Stories by Khorri Atkinson

James Mattis rejects Trump's claim that he is "sort of a Democrat"

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Secretary of Defense James Mattis has rebuffed President Trump’s notion that he is "sort of a Democrat,” telling reporters on Monday: “I’ve never registered for any political party.”

The back story: Trump, who made the comments duirng his "60 Minutes" interview on Sunday, added that he doesn’t know whether Mattis would be the next major White House departure, but Mattis clarified that the two "never talked about me leaving ... We just continue doing our job." According to the Washington Examiner, Mattis also said he thought “nothing at all” of Trump’s remarks, noting, “I'm on his team."

Florida Supreme Court rules Rick Scott cannot fill judicial vacancies

Florida Governor Rick Scott (R). Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Florida Governor Rick Scott (R). Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who’s leaving office in January due to term limits, does not have the authority to fill three vacant seats on the state's Supreme Court, the court ruled on Monday.

Why it matters: This raises the stakes in Florida’s highly contested gubernatorial race between Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis, because the winner will decide the ideological balance of the seven-member court for years.

Judge throws out Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against Trump

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford) and attorney Michael Avenatti. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Adult film actress Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford) and attorney Michael Avenatti. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A federal judge in California dismissed Monday a defamation lawsuit that Stephanie Clifford (also known as Stormy Daniels) filed against President Trump for what her legal team described as "irresponsible and defamatory statements” on Twitter.

The backstory: Daniels sued Trump in April for calling a composite sketch of a man Daniels said threatened her in 2011 to keep quiet about her alleged sexual affair with Trump as a “con job.” Daniels’ attorneys said that tweet unfairly portrayed her as a liar, But U.S. District Judge James Otero ruled that it was non-defamatory on its face, instead characterizing it as “rhetorical hyperbole.” However, Otero also ruled that Daniels is entitled to pay Trump' legal fees, the details of which are to be determined at a later date.