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Texts show top Reed aide pressured officials to delay records release

Texts show top Reed aide pressured officials to delay records release

New text messages obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News show a top aide to former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed pressuring other city officials to delay production of open records during Reed's final months in office. In unvarnished, sometimes vulgar comments, the texts reveal the mindset of senior Reed administration officials through the unguarded words of one of Reed's closest advisers and most ardent defenders, former communications director Anne Torres. We'll show you the text messages and explain how a simple request quickly turned into a dispute between Reed's office and the Atlanta BeltLine, on Channel 2 Action News at 6 p.m. Most ATL taxpayers don’t know this lawyer, but say thanks to her for taking some nasty heat from Mayor Reed’s Office. She & her Beltline boss did the right thing. Ch2 & AJC exclusive at 5:59 @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/osZxj2iJYp — Richard Belcher (@BelcherWSB) April 26, 2018 The GBI opened a criminal investigation of the city's handling of open records requests last month after the AJC and Channel 2 reported on other text messages from former Reed press secretary Jenna Garland. Garland instructed another staffer 'to drag this out as long as possible' and provide information 'in the most confusing format available' in response to a Channel 2 open records request for city water billing records. The new texts from Torres show Garland's instructions to curtail production of records were not an isolated incident. Torres defended the remarks as 'inter-employee banter.' This article was written by Scott Trubey, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Bill Cosby found guilty in sexual assault trial

Bill Cosby found guilty in sexual assault trial

A jury in Pennsylvania on Thursday found comedian Bill Cosby guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault. >> Read more trending news

The Latest: Pompeo 'humbled' to serve as secretary of state

The Latest: Pompeo 'humbled' to serve as secretary of state

The Latest on CIA Director Mike Pompeo's nomination to serve as secretary of state (all times local): 3 p.m. Mike Pompeo says he's 'humbled by the responsibility' of serving as secretary of state as he departs on his first trip as America's top diplomat. Pompeo was sworn in Thursday shortly after being confirmed by the Senate. He immediately headed to Andrews Air Force Base to fly to Brussels. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert relayed the statement from Pompeo. Pompeo said Thursday that he is 'delighted to be secretary of state' and is 'looking forward to serving the American people and getting to work right away.' Pompeo, the former CIA director, was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. He says he's admired Alito 'for a long time.' Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg says that Alito, an Italian-American, 'was proud to swear in the first Italian-American secretary of state.' ___ 2:15 p.m. Mike Pompeo has been sworn is as secretary of state. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito swore Pompeo in Thursday afternoon at the Supreme Court. From there, Pompeo was expected to rush to Andrews Air Force Base, where an aircraft was waiting to whisk him to Europe for his first trip as secretary. Pompeo is expected to travel to Brussels before heading on to the Middle East. Pompeo's nomination was confirmed by the Senate earlier Thursday on a 57-42 vote. It was one of the slimmest margins for the job in recent history. President Donald Trump applauded the confirmation of his former CIA director as secretary of state, calling him a 'patriot.' ___ 2:10 p.m. President Donald Trump is applauding the Senate's confirmation of Mike Pompeo as secretary of state. Trump says, 'Having a patriot of Mike's immense talent, energy, and intellect leading the Department of State will be an incredible asset for our country at this critical time in history.' He adds that Pompeo 'will always put the interests of America first,' and says the outgoing CIA director has his full trust and support. Pompeo on Thursday secured the votes of 57 senators, with 42 voting no and one senator absent. It was one of the slimmest margins for the job in recent history. Pompeo is expected to be sworn into office immediately and then depart within hours of the vote for Europe on his first trip as secretary of state. ___ 1 p.m. The Senate has narrowly confirmed Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state. The outgoing CIA director secured support from 57 senators, with 42 voting no and one senator absent. It's one of the slimmest margins for the job in recent history. Every past nominee since at least the Carter administration has received 85 or more yes votes, with the exception of Trump's first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. He got 56 yes votes. Pompeo is a former Republican congressman from Kansas. He is expected to be sworn in almost immediately so he can begin serving as top diplomat. Pompeo has been deeply engaged in the administration's efforts on North Korea and recently traveled to Pyongyang. ___ 11:30 a.m. Outgoing CIA Director Mike Pompeo is expected to clear his last hurdle to become secretary of state when the Senate votes midday Thursday to confirm him. Pompeo's confirmation narrowly made it out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday after last-minute support from Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. He's expected to have an easier time in the full Senate, though the tally will still likely be close. If confirmed, Pompeo will replace Rex Tillerson, the former Exxon Mobil CEO fired by President Donald Trump on Twitter last month. Pompeo is expected to be sworn in almost immediately. A long list of pressing issues awaits him including a decision on the Iran nuclear deal and Trump's upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

President Trump’s choice for VA Secretary withdraws his nomination

Facing numerous questions about his past work record, White House physician Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson withdrew from consideration for VA Secretary on Thursday morning, calling a variety of claims about him, ‘false and fabricated.’

“If they had any merit, I would not have been selected,” Jackson said in a written statement. “I am regretfully withdrawing my nomination,” Jackson said in a written statement.

“Unfortunately, because of how Washington works, these false allegations have become a distraction for this President and the important issue we must be addressing – how we give the best care to our nation’s heroes,” Jackson added.

Jackson’s nomination [More]