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Skydivers in Texas form '41' in tribute to George H.W. Bush

A group of skydivers in Texas took their tribute to former President George H.W. Bush to a higher level.

>> Read more trending news 

Twenty-two members of Skydive Spaceland San Marcos formed a “41” to honor the 41st president, who died Nov. 30 at age 94. 

"Farewell to George H.W. Bush, our 41st president," Skydive Spaceland officials wrote on Facebook. "Words cannot adequately express our appreciation of your service, character, and family focus. We hope your family will appreciate this tribute to a great man."

Bush, a Navy pilot during World War II, parachuted from planes to celebrate his 80th, 85th and 90th birthdays.

North Dakota man pleads guilty to using stolen forklift in Trump assassination attempt 

A North Dakota man has pleaded guilty to plotting to assassinate President Donald Trump, in part, by using a forklift to flip the presidential limousine while Trump was inside, federal court documents show. 

Gregory Lee Leingang, 42, of Bismarck, pleaded guilty last month to a federal charge of attempting to enter or remain in a restricted building and on grounds while using a dangerous weapon, according to the documents. In exchange for the plea, a second charge -- attempt to damage government property, i.e. the presidential limo -- has been dropped. 

Leingang admitted in the court filings that on Sept. 6, 2017, he attempted to remain in a restricted area, the Andeavor Mandan Refinery in Mandan, after it had been cordoned off for a visit by Trump. 

“During and in relation to the offense, (he) did use a deadly and dangerous weapon, that is, a forklift,” the plea agreement said. 

See Leingang’s plea agreement below.

U.S. Assistant State’s Attorney Brandi Sasse Russell told the Bismarck Tribune that Leingang was aware Trump was coming to give a speech at the refinery. He stole a forklift in Mandan and used it to enter the motorcade route, the prosecutor said. 

“The intent was to basically try to get to the limo, flip the limo and get to the president and he wanted to kill the president,” Sasse Russell told the newspaper

The forklift got stuck in a gated area, however, and Leingang jumped out and fled, Sasse Russell said. He was soon caught by Mandan police officers. 

Leingang later confessed his plan to detectives and a Secret Service agent, the Tribune reported

Mandan Deputy Police Chief Lori Flaten told The Washington Post that, although reports said the forklift got stuck in a gated area of the refinery, Leingang actually never made it that far. Instead, he dumped the machine in a ditch and ran, with officers catching up to him soon after. 

“We had that whole area blocked off because of the president’s visit, so there was limited access,” Flaten told the Post. “It wasn’t until later, during interviews of him, that we found out that (killing the president) was his intention, not that he was stealing a forklift for transportation.”

>> Read more trending news

Leingang’s attorney told the court her client suffers from serious mental illness. 

“He was suffering a serious psychiatric crisis during this incident,” attorney Michelle Monteiro said, according to the Tribune

Leingang told the judge during a Nov. 30 court hearing that he suffers from bipolar disorder and ADHD and has been on and off medications since he was a child. Monteiro told the court that Leingang is getting help in prison and is doing well, mentally.

Leingang is currently in the North Dakota State Penitentiary, serving time for two fires he set the morning of Trump’s visit, at the Bismarck Municipal Ballpark’s maintenance shop and at the state parole and probation office. According to the Tribune, he was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for the fires. 

He also received five years in state prison for the theft of the forklift, as well as another five years in a separate burglary case. His estimated release date is in 2038, prison records show.

The Tribune reported that Sasse Russell is considering making Leingang’s federal prison time concurrent, or to be served at the same time, as his sentence in the state cases. 

His federal sentencing hearing is set for Feb. 15. According to his plea agreement, he faces 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years on supervised release once he completes his prison time. 

Prosecutors: Manafort lied and breached plea agreement; Cohen deserves prison

Court filings Friday revealed additional details in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

>> More on Robert Mueller's investigation 

Update 7:39 p.m. EST Dec. 7: The White House said the new court filings about President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and campaign chairman offered nothing new or damaging about Trump.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the government filings about former Trump attorney and personal “fixer” Michael Cohen “tell us nothing of value that wasn’t already known.”

Update 6:38 p.m. EST Dec. 7: Shortly after the filings were released, President Donald Trump tweeted:

"Totally clears the President, Thank You"

Update 6:07 p.m. EST Dec. 7: Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to investigators about contacts with Trump administration officials and Russian associate Konstantin Kilimnik.

Prosecutors said Manafort violated his plea deal by telling “multiple discernible lies,” according to The Associated Press.

They said Manafort told investigators that he spoke with officials before and after they left the Trump administration. But prosecutors said a review of his electronic documents showed he had “additional contacts” with the officials.

Court Filing [Links to document]

Update 4:49 p.m. EST Dec. 7: Prosecutors say ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen should serve substantial prison time, despite his cooperation.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday in New York federal court.

Court Filings [Links to documents]

>> Read more trending news 

Update 7:06 a.m. EST Dec. 7: President Donald Trump continued his Twitter barrage early Friday, wondering if the “scathing document” written by U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about former FBI director James Comey would be included in the report expected from Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Update 6:35 a.m. EST Dec. 7: Trump took a shot at Special Counsel Robert Mueller in an early Friday tweet. The president said Mueller had “many” conflicts of interests with “Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey,” the former director of the FBI, calling the two men “best friends.”

The president also characterized the probe as a “witch hunt” in his first tweet of the day.

Original report: Robert Mueller’s deadline is approaching fast.

The special counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice is expected to reveal new details ahead of a Friday deadline in his investigation into possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign, The New York Times reported.

Sentencing memos are expected to be filed for Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager; and Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal lawyer.

>> Who is Robert Mueller?

Mueller is facing a Friday deadline to file both memos, CNN reported.

Last month, Mueller accused Manafort of lying to prosecutors, a violation of a plea bargain deal, the Times reported. Mueller will submit information about the alleged lies when he files his memo in a federal court in Washington, the newspaper reported.

>> Cohen pleads guilty to making false statements

Also Friday, Mueller's office and the Southern District of New York are expected to file sentencing memos on Cohen. The president’s longtime attorney pleaded guilty Nov. 29 to making false statements to Congress last year in connection to a Trump real estate deal in Russia. Mueller must file by Friday afternoon.

Friday’s filings follow a sentencing memo on Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser.

>> Mueller recommends little to no jail time for Flynn

Mueller released a heavily redacted pre-sentencing report Tuesday and recommended little to no jail time for Flynn, who pleaded guilty last December to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photos: 41st President George H.W. Bush laid to rest in Texas

After three days of remembrance in Washington, a plane brought Bush’s casket to Texas for his funeral’s closing ceremonies in Houston and burial Thursday at his family plot on the presidential library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station.

Americans pay tribute to George H.W. Bush with #SocksforBush

As family, friends and colleagues paid tribute to former President George H.W. Bush during his funeral service Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral, Twitter users nationwide paid homage to the 41st president’s love for colorful, stylish socks.

>> Read more trending news 

Bush, 94, who died Friday night at his home in Texas, often talked about his penchant for socks over the past several years. He particularly fancied socks with bold colors and patterns.

"I like a colorful sock. I'm a sock man," he told his granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager during a 2012 “Today” show segment.

>> George W. Bush tears up during eulogy for his father

After his wife, Barbara Bush, died in April, he sought sock giant John’s Crazy Socks for the perfect pair to wear to her funeral, according to ABC News.

Dozens of supporters decided to participate Wednesday in the national day of mourning by sporting socks that would have made the late president proud. Social media users tagged their posts #SocksforBush in his honor.

George H.W. Bush funeral: Who will deliver eulogies in late president's honor?

Former President George W. Bush will eulogize his father, former President George H.W. Bush, during Wednesday’s state funeral.

>> George H.W. Bush funeral: What time are services; how to watch

Outside of the late president’s son eulogizing him, three other men will speak on the life of the 41st president Wednesday at the Washington National Cathedral.

>> Live updates: George H.W. Bush funeral

Here’s a little background on each of the three men, Brian Mulroney, Alan Simpson and Jon Meacham, speaking at Bush’s funeral Wednesday.

Brian Mulroney 

Mulroney was the 18th prime minister of Canada, from Sept. 17, 1984, to June 25, 1993. Bush was the 41st U.S. president, from Jan. 20, 1989, to Jan. 20, 1993, so the two men worked together on the world stage.

>> Bob Dole salutes fellow veteran, friend George H.W. Bush

“What stands out about George Bush is what a true gentleman he was,” Mulroney said on CBC News. “And as a Canadian prime minister, of course, I was privileged to work with him so closely, because he loved Canada and admired Canadians.”

Alan Simpson 

Simpson served between 1979–1997 representing Wyoming in the U.S. Senate.

>> PHOTOS: Family, friends, colleagues pay final respects to George H.W. Bush

“I think he should be remembered with a little bit of lightness of spirit,” Simpson said of Bush on CNN. “And he had loyalty, and he had manners — an unheard of thing, I know — manners. And he loved people, and he had a view of life of ‘what would we do without family and friends?’ ”

Jon Meacham 

Meacham is a presidential biographer. He wrote “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush” in 2015.

“He embodied the Greek idea that character is destiny,” Meacham told MSNBC. “His presidency was a complete reflection, even more so than many presidents, of his personal vices and virtues.”

>> Read more trending news 

Wednesday’s state funeral begins at 11 a.m. EST and will be broadcast on all network and cable news channels.

>> On AJC.com: George H.W. Bush was the oldest president in US history

There will be another service on Thursday at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston. It, too, will broadcast on all news channels at 11 a.m. EST. After this service, the 41st president will be interred by his wife, Barbara Bush, and daughter Robin at the George Bush Presidential Library & Museum, College Station.

George H.W. Bush was the longest-lived president in US history

Former President George H. W. Bush, who died Friday at age 94, was the oldest former president in United States history.

>> George H. W. Bush: 41st president dead at 94

He set the record in 2017 when he reached 93 years and 166 days.

>> PHOTOS: George H. W. Bush through the years

However, Bush may not hold the crown for long. Former President Jimmy Carter is 94 years old and still living. Bush was born June 12, 1924, and Carter was born a few months later on Oct. 1, 1924.

>> Read more trending news 

Here are the oldest presidents in the history of the United States:

  1. George H.W. Bush, 94 
  2. Jimmy Carter, 94 
  3. Gerald Ford, 93 
  4. Ronald Reagan, 93 
  5. John Adams, 90 

'SNL' pays tribute to George H.W. Bush, praises his ability to laugh at himself

"Saturday Night Live" took a serious turn this week, paying tribute to the late President George H.W. Bush in the show's "Weekend Update" segment.

]>> PHOTOS: George H. W. Bush through the years

"Friday night, former President George H.W. Bush passed away," cast member Michael Che said. "He was 94 years old. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends."

>> Read more trending news 

"That's right. President Bush was famously a warm and gracious man who always understood the power in being able to laugh at yourself," Colin Jost added.

>> ‘SNL’: Alec Baldwin's Trump returns, confronts Putin, Saudi crown prince in cold open

The tribute continued with a series of clips of former "SNL" cast member Dana Carvey's impressions of the former president, culminating with a split-screen appearance featuring both the real and fake Bush.

"I'm watching you do your impression of me, and I gotta say, it's nothing like me," Bush joked, using the same inflections and hand gestures as Carvey used in his impersonation.

>> Click here to watch the tribute

'SNL': Alec Baldwin's Trump returns, confronts Putin, Saudi crown prince in cold open

About a month after his arrest on assault and harassment charges in connection with a New York parking dispute, Alec Baldwin returned to "Saturday Night Live" to reprise his role as President Donald Trump in this week's cold open.

>> Watch the full segment here (WARNING: Profanity.)

The sketch, set at the Park Hyatt hotel amid meetings at the G-20 summit in Argentina, kicked off with a jab at first lady Melania Trump's (Cecily Strong) holiday decor.

"Donald, come to bed," Strong's Melania said to Baldwin's restless Trump.

"Melania, I'm having trouble sleeping," he replied. "I keep having this nightmare where I'm walking through a forest of blood."

"No, no, that was just my Christmas decorations," quipped Strong, making fun of the first lady's red Christmas trees.

Baldwin's Trump also took aim at the real Trump's controversial comments about nationalism, musing, "You've gotta face all of those European leaders again. They just hate me because I'm a nationalist. I mean, what did nationalism ever do to Europe?"

The fake Trump then chatted with Kate McKinnon's batlike version of Rudy Giuliani ("I was hanging upside-down under the balcony," she joked after startling Baldwin's Trump) and called a beleaguered Michael Cohen (Ben Stiller), Trump’s former personal attorney.

>> Read more trending news 

"Michael Cohen speaking. I'll tell you anything you want," Stiller, playing Cohen, answered the phone.

"I'm sad you're going to prison, Michael. You were like a son to me," Baldwin's Trump lamented later in the call.

"Then why'd you make me do so much illegal stuff?" Stiller responded.

"Because you were like a son to me," Baldwin said.

After hanging up, the Trump character also made a reference to Baldwin's arrest, saying, "God, I haven't been this upset since I flipped out over that parking space."

Next, a secret handshake-sharing Vladimir Putin (Beck Bennett) and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Fred Armisen) flaunted their friendship in front of Baldwin's Trump, who was obviously jealous.

"I thought I was your No. 1," Baldwin-as-Trump complained to Bennett's Putin.

"Oh, totally. You're not my side piece. You're like my main girlfriend," Bennett said before he and Armisen cracked a few jokes at Trump's expense.

The sketch ended with the actors returning to the stage to perform a parody of the song "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" from the musical "Evita."

"It's just a witch hunt, and we're all witches," they sang.

Read more here.

George H.W. Bush: In his own words

He told us to read his lips and he envisioned a thousand points of light. 

>> Read more trending news 

He hated broccoli and had fun at his own expense. 

George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States, left a legacy of colorful quotes that his followers loved and his critics pounced upon. 

Former Texas Gov. Ann Richards once said that Bush was born with “a silver foot in his mouth.” Nevertheless, Bush’s words have been etched in the American psyche.

His most famous phrase was a simple, six-word phrase: “Read my lips: No new taxes.” Bush said that during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention on Aug. 18, 1988.

In his 1989 inaugural address, Bush invoked his hopeful image of the United States and the world.

“We are a nation of communities … a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky,” he said.

It was a phrase he would come back to several times during his presidency, and would be used to satirical effect by comedian Dana Carvey on “Saturday Night Live.”

Bush mocked himself during the 2000 presidential campaign while attending a nonpartisan event as his son, George W. Bush, sought the presidency.

“Though I might be tempted to utter a few words of encouragement to anyone who is considering my boy, I will heed the immortal words of Dana Carvey: ‘Not gonna do it. Wouldn’t be prudent.’”

Bush endeared himself to children but not to farmers when he commented about broccoli on March 22, 1990.

“I do not like broccoli,” he said. “And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m president of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” Bush’s statement was said in jest, but it angered broccoli farmers in California, Newsweek reported. The farmers sent truckloads of broccoli to the president, who donated it to local food shelters.

Bush lost the 1992 presidential election to Bill Clinton, but he grew to enjoy his interactions with his Democratic rival, particularly after both had left the White House.

“Who would have thought that I would be working with Bill Clinton, of all people?” Bush said Oct. 25, 2005, as he discussed his work with his ex-rival on hurricane and tsunami relief. “It’s been an eye-opening and enjoyable experience for me to work with him on something truly apolitical.”

When he turned 85, Bush decided to parachute out of an airplane. Asked about the wisdom of such a daring leap by a senior citizen, Bush had a ready answer.

“Old guys can still do fun things,” he said.

Bush could joust with the media, although there was not the tension that currently marks the White House corps relationship with Donald Trump.

“It’s a very good question, very direct, and I’m not going to answer it,” he once said.

“I am not one who -- who flamboyantly believes in throwing a lot of words around,” Bush once said.

But the ones he threw around were memorable.

Information from wire services were used in compiling this report.

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