the AP that "they were ordered by top editors to stop pursuing the story before completing potentially promising reporting threads," the article said.

>> Former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal files lawsuit to speak about alleged Trump affair

American Media Inc. is also accused of issuing a $150,000 payment in August 2016 to "catch and kill" the story of ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claims she had a 10-month affair with Trump in 2006, the AP reported. AMI denied the "catch and kill" claim, saying it had paid McDougal to write columns.

>> Read more trending news 

The latest developments come as prosecutors investigate whether Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, "broke banking or campaign laws in connection with AMI’s payment to McDougal and a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels that Cohen said he paid out of his own pocket," the AP reported.

Read more here.

FBI sought records related to Trump 'Access Hollywood' tape in Cohen raid: reports

Search warrants issued before an FBI raid of the office and hotel room of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, show authorities sought details on Cohen’s efforts to stave off negative publicity about his client, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

The president was named several times in the warrants, which surfaced Monday, CBS News reported.

Among other records, FBI agents sought information on the release of the infamous 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape, in which the president could be heard on a hot mic making derogatory comments about women, The New York Times reported.

>> Related: FBI raids office of Donald Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen

It was not immediately clear if Cohen was involved in the release of that tape, which was obtained by The Washington Post in 2016 and published just before that year’s election.

>> Related: Does Trump's 'locker room banter' describe sexual assault?

 The Times previously reported that FBI agents focused on seizing records related to payments Cohen made to a pair of women who claim they had sexual relationships with Trump: Stormy Daniels, an adult film star who said they had a sexual encounter in 2006, and Karen McDougal, a former Playboy Playmate who claimed she had a nearly year-long affair with the president in 2006 and 2007.

Officials also sought details on the role that the publisher of The National Enquirer played in keeping the women’s stories from going public, according to The Times.

>> Related: Former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal files lawsuit to speak about alleged Trump affair 

Cohen's attorney Stephen Ryan called the raid "completely inappropriate and unnecessary," in a statement released Monday afternoon. He said it stemmed from a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, its possible ties to the Trump presidential campaign and related matters.

>> More on Robert Mueller's investigation 

The president has denied that he had an affair with either McDougal or Daniels, whose birth name is Stephanie Clifford, and has frequently called Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt.” 

"This is a pure and simple witch hunt," Trump said Monday afternoon, after news of the raid on Cohen’s hotel and office surfaced. "This is an attack on our country."

The president threatened to sue NBC after the “Access Hollywood” recording was released in 2016, telling Fox News that, “The microphone was not supposed to be on, not that I make that as an excuse for myself.” He faced heavy criticism for his comments, which appeared to describe sexual assault, and dismissed them as “locker room talk” during a presidential debate in 2016.

Why is House Speaker Paul Ryan retiring?

After months of speculation, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election come November, ending a two-decade career in Congress.

>> Read more trending news

“It’s been a wild ride, but it’s been a journey well worth taking to be able to do my part to strengthen the American idea,” Ryan said. “That pursuit is never ending. Much work remains, but I like to think I have done my part, my little part in history, to set us on a better course.”

Rumors of Ryan’s imminent departure have swirled around Washington since at least December, when Politico reported that those who knew Ryan thought it unlikely he’d remain in Congress after 2018. Still, The New York Times reported Wednesday that his decision was unexpected.

>> Related: Paul Ryan will not seek re-election

“He had just hosted a donor retreat last week in Texas, and most officials believed he would not leave until after November,” according to the newspaper.

At the Capitol on Wednesday, Ryan said he decided not to seek re-election in order to focus on his role as a husband and father.

Ryan was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1999, representing Wisconsin’s first district. He was elected as House Speaker in 2015, after then-House Speaker John Boehner retired.

“It’s almost hard to believe but I have been a member of Congress for almost two decades,” he said Wednesday. “My kids weren’t even born when I was first elected. Our oldest was 13 years old when I became speaker. Now, all three of our kids are teenagers, and one thing I’ve learned about teenagers is their idea of an ideal weekend is not necessarily to spend all of their time with their parents.

“What I realize is, if I am here for one more term, my kids will only have ever known me as a weekend dad. I just can’t let that happen.”

Ryan’s father died when the congressman was 16 -- the same age as the congressman’s daughter, Elizabeth Ann.

“I just don’t want to be one of those people looking back on my life thinking I (wish I) spent more time with my kids when I know if I spend another term (in office), they will only know me as a weekend father,” he said.

Ryan’s father struggled with alcoholism and had distanced himself from his family before his death, according to a 2014 report from The Associated Press.

The loss heavily influenced Ryan’s view on family.

“One of the reasons why I’ve always passed elected leadership positions up in the House — you know, speaker, leader, all the things people ask you to run for — is because it takes you away from your family even more,” Ryan said in 2014 while promoting his book, “The Way Forward: Renewing the America Idea,” according to the AP. 

“Having not had a dad for a long time, it brings you much closer to your kids and your family.”

Ryan will retire from Congress at the end of his term in January.

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