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Tiffany Trump rings in new year at Playboy party

After a week at Mar-a-Lago with her presidential family, Tiffany Trump headed to California to spend New Year’s Eve with a very different kind of group.

>> Trump golfs, meets with Florida's governor before hosting gala event

The first daughter was a guest at a Los Angeles bash hosted by heir to the Playboy throne Cooper Hefner. The 24-year-old was photographed speaking to Hefner and posing beside his fiancee, Scarlett Byrne, as well as other friends, multiple media outlets reported, including the Washington PostPage SixPeople and the Daily Mail.

>> PHOTOS: Tiffany Trump through the years

The event marked the first New Year’s Eve bash since magazine founder Hugh Hefner’s death on Sept. 27. He was 91 years old.

The late Hefner reportedly had wanted Marla Maples — Tiffany’s mother and Donald Trump’s second wife — to pose in his controversial magazine just three years before Tiffany’s birth. However, the actress turned down the offer.

>> Read more trending news 

“I’m thankful for my body, but I didn’t want to exploit it,” she reportedly said. “How would I ever be taken seriously?”

City official accused of ‘teasing’ liberal coworker with shotgun

A city official in southeast Missouri is facing criminal charges after investigators say he repeatedly pumped a shotgun inside the office to “tease” a liberal coworker.

Denis Kearbey, the streets superintendent for the city of Poplar Bluff, is facing a felony charge of unlawful use of a weapon, according to the Riverfront Times. Out on bond, Kearbey, 53, remains a city employee but cannot work because a court order forbids him from stepping foot on city property. 

He pleaded not guilty during a court appearance last week. 

The Times reported that state police officials accused Kearbey in court documents of bringing a short-barreled, pump-action shotgun into the office Sept. 12 and waving it around.

“Mr. Kearbey pumped the shotgun multiple times and asked (a city clerk) if she was scared,” state troopers wrote in a probable cause statement. 

The woman told investigators that she was terrified but did not tell Kearbey she was scared. She later called law enforcement to report Kearbey’s behavior.

>> Read more trending news

Troopers went to Kearbey’s home, where they questioned him and obtained permission to search his city vehicle. In the vehicle, they found a .22-caliber rifle with a suppressor, the newspaper reported

Though Kearbey told the investigators that the city bought the suppressor for him to shoot groundhogs, he could not provide proof of that claim, investigators said. The troopers arrested Kearbey for the suppressor and booked him into the Butler County Jail. 

While he was jailed, the troopers obtained a search warrant for his house. That search resulted in the seizure of a black, pistol-grip Remington 870 shotgun believed to be used in the crime, the Times reported. The shotgun was found under a bed in the house. 

When investigators returned to the jail and continued questioning Kearbey, he admitted taking the shotgun into the office, court documents said.

“Mr. Kearbey stated he did take the firearm into the office and was teasing (the clerk) about being a liberal,” the documents said. “Mr. Kearbey stated he pumped the shotgun, but never threatened anybody with it.”

Kearbey has been the city’s streets superintendent since February 2015, when the previous superintendent was suspended without pay following accusations that he shot a woman during a custody dispute.

The Southeast Missourian reported that Jeremy Grable is charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action in connection with the shooting, which took place at his home. Poplar Bluff police officers had received a 911 call about the custody dispute prior to the shooting. 

The woman, who was shot in the chest, lost a lung but survived. That case is pending. 

Kearbey’s attorney, Daniel Moore, told the Times that he does not believe the state’s case meets legal standards to sustain the felony charge against his client. He pointed to the rural nature of Poplar Bluff, which is known as the “Gateway to the Ozarks.”

“Hell, it’s Poplar Bluff. People have guns all the time,” Moore told the newspaper. “Jacking a pump shotgun is not equal to displaying it in a threatening manner.”

Moore said he believes Kearbey will be found not guilty.

WATCH: Joe Biden puts politics aside on 'The View' in emotional moment with Meghan McCain

Former Vice President Joe Biden set political differences aside on “The View” when he consoled Meghan McCain over the cancer diagnosis of her father, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, telling her that there’s “hope.”

Sen. McCain was recently diagnosed with the glioblastoma, the same cancer that took the life of Biden’s son, Beau, in 2015.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

“The View” co-host brought up her father’s illness while talking with the former vice president on the show Wednesday, saying that she thinks about Beau “almost every day,” but she wasn’t able to talk about it very long before breaking down.

Biden quickly consoled Meghan, telling her “there’s a lot of hope.” He then went on to talk about how Beau and Sen. McCain had become friends years ago and told her how his son talked about her father’s courage.

>> Watch the clip here

The former vice president also talked about how there are cancer therapy breakthroughs every day, but he kept coming back to Sen. McCain’s courage.

“There is hope, and if anybody can make it, your dad [can],” Biden said, before talking about his relationship with John McCain, saying that they were like brothers from “different fathers.”

Biden also joked about his political differences with the ailing senator, but added, “I know if I picked up the phone tonight and called John McCain, and said, ‘John, I’m at Second and Vine in Oshkosh, and I need your help. Come,' he’d get on a plane and come. And I would for him, too.”

>> Read more trending news 

He continued: “Beau insisted on, and your dad’s gonna insist on, you gotta maintain hope. You have to have hope."

Sen. McCain was diagnosed with the deadly form of cancer in July, according to The Hill. He revealed in September that his doctors gave him a “very poor” prognosis, the Arizona Republic reported.

Meghan McCain, who tied the knot last month with Ben Domenech, revealed that she had moved up her wedding because of her father’s diagnosis, saying that she lives from “scan to scan," People reported.

Who was Dan Johnson? Kentucky lawmaker accused of sexual assault dies in suicide, coroner says

A Kentucky state lawmaker accused of sexually assaulting a teenager died Wednesday night of a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Bullitt County Coroner’s Office said Thursday in an autopsy report. 

Here's what we know about Republican state Rep. Dan Johnson, who was elected in 2016:

>> Russell Simmons accused of rape by 3 more woman, but ‘vehemently’ denies it

A woman accused Johnson, pastor of the Heart of Fire church in Louisville, of sexually assaulting her in his basement when she was 17. According to a Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting article published Monday, she reported the alleged incident, which occurred on New Year's Eve 2012, to police, who later closed the case without filing charges. Read more here.

>> PBS suspends ‘Tavis Smiley’ show amid investigation of sexual misconduct

Johnson denied the allegation Tuesday at a news conference at his church. "These are unfounded accusations, totally," the 57-year-old pastor said after he and his supporters sang "O Come All Ye Faithful," the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

He added: "I think this is an assault on all real people. This is an absolute assault on real people. There’s no perfect people. You get into office and all of a sudden, political hacks want to come against you and start accusing you after you’re in office."

This wasn't Johnson's first brush with controversy. When he ran for office in 2016, critics slammed him for sharing racist Facebook memes comparing the Obamas to monkeys, as well as numerous anti-Islam messages, WDRB reported. Although the Republican Party of Kentucky called for Johnson to withdraw his candidacy, he stayed in the race and won.

>> Read more trending news

The following post appeared on Johnson's Facebook page Wednesday shortly before his death:

"The accusations from NPR are false GOD and only GOD knows the truth, nothing is the way they make it out to be. AMERICA will not survive this type of judge and jury fake news . Conservatives take a stand. I LOVE GOD and I LOVE MY WIFE, who is the best WIFE in the world,My Love Forever ! My Mom and Dad my FAMILY and all five of my kids and Nine grandchildren two in tummies and many more to come each of you or a total gift from GOD stay strong, REBECCA needs YOU . 9-11-2001 NYC/WTC, PTSD 24/7 16 years is a sickness that will take my life, I cannot handle it any longer. IT Has Won This Life . BUT HEAVEN IS MY HOME. “PLEASE LISTEN CLOSELY, Only Three things I ask of you to do,if you love me is (1)blame no person,Satan is the accuser, so blame the Devil himself. (2) Forgive and Love everyone especially yourself .(3)most importantly LOVE GOD. P.S. I LOVE MY FRIENDS YOU ARE FAMILY ! GOD LOVES ALL PEOPLE NO MATTER WHAT ! "

Officials said Johnson was found dead with a single gunshot wound in a "probable suicide" Wednesday night, WDRB reported. Officers believe he shot himself in front of his car after parking off a road in Mount Washington.

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

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin reacted to the news on Twitter. "Just terrible news from Kentucky tonight on the passing of Rep. Dan Johnson," Paul wrote. "I cannot imagine his pain or the heartbreak his family is dealing with tonight. Kelley and I pray for his loved ones."

Bevin wrote: "Saddened to hear of tonight’s death of KY Representative Dan Johnson...My heart breaks for his family tonight...These are heavy days in Frankfort and in America...May God indeed shed His grace on us all...We sure need it..."

Anderson Cooper's Twitter hacked, CNN says of tweet calling Trump 'pathetic loser'

Anderson Cooper's Twitter account was compromised Wednesday morning when someone replied to one of President Donald Trump's tweets under Cooper's name, CNN said.

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

>> Click here or scroll down for more

>> Read more trending news

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 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.

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 

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