Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Attorney General Jeff Sessions strongly defended President Donald Trump's firing of James Comey, but at a Senate hearing Wednesday repeatedly declined to discuss private conversations with the president about the dismissal, frustrating Democratic lawmakers who wanted to link the firing of the FBI director to a broader inquiry into Russian election meddling.
The repeated, often-testy questioning about the Russia investigation, coming even as Sessions spearheads sweeping changes to the Justice Department in the areas of LGBT rights, criminal justice and immigration, illustrates the extent to which the probe continues to shadow Sessions even though he recused himself months ago.
Sessions advised the Senate Judiciary Committee at the outset of his first oversight hearing as attorney general that he would not answer any questions about conversations with the president that he considered confidential.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
The authors of a bipartisan plan to calm health insurance markets said Wednesday they'll push the proposal forward, even as President Donald Trump's stance ricocheted from supportive to disdainful to arm's-length and the plan's fate teetered.
"If something can happen, that's fine," Trump told reporters at the White House. "But I won't do anything to enrich the insurance companies because right now the insurance companies are being enriched. They've been enriched by Obamacare like nothing anybody has ever seen before."
A shakeup is underway at the Democratic National Committee as several longtime officials have lost their posts, exposing a still-raw rift in the party and igniting anger among those in its progressive wing who see retaliation for their opposition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez.
Perez took over as chairman with a pledge earlier this year that he would unite the party that had become badly divided during the brutal Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton 2016 primary, NBC News reported.
Complaints began immediately after party officials saw a list of Perez' appointments to DNC committees and his roster of 75 "at-large" members, who are chosen by the chair.
Get More at NBC News
Andy Dunaway/USAF via Getty Images, File
The U.S. military says it continues to search for answers about what happened in Niger two weeks ago, After four U.S. soldiers were killed during an ambush in Niger tour weeks ago, The Pentagon has sent a team to the country to conduct a "review of the facts," two U.S. defense officials told NBC News.
The inquiry is not being called an "investigation" but that the team needs "to collect some very basic raw facts," one defense official said.
In addition to the Pentagon, a top Senate Republican wants answers. Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain of Arizona told reporters this week that the Trump administration was not being forthcoming about what happened in Niger.
Get More at NBC News
California Coastal Commission/UC Davis via AP
Divers are removing hundreds of old tires, plastic jugs and other junk that was dumped off the Southern California coast nearly 30 years ago by a man who thought he was helping the ocean environment.
The cleanup began last week off of Newport Beach, the California Coastal Commission announced Wednesday.
"It's about time this was cleaned up," commission Chair Dayna Bochco said in a statement.
President Trump is denying a Florida Congresswoman's account of his phone call to the wife of a U.S. soldier recently killed in Niger.
Rep. Frederica Wilson says she was with Myeshia Johnson, the widow of
A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the government to allow a pregnant 17-year-old immigrant, who was detained after entering the country illegally, to undergo an abortion.
After a brief hearing that included a testy exchange with government lawyers, Judge Tanya Chutkan ordered the government to move "promptly and without delay" to transport the teenager or allow her to be transported by others to the nearest abortion provider.
The case originated in Texas, where the teen is being held by federal immigration authorities, and was brought to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by the American Civil Liberties Union.
President Donald Trump exaggerates when he describes a reduction in the top marginal rate for pass-through business income as a boost to small businesses and truckers. Trump has made his claim about 30 million small businesses several times, including in a speech at the Heritage Foundation on Oct. 17. And he made claims about both small businesses and truck drivers in an Oct. 11 speech in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to a crowd that included workers in the trucking industry.
MARVIN RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images
The world's largest earthquake drill will take place on Thursday, with millions set to practice what to do if a massive quake hits — a scenario experts say could likely happen in Southern California in the next several decades.
The "Great Shakeout," an annual earthquake drill that started in Southern California in 2008, will happen on Oct. 19 at 10:19 a.m. local time around the world. Nearly 20 million people will practice what to do if a quake strikes, with more than 10.2 million of them in California, NBC News reported.
"I think we've seen with recent disasters in the past couple of months — these big hurricanes and the Mexico earthquakes in September, and the wildfires that are still happening in California — the need to be prepared is so important," said Jason Ballmann, a spokesman for the Southern California Earthquake Center.
Get More at NBC News
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images
Channing Tatum is no longer developing a film with The Weinstein Co. that dealt with a boy dealing with the aftermath of sexual abuse.
Tatum writes on Instagram Wednesday that he will not be developing anything with Harvey Weinstein's former company, which has been embroiled in sexual harassment scandals over the past two weeks.
The film was to be based on author Matthew Quick's book "Forgive Me Leonard Peacock."
The NFL Commissioner stated "we believe everyone should stand for the national anthem" at a press conference Wednesday.
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
A crowdfunding campaign honoring the late Philando Castile has raised enough money to pay off lunch debts at public schools across St. Paul, Minnesota, for one year.
Philando Feeds the Children had raised more than $80,000 by Wednesday afternoon. The original goal of $5,000 is now set to $100,000, and will continue to rise. Campaign organizer and Metropolitan State University psychology professor Pam Fergus hopes to make the fund a permanent fixture, NBCNews.com.
"Mr. Phil will feed his kids for as long as we can raise the money," Fergus wrote on the campaign's homepage.
Get More at NBC News
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo
A federal judge on Wednesday pressed government lawyers to explain why President Donald Trump's ownership of hotels patronized by foreign government officials didn't violate the Constitution, a key question that could shed light on Trump's finances if a civil lawsuit heard in New York is allowed to proceed.
At issue in the case brought by the left-leaning public policy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is the interpretation of the so-called foreign "Emoluments Clause" of the Constitution, a provision meant to prohibit bribery of federal officials by foreign governments.
A lawyer for CREW, which represents competing restaurateurs, hotel owners and others in the industry, said during oral arguments in Manhattan federal court that by doing business with foreign officials with an interest in currying favor with the White House, Trump runs afoul of the Constitution. A lawyer for the Department of Justice disagreed, saying a violation only happens if an actual act is done in exchange for a payment.
In the face of fan unrest and accusations from the president about the league being unpatriotic, the NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand.
Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league's fall meetings that altering the policy language from "should stand" to "must stand" was not discussed.
Melania Trump is donating her inaugural ball gown to the First Ladies' Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.
The first lady is handing over the vanilla silk, off-the-shoulder gown during a ceremony Friday in Washington. The gown also featured a slit skirt, ruffled accent trim from the neckline to the hem and a claret ribbon around the waist. Mrs. Trump worked with designer Herve Pierre on the gown. Pierre is also scheduled to attend the event at the National Museum of American History.