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Trump on Roy Moore's loss in Alabama Senate race: 'I was right'

President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Wednesday to weigh in on Republican Roy Moore's stunning loss in the Alabama Senate race.

>> Who is Doug Jones, Democrat facing Roy Moore in Alabama Senate race?

>> Alabama Senate race: Doug Jones defeats Roy Moore

>> Click here or scroll down for more

>> Read more trending news 

USA Today editorial: Trump 'not fit' to clean Obama library toilets, shine George W. Bush's shoes

USA Today's editorial board blasted President Donald Trump on Tuesday in a scathing response to his controversial tweet about Democratic U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

>> Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand calls Trump tweet 'a sexist smear'

Trump's Tuesday morning tweet, which accused Gillibrand of "begging" him for campaign contributions and said she "would do anything for them," was widely criticized as being sexually suggestive. His post came after Gillibrand called for his resignation amid sexual misconduct allegations.

>> See the tweet here

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied claims that Trump's tweet was sexist and said those who read it as suggestive had their minds "in the gutter."

USA Today's editorial board disagreed.

"With his latest tweet, clearly implying that a United States senator would trade sexual favors for campaign cash, President Trump has shown he is not fit for office," the editorial board wrote. "Rock bottom is no impediment for a president who can always find room for a new low."

>> Alabama Senate race: Doug Jones defeats Roy Moore

The editorial added that Trump "is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush."

"This isn’t about the policy differences we have with all presidents or our disappointment in some of their decisions," the piece continued. "Obama and Bush both failed in many ways. They broke promises and told untruths, but the basic decency of each man was never in doubt."

The editorial described Trump as "uniquely awful" and blasted him for what it called "sickening behavior."

>> Read more trending news 

"The nation doesn’t seek nor expect perfect presidents, and some have certainly been deeply flawed," the piece concluded. "But a president who shows such disrespect for the truth, for ethics, for the basic duties of the job and for decency toward others fails at the very essence of what has always made America great."

Read the editorial here.

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to fill Al Franken's Senate seat

Updated 1:02 p.m. ET Dec. 13: Sen. Al Franken said Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith “will make an excellent United States Senator” after she was announced Wednesday as the Democratic congressman’s replacement.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton named Smith as Franken’s replacement after the senator announced his intention to resign. He has not set a date for his resignation. Dayton said Wednesday that Smith will serve a one-year term ending in January 2019.

Franken said Smith, who became lieutenant governor in 2015, will “be an effective senator who knows how to work across party lines to get things done for Minnesota.”

“I look forward to working with her on ensuring a speedy and seamless transition,” he said.

Updated 11:07 a.m. ET Dec. 13: Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton announced Wednesday that the state’s lieutenant governor, Tina Smith, will fill the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Al Franken.

Franken announced his intent to resign earlier this month after multiple women came forward to accuse the Democrat of sexual misconduct.

In a statement, officials said Smith will serve a one-year term in the Senate before Minnesotans go to the polls to chose Franken’s replacement.

Original story: Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will be appointed to fill the U.S. Senate seat of fellow Democrat Al Franken, the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio are reporting.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Al Franken will resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct

Gov. Mark Dayton will announce Smith's appointment at a news conference Wednesday morning, the outlets reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the decision.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Al Franken: What happens to his Senate seat if he resigns?

Both outlets reported that Smith, 59, also will vie for the seat in the November 2018 special election.

The news comes less than one week after Franken announced he'd be resigning amid sexual misconduct allegations.

>> Read more trending news 

From 2003-2006, Smith, a New Mexico native who has lived in Minnesota since 1984, was vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. She also was chief of staff for Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Dayton before becoming lieutenant governor in 2015.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

5 things to know about Doug Jones, winner of the Alabama Senate race 

After sexual misconduct allegations surfaced against Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore in the weeks leading up to the Dec. 12, 2017, special election in Alabama, critics began lining up behind Democrat Doug Jones in the closely watched race.

In a dramatic turn of events, Jones pulled off a nailbiter of a win against Moore.

>> 5 things to watch in Alabama's U.S. Senate election

Here's what we know about Jones, a 63-year-old former federal prosecutor from Birmingham:

>> Who is Judge Roy Moore?

1. He became the U.S. attorney for Alabama's Northern District in 1997. President Bill Clinton appointed him to the post, which Jones held until 2001, according to NBC News.

2. Jones prosecuted two Ku Klux Klan members behind the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four black girls in Alabama. In the early 2000s, Bobby Frank Cherry and Thomas Blanton were sentenced to life in prison in the case, according to NBC News.

3. He was involved in prosecuting Eric Rudolph, who bombed a Birmingham abortion clinic in 1998. That attack killed an off-duty officer. Rudolph also was behind the deadly 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta.

>> Read more trending news 

4. He has spoken in support of Moore's accusers. “Those brave women are entirely credible; they’re telling the truth,” Jones said, according to Newsweek. “Moore will be an embarrassment to the people and businesses of Alabama, and if he makes it to Senate, he’ll continue to divide our country.”

5. He is against repealing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Jones also told AL.com that he supports a woman's right to choose to have an abortion but added: "The law for decades has been that late-term procedures are generally restricted except in the case of medical necessity. That's what I support." Read more here.

Lawmakers call for investigation into Trump sexual misconduct allegations

More than 100 Democratic lawmakers are calling on the House Oversight Committee to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct levied against President Donald Trump, a group of female U.S. representatives said at a news conference Tuesday.

>> Read more trending news

More than a dozen women have accused the president of forced kissing, unwanted groping and making inappropriate sexual comments since 2015, when Trump announced his plan to run for office. The allegations span decades.

The president has repeatedly denied the claims.

The chair of the Democratic Women’s Working Group, Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Florida, said Tuesday that “the time is right to get the truth” about the allegations. She said a letter requesting a congressional investigation had garnered more than 100 signatures from Democratic lawmakers by Tuesday afternoon.

>> Related: Who is accusing Trump of sexual misconduct?

“The #MeToo movement has arrived,” Frankel said. “Sexual abuse will not be tolerated, whether it’s by a Hollywood producer, the chef of a restaurant, a member of Congress or the president of the United States.”

The letter, sent to the chair and vice chair of the House Oversight Committee, said that the president has made statements that have appeared to give credence to the allegations against him.

“The President has boasted in public and in crude terms that he feels at liberty to perpetrate such conduct against women,” the letter said, referencing a 2005 video from “Access Hollywood” in which Trump could be heard making crude comments about women. 

“Subsequently, Mr. Trump apologized and called it ‘locker room talk.’ He has since called all his accusers liars.”

>> Related: Melania Trump defends husband's lewd comments about women as 'boy talk'

Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Michigan, the vice president of the Democratic Women’s Working Group, said Tuesday that Americans “deserve to have a thorough investigation that will reveal the facts.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed the call for an investigation as unnecessary and unwanted by the American people.

“The president has answered these questions,” she said Tuesday at a news briefing. “He has spoken to these accusations and denied and pushed that they are all false and fabricated accusations. Frankly, I think if Congress wants to spend time investigating things they should prob focus on some of the thins that the American people would really like to investigate, like how to secure our borders, how to defeat ISIS (or) how to pass tax reform that actually impacts them.”

Four of Trump’s accusers on Monday called on Congress to investigate Trump’s behavior. Rachel Crooks, Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Lisa Boyne first accused Trump of sexual harassment in the run-up to last year’s election.

“They’ve investigated other Congress members, so I think it only stands fair that (Trump) be investigated as well,” Holvey said Monday at a news conference. “I think also a nonpartisan investigation is very important, not just for him but for anybody that has allegations against them. This isn’t a partisan issue. This is how women are treated every day.”

The pressure to investigate Trump’s actions has grown as the “#MeToo” movement has encouraged more women to speak out about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault. Earlier this month, three lawmakers announced their intention to resign or retire amid sexual harassment scandals.

>> Related: Trump accusers call for congressional investigation into alleged sexual misconduct

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, announced last week that he plans to resign in the wake of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct levied against him by several women. He was accused of groping women as they posed for photos with him and forcibly kissing at least two people.

Rep. John Conyers, the longest-serving member of Congress, submitted his resignation last week after he was accused of sexually harassing several women who worked for him. Conyers, D-Michigan, denied the allegations but said he decided to retire because of health concerns. The 88-year-old congressman was hospitalized in Michigan earlier this month.

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, said last week that he plans to resign from his seat by the end of January after the House Ethics Committee announced it was investigating allegations of sexual harassment levied against him by his former employees.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand calls Trump tweet 'a sexist smear'

Update 3:45 p.m. ET Dec. 12: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied that a tweet sent Tuesday morning by President Donald Trump was sexist and claimed it was instead about reforming campaign finance laws.

“Only if your mind was in the gutter would you have read it that way,” Huckabee Sanders said. “He’s obviously talking about political partisan games. ... This isn’t new.”

Trump was roundly criticized Tuesday after he called Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a “lightweight” and a “total flunky” who would “do anything” for campaign contributions. His tweet came after Gillibrand called for the president’s resignation amid allegations of sexual misconduct levied against him by more than a dozen women.

Original report: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) called a Tuesday morning tweet directed at her by President Donald Trump “a sexist smear” and vowed that it “would not silence me,” CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

In a tweet posted just after 8 a.m. ET, Trump characterized the Democrat as a “lightweight” and a “total flunky” who would “do anything” for campaign contributions.

The president did not elaborate when reporters shouted questions to him during a midday signing ceremony for a defense spending bill, CNN reported.

The tweet came a day after Gillibrand called for Trump to resign over allegations of sexual assault, CNN reported Monday.

At a news conference Tuesday, Gillibrand called the tweet derogatory and an example of the president’s “name calling,” CNN reported.

“I see it as a sexist smear. I mean that's what it is," Gillibrand said. “It's part of the president's efforts of name calling and it's not going to silence me. It's intended to silence me. It's not going to silence the women who have stood up against him directly, and it's not going to silence the millions of women who been speaking out every day since his inauguration about things they disagree with.”

According to Federal Election Commission documents, Trump donated $4,800 to Gillibrand for Senate in 2010 and $2,100 to Gillibrand Victory Fund in 2007, CNN reported.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren defended Gillibrand on Twitter, calling out the president.

“Are you really trying to bully, intimidate and slut-shame @SenGillibrand?” she wrote. “Do you know who you're picking a fight with? Good luck with that, @realDonaldTrump. Nevertheless, #shepersisted.”

Alabama dad criticizes Roy Moore in memory of his gay daughter

An Alabama father who said that his daughter took her life because “she didn’t want to be gay anymore” stood outside Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore’s rally in Midland City on Monday to urge people not to vote for the former judge.

>> Read more trending news

Photos from the rally showed peanut farmer and Midland City native Nathan Mathis holding a photo of his daughter in a basketball uniform. Near his feet was a sign that said in bold, bright red letters, “Please don’t vote for Roy Moore.”

“Judge Roy Moore called my daughter Patti Sue Mathis a pervert because she was gay,” the sign said. “A 32 year old Roy Moore dated teenage girls ages 14 to 17. So that makes him a pervert of the worst kind.”

Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women who said they were teenagers when the former judge approached them. Among them is Leigh Corfman, who told AL.com she was 14 years old when Moore initiated sexual contact with her. She told the news site that they did not have intercourse, but that Moore touched her inappropriately.

Moore has denied the accusations.

Mathis told reporters Monday that he had mixed feelings about going to Moore’s rally.

“But somebody needs to speak up,” he said. “And if it’s all to no avail, so be it. It won’t be the first time I’ve done something to no avail.

“(Moore) didn’t call my daughter by name (but) he said all gay people are perverts, abominations. That’s not true. We don’t need a person like that representing us in Washington. That’s why I’m here.”

In a letter published by the Dothan Eagle in 2012, Mathis wrote that his daughter took her life on March 22, 1995, when she was 23 years old, “because she didn’t want to be gay anymore.”

“She was tired of being ridiculed and made fun of,” he wrote. “She was tired of seeing how a lot of people treat gay people.”

He said his daughter turned to him for help after she decided she no longer wanted to be gay, but he said doctors kept telling the family that she couldn’t help her sexual orientation.

“Patti had been raised by going to church at Christian Home Church of Christ, and she was there almost every time the door was open,” Mathis wrote. “Patti knew the story of Sodom, for oftentimes gay bashing was preached from the pulpit. Looking back now, I wonder how Patti must have felt, or if she even knew she was gay then. I never asked her.”

>> Related: Who is Judge Roy Moore

Mathis told reporters Monday that he didn’t blame Moore, who has made numerous anti-LGBT comments over the years, for his daughter’s death.

“I’m not suggesting that,” he said. “I was anti-gay myself. I said bad things to my daughter myself, which I regret. But I can’t take back what happened to my daughter.

“(Moore is) supposed to uphold the Constitution. The Constitution said all men are created equal. Well how is my daughter a pervert just because she was gay?”

Alabama voters go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether Moore or his rival, Democrat Doug Jones, will fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated in February by Jeff Sessions when he was sworn in as U.S. attorney general. Polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Kremlin says it views Trump tweets as ‘official statements’

President Donald Trump is a prolific user of Twitter, and his tweets are read by millions of people.

>> Read more trending news

Including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Reuters reported. 

The Russians view Trump’s tweets as an “official statement,” a Kremlin spokesman said Tuesday.

“Everything which is published from his authorized Twitter account is perceived by Moscow as his official statement,” said Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov, who added that it was not his place to comment on Trump’s tweets.

Peskov also said that Putin does not use Twitter, Reuters reported.

“Naturally, (Trump’s tweets are) reported to Putin, along with other information about official statements by politicians,” Peskov said.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee dead at 65

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, the city's first Asian-American mayor, died suddenly Tuesday morning after a heart attack, officials said in a statement. He was 65.

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2017

>> Click here or scroll down for more

>> Read more trending news 

WATCH: Jimmy Kimmel holds infant son during tearful monologue about children's health care

On Monday, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel delivered an emotional monologue while holding his 7-month-old son, Billy, after taking a week off as the baby boy recovered from heart surgery.

>> Jimmy Kimmel: Senator ‘lied right to my face’ about health care

A tearful Kimmel asked lawmakers to restore the Children's Health Insurance Program, which expired two months ago.

>> Round 3: Jimmy Kimmel continues criticism of GOP’s health-care bill

"This is literally a life-and-death program for American kids," Kimmel said. "It’s always had bipartisan support, but this year, they let the money for it expire while they work on getting tax cuts for their billionaire and millionaire donors."

>> Read more trending news  

He continued: "And imagine getting that letter, literally not knowing how you will be able to afford to save your child’s life. It's not a hypothetical. About 2 million CHIP kids have serious chronic conditions. I don’t know about you, I’ve had enough of this. I don’t know what could be more disgusting than putting a tax cut that mostly goes to rich people ahead of the lives of children."

>> Watch the clip here

Kimmel's son, who was born with congenital heart disease, has had two heart surgeries and will have another at age 6, according to his show's YouTube page.

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