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TRUMP
--Pressed at his White House news conference whether anyone on his campaign staff had contact with Russian officials, President Trump says "nobody that I know of." ABC's Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl asked about intelligence leaks on those contacts and Mr. Trump said "The leaks are real... the news is fake."
--In his nearly 80-minute news conference, President Trump criticized leaks, the intelligence community, and the press.  Mr. Trump blasting reports that his administration is in chaos ... calling it a, quote, "fine-tuned machine."  At one point talking again about his election victory.

FLYNN
Justice Department attorneys are intensely reviewing why former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn made misleading statements to the White House about his conversations with Russia's Ambassador to the U.S. and whether he broke any laws in the process.  Sources familiar with the case tell ABC News Flynn was less than entirely forthcoming in an interview with the FBI in the days just after the inauguration, but apparently did not cross the threshold of intentional lying.

TRUMP/CABINET
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On the eve of Scott Pruitt's confirmation vote (Friday) as President Trump's EPA Administrator, an Oklahoma judge ordered Pruitt to release emails with oil and gas companies by the end of business Monday. District Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons said Thursday "there really is no reasonable explanation" why Pruitt's office hasn't complied with a request filed in January 2015 by the Center for Media and Democracy.
-- Retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward had been offered the position of National Security Advisor to replace the ousted Mike Flynn, but tells ABC News he declined. "I was humbled and honored." He says of the job, "It takes 24 hours a day of focus ... It's a tough sacrifice" and after 40 years of military service he wasn't not ready to come back from retirement. Harward is an ABC News consultant.

MINING
A win for the coal industry Thursday.  President Trump signed into law a measure that will let coal mining operations release more waste into streams.  The measure overturns the so-called "Stream Protection Rule" ... which put into place safeguards for streams ... and required the restoration of streams that were damaged by mining operations. Environmental groups says communities downstream will be more vulnerable to pollution.

IMMIGRATION
--The federal government has now officially filed paperwork with the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals saying it wants to go no further with the case against the President's immigration ban because President Trump will be issuing a new immigration Executive Order soon.
--Hispanic lawmakers are furious that they were denied entry to a meeting with the acting director of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Thomas Homan, Thursday at the Capitol.

TARGET
A Florida man has been charged in connection with a plot to bomb Target stores along the East Coast, with hopes that such an attack would force the retailer's stock to plunge and allow him to cheaply buy its stock, federal investigators announced Thursday. Mark Charles Barnett of Ocala has been charged with "possession of a firearm (destructive device) affecting commerce by a previously convicted felon," according to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida.

RUSSIA SPY SHIP
The Russian spy ship Viktor Leonov is no longer off the coast of Connecticut, but has moved southward to a position northeast of Norfolk, Virginia. The vessel's presence 30 miles south of a U.S. Navy submarine base in New London, Connecticut drew international headlines this week even though U.S. officials were not concerned by the ship's operations, which are in international waters.

SO CAL WX
Worry about flooding and mudslides has some southern Californians sandbagging...ahead of what's forecasat as one of the strongest storms to hit the region in years.

ABC Sports News

Lopez, Ibaka Suspended One...

valio84sl/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – Chicago Bulls center Robin Lopez and Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka were each suspended one game for their role in a fight between the two teams on...

WBC: Team USA beats Japan,...

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- The United States is headed to its very first World Baseball Classic championship game. Team USA defeated Japan 2-1 on Tuesday to advance to the final. They will...

Scoreboard roundup — 3/21/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) —Here are the latest scores and winners: INTERLEAGUE Philadelphia 9, Minnesota 5 Pittsburgh 5, Tampa Bay 4 Houston 2, Miami 1 L.-A. Angels 9, Cincinnati 1 Arizona 4, Kansas City 2 AMERICAN LEAGUE Texas 4, Chi....

Marshawn Lynch's agent leaves...

Gabriel Christus/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- ESPN reports the agent for retired running back Marshawn Lynch spoke out amid rumors of his client's potential return, saying Lynch does miss football, but...

Carolina Panthers quarterback...

Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will undergo surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff in his right throwing shoulder according to ESPN. The team...

Jerry Krause, architect of...

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Jerry Krause, the executive credited with forming the Chicago Bulls roster that won six championships through the 1990s, died at 77 according to ESPN. A Chicago native, Krause...

ABC National News

Stabbing suspect came to New...

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The fatal stabbing of a 66-year-old man in New York City Monday night is being investigated as a bias crime, according to police. Authorities said they have a...

Ex-teacher accused of...

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation(NEW YORK) -- A former Tennessee teacher accused of kidnapping his 15-year-old student is believed to have watched a TV show about living off the grid...

Feds conducted series of...

Purestock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — U.S. authorities became convinced that security measures for certain U.S.-bound flights needed to be boosted only after conducting a series of tests to determine the credibility of new...

California high school...

iStock/Thinkstock(CHINO, Calif.) — A Southern California high school student was taken into custody on Tuesday for allegedly threatening to carry out a Columbine-style shooting attack. The 15-year-old Chino High School student...

LAPD: Deportation fears...

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — The head of the Los Angeles Police Department on Tuesday warned of a "strong correlation" between dramatic drops in violent crimes being reported by Hispanics in Los...

Trump offspring and spouses...

iStock/Thinkstock(ASPEN, Colo.) — The Trump clan — sans its patriarch, President Donald Trump — ditched the East Coast this week and headed west to the ritzy Colorado ski town of...

ABC Entertainment News

Report: Michael Shannon leads...

Getty Images/John Lamparski(LOS ANGELES) -- According to theHollywood Reporter, Man of Steel baddie Michael Shannon, who got an Oscar nomination for his work in Tom Ford's Nocturnal Animals, is the...

Hasta la vista, baby:...

Paramount Pictures/Melinda Sue Gordon(LOS ANGELES) -- Arnold most likely won't be back. Paramount, which owns the rights to the Terminator series, has reportedly terminated the Schwarzenegger series. Arnold's last go-round as...

"K. Oh." "Wheel of Fortune"...

Getty Images/Paul Warner(LOS ANGELES) -- A Wheel of Fortune contestant who was one letter away from solving the puzzle during Tuesday's show added an X-rated twist to the title of...

Study says younger viewers...

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- According to according to Deloitte’s annual "Digital Democracy Survey," nearly 75% of Americans confessed to binge watching multiple episodes in one sitting; particularly younger viewers. According to...

Jenny Slate has "no regrets"...

Marvel Studios(NEW YORK) -- Jenny Slate and Chris Evans are no longer a couple, but Slate says she doesn't regret the time they spent together. "I don't mind talking about him...

Cher to star in new Lifetime...

Getty Images/Brian Stukes(LOS ANGELES) -- Cher has been an outspoken advocate for the people of Flint, Michigan, during the water crisis they've been suffering through since 2014. Now, she's going...

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