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Stormy Daniels offers to pay back $130,000 for freedom to speak

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels said in a letter Monday that she is willing to return the $130,000 payment she received last autumn from President Donald Trump’s attorney so she can speak freely about an alleged sexual encounter and release any photographs, videos and text messages, NBC News reported.

>> Read more trending news

Cohen and the White House have denied any sexual encounter between the president and Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Clifford's attorney, Michael Avenatti, sent Cohen a letter offering to wire $130,000 by Friday to an account designated by the president, NBC News reported. In exchange, the settlement agreement between Clifford, Trump and Cohen's company would be "deemed null and void in their entirety."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said last week that "arbitration was won in the president's favor" in the case, an admission that the nondisclosure exists, CNN reported.

“This has never been about the money," Avenatti, told NBC News. “It has always been about Ms. Clifford being allowed to tell the truth. The American people should be permitted to judge for themselves who is shooting straight with them and who is misleading them. Our offer seeks to allow this to happen."

In a lawsuit filed last week, Clifford said she had “an intimate relationship” with Trump in 2006 and 2007. She claims the nondisclosure agreement executed several weeks before the 2016 presidential election was void because Trump never signed it, NBC News reported.

According to Clifford's letter, the offer to return the money will expire Tuesday at noon, NBC News reported. Avenatti said the offer is not a publicity stunt.

"I certainly hope they accept it," Avenatti told NBC News. "It is more than fair."

Jimmy Carter on North Korea: 'It's good we're going to be talking to them'

Former President Jimmy Carter said Sunday that “while I don’t agree with everything that President Trump has done, I think it’s good that he’s decided to go” meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“If we could avoid a nuclear confrontation with North Korea, that would be a wonderful achievement,” Carter, 93, told his Sunday school class at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia. “It’s good we’re going to be talking to them.”

>> Read more trending news 

Thursday’s announcement that Trump would accept Kim’s invitation to meet has been controversial in some quarters. It was especially timely where Carter was concerned.

“I had made arrangements last week with the White House to have some experts come down and give me an up-to-date briefing on what’s going on concerning North Korea,” he said. “They came down the day that Kim Jong Un invited Trump to come over. So we had a lot to talk about.”

>> On Jimmy Carter to start cutting back on teaching Sunday school

Carter, who recently announced that he would start cutting back on his Sunday school duties, broke some happy news to the class about his wife’s health. Rosalynn Carter, 90, had surgery three weeks ago at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta to remove “troubling scar tissue” from a portion of her small intestine. 

>> On ‘I was deathly afraid.’ Jimmy Carter shares details of wife Rosalynn’s surgery

“She’s been very, very ill,” Carter said about his wife of 71 years, who normally attends Sunday school and the worship service at Maranatha, then stays afterwards to pose for photos with him and hundreds of visitors. Now, though, he said with a smile, “She’s doing fine. As a matter of fact, she just phoned me awhile ago to finally say she’s on her way home. She’ll be there when we get (back from church).”

>> On A 70th wedding anniversary interview with the Carters

Still, Carter suggested, the situation had been a wake-up call of sorts for the famously busy former first couple.

“We’ve said this before and nobody believed us,” Carter said to knowing chuckles from some in the packed church. “We’ll withdraw from some of the things we’ve been doing.”

Warren not running for president, criticizes 'Pocahontas' nickname

Sen. Elizabeth Warren repeated Saturday she is not running for president in 2020 and took a shot at President Donald Trump’s derisive nickname for her: Pocahontas.

>> Read more trending news

Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, made her comments on CNN’s “State of the Union” show Saturday.

“I went to speak to Native American tribal leaders and I made a promise to them that every time President Trump wants to try to throw out some kind of racial slur, he wants to attack me, I'm going to use it as a chance to lift up their stories," she told CNN.

Trump brought up his nickname for Warren during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday night.

"If I don't win the election, (news) ratings are going to go so far down, they'll be out of business, every one of them," Trump said. "Can you imagine? Can you imagine covering Bernie (Sanders) or Pocahontas? Pocahontas, how about that?"

Warren reiterated she has no aspirations for the White House in 2020, repeating what she told NBC on “Meet the Press.”

“This government is working better and better and better for a thinner and thinner slice at the top,” Warren said. “I am in these fights, and I am in this fight to retain my Senate seat in 2018. That's where I'm focused. That's where I'm going to stay focused. I'm not running for president."

Report: Barack Obama, Netflix in negotiations for series

Former President Barack Obama is negotiating with Netflix to produce exclusive, high-profile shows for the streaming service, The New York Times reported.

>> Read more trending news

Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama are in “advanced negotiations,” and the number of episodes and formats for the shows have not been finalized, the Times reported. How much the Obamas will be paid also has not been disclosed.

Sources said programming is expected to focus upon inspirational stories, the Times reported. However, the shows also would give the former president an unfiltered way to communicate with the public and supplement his Twitter account and Facebook page.

“President and Mrs. Obama have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire,” Eric Schultz, a senior adviser to the former president, told the Times. “Throughout their lives, they have lifted up stories of people whose efforts to make a difference are quietly changing the world for the better. As they consider their future personal plans, they continue to explore new ways to help others tell and share their stories.”

Candidate for governor in Wisconsin breastfeeds daughter in campaign ad

Political candidates have been known to feature family members in their campaign ads, but a woman running for governor in Wisconsin provided a more intimate moment.

>> Read more trending news

Former state Rep. Kelda Helen Roys released her first campaign video, during which she breastfeeds her 4-month-old daughter, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Roys said the moment was unscripted, and the two-minute video is likely the first time a political candidate has nursed on camera, according to Travis Nelson Ridout, a political science professor at Washington State University.

“That’s definitely something new,” Ridout told the State Journal. “There’s probably an expectation, a hope, that something like this will go viral and get media attention. … It’s so different from what we expect to see in a political ad. Sometimes we do see politicians’ families, but we don’t see something as intimate as breastfeeding in political ads.”

During the video, Roys speaks about her work on legislation that banned children’s sippy cups that contained the chemical bisphenol A. Her family is featured, and at one point her daughter can be heard crying off-camera.

Roys’ husband brings the baby to her and she doesn’t miss a beat, lifting her sweater and beginning to breastfeed while continuing to speak. The camera pans up to her face, the State Journal reported.

“I was right in the middle of talking so they just kept rolling, figuring they would be able to use the sound,” Roys told the State Journal. “They knew the baby was going to be there and they knew I was going to be taking care of the baby sometimes.”

The video was released a day after a statewide poll showed Roys with only 0.3 percent support in the crowded Democratic gubernatorial race, the State Journal reported.

If Roys wins the Democratic primary in August, she will likely face Republican incumbent Scott Walker, who is running for a third term, CNN reported.

Ted Cruz uses jingle to take opening jibe at November opponent

Fresh from a convincing victory in Tuesday’s primary, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took aim on his Democratic challenger in November, Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

>> Read more trending news

Cruz’s campaign released a 60-second radio advertisement that made fun of O’Rourke by using “Beto” instead of his given name of Robert, CNN reported.

“Liberal Robert wanted to fit in, so he changed his name to Beto and hid it with a grin,” the song says.

The jingle was sung to the tune of Alabama’s “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas,” Fox News reported. 

O'Rourke said he has gone by “Beto” since he was born, CNN reported.

“My parents have called me Beto from day one, and it's just -- it's kind of a nickname for Robert in El Paso. It just stuck,” O’Rourke told CNN.

O'Rourke has posted a photo on Instagram of himself as a child, wearing a sweater with “Beto” stitched on it, CNN reported. 

O’Rourke declined to comment on the fact that Cruz goes by “Ted,” instead of his given name of Rafael Edward Cruz.

Wednesday morning, Cruz told CNN that his campaign “had some fun with it (ad).”

Nashville mayor resigns amid sex scandal

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry resigned Tuesday after pleading guilty to a felony theft related to an affair with her former police bodyguard, the Tennessean reported.

>> Read more trending news

The first female mayor of Nashville spoke for three minutes and did not take questions as power passed to Vice Mayor David Briley.

Barry pleaded guilty to felony theft of property over $10,000 related to her affair with former police bodyguard Sgt. Rob Forrest, the Tennessean reported.

"While my time as mayor today concludes, my unwavering love and sincere affection for this wonderful city and its great people will never come to an end," Barry said, who was subdued throughout her short remarks. "No one is as excited about this city and its bright and limitless future as I am.”

"It has been my honor and it has been the privilege of my entire professional life to have the blessing and the opportunity to be your mayor,” Barry said. “I thank you in advance for the support that I am sure you will give Mayor Briley in the weeks and the months ahead. God bless this wonderful city. I love you, Nashville."

Jared Kushner to visit Mexico, meet country's president

Jared Kushner will visit Mexico on Wednesday and is scheduled to meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto, according to multiple sources.

>> Read more trending news

Kushner, a senior adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump, will discuss security, immigration and trade issues, a senior U.S. administration official confirmed to CNBC. Kushner was stripped of his top security clearance recently, according to multiple sources.

Pena Nieto was originally scheduled to meet Trump at the White House, but the plans were scrapped after the two leaders had a contentious telephone call over a border wall, CBS News reported.

Trump has insisted that Mexico must pay for the border wall, a campaign promise that has been rejected repeatedly by Mexican officials.

Kushner also is expected to meet with Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, CNBC reported.

Relations between the two countries were strained further last weekend when Trump announced tariffs for steel and aluminum, CNBC reported. Trump described the announcement as an incentive for a favorable renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), CNBC reported.

Ted Cruz, Beto O'Rourke will face off for Texas Senate seat

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke have clinched their party’s nominations and will face off in the general election in November, according to The Associated Press. In an email to supporters, O’Rourke said he was grateful.

>> Read more trending news

“Over the next eight months, I will continue to do what you’ve asked of me. I will visit with Texans wherever they are, in every part of the state — without regard to party, geography, or anything else that might otherwise divide us,” he said.

Anticipating O’Rourke would win the Democratic nomination, Cruz chalked up his popularity to “benefiting from left-wing rage.”

Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg reverses course, says he will likely cooperate with Mueller subpoena

UPDATE: Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg reversed course Tuesday after a series of defiant interviews Monday, saying he will now likely end up cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s subpoena, The Associated Press reported.

Read the original report below.

On Monday, Nunberg publicly declared that he would refuse to appear before a federal grand jury in Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling and its possible ties to Trump and his campaign officials, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Nunberg told The Washington Post that he was subpoenaed to appear Friday before a grand jury in Washington.

“Mr. Mueller should understand I am not going in on Friday,” Nunberg told the newspaper. “Let him arrest me.”

Nunberg served for six weeks as an adviser to Trump before he was fired during Trump’s run for the White House.

Nunberg provided the Post with a copy of his two-page grand jury subpoena, which also sought documents related to Trump and nine others, including departing White House communications director Hope Hicks, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and adviser Roger Stone.

>> Related: Report: White House communications director Hope Hicks resigning

He told MSNBC that he would not be complying with the subpoena.

“What they sent me was absolutely ridiculous,” he said.

“I’m not spending 80 hours going over my emails with Roger Stone and Steve Bannon and producing them,” Nunberg told the Post. “Donald Trump won this election on his own. He campaigned his (expletive) off. And there is nobody who hates him more than me.”

Still, he told MSNBC that he thought Trump “may have done something during the election.”

“But I don’t know that, for sure,” he said.

>> Related: Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates pleads guilty in Mueller investigation

He told the Post that despite his suspicions, “the Russians and Trump did not collude.”

“Putin is too smart to collude with Donald Trump,” he said.

It was not immediately clear what consequences Nunberg might face for his refusal to appear before a grand jury.

Five people have pleaded guilty to charges levied against them in Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling. Most recently, former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates pleaded guilty to making false statements and conspiring against the United States.

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