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News Wrap: Trump says he’s ‘working on’ Mueller’s questions; Abrams ends governor bid

In our news wrap Friday, President Trump said he has answered written questions from special counsel Robert Mueller but not yet submitted the answers. He assured reporters that he worked on them himself. Also, Republican Brian Kemp effectively claimed Georgia’s governor’s race when Democrat Stacey Abrams ended her bid. Abrams called alleged voter suppression tactics in the state “truly appalling.”

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: There is word that North Korea has released an American that it detained last month.

    The state-run news agency identifies him as Bruce Byron Lowrance, and said that he illegally entered the country through China. Late today, the Associated Press reported that he had been put on a flight back to the United States.

    President Trump said today that he has answered written questions from Robert Mueller, the special counsel in the Russia investigation. But he said he has not yet submitted the answers. Mr. Trump spoke after a bill signing today. He gave no details about the questions, but said he worked on them himself.

  • President Donald Trump:

    My lawyers aren't working on it. I'm working on that. I write the answers. My lawyers don't write answers. I write answers.

    I was asked a series of questions. I have answered them very easily.

    You have to always be careful when you answer questions with people that probably have bad intentions. But, no, it's — the questions were very routinely answered by me.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Meanwhile, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker reportedly says there is no reason to end the special counsel's Russia investigation. That is according to Senator Lindsey Graham's office.

    A spokesman says the South Carolina Republican met with Whitaker yesterday and came away reassured.

    Georgia Republican Brian Kemp effectively claimed that state's governor's race late today, when Democrat Stacey Abrams ended her bid. Abrams claimed widespread voter suppression, but said she has no legal recourse.

  • Stacey Abrams:

    I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified the victor of the 2018 gubernatorial election.

    But to watch an elected official who claims to represent the people in a state baldly pin hopes for election on the suppression of the people's democratic right to vote has been truly appalling. So let's be clear. This is not a speech of concession.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Abrams said that she will mount a federal lawsuit against the Georgia election system for future races.

    Meanwhile, Democrats picked up another U.S. House seat in California for a net gain so far in the midterms of 37.

    President Trump president said today that he plans to nominate the acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency to be its permanent chief. Andrew Wheeler is a former coal industry lobbyist. He became acting administrator after Scott Pruitt resigned in July over an ethics scandal.

    Wall Street wound up a losing week with some modest gains today. The Dow Jones industrial average rose nearly 124 points, to close at 25413. The Nasdaq lost 11 points, and the S&P 500 added six. For the week, all three indexes dropped 1.5 percent to 2 percent.

    And seven Americans today received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. The recipients, all chosen by President Trump, included Elvis Presley, Babe Ruth, and former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, all honored posthumously.

    The four living honorees were Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, former pro-football greats Roger Staubach and Alan Page, who later served on the Minnesota Supreme Court, and philanthropist Miriam Adelson.

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