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Olivier Douliery/Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Trump, in a long tweetstorm on Saturday morning, slammed what he called "a new intelligence leak" against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an apparent reference to a report that Sessions discussed campaign-related matters with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential race.

A new INTELLIGENCE LEAK from the Amazon Washington Post,this time against A.G. Jeff Sessions.These illegal leaks, like Comey's, must stop!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2017


The Washington Post reported Friday evening that Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, told Russian officials that during the presidential election he and Sessions talked about the campaign and policy matters when Sessions served as an adviser to Trump's campaign.

The report does not say that that Sessions discussed with the ambassador Russia's interference in the election, and the Department of Justice in a statement responding to the Post report said Sessions had no meetings or discussions with foreign officials "concerning any type of interference" with the U.S. election.

The president also in one of his many tweets Saturday morning brought up his power to issue pardons, apparently in the context of the Russia probe.

While all agree the U. S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us.FAKE NEWS

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2017


Trump's highlighting his power as president to issue pardons comes on the heels of his legal team's assertions that the question of pardons related to the Russia investigation is "not on the table."

"Pardons are not being discussed and are not on the table,” Jay Sekulow, a member of President Trump’s legal team, told ABC News.

Sekulow's comment came in response to a Washington Post report Friday that Trump was asking people on his team about the extent of his ability as president to pardon people in relation to the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the election and possible collusion with members of the Trump campaign.

The president also, in his Twitter rant Saturday, defended his son, Donald Trump Jr., who has come under scrutiny for his meeting with a Russian lawyer during the election, and returned to a campaign theme on alleged wrongs by Hillary Clinton and her associates.

My son Donald openly gave his e-mails to the media & authorities whereas Crooked Hillary Clinton deleted (& acid washed) her 33,000 e-mails!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2017

...What about all of the Clinton ties to Russia, including Podesta Company, Uranium deal, Russian Reset, big dollar speeches etc.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2017

So many people are asking why isn't the A.G. or Special Council looking at the many Hillary Clinton or Comey crimes. 33,000 e-mails deleted?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2017

In contrast to President Trump's ongoing criticism of the nation's news media, which he often calls "fake news," former CIA Director John Brennan in his remarks at the Aspen Security Forum on Friday night said a free press is "one of the real foundational pillars" of U.S. democracy and that the intelligence community has a responsibility to defend it.

"The effort to delegitimize the press and the media ... is something that we should not ever allow," said Brennan, who headed the CIA under President Obama. "Part of what the intelligence community's mission was, was to make sure that this great country can have a free and open press. And it's something that we have fought for and many people have died for."

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sean Spicer resigned as White House press secretary on Friday, and members of the Trump administration, lawmakers, celebrities and Spicer himself quickly took to Twitter to comment on the move.

Spicer called it "an honor and a privilege" to serve the president and said he would stay on through August.

It's been an honor & a privilege to serve @POTUS @realDonaldTrump & this amazing country. I will continue my service through August

— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) July 21, 2017

President Trump made a statement thanking Spicer for his service, which was read by the new White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

“I am grateful for Sean's work on behalf of the administration and the American people. I wish him continued success as he moves on to other opportunities. Just look at his great television ratings. Sean will continue to serve the administration through August," the statement read.

In an interview Friday with ABC Kansas City affiliate KMBC-TV, political reporter Mike Mahoney said to Vice President Mike Pence that Spicer's resignation "sounds like it's a resignation under protest."

Pence responded, "Well, look, Sean Spicer has been a friend of mine for many years. He is a great guy. He served his country in uniform and served this administration in our first 6 months. And I respect his decision to step aside. I just wish him every continued success. And we’re just going to continue at this White House and to continue to focus on the agenda that carried President Trump to victory last fall."

Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director, said of Spicer: "He's a military serviceman, he's got a great family, and he's done a great job," adding that "this is a difficult situation to be in and I applaud his efforts."

For her part, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, tweeted about Spicer before welcoming Scaramucci to the West Wing.

Big Respect. Wishing colleague & patriot @PressSec Sean Spicer all BEST.
Welcoming @SHSanders45 to the podium & @Scaramucci to West Wing. https://t.co/C7w9CB9S65

— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) July 21, 2017

California Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat and outspoken critic of the Trump administration, was quick to jump on the news.

Congratulations Sean Spicer. You've got more guts than Jeff Sessions!

— Maxine Waters (@MaxineWaters) July 21, 2017

Comedians weighed in on Twitter, too.

Host Jimmy Kimmel wrote, saying Spicer should "immediately” write a book.

Dear @SeanSpicer Please write a book. Immediately.

— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) July 21, 2017

Stephen Colbert, host of The Late Show on CBS, chimed in too.

The fact is, Sean Spicer had the largest group ever to attend a going away party. Period.

— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) July 21, 2017

Others lamented that Spicer’s departure from the White House meant actress Melissa McCarthy would no longer have the chance to parody him on NBC's “Saturday Night Live.”

.@melissamccarthy must also be out of her SNL job. Well, we'll always have Youtube.

— Rep. Marc Veasey (@RepVeasey) July 21, 2017

Actor George Takei kept his message short and sweet, tweeting: “Spikey out.”

Spicey out. pic.twitter.com/e4ZNgMZjms

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) July 21, 2017

 Some were already suggesting replacements to fill Spicer’s role.

.@ChrisChristie for White House Press Secretary

— Josh Schwerin (@JoshSchwerin) July 21, 2017

Prominent Black Lives Matter activist Deray Mckesson took Spicer's resignation as an opportunity to address the Trump team, tweeting, “It was clear that Sean Spicer was in over his head from the beginning, just like the entire administration.”

It was clear that Sean Spicer was in over his head from the beginning, just like the entire administration.

— deray mckesson (@deray) July 21, 2017

Others suggested they sympathized with Spicer.

David Axelrod, an Obama administration senior adviser, tweeted that Spicer “was in an impossible position from the start, trying to make sense of the nonsensical.”

.@PressSec was in an impossible position from the start, trying to make sense of the nonsensical.1/2

— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) July 21, 2017

Chandler Thornton, national chairman of the College Republicans National Committee, tweeted that Spicer "has been one of the strongest and most effective advocates" for Trump.

.@seanspicer has been one of the strongest and most effective advocates for @POTUS, and previously @GOP. Grateful for his service in the WH. https://t.co/bx552ynQKa

— Chandler Thornton (@chandlerUSA) July 21, 2017

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Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned Friday after six months on the job as President Trump's spokesman, during which he became one of the most well-known presidential representatives.

From his first appearance in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, Spicer, who will continue in the role through August, gained a reputation for verbal stumbles and terse confrontations with reporters, making his press conferences a live staple on cable news networks and leading to his portrayal on Saturday Night Live by actress Melissa McCarthy.

Though his role was to speak on the president's behalf, Spicer often made headlines for his own words when he made missteps and for the absence of words, regularly conceding that he did not know the answers to reporters' questions or that he would "get back" to them.

Spicer faced calls for his firing, including from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., after invoking Adolf Hitler during a briefing in April, and recently responded to rumors in June that his role could change in the wake of Communications Director Michael Dubke's resignation.

The press secretary's resignation came the same day that financier Anthony Scaramucci accepted an offer to replace Dubke.

Here's a look at some of the notable moments featuring Spicer since Trump's inauguration:

Inauguration crowd size

In his first opportunity to address the media -- the day following Trump's inauguration -- Spicer unleashed a blistering attack on the press' portrayal of the size of the crowd on the National Mall at the event.

Spicer lambasted news organizations for using images "intentionally framed" to diminish the size of the audience and made several factually incorrect statements about the use of coverings on the grass at the Mall during President Barack Obama's first inauguration and metro ridership numbers from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority after reports the day prior noted that attendance appeared down from 2008.

After not taking questions while giving the statement, Spicer answered for his comments two days later, responding to inquiries about the information he provided by saying, "Sometimes we can disagree with the facts, but our intention is never to lie."

'It's not a travel ban'

As controversy swirled over the initial version of Trump's January executive order limiting travel and immigration from seven countries in Africa and the Middle East, Spicer found himself in a war of words with the media and -- indirectly -- the president himself.

At the press briefing on Jan. 31, April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks alluded to the order as she asked a question, referring to it as "this travel ban."

"Well, first of all, it’s not a travel ban," said Spicer, who attempted to make a point about the word "ban" only applying to an order that completely halts something, rather than merely limiting it, as the president's action did.

However, Trump himself called the order a "ban" a day earlier in a tweet referring to the executive order. After Spicer again protested the word's inclusion in a question from Yahoo News' Hunter Walker, NBC News' Kristen Welker called attention to the language in the president's own tweet.

"He says it's a 'ban,' " said Welker, to which Spicer claimed that Trump was only using the word because the media was using it.

"I think that the words that are being used to describe it are derived from what the media is calling this," Spicer said.

Exclusive gaggle

In lieu of a formal press briefing on Feb. 24, Spicer instead decided to hold an informal gathering with reporters known as a gaggle, and took the additional step of only inviting certain news outlets.

Joining the press secretary in his office were the Washington Times, One America News Network, Breitbart News, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, as well as television networks including ABC, CBS, Fox News and NBC, among others.

Those left out included the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Politico and CNN. After learning those organizations would not have a representative, journalists from The Associated Press and Time magazine boycotted the conversation.

Spicer defended himself by saying the gaggle was originally supposed to be composed of a smaller group and he simply chose to expand it, but the White House Correspondents' Association, which represents the press corps, cried foul, saying they disapproved of the way the situation was handled.

'Stop shaking your head'

Throughout his tenure, Spicer, who has been lampooned as a kindergarten teacher on The Daily Show, often chided reporters for talking over one another and dismissively referred to questions as "cute." He took his actions a step further on March 28 when he chastised American Urban Radio Networks' April Ryan for her body language.

As Ryan posed a question about the number of impediments the administration was encountering in its first months, Spicer cut her off, accused her of harboring an agenda and encouraged her to "report the facts." During his response, he also noted that she was shaking her head.

The pair continued their exchange, but shortly after, Spicer again took note of Ryan's movements.

"Please stop shaking your head again," said Spicer.

After the briefing, Ryan expressed her frustration with a tweet, writing, "Lawd!!!!" At the next day's news conference, in what appeared to be an act of goodwill, Spicer called on Ryan first.

Hitler comparison

In April, Spicer addressed the U.S. airstrikes in Syria, launched in response to a chemical attack in the country that was blamed on its government.

Seemingly attempting to justify Trump's order of the missile launch, Spicer compared the cruelty of the Syrian chemical attack to the actions of Hitler during World War II.

Spicer said Hitler "didn't even sink to using chemical weapons," neglecting the millions killed in the gas chambers of Nazi concentration and extermination camps. He further referred to the camps as "Holocaust centers."

Facing nearly universal scorn for the remarks, Spicer eventually apologized, telling CNN, "It was insensitive and inappropriate" and that he "shouldn't have done it."

'He gets beat up'

Commenting publicly about the difficulties faced by his press secretary, Trump defended Spicer and principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during a Fox News interview in which he also threatened to cancel "all future press briefings."

"You have a level of hostility that’s incredible, and it's very unfair," said Trump. "Sarah Huckabee is a lovely young woman. You know Sean Spicer -- he’s a wonderful human being. He’s a nice man."

Trump wouldn't go so far as to say Spicer should be replaced when prompted by interviewer Jeanine Pirro, but conceded that the aide faced his share of difficulties.

"He’s doing a good job, but he gets beat up," said Trump.

Covfefe

Just after midnight on May 31, Trump sent a tweet that read: "Despite the constant negative press covfefe." The apparent misspelling of the word "coverage" quickly became a meme as social media users joked about the meaning of "covfefe" and why the president published the incomplete post.

After an unusually long amount of time for a post containing an error -- a fact that fed the newfound meme -- the post was deleted and Trump himself joined in on the humor.

"Who can figure out the true meaning of 'covfefe' ??? Enjoy!" he wrote later that day.

When asked about the missive, Spicer responded: "The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant." Many were left wondering whether he was serious or making a joke.

Rumors about his role

After Dubke resigned in June, rumors swirled that Spicer could relinquish his public role as press secretary to focus on communications in a behind-the-scenes capacity. Spicer held the communications director title at the start of Trump's presidency before Dubke took the job in March.

Spicer addressed the growing reports after he was asked about them at the June 20 briefing and whether he could share any changes to the communications team.

"I’m right here," said Spicer on June 20, adding, "We’re always looking for ways to do a better job of articulating the president’s message and his agenda, and we’ll continue to have those discussions internally. When we have an announcement of a personnel nature, we’ll let you know."

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ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions has no plans to resign after a report emerged that he engaged in campaign and policy-related conversations with Russia during the 2016 campaign, and he would only leave his position if President Trump were to fire him, a person familiar with the matter has told ABC News.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) denied Friday evening that Sessions had meetings or discussions with foreign officials "concerning any type of interference" with the 2016 election.

 The denial comes in response to a Washington Post report that the Russian ambassador to the U.S. told Russian officials that he and Sessions engaged in campaign and policy-related conversations during the period Sessions served as an adviser to Trump's campaign.

The report, published by the Post on Friday, does not accuse Sessions of discussing interference, as the DOJ release states, but reports that "he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow" with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The Post cites "current and former U.S. officials" familiar with the intercepted communications of Russian government officials.

There was no discussion regarding Russia's attempts to influence the election, and there were not any discussion of cooperation or collaboration between Trump associates and the Russians, the source says.

In March, responding to an earlier Washington Post article that publicly disclosed his encounters with Kislyak, the attorney general said that he "never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign." The DOJ portrayed these meetings as a regular activity for a U.S. senator on the Armed Services Committee.

The DOJ’s statement on Friday, and the refutation that Sessions spoke of "interference," mirrors testimony Sessions gave before the Senate Intelligence Committee in June. In that testimony, he also said that meetings and conversations "with any Russians" or foreign officials were not about "interference with any campaign or election."

Questions of Sessions honesty regarding his interactions with Russia stem from his January confirmation hearing. There he was questioned by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., regarding what he would do as the head of the DOJ if he discovered "evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government" during the campaign.

Sessions did not directly answer the question, instead saying that he wasn't aware of such activities, and that he, personally, never made contact with representatives of the country.

"I didn't have... communications with the Russians, and I'm unable to comment on it," said Sessions.

Giving misleading information regarding the nature of conversations with Kislyak led to the resignation of Michael Flynn, who stepped down as national security adviser in February after denying he spoke with the ambassador. Flynn's stance was repeated publicly by Vice President Mike Pence before the truth became public.

Friday's revelations about the subject of Sessions' discussions with Kislyak come following an interview by the New York Times with Trump Wednesday, in which he admitted regret over nominating Sessions to be attorney general after his recusal from matters related to the election.

Committees in both the House and Senate, as well as a special counsel appointed by Sessions' deputy, are investigating Russian meddling in the election and any potential links to or collusion with the Trump campaign.

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Prominent Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci has accepted the position of White House communications director offered to him by President Donald Trump.

Scaramucci is replacing Mike Dubke, who resigned in May only three months after being hired.

Axios first reported the planned hiring of Scaramucci.

In a statement Friday evening, Trump said, “Anthony is a person I have great respect for, and he will be an important addition to this Administration. He has been a great supporter and will now help implement key aspects of our agenda while leading the communications team. We have accomplished so much, and we are being given credit for so little. The good news is the people get it, even if the media doesn’t.”

Scaramucci said in his own statement, “President Trump has accomplished an incredible amount in a short period of time, and I am proud to join his Administration as he continues to deliver for the American people.”

Scaramucci will officially begin his role on Aug. 15, according to the White House. He will report directly to the president.

Senior members of the White House staff, including press secretary Sean Spicer, were unaware that Scaramucci was being considered for the post, even as Trump and first daughter Ivanka Trump were meeting with Scaramucci at the White House Thursday for over an hour to discuss the job.

Scaramucci, 53, is a major Republican donor and was a member of the president's transition team.

Scaramucci has also been vocal about his support of the president's embattled son Donald Trump Jr., tweeting earlier this month, "[Donald Trump Jr.] is a virtuous and honorable man. Virtue means the courage to act with integrity. Don does that everyday. #stopwitchunt"

In January, Scaramucci sold an asset-management business he founded, SkyBridge Capital, as it appeared at the time he would be joining the Trump administration.

The president had said he intended to appoint Scaramucci as director of the White House Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs, but administration officials said soon afterward that Scaramucci would not assume that role and they would seek another position for him. A key issue was that the sale of SkyBridge Capital to a division of a Chinese conglomerate had not yet been completed, meaning it would take months for Scaramucci to be cleared of potential ethics conflicts.

Scaramucci -- who attended Harvard Law School and Tufts University -- made news in June when CNN accepted the resignations of three journalists involved in a retracted story about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between Scaramucci and the head of a Russian investment fund. CNN immediately apologized to Scaramucci. CNN said the story didn't meet its editorial standards and was posted without going through the expected checks and balances for a story of such sensitivity.

The Long Island, New York, native is a frequent guest on Fox News, and previously hosted "Wall Street Week" on the Fox Business Network.

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William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort have both agreed to cooperate with the Senate Judiciary Committee in regards to its Russia probe, and will provide documents "and be interviewed... prior to a public hearing," according to statement from the office of committee Chairman Chuck Grassley.

Representatives for both Trump Jr. and Manafort confirmed the agreement with ABC News.

The decision comes a day after senators threatened to subpoena the pair in pursuit of their investigation into Russian election interference. Both Grassley, R-Iowa, and committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., had expressed confidence on Thursday in achieving cooperation with the president's son and former campaign chair.

“I’m not concerned, because if they don’t they will be subpoenaed," said Feinstein.

On Wednesday, the committee invited the men -- who have come under scrutiny for their attendance at a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in which Trump Jr. believed they would receive incriminating information about Hillary Clinton -- to appear at a hearing next week and turn over documents related to their contacts with Russian nationals. They will not appear at Wednesday's session in light of the agreement, according to an aide to Feinstein.

Glenn Simpson, founder of Fusion GPS, a research firm hired by Trump political opponents to investigate the GOP nominee's Russia ties, was also invited to next week's hearing, but declined, according to the statement from Grassley's office.

"A subpoena has been issued to compel his attendance," the statement said.

"Simpson's attorney has asserted that his client will invoke First and Fifth Amendment rights in response to the subpoena," continued the statement.

While Trump and Manafort will be cooperating with the committee, the statement adds that the panel "reserve[s] the right" to issue subpoenas for each in the future.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Sean Spicer is feeling "relieved" in the wake of his resignation as the White House press secretary, he told ABC News Friday afternoon.

When asked how he's feeling, he said: "How do I look like I'm feeling? Relieved."

The reason for his departure?

"Organizationally, they need to get a fresh start," he told ABC News' Senior White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega.

Spicer, 45, confirmed that President Donald Trump asked him to stay on.

It's no secret in the White House that Spicer’s departure was in the works. He said a new vision brought on to the communications team solidified his decision to leave.

Spicer said that his departure allows White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, whose role was announced this morning, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who will be taking over as press secretary, to "have a clean slate."

The former presidential spokesman reiterated the viewpoint in an interview with Fox News Friday, expressing that additions to the staff could've created confusion.

"I just thought it was in the best interest of our communications department, of our press organization to not have too many cooks in the kitchen," he said.

Spicer would not comment on his next steps or any formal plans to ABC News.

"I look forward to spending a lot of time with my family," Spicer said.

Trump expected to name Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director

Spicer initially confirmed his departure on Twitter over an hour after the news broke, writing, "It's been an honor & a privilege to serve @POTUS @realDonaldTrump & this amazing country. I will continue my service through August."

It's been an honor & a privilege to serve @POTUS @realDonaldTrump & this amazing country. I will continue my service through August

— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) July 21, 2017

Sanders read a statement from Trump at the press briefing Friday afternoon.

"I am grateful for Sean's work on behalf of my administration and the American people. I wish him continued success as he moves on to pursue new opportunities. Just look at his great television ratings," Trump said in the statement.

Spicer has spent much less time in the briefing room in recent weeks, with Sanders handling more of the daily briefings.

Spicer did brief the press off camera on Monday of this week, and that was his first time doing so in three weeks.

Spicer worked as the communications director for the Republican National Committee before being named as Trump's press secretary during the transition.

His tenure got off to a rocky start when he made his first appearance in the White House briefing room the day after Trump took office and read a statement to the press about the size of the crowd at the inauguration.

The resignation comes the day after the Trump administration marked its first six months in office.

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Susan Rice, former President Barack Obama's national security advisor, met Friday with the Senate Intelligence Committee for a private interview as part of the panel's investigation into Russian election interference.

“Ambassador Rice met voluntarily with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence today as part of the Committee’s bipartisan investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election," Rice's spokesperson Erin Pelton said in a statement on Friday. "Ambassador Rice appreciates the Committee’s efforts to examine Russia’s efforts to interfere, which violated one of the core foundations of American democracy. She was pleased to cooperate with the investigation given its extraordinary national significance.”

Rice is among several former Obama administration officials who have appeared before Capitol Hill investigators looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Jeh Johnson, the former homeland security secretary under Obama, has appeared before both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. John Podesta, who served as counselor to Obama and, more recently, the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, was interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee last month.

Republicans have raised concerns that Rice and other Obama administration officials improperly unmasked names in classified foreign intelligence reports -- something Rice has strenuously denied.

The Senate Intelligence Committee will also interview Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and a top White House adviser, on Monday behind closed doors.

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ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) -- "Hack politician.”

“I don’t like the way he talks about women.”

No, these weren’t the musings of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders about President Donald Trump -– they were remarks about Trump when he was a candidate from Anthony Scaramucci, his newly minted communications director.

Scaramucci, a Wall Street financier and now staunch Trump defender, was tapped Friday to replace Trump’s former communications director Mike Dubke, who served only three months in the job.

But in 2015, during an appearance on Fox Business, Scaramucci lashed out at Trump in response to remarks from the then-candidate about hedge-funders.

“He’s a hack politician,” he said. “He’s probably going to make Elizabeth Warren his vice-presidential nominee.”

Scaramucci called the remarks from Trump “divisive” and implored the Republican candidate and fellow New Yorker, “You’ve gotta cut it out now and stop all this crazy rhetoric.”

“I don’t like the way he talks about women,” Scaramucci, a Republican donor, added. “I don’t like the way he talks about our friend Megyn Kelly.”

Trump and Kelly, formerly of Fox News, had a very public spat during the campaign, with Trump infamously saying during a primary debate: “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”

Trump and Kelly later reconciled.

"This nonsense is gonna end," Scaramucci said of Trump's White House run. "And I predict it will end before Thanksgiving."

During a White House briefing Friday, Scaramucci apologized for the comments.

“One of the biggest mistakes that I made because I was an unexperienced person in the world of politics, I was supporting the other candidate," Scaramucci said. "I should have never said that about him.

"So if the president is listening, I personally apologize for the 50th time for saying that. Here's a wonderful thing about the news media that was three minutes of my life, you've never forgotten it, he's never forgotten it.”

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ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) -- Sarah Huckabee Sanders was named White House press secretary Friday, hours after Sean Spicer resigned from the position.

The promotion for Sanders, who was previously principal deputy press secretary, was announced at the afternoon's press briefing by new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. Scaramucci himself was offered and accepted his position earlier in the day Friday.

Sanders has regularly conducted briefings during the first six months of President Donald Trump's term, most frequently over the past month as the White House moved the conferences mostly off camera and Spicer faced questions over the possibility of his role changing.

The new press secretary is the daughter of former Arkansas governor and two-time presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and grew up with a fascination for politics.

“I always say that when most kids are 7 or 8 years old out jumping rope, she was sitting at the kitchen table listening to [political commentators] analyze poll results,” her father told Fox News in May.

Sanders has worked a number of political campaigns, including her father’s failed 2008 presidential bid, John Boozman’s Senate bid in her home state of Arkansas in 2010, and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s failed 2012 presidential bid.

She worked for her father’s second presidential bid in the 2016 election before joining Trump’s campaign after her father dropped out. She began working as a senior adviser to the Trump campaign in February 2016 but then joined the campaign’s communications team in September 2016.

Her husband, Republican strategist Bryan Sanders, posted a selfie of him and his wife at the inauguration, writing that he was proud of his "amazing wife."

So proud of my amazing wife @SarahHuckabee who starts her new job as Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary today pic.twitter.com/kYcTCyUllt

— Bryan Sanders (@sanders_bryan) January 20, 2017

The couple married in 2010 and have three children, including one to whom she gave a special shout-out at a press briefing.

“In addition to all of the big news happening at the White House today, it is also my daughter Scarlet’s fifth birthday. And since I'm here and you guys are, I get to wish Scarlet a happy birthday. And with that, I think her first birthday wish would probably be that you guys are incredibly nice,” she said at the May 10 briefing.

Sanders started playing a more public role in May when Spicer was fulfilling his naval reserve duties. She has since been giving the majority of the recent daily briefings, and there has been a shift from having those conducted in front of live TV cameras; they are now mostly required to only be audio recorded and not played live.

For her part, she is reportedly getting rave reviews from the president.

“The president loves Sarah. He thinks she's doing a phenomenal job and I agree with him,” Scaramucci said at Friday’s briefing.


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The White House(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump's legal team is disputing reports that the president or others in the White House are discussing the prospect of using presidential pardons.

The Washington Post reported Friday morning that Trump was asking people on his team about the extent of his ability as president to pardon people in relation to the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with members of the Trump campaign.

"Pardons are not being discussed and are not on the table,” Jay Sekulow, a member of Trump’s legal team, told ABC News.

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dibrova/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump is shaking up his outside legal team that is charged primarily with responding to the federal probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

John Dowd, who joined the legal team in mid-June, is replacing Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, as lead attorney representing the president, Dowd confirmed to ABC News.

The newest lawyer in the group, Ty Cobb, will take the lead in managing the team's external response to the Russia probe.

Mark Corallo, who was spokesman for Trump's legal team, resigned Thursday.

Dowd emphasized that even though he is moving into another role as the team's leader, the group of lawyers serving as the president's outside counsel is a close-knit team.

"We don't decide anything without talking to one another," Dowd said.

Dowd is a longtime friend of Cobb, whom Trump hired as White House special counsel the same week it was revealed that Donald Trump. Jr. had a meeting with a Russian lawyer in hopes of attaining opposition research on Hillary Clinton.

Kasowitz will remain on Trump's legal team and continue to represent Trump but in a lesser role, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation told ABC News Thursday night.

Jay Sekulow, the other attorney on the team who has served as its public face, remains on board.

"Our task from the start was to stand up a team externally and internally to handle this for the president with our guidance, input, and assistance," a source in Kasowitz' law firm who has knowledge of the situation told ABC News.

"We got Sekulow to do the media appearances, Dowd to be the D.C. criminal lawyer, and Ty [Cobb] to handle the White House. And, most important, we got that team up and running with the president's confidence, which took a period or introduction and transition," the source said.

The source added, "Now we will let them do their jobs with our input and guidance to them and the president. Ty [Cobb] has the lead internally and given his very longstanding relationship with Dowd, will interact with him directly."

Trump’s frustration with the Russia probe was evident in an interview he had this week with The New York Times in which the president said that the special counsel leading the investigation, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, would be crossing a line if he started looking into the Trump family's personal finances, specifically those unrelated to Russia.

“I think that’s a violation,” Trump said in the interview. "This is about Russia!"

Trump did not explicitly say he would fire Mueller if such a situation arose, telling the Times that he "can’t answer that question because I don’t think it’s going to happen." But the president added that if Mueller did investigate, he would find that Trump's finances are "extremely good."

Mueller was authorized in May to lead the Justice Department probe into "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the [Trump campaign]," according to the order naming him special counsel. He may also look into "any matters that … may arise directly from the investigation," which could potentially include an inquiry into Trump's finances.

He is further granted "additional jurisdiction beyond that specified in his ... original jurisdiction," "or to investigate new matters that come to light" if the attorney general -- or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, in this case, given Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal -- determines "whether to include the additional matters."

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Ralph Freso/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The day after Sen. John McCain announced that he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, the Arizona Republican's wife took to Instagram and shared a series of "Throwback Thursday" photos featuring her husband of 37 years.

Cindy McCain on Wednesday posted a photo from her wedding day, writing, "Thank all of you for the wonderful thoughts. @senjohnmccain is doing well. We as a family will face the next hurdle together. One thing I do know is he is the toughest person I know. He is my hero and I love him with all my heart."

Then on Thursday, the McCain matriarch dipped again into photo archives for a trio of "throwback" photos.

"One of my favorite family photos. An oldie but a goody! @senjohnmccain @meghanmccain," she captioned an undated photo of the McCain family, with John McCain decked out in blue jeans, a plaid flannel shirt and a baseball cap.

Another photo posted was of the senator and daughter Meghan McCain, now 32, at her graduation at New York City's Columbia University.

"So many years ago. @meghanmccain @senjohnmccain at her Columbia University graduation," Cindy McCain wrote.

The third photo posted was of Cindy and John McCain standing in front of a Christmas tree.

"Ok one more," she captioned the photo. "@senjohnmccain with me at our first Christmas as a married couple."

A statement from the Mayo Clinic, released Wednesday at the request of McCain, revealed his condition.

"On Friday, July 14, Sen. John McCain underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot from above his left eye at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix," reads the statement. "Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot. Scanning done since the procedure (a minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision) shows that the tissue of concern was completely resected by imaging criteria."

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Credit: Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is threatening to issue subpoenas to compel Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr. to testify before Congress if they do not cooperate with the panel’s ongoing investigation and appear for a public hearing next week.

“If they don’t voluntarily come, they will be subpoenaed,” Grassley told reporters Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, the panel formally invited both men to appear before the committee next Wednesday for a hearing on 2016 presidential election interference. Committee investigators also requested a litany of documents from both men related to campaign contacts with Russian officials.

Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, and Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, are still reviewing the Judiciary Committee's requests.

“Am I concerned? No,” said Dianne Feinstein, D-California, the committee’s top Democrat. “I’m not concerned because if they don’t they will be subpoenaed.”

Both men have come under increased scrutiny for a controversial meeting they had with a Russian lawyer in June of 2016 at Trump Tower.

Through an intermediary, Donald Trump Jr. set up a meeting with a “Russian government attorney” who had offered "official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton]," according to emails Trump Jr. released from a conversations with Rob Goldstone, the publicist who offered to set up the meeting.

“If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. wrote to Goldstone.

Trump Jr. invited Manafort and brother-in-law Jared Kushner, now a senior White House adviser, to meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer. Kushner is set to appear for an interview behind closed doors with the Senate Intelligence Committee next week.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has also invited Glenn Simpson, a political operative and founder of the research firm Fusion GPS, to appear for the hearing next week. Simpson’s firm was reportedly associated with a pro-Russian lobbying campaign in Washington and has also been connected to the dossier of unverified allegations against Trump collected by his political opponents during the presidential campaign.

Grassley has written to the Justice Department with concerns that Fusion GPS may have violated U.S. lobbying laws.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The White House did not refute comments made by President Donald Trump about special counsel Robert Mueller in a candid and wide-ranging interview Wednesday, reiterating Trump's claim that the investigation should not analyze Trump family finances outside the scope of the Russia probe.

"The point he's trying to make is that the clear purpose of the Russia investigation is to review Russia's meddling in the election and that that should be the focus of the investigation, nothing beyond that," said principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at Thursday's White House Press briefing in one of her many responses to questions about Trump’s interview with three New York Times reporters in the Oval Office Wednesday.

Sanders added that Trump "has no intention" of pursuing Mueller's firing, even as Bloomberg reported Thursday that the special counsel is including business dealings in his review.

Warning to Mueller

In the interview with the Times, Trump said if former FBI Director Mueller started investigating his family's personal finances, specifically those unrelated to Russia, it would cross a line. One day later, the Bloomberg report said Mueller was doing just that.

“I think that’s a violation,” Trump told the Times Wednesday. "This is about Russia."

He wouldn’t go so far as to say he would fire Mueller over the matter, telling the Times that he "can’t answer that question because I don’t think it’s going to happen," but adding that if Mueller did investigate, the special counsel would find that Trump's finances are "extremely good."

Mueller was authorized in May to lead the probe into "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the [Trump campaign]," according to the order naming him as special counsel. He may also look into "any matters that … may arise directly from the investigation," which could potentially include an inquiry into Trump's finances.

He is further granted "additional jurisdiction beyond that specified in his ... original jurisdiction," "or to investigate new matters that come to light" if the attorney general -- or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, in this case, given Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal -- determines "whether to include the additional matters."

Regret about Sessions

Trump told the Times that he would not have nominated Sessions to be attorney general if he had known that he was going to recuse himself on the Russia probe. The president lamented that he ended up with a “second man, who’s a deputy,” referring to Rosenstein.

"Who is he?" asked Trump of the man he nominated in February for the Justice Department's No. 2 role.

On Sessions, Trump asked: “How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I can’t, you know, I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair, and that’s a mild word, to the president."

On Thursday morning, Sessions responded to questions about whether he would remain in his position, given the president's comments.

“I have the honor of serving as attorney general, it's something that goes beyond any thought I would have ever had for myself," said Sessions. "We love this job, we love this department, and I plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate."

'Pleasantries' with Russian President Vladimir Putin

The president addressed his originally undisclosed G-20 dinner conversation with Putin, portraying it as a routine conversation. Trump told the Times that when he sat down to chat with Putin at the dinner attended by G-20 leaders and their spouses, it was because he wanted to say hello to his wife, Melania Trump, who was sitting next to Putin.

“She was sitting next to Putin and somebody else, and that’s the way it is," said President Trump. "So the meal was going, and toward dessert I went down just to say hello to Melania, and while I was there I said hello to Putin. Really, pleasantries more than anything else,”

Trump was originally seated next to first lady of Japan Akie Abe, but claimed that she spoke no English -- “like, not ‘hello,’” Trump said in the interview. Trump's claim about Abe’s English proficiency was later called into question when a video surfaced showing her delivering a 15-minute keynote address in English at an event in 2014.

The president did concede that at least part of the conversation with Putin strayed from “pleasantries.” He and Putin spoke about "Russian adoption," Trump said, the same topic the president's son Donald Trump Jr. originally claimed to have spoken about with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at the June 2016 meeting that has come under scrutiny for the revelation that Trump Jr. believed he was attending in order to receive incriminating information about Hillary Clinton.

Arabella Kushner lightens the mood

During the interview -- which also included an attempt by Trump to discredit former FBI Director James Comey’s June testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee as well as discussion about the ongoing Republican efforts at health care reform -- two members of Trump's family made cameo appearances.

Ivanka Trump, with daughter Arabella Kushner in tow, entered the Oval Office and temporarily halted the conversation.

“His testimony is loaded up with lies, OK? But people didn’t — we had a couple people that said — Hi baby, how are you?” said Trump, pausing the discussion about Comey to greet his granddaughter. “She spoke with President Xi [Jinping of China],” Trump told the room.

"Honey? Can you say a few words in Chinese? Say, like, 'I love you, Grandpa,'" Trump said.

“Wo ai ni, Grandpa,” his granddaughter responded.

Trump described Arabella as “great,” “amazing,” and “unbelievable” before she left the room and the conversation reverted back to the stock market and then Russia.

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