10 big political stories from 2017

National

What a year in politics it was. Here's a sampling of some of the biggest political stories of 2017.  (Backus, Nicholas)

The Senate in April confirmed Neil Gorsuch, 49-year-old federal judge who could help cement a conservative majority on the bench for decades, to the Supreme Court.  (Alex Wong)

Comey fired: President Donald Trump in May fired FBI Director James Comey, sweeping away the man responsible for the bureau's investigation into whether members of Trump's campaign team colluded with Russia in its interference in the 2016 election.

Mueller appointed: The Justice Department in May appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including potential collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign associates and Russian officials. (Alex Wong)

Former Trump campaign advisers Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were charged in October with 12 counts, including conspiracy against the United States. The arrests of Manafort and Gates was just one of the many twists in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian election interference investigation.

Trump on Twitter: In a year where the president used Twitter as his bullhorn of choice, perhaps the most attention garnering tweet of the year was nonsensical (a typo?) Later, to make matters even more confusing, then White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the president "knew exactly what he meant."

Speaking of Spicer, his tenure as press secretary proved to be short lived. He resigned in July.

Charlottesville: White nationalists protested in August over the planned removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in Virginia. Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman was killed when a car slammed into a crowd of counterprotesters. (Chip Somodevilla)

President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon was fired in August. Bannon was largely known to be behind Trump's "nationalist" campaign strategy and was perceived as one of the administration's more controversial members.  (Joe Raedle)

Flynn pleads guilty: Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty in December to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia's ambassador and disclosed that he is cooperating with Robert Mueller's special counsel's office. Flynn was previously ousted in February as President Donald Trump's national security adviser. 

Democrat wins Alabama Senate seat: The deep-red state elected Doug Jones after his opponent, Roy Moore, was accused by multiple women of pursuing relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s, and some of them accused Moore of sexual assault or abuse. Alabama had not elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1992. (Justin Sullivan)