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Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump lashed out at adult-film star Stormy Daniels and her attorney Tuesday morning, vowing to “go after” the pair, who he referred to as “Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer.”

The tweet from Trump comes a day after a federal judge in California handed the president a rare legal victory in his ongoing legal battles with Daniels.

Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti – who has been teasing a possible run for president against Trump in 2020 - wasted little time in responding in kind to the insults, calling Trump a “disgusting misogynist and an embarrassment to the United States.”

“Bring everything you have,” Avenatti crowed, “because we are going to demonstrate to the world what a complete shyster and liar you are.”

Also firing back on her (usually) not-safe-for-work Twitter feed, Daniels wrote, “Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present your president.”

“[H]e has demonstrated his incompetence, hatred of women and lack of self control on Twitter AGAIN!” Daniels wrote.

The barrage of Twitter barbs follows a ruling Monday by US District Court Judge S. James Otero that dismissed Daniels’ defamation claim, one of two lawsuits she filed against the president.

Otero ruled that a tweet Trump sent earlier this year mocking Daniels’ credibility was free speech protected by the First Amendment.

The judge noted that Daniels had "sought to publicly present herself as an adversary" to Trump, and that to deny him the ability to engage in responding to her allegations "would significantly hamper the office of the President."

An attorney for the president, Charles Harder, characterized that ruling in a statement as "a total victory for President Trump and a total defeat for Stormy Daniels."

The court also ordered Daniels to pay Trump’s legal fees and costs associated with defending the lawsuit. The amount has yet to be determined.

Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti quickly filed a notice of an intention to appeal the ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The dismissal of the defamation claim has no bearing on Daniels’ separate lawsuit challenging the validity of the non-disclosure agreement she signed in 2016 to keep quiet about her allegations of a sexual tryst with Trump in 2006.

Trump has denied her allegations.

The defamation claim from Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, was originally filed in New York federal court earlier this year. The lawsuit claimed Trump acted with "actual malice" and "reckless disregard for the truth" when he posted a tweet mocking her claim that she was threatened by an unknown man to stay silent. The case was later transferred to federal court in California.

In an April appearance on ABC’s "The View," Daniels and Avenatti released a sketch of the man she claims menaced her and her toddler daughter in 2011 in a Las Vegas parking lot shortly after she granted an interview to In Touch magazine about her alleged relationship with Trump, then a real estate mogul and reality-TV star.

Daniels alleges the man told her to "leave Trump alone" and to "forget the story."

The magazine didn’t publish its story about Daniels claims until January of 2018 - after the Wall Street Journal published the first accounts of a non-disclosure agreement signed just weeks before the 2016 election.

In interviews with The View and on CBS’ 60 Minutes earlier this year, Daniels intimated that either Trump or his then-personal attorney, Michael Cohen, must have been behind the alleged threat.

To date, no evidence has emerged to support the claim.

One day after Daniels revealed the sketch - Trump ridiculed the claim on Twitter as "a sketch years later about a non-existent man." He called it a "total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools."

In deciding in favor of the president, Judge Otero - who is also overseeing Daniels' pending lawsuit over her non-disclosure agreement - ruled that Trump's tweet "constitutes 'rhetorical hyperbole' normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States."

"Any strongly-worded response by a president to another politician or public figure could constitute an action for defamation," Otero wrote in his opinion. "This would deprive the country of the ‘discourse’ common to the political process."

"Such a holding would violate the First Amendment," Otero ruled.

Otero also denied Daniels' efforts to engage in what he called a "fishing expedition" to seek evidence that Trump was aware of the alleged threat.

Otero has scheduled a hearing for early December on Trump and Cohen’s motions to dismiss Daniels’ other lawsuit, which seeks a court ruling that the $130,000 non-disclosure agreement she signed in late October 2016 in invalid. Those proceedings have been on hold for months, following the April law-enforcement raids on Cohen’s law office and residences in New York.

Trump initially denied having any knowledge of where the money to pay Daniels came from, referring reporters’ questions in April to Cohen.

He subsequently acknowledged reimbursing Cohen for the costs of the deal but has maintained he learned about the arrangement only after the fact.

In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight felonies, including one count of violating campaign finance laws in connection with the deal with Daniels. At a plea hearing in federal court in Manhattan, Cohen told the court that he had acted “in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” referring to then-candidate Trump.

“I participated in this conduct for the principal purpose” of influencing the election, Cohen said.

Cohen is due to be sentenced in December.

Last month ABC News reported that Cohen is cooperating with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, sitting for multiple interview sessions that were also attended by prosecutors for the Southern District of New York.

Cohen and Trump have recently abandoned their opposition to Daniels’ lawsuit, effectively conceding that the non-disclosure contract is void, and they have each asked Judge Otero to dismiss the claim.

Avenatti, Daniels’ attorney, has countered that the case should continue because the public deserves to know why a candidate for president and his attorney were so determined to silence his client.

"I have been practicing law for nearly twenty years," Avenatti tweeted last month.

"Never before have I seen a defendant so frightened to be deposed as Donald Trump, especially for a guy who talks so tough," Avenatti wrote. "He is desperate and doing all he can to avoid having to answer my questions. He is all hat and no cattle."

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Department of Housing and Urban Development(WASHINGTON) -- Even as ethical inquiries into Ryan Zinke's actions as Interior Secretary continue, the Trump administration is expected to nominate a political appointee from another agency to take over as the department's internal watchdog.

Democrats and oversight groups say they are concerned a political nominee with no specific experience in oversight could quash investigations into Zinke.

The move involving the expected nominee, Suzanne Israel Tufts, was first revealed in an email, obtained by ABC News and other organizations, sent from Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to staff announcing that Tufts was leaving HUD to take the position as acting inspector general at Interior.

Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking member of the committee with oversight of Interior, said the move "stinks to high heaven."

“Secretary Zinke and the Interior Department are awash in wave after wave of scandal and corruption, and they decide now is the perfect time to get rid of the current IG. After looking around, the best person they could find is a Trump political operative at HUD who turned a blind eye to Secretary Carson’s $31,000 dining set. President Trump keeps warning people that if Democrats get control of Congress, all you’ll see is investigations and subpoenas. Well, somebody’s got to do it,” Grijalva said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for the House Natural Resources Committee with oversight of Interior said the committee and Chairman Rob Bishop plan to learn more about the nomination as the Interior Department makes information available.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the nomination.

Tufts, originally a lawyer from New York, led the office of administration at HUD where she was "tasked with delivering administrative support and customer service to HUD employees nationwide."

Public information about Tufts does not specifically list any experience in government oversight but the law establishing inspectors general specifies that nominees for permanent positions should be made regardless of political affiliation and based on a demonstrated record of work with auditing or investigations. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The former head of HUD's office of administration, Helen Foster, filed a whistleblower complaint in November 2017 alleging that she was pushed out of a role with similar responsibilities in part because she raised concerns about exorbitant spending at the department. Foster has since left government service, citing retaliation against her complaint.

The Interior Department has not had a confirmed inspector general for years; the office is currently run by Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall. Kendall has been deputy inspector general at Interior since 1999 and previously worked for the Environmental Protection Agency. President Barack Obama nominated her to become the inspector general in 2015 but the nomination stalled in the Senate after Republicans said Kendall was too close with administration officials.

"The position of the Inspector General has been vacant for about ten years. This is a providentially appointed, Senate-confirmed position, which would be announced by the White House," Interior spokeswoman Faith Vander Voort said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for the inspector general's office said they haven't been given any official information about the change.

The inspector general's office is still looking into whether Zinke was improperly involved in a real estate deal as secretary and has been looking into whether any taxpayer funds were improperly spent on Zinke's travel.

Zinke has said while he met with Halliburton officials connected to the real estate deal in his hometown they only discussed the history of the project. He has also pushed back against allegations that there was anything improper about the cost of his travel.

The internal watchdog's office has released an interim report on Zinke's travel that said Interior could improve procedures but cleared Zinke of wrongdoing. Another report found that the department did not keep sufficient records to explain controversial re-assignments that at least one employee alleged was in retaliation for work on climate change.

Liz Hempowicz, public policy director at the watchdog group Project on Government Oversight, said the administration shouldn't change who is in charge of Interior's internal watchdog while active investigations are ongoing.

"Replacing one acting inspector general with another who has no significant government oversight experience, and at a time when there are several ongoing investigations involving Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s activities, is politically suspect. They shouldn’t be changing hats right now, when there are numerous investigations left to be completed. The prolonged tenure of an acting inspector general at the Interior Department is a larger problem, but this move does nothing to address that," Hempowicz said in a statement.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The private investigator behind the now-infamous dossier of unverified allegations linking members of the Trump campaign to Russian officials invoked his constitutional rights not to testify on Tuesday after being subpoenaed to appear before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees.

Glenn Simpson, the former Wall Street Journal reporter who cofounded the research firm Fusion GPS, which was hired first by Republicans and later by Democrats to explore then-candidate Donald Trump’s past, has already spent hours testifying before Congress about his work. But House Republicans called him to appear on Tuesday to answer questions on another topic — political bias at the Justice Department.

Trump’s allies have zeroed in on Simpson’s relationship with former British spy Christopher Steele, who gathered much of the raw intelligence contained in the dossier, and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, who provided the dossier to high-ranking officials in the FBI. Republicans lawmakers have suggested those relationships improperly informed and ultimately tainted the FBI’s broader investigation of Russian meddling in the election.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia, said Simpson’s decision was “disappointing,” and that the committees were prepared to ask him questions “that have not been explored by other congressional committees.”

“The House Judiciary and Oversight Committees sought testimony from Mr. Simpson because he is uniquely qualified to answer questions regarding the dossier collected by Christopher Steele that was then used by the FBI to form an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application,” Goodlatte said. “Today we expected Mr. Simpson to answer questions that have not been explored by other congressional committees to help advance our joint investigation. Instead, Mr. Simpson has refused to cooperate with our investigative team and has denied the American people answers to important questions.”

Simpson’s attorney Josh Levy accused Republican of using Simpson to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“Rather than participate any further in this charade, Mr. Simpson today stood on his constitutional rights,” Levy said in a statement. “Regrettably—in keeping with the worst practices of past congressional investigations— the Committee required him to walk before these cameras and tell them in person what he already clearly and unequivocally communicated through counsel – that he is invoking his right not to testify.”

House Republican aides say the committees are scheduled to interview Bruce Ohr's wife Nellie, a Russian linguist who once worked for Fusion GPS, on Friday.

President Trump picked up on the episode himself on Tuesday, taking to Twitter to hurl fresh criticism at Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom he has blamed for the ongoing fallout from the special counsel investigation because of his decision to recuse himself from supervising the probe.

“‘Conflict between Glen Simpson’s testimony to another House Panel about his contact with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr. Ohr was used by Simpson and Steele as a Back Channel to get (FAKE) Dossier to FBI. Simpson pleading Fifth.’ Catherine Herridge. Where is Jeff Sessions?” Trump tweeted.

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Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- What will special counsel Robert Mueller find when his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election is finally complete?

The American public might never get to see the full picture.

Under the current special counsel regulation, Mueller is required to provide the attorney general with a “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel,” but it will be up to the attorney general — or, at the moment, his deputy — whether to release that report to the public.

But President Donald Trump has publicly considered removing both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who inherited supervision of the investigation after Sessions’ recusal, at various points in the first two years of his administration, stoking concerns from Democrats that their potential replacements could order an end to the investigation or attempt to bury its findings.

Any attempt to withhold Mueller’s report from public view would surely spark a fierce partisan battle, particularly if Democrats take control of the House in the midterms, putting themselves in position to subpoena documents from the Justice Department pertaining to Mueller’s investigation even if its findings aren’t publicly released.

“We expect—and the rule of law demands—that the Special Counsel be permitted to complete his investigation, wherever it may lead, free from political interference, and that the facts be presented for public review so that the American people can know the full truth,” said New York Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler during a press conference earlier this year. Nadler would serve as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee if Democrats retake the House.

The Department of Justice declined to comment for this report. President Trump has vehemently denied any coordination between his campaign and Russian agents working to influence the election.

Under the current regulations, which were written to shift power to the Justice Department, giving the agency more oversight of future special counsels, in the wake of Kenneth Starr’s years-long investigation of President Bill Clinton, Mueller would be required to provide his final report to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, the acting attorney general for this matter.

Rosenstein is required by regulation to notify the top Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of the investigation and provide them with an explanation of any instance where he blocked a proposed action by Mueller’s team.

He could also release Mueller’s report to the public if he determines that the release “would be in the public interest,” according to the regulation, but considering Trump’s tumultuous relationship with the Justice Department and its leaders, Rosenstein might not be in a position to make those decisions when Mueller finishes his work.

While Trump recently appeared to reach a détente with Rosenstein, the embattled deputy attorney general traveled to the White House late last month with the expectation that he would be fired, following reports that Rosenstein had suggested recording conversations with the president in connection to possibly invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. Rosenstein said in a statement at the time that he had never "pursued or authorized recording" Trump or advocated for Trump's removal.

And Trump has repeatedly criticized Sessions, stemming from his decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe — “I don’t have an attorney general,” Trump told Hill.TV in September — and has reportedly discussed replacing Sessions with his chief of staff Matt Whitaker, according to the Washington Post.

In a recent interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Trump said he had “no intention” of shutting down the investigation but stopped well short of a guarantee.

“I don’t pledge anything,” he said. “But I will tell you, I have no intention of doing that.”

Democrats and some Republicans have called for the passage of legislation to protect Mueller’s investigation from political interference. Lawmakers have introduced proposals to limit the attorney general’s ability to remove a special counsel and preserve staff, documents and materials if an investigation is shuttered, and have also suggested proposals that would allow Mueller to appeal his removal.

And Neal Katyal, the former acting solicitor general of the United States during the Obama administration who also served in the Clinton administration and helped draft the regulations, has also called for Rosenstein to transmit “interim reports” to Congress to memorialize Mueller’s investigation and inoculate it from any potential interference in the future.

“Rosenstein could, right now, tell Congress (or even a small group of members, with appropriate safeguards, including secrecy) what has happened — what Mueller has learned so far, whether Rosenstein has ever said “no” to Mueller and where the investigation is headed now,” he wrote in the Washington Post. “Such a move would be unusual, to say the least. But it is a way for Rosenstein to safeguard his legacy. And it could also safeguard the very principle that no one is above the law. Not even the president — and not even this president.”

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LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Defense Secretary James Mattis says President Donald Trump has told him "I'm with you 100 percent" following the president's comments on CBS's "60 Minutes" that he might leave the administration and suspects he is a Democrat.

When asked on "60 Minutes" if Mattis might leave the administration, Trump said he had "a very good relationship with him. It could be that he is. I think he's sort of a Democrat, if you wanna know the truth."

"But Gen. Mattis is a good guy," said Trump. "We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That's Washington."

Mattis told reporters traveling with him to Vietnam that he and Trump had spoken on Monday while the president was en route to Florida.

In their first conversation since the 60 Minutes interview was taped, Mattis told reporters that Trump had told him, “I’m a hundred percent with you” and “I’m with you a hundred percent.”

Mattis' comments were a clarification of his earlier comments to reporters that he had not spoken with the president since the interview had aired on Sunday.

Asked earlier what he had thought about Trump's comments, Mattis told reporters "Nothing at all."

"I’m on his team," Mattis said. "We have never talked about me leaving. And as you can see right here, we're on our way. We just continue doing our job."

Mattis said he had not seen the interview with the President and only seen reporting about it in the press.

Reporters also asked Mattis if he had ever registered as either a Democrat or Republican.

"I’ve never registered for any political party," said Mattis, who is registered to vote in his home state of Washington, which does not require political affiliations to be disclosed.

When asked earlier if he was a Democrat, Mattis had replied with a lengthy statement that having served a lifetime in the U.S. military, "we are proudly apolitical."

"By that, I mean that in our duties, we were brought up to obey the elected commander in chief, whoever that is," said Mattis.

"Where am I today? I'm a member of the president's administration," said Mattis.

"You can see that my portfolio is bipartisan by its very basis, and that is the protection of the United States," he added.

"That's what President Trump has told me to do, and I eagerly carry that out, alongside probably the most selfless young men and women -- not all young; some old men and women, too -- civilian and military, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines working together," he said. "So that's where I stand. That defines me."

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iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- The only debate in the Arizona Senate race ended with fireworks as Republican nominee Rep. Martha McSally accused her Democratic opponent Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of treason Monday night.

The slam came in reference to a 2003 video clip that was unearthed wherein Sinema said that she wouldn't care if an American joined the Taliban.

"That's treason!" McSally nearly screamed, looking directly at Sinema.

"This is the definition of treason, saying it’s OK for Americans to join our enemy!" she added.

Sinema deflected, saying McSally is "just trying to cut, cut, cut and not share the whole picture."

"Martha’s trying to make this Senate campaign about me," Sinema said on stage. In a gaggle with reporters afterward, Sinema called the claims "ridiculous."

That capped off a debate that was filled with a lot of she-said, she-saids, with the two candidates saying that their opponent was miscasting their stance on any number of issues, including health care, Medicare, social security, military cuts, tax cuts and cuts to coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Both candidates needed to be pressed for answers at different points in the debate.

For Sinema, that came early on, when she had to be asked three times how she would have voted if she were in the Senate for the Kavanaugh confirmation vote. She eventually said that she would have voted "no."

For McSally, she was pressed to be direct in whether or not she supports the Trump administration's implementation of the separation of families at the border. She said that no one wants to see families separated but we need to enforce the laws, so Congress should change the laws.

"The reality is the cartels know right now if you show up with a kid, you’re going to be let go," McSally said.

One interesting point of comparison came when they addressed how they would dealt with President Donald Trump.

McSally, who spent much of the primary aligning herself with Trump and noted in her opening Monday night that she's looking forward to "hosting" Trump when he comes to Mesa on Friday as part of his western swing, was asked if she was proud of the president and his behavior.

"President Trump ran for president one time and won, and he’s a disrupter ... we’re seeing the results form that. ... He’s disrupting things for sure in Washington, D.C., but providing more opportunities for Americans," she said.

"I am proud that he has gone to the White House and he is leading the country in the right direction," she said, adding, "He didn't need to be doing this. I've gotten to know him over the past year and a half and he loves America."

Sinema, who has been casting herself as a moderate and has voted with the administration 62 percent of the time, according to ABC News partner FiveThirtyEight, said that she would vote according to how his laws impact Arizonans and not based on party lines.

"When the president is doing something right, support him, when he's doing something wrong, oppose it," Sinema said.

Many Arizonans see this race -- and their support for either candidate -- as a referendum on the president and his agenda.

George Bingham is a Republican from Arizona who was handing out McSally posters at a rally held for her with Mitt Romney in Gilbert on Friday. Bingham said that he sees this as a “huge, huge election” that has implications that extend far beyond Arizona.

“We have a president that needs all the Republican support that he can get in the Senate,” Bingham said.

“If he wants to get his agenda done, he’s going to need every Republican senator,” he said.

Pam Potter, a college professor who was knocking on doors over the weekend in Peoria on behalf of Democratic candidates, including Sinema, said she thinks this Senate race is one of the “really important” ones this cycle.

“Right now, we have a president unchecked. Right now they [Republicans] have all the houses,” Potter said.

“Kyrsten specifically is a moderate Democrat. She is ready to work on the issues rather than a partisan stance,” she added.

Monday's debate comes five days after early voting started in Arizona, as the state votes in a tight race to fill the seat being left open by Sen. Jeff Flake.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(BANGOR, Maine) -- A threatening letter that the writer claimed was contaminated with ricin was sent to the Bangor, Maine, residence of Sen. Susan Collins early Monday afternoon, the senator's communications director, Annie Clark said.

Bangor Police responded to the incident at approximately 1:39 p.m. to investigate the suspicious letter, officials said at a press conference Monday.

The letter was received by Collins' husband, Tom Daffron, according to Clark.

"Currently, we have no information that would suggest the public at large is in any danger whatsoever," said Sgt. Wade Betters of Bangor Police.

The local fire department and a HAZMAT team from Orono were called in to assist in the investigation, Sgt. Betters stated.

Bangor Police have not disclosed the contents of the letter, however Clark said that the writer claimed to contaminate the letter with ricin in a series of tweets posted on Monday evening.

"The affected areas have now been cleared, and Senator Collins and Mr. Daffron will be able to remain at home tonight," said Clark, while noting, "The testing of the letter, as well as the investigation into its origins, remain ongoing."

Collins has received criticism from her decision to vote for the confirmation of Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court on October 6. The senator was widely considered as one of the crucial votes in the confirmation process, and her support of Kavanaugh resulted in being the target of numerous protests.

"He [Kavanaugh] has been an exemplary public servant, judge, teacher, coach, husband, and father," Collins wrote in a statement Oct. 5, revealing her decision to vote for the newly-appointed associate justice, stating that she hoped Kavanaugh would, "lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court."

Police have not revealed the motive of the writer who sent the suspicious letter to the Collins' home.

"We are very grateful for the immediate and professional assistance that we received from the Bangor Police Department, the Maine Crime Lab, the Maine State Police Department, the Capitol Police, the FBI, the Orono Hazmat Unit, the Bangor Fire Department, the U.S. Army, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service," Sen. Collins said in a statement issued Monday evening. "We feel blessed to live in such a supportive community."

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump told reporters that "rogue killers" may be involved in the disappearance of independent journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who has been living in the U.S.

The president's comments Monday morning came after he spoke to Saudi Arabia's King Salman, who, Trump said, "denies any knowledge" about Khashoggi's disappearance.

"The king firmly denied any knowledge of it,” Trump said to the press after his phone call with the Saudi king. “He didn't really know, maybe, I don't want to get into his mind but it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers, who knows?”

Pressed on whether he believed King Salman’s denials, the president wouldn’t say.

“All I can do is report what he told me. He told me in a very firm way that they had no knowledge of it. He said it very strongly,” Trump said. “His denial to me could not have been stronger, that he had no knowledge. It sounded like he and also the crown prince [Mohanmmed bin Salman] had no knowledge.”

Trump also said that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is leaving "literally within an hour" for Saudi Arabia, and possibly other countries.

Khashoggi, a self-exiled Saudi journalist and prominent critic of the Saudi crown prince, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey on Oct. 2 to obtain documents he needed to get married. Turkish authorities have claimed he was murdered in the consulate by Saudi operatives, an allegation the Saudi government has consistently denied.

Tensions grew over the weekend between Washington, Turkey and Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of Khashoggi, who was a contributor to The Washington Post.

President Trump in a "60 Minutes" interview that aired over the weekend said of the alleged murder, “There’s something really terrible and disgusting about that if that were the case. So we’re going to have to see. We’re going to get to the bottom of it, and there will be severe punishment” if the Turkish claims are true.

In an apparent response to Trump’s comments, a Saudi official said that if any moves were taken against the kingdom, “it will respond with greater action ... The Kingdom’s economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy,” Reuters reported.

Trump's comments Monday came as Saudi officials and Turkish investigators were conducting a joint inspection of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for clues to Khashoggi's whereabouts, The Associated Press reported.

Saudi officials arrived in Turkey on Friday after the two governments agreed to a joint investigation into the case, with Saudi officials granting Turkish investigator access to the consulate building, Reuters reported.

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Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A federal judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by adult film actress Stormy Daniels against President Donald Trump, court documents showed.

Daniels was also ordered to pay Trump's legal fees.

Shortly after Daniels agreed to speak out about her alleged sexual relationship with Trump, she alleged she and her daughter were threatened in Las Vegas, Nevada, and told to "Leave Trump alone. Forget the story," according to the filing.

After Daniels released a sketch in April of the man she claimed threatened her, Trump posted on Twitter: "A sketch years later about a nonexistent man."

Daniels, in her lawsuit, claimed Trump acted with "actual malice" and "reckless disregard for the truth" because either he knew about the alleged threat or he had no way of knowing if the threatening incident had actually taken place, documents stated.

The Court ruled that Trump's tweet was "rhetorical hyperbole" and protected by the First Amendment.

In a statement, Trump's attorney Charles J. Harder called it a "total victory for President Trump and total defeat for Stormy Daniels."

"No amount of spin or commentary by Stormy Daniels or her lawyer, Mr. Avenatti, can truthfully characterize today’s ruling in any way other than total victory for President Trump and total defeat for Stormy Daniels. The amount of the award for President Trump’s attorneys’ fees will be determined at a later date," Harder said in the statement.

Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, posted on Twitter that he will appeal the decision and that Daniels' other claims against Trump and his former attorney, Michael Cohen, remain unaffected.

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Judge dismisses Stormy Daniels defamation lawsuit against Donald Trump


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Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Progressive stalwart and frequent Trump target Sen. Elizabeth Warren has released results of a DNA test giving "strong evidence" that she had a Native American ancestor dating back several generations.

"While the vast majority of the individual’s ancestry is European, the results strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor in the individual’s pedigree, likely in the range of 6-10 generations ago," the report read.

The Massachusetts senator first provided the test results to the Boston Globe on Sunday. The test was conducted by Carlos D. Bustamante, a Stanford University professor and an expert in DNA analysis.

Shortly after Warren released her DNA test results, she took to Twitter to ask Trump about the $1 million he promised to donate to charity if she proved her Native American ancestry.

"By the way, @realDonaldTrump: Remember saying on 7/5 that you’d give $1M to a charity of my choice if my DNA showed Native American ancestry? I remember – and here's the verdict. Please send the check to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center:" Warren tweeted.

Trump denied making that promise and told reporters on Monday: "I didn’t say that. You better read it again.” President Trump, who has frequently mocked Warren's ancestry claims, said "who cares?" when asked by reporters on Monday about his reaction to Warren releasing her DNA results. Later, he added that he said he would only give her the money he promised on the campaign trail if he could administer the DNA test himself.

"That will not be something I enjoy doing either," Trump said.

The ancestry of Warren, a Democrat considered a possible presidential contender in 2020, has been a target for President Trump, who has repeatedly referred to her sarcastically as Pocahontas.

"We have a representative in Congress who has been here for a long time ... longer than you. They call her Pocahontas!" Trump said at an Oval Office event last year honoring Native American code talkers for their service during World War II. His quip at an event paying tribute to Native Americans received swift backlash.

Warren told MSNBC last year that it is "deeply unfortunate that the president of the United States cannot even make it through a ceremony honoring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur."

Trump makes 'Pocahontas' quip at Navajo code talker event, White House denies it is a 'slur'

The question of Warren's ancestry came up during her first run for U.S. Senate in 2012 when the Boston Herald reported she registered as a minority in law school directories in the 1980s. Warren defended herself by claiming she was told of her Native American ancestry by family members and that the registry entry was for meeting persons with similar backgrounds, rather than to advance her career.

The DNA report notes that it is often difficult to trace Native American ancestry because that population doesn't consistently participate in the types of genetics studies needed to trace ancestry.

However, in Warren's case, her ancestry includes Canadian and Mexican indigenous populations, “as would be expected for Native American ancestry deriving from the lower 48 states of the United States.”

The Bureau of Indian Affairs says that such tests won't help people prove ancestry from a specific federally recognized tribe.

Some Native American advocates say the use of such tests in the midst of an ongoing political debate marginalizes their communities further.

Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr., in a statement obtained by The Oklahoman, said "Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong."

"Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage."

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- An attorney for a Russian firm allegedly involved in the wide-ranging effort to interfere in the 2016 election sought to convince a federal judge this week that his client’s alleged crimes are in fact not crimes at all.

In a hearing in a Washington, D.C. courtroom on Monday, Eric Dubelier of the American law firm Reed Smith argued that the case against the Russian consulting company known as Concord, which allegedly operated a “troll factory” in which the Russians created or stole the identities of hundreds of Americans online in order to sow discord and spread propaganda, should be dismissed.

If people lying about who they are on the Internet and engaging in political speech is a crime, he argued, then every politician in America would be in prison.

“This argument is beyond belief,” Dubelier said. “They want to regulate what people say on the internet.”

It was special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, he said, who “made up a crime to fit the facts they have.”

Concord is one of three business entities and 13 Russian individuals indicted in February by the special counsel on charges related to Russia’s alleged “troll factory” operation ahead of the 2016 election, though the company is the only defendant to actually appear in court. Concord, which prosecutors says is owned by Yevginiy Prigozhin, a Kremlin ally nicknamed “Putin’s Chef,” is accused of one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government. They have pleaded not guilty.

Attorneys from the special counsel argue that the conspiracy in which Concord was involved defrauded and interfered with three government agencies specifically: the Department of Justice, the Department of State and the Federal Election Commission, each of which have responsibilities relevant to foreign participation in political activity in the United States.

Prosecutor Jonathan Kravis, an assistant U.S. attorney in the Justice Department’s Washington, D.C. office, countered that the alleged conspiracy went “way beyond” just people talking online. He described it as “coordinated, well-funded, and orchestrated campaign” involving complex “affirmative deception,” including obscuring the source of the disinformation and related financial transactions.

Those efforts were intended, Kravis argued, not to trick just average Americans but also U.S. agencies that might have otherwise regulated their activities. By dodging scrutiny from the Department of Justice, for example, prosecutors say the conspiracy to defraud the government could include the defendants failing to register as foreign agents as they may have been required.

“Those are not acts of political speech,” Kravis said. “Those are acts of deception.”

Kravis also argued that evidence suggested that the defendants were aware of their wrongdoing. He pointed to an email in which one of the Russian nationals purportedly wrote to a family member that the FBI had “busted [their] activity (not a joke).”

In the end, U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich said she would take both arguments under advisement as she decided on Concord’s motion to dismiss.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The young activists who inspired March For Our Lives, have released a book about their fight for gun reform.

Students Emma Gonzalez, Matt Deitsch and Delaney Tarr helped lead a nearly one-million-strong March For Our Lives against gun violence in Washington, D.C., after 17 people died at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.

Gonzalez, Deitsch and Tarr on "Good Morning America" Monday talked about the power that young people displayed in uniting for the movement of 800 demonstrations across the globe in March.

"It wasn't meeting the celebrities; it wasn't giving my speech because I blacked out during that--don't remember any of it," Tarr said of the March For Our Lives. "The moments where we were looking out over the crowd and we saw all of these young people together for something that they cared about, that was what motivated us."

Tarr graduated from Stoneman Douglas in June along with Gonzalez. Deitsch was a graduate of the class of 2016, two years prior to the shooting. He was at home from Santa Monica College for his sister's birthday when the tragedy occurred and joined current students in organizing and activism.

In their new book, "Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked A Movement," Deitsch writes about how the funerals he attended in the days following the shooting.

"It wasn't until I went to [student] Joaquin Oliver's funeral where I saw someone I knew younger than me, in a casket," Deitsch explained. "I knew I had to do something. I had to keep fighting for him and for his family and for my community and for people all around the country that deal with this trauma every single day."

As they continue to fight for stricter gun laws, Gonzalez, Deitsch and Tarr also hope to have a more open line of communication with their critics, Tarr said.

"They're not realizing that we're not trying take away the 2nd Amendment," Tarr said. "We're trying to make guns safer. We're trying to create legislation that makes it safer for citizens in our country to live day by day, for students to go to school, for people to go to church, all of those things. It's very much [that] people don't necessarily know what it is that we stand for and when we have those conversations and we get to actually communicate with them face to face, we end up reaching common ground."

Deitsch said one aim is to get young people to vote.

"If young people show up at this election in 2018 and in any election in the future, young people determine the winner, every single time," he said. "We are the largest voting block in this country."

Deitsch added, "The polls are in our direction; the feelings of emotions around the country are in our direction. We are hyping up this generation to actually make history on November 6."

"Glimmer of Hope" is in stores now. The authors are donating all their proceeds from the book to the March for our Lives Foundation.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Actress and activist Alyssa Milano, one of the first proponents of the #MeToo hashtag when the movement launched one year ago Monday, said President Donald Trump's recent comments that it is "a very scary time for young men in America" was a fear tactic.

Referring to critics of #MeToo who say the movement encourages unproven sexual misconduct allegations against men, Milano told "Good Morning America" on Monday, "I don't know why their concern isn't that boys can also be hurt, molested and sexually assaulted."

Milano, the mother of a daughter and a son, added, "I'm of course concerned for boys, but I'm not concerned for them in the way the president is concerned for men."

She said comments like Trump's are "fear tactics" in response to "white men" being in danger of losing some of their power in society.

Milano also acknowledged, "Women have had it hard for generations and there are going to be false claims. We have to define what that process looks like" and make sure everyone, including the accused, get a "fair shot ... This is all gray area, new territory that we've never faced before," she said.

The former "Who's the Boss" star, 45, tweeted exactly one year ago Monday, "If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet." Within hours, the movement caught fire, racking up more than a million #MeToo tweets in less than a day.

Milano stopped by "GMA" to reflect on the last year.

Saying she never expected that her simple tweet would result in millions of powerful stories, Milano said, "I think we've come a long way ... But, I think we still have a long way to go."

Women have not only been speaking out about their experiences with assault and misconduct, they have been "standing in solidarity with each other, which I think is the most beautiful thing," she said.

Milano said boys need to learn earlier about gender equality and respect for women.

"These lessons of acceptance and equality, we have to teach them at a much younger age," said.

Boys often are taught this in high school, she said, "then to expect them to act with mutual respect in college and I think it's too late."

"Then people go into these jobs after college and you still have that sort of fraternity, sorority mentality," Milano said.

Milano attended Senate confirmation hearings for now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh earlier this month when both he and Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges he sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers, both testified. Kavanaugh vehemently denied the allegations.

She attended with #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, who first created the hashtag over a decade ago, and Milano said the testimony from Ford and Kavanaugh was intense and "ran the gamut of emotions" for her.

Later on Monday, to further raise awareness for #MeToo, Milano shared a video that she recorded for her daughter, but never shared publicly.

"One year ago I recorded this for my daughter, explaining why I shared my story of sexual assault," she wrote in a caption of the video. "I never expected to release it publicly. Now, I feel it’s too important not to share. #MeToo. Dear Elizabella, I love you so. I will fight so you don’t have to. Love, mama."

In the 4-minute clip, the actress opens by explaining the times and how woman are starting to share their stories of harassment and assault. Milano gets emotional as she shares her fears for her little girl and actually explains that her original tweet one year ago came from that desire to unite women in order to create a better world for Elizabella.

"In a way, all of this is because of you," she said, breaking down. "I want you to grow up from a strong, little girl into a strong woman that really knows her worth."

Milano's early adoption of #MeToo last year came right after the first reports involving disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein came out in The New Yorker and The New York Times.

Though Weinstein has always denied the numerous accusations of harassment and sexual assault levied against him, the hastag was a lightning rod for many men and women to speak up and join this community.

Lady Gaga, Anna Paquin, Terry Crews, Rose McGowan and many others embraced the hashtag and shared their stories with the world.

Since then, many powerful men and women have fallen from grace and either lost their job or public standing after accusations surfaced. Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer, Al Franken, Mario Batali and original Weinstein accuser Asia Argento are among the many accused of sexual misconduct or assault in the last year.

Burke, who created the #MeToo hashtag when she launched a non-profit to help victims of sexual harassment and assault, told ABC News earlier this month, "We've never been able to have a sustained national dialogue about sexual violence" until now.

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Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, who was indicted in August on charges of using campaign funds for personal expenses, is facing criticism over an ad calling his opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, a “security risk.”

The ad also accuses Campa-Najjar of changing his name to “hide” his family's connection to terrorism in reference to his grandfather's involvement in the 1972 Munich Olympics terror plot. The narrator says Campa-Najjar’s grandfather was the mastermind behind the attack, although a different member of the terror group that carried out the attack took responsibility in 1999.

The Washington Post fact checked Hunter’s ad and gave it “Four Pinocchios," its worst rating, for failing to mention that Campa-Najjar’s grandfather was killed by 16 years before he was born.

The ad also failed to mention that, Campa-Najjar, a Democrat and former Obama staffer changed his name to honor his mother's Mexican family, the Campas. He changed his name years prior to this race, according to the Washington Post.

Campa-Najjar, a Palestinian Mexican American, grew up in a Christian household in San Diego. He worked at the White House under President Barack Obama beginning in 2013 and at the Labor Department until 2017.

According to the Washington Post, he had security clearance for both of those jobs, which required him to pass an FBI background check.

Campa-Najjar has taken to Twitter to defend himself.

ABC News partner FiveThirtyEight gives Hunter a six in seven chance of winning the race.

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Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- A colorful primary, a negative ad blitz, national attention and early voting have all been a part of the Arizona Senate race.

But up until now, there’s been one missing piece: a debate.

The two candidates who are vying to win the open Senate seat, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Martha McSally, are finally set to square off Monday night in Phoenix in the only confirmed debate between the two in this race.

Squabbling between the parties over the number of debates -- Sinema asked for two and McSally’s team agreed to just one -- and the congressional calendar that kept the candidates, who are both current members of Congress, in Washington led to the debate being set for Oct. 15, just 22 days before Election Day and five days after early voting started in the state.

Airworthy polling in the race has been limited, but most put the result either within the margin of error or have Sinema with a slight lead, which appears to be shocking McSally.

“The fact that she’s even in the running is just like ridiculous honestly at this point,” McSally said to supporters gathered ahead of a door-knocking event Saturday in Phoenix.

The comment comes after a string of old quotes by Sinema were shared publicly throughout the week, including one where she appears to call Arizonans “crazy,” and another where she likened the Copper State to a “meth lab of democracy.” She and her team have written the quotes off as being taken out of context and the latest instances of McSally and Republicans looking to focus on negative smears rather than the issues.

For Republicans, it’s key to hold on to the seat that is currently held by Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who decided not to run for re-election.

George Bingham is a Republican from Arizona who was handing out McSally posters at a rally held for her with Mitt Romney in Gilbert on Friday. Bingham said that he sees this as a “huge, huge election” that has implications that extend far beyond Arizona.

“We have a president that needs all the Republican support that he can get in the Senate,” Bingham said.

“If he wants to get his agenda done, he’s going to need every Republican senator,” he said.

Another Arizona Republican, Scott Weinberg, said that he saw the recent hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, where Flake played a telling role in approving the judge’s recommendation from the Senate Judiciary Committee, as a clear example of why Republicans need to hold on to the seat.

“I think it’s super important given what we just saw with the Kavanaugh confirmation. Things have gotten so cut-throat in D.C. It’s risen to a new level I think that’s just one more vote that we’re going to have to hopefully we can maintain the majority in the Senate,” Weinberg told ABC News at a "Get Out The Vote" event in Phoenix Saturday.

Democrats, however, see the possible flip of the seat from red to blue as a way to thwart Trump and slow down or stop the implementation of his agenda.

Pam Potter, a college professor who was knocking on doors in Peoria on behalf of Democratic candidates, including Sinema, said she thinks this Senate race is one of the “really important” ones this cycle.

“Right now, we have a president unchecked. Right now they [Republicans] have all the houses,” Potter said.

“Kyrsten specifically is a moderate Democrat. She is ready to work on the issues rather than a partisan stance,” she added.

“In many respects, she is the best replacement for John McCain in that she is willing to put the good of the people ahead of ideology,” she said of the longtime Arizona Republican who passed away in August.

Rina Parisi was a registered Republican for her “entire life” before switching after the 2016 election. She said that she is supporting Sinema in this "vital" Senate race because she feels she fits what she sees as the evolving nature of Arizona.

“The demographics here are changing and I don’t think we have the representation of what the demographics are today,” said Parisi, who knows Sinema personally having had the congresswoman as an instructor at Arizona State University. “We’re no longer the Wild West. We have people from all over the country. It’s not just ranchers who only see each other when they go into town for groceries. We need someone who can represent a population that is diverse and I think Kyrsten is the embodiment of diversity.

“The thing that impressed me about her: how well she listens. She cares, and she does the extra footwork for individuals,” Parisi said while attending an Arizona Democratic Party volunteer event.

Given the close nature of the race and the Senate headcount, it’s no surprise that it is attracting national attention. It’s sure to be thrust into the spotlight later in the week as well, as the Trump campaign announced this weekend that the president will be coming to Mesa for a rally on Oct. 19 as part of a “western swing.”

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