Arnie Seipel

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 12:15 p.m. ET

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is shaking up his campaign staff, after a series of missteps that led to slumping poll numbers.

Trump has tapped Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News to serve as chief executive of the campaign. Pollster Kellyanne Conway was promoted to campaign manager. Paul Manafort will stay on as Trump's campaign chairman. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news.

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