The North Country and Mohawk Valley are preparing for the arrival of President Donald Trump tomorrow – his first visit to upstate New York since taking office last year.

In a reversal from an approach used during the Obama administration, 18 months into Trump’s term, the U.S. Justice Department has launched no new efforts to roll back state restrictions on the ability to vote, and instead often sides with them.

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said that if the president sits down for questioning by special counsel Robert Mueller, Trump will say he never discussed easing up on a probe of former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn with former FBI Director James Comey.

Giuliani said that if he were attorney general, he would appoint a special counsel to “appropriately prosecute” Comey for allegedly leaking documents.

Giuliani called New York Times reporter Nick Confessore an “idiot” during an interview on Fox News’ “Media Buzz,” saying it should be apparent that even honest clients run a major risk of falling into a so-called perjury trap if they agree to meet with federal investigators.

Trump denounced “all types of racism and acts of violence” in a tweet marking the anniversary of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in which a 32-year-old woman was killed.

A year after a deadly gathering of far-right extremists in Charlottesville, a few dozen white nationalists marched across from the White House, their numbers dwarfed by thousands of counterprotesters, while the mother of a woman killed at last summer’s protest said the country continues to face unhealed racial wounds.

Omarosa Manigault Newman secretly taped John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, as he fired her in December in the Situation Room, a breach of security protocols, but one that revealed him suggesting that she could face damage to her reputation if she did not leave quietly.

The president called former White House aide and fellow reality TV star Manigault Newman a “lowlife,” in response to a question about a series of explosive claims in her forthcoming book about her time in the Trump administration.

Trump raged against the FBI and rehashed his grievances against fired Deputy Director Andrew McCabe during a Saturday morning Twitter tantrum, but the focus ended up being on his typo of “massages” instead of “messages,” which took him (or someone) half an hour to correct.

In an about-face, Western New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins is ending his re-election bid days after he was charged with insider trading.

Collins, who was the first member of Congress to endorse Trump for president in 2016, had initially vowed to stay on the ballot this fall but said Saturday that he had decided it was “in the best interests” of his district, “the Republican Party and President Trump’s agenda” to suspend his race.

“I will fill out the remaining few months of my term to assure that our community maintains its vote in Congress to support President Trump’s agenda,” Collins said. “…I will also continue to fight the meritless charges brought against me and I look forward to having my good name cleared of any wrongdoing.”

Republicans in the district now face the complicated question of how to remove Collins from the ballot. Under New York law, a candidate’s name can be stricken from the ballot only if he or she dies, runs for another office or possibly if he or she moves out of state.

“Most likely, there will be an interview and screening process,” said Erie County GOP Chair Nick Langworthy, who believes Collins made the “right” decision in suspending his campaign. “And we’ve got to have consensus – all eight counties working together.”

Langworthy, who commands the biggest weighted vote among the eight county organizations in the district, vows he and the other party leaders will find a way to wriggle through some tight loopholes in state election law to get Collins off the ballot and someone else on it, and will meet early in the week to begin the process.

The list of Republican names being floated to replace Collins – more than fifteen have expressed interest – on the ballot include: Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, who has announced his candidacy; state Sens. Patrick Gallivan, Chris Jacobs, Rob Ortt and Mike Ranzenhofer; Assemblymen Ray Walter and Steve Hawley; Iraq War veteran and radio commentator David Bellavia, among nothers.

Also, former Buffalo School Board member and 2010 gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino says he’s “all in,” adding: “I felt this need to make sure that Donald Trump has the New York 27th District on his side.”

Democrats called on Collins to resign ASAP, and not wait until GOP leaders figure out what to do next in terms of replacing him on the ballot.

Democrats are also calling for other New York Republican members of Congress to return donations received from Collins.

While the other congressmen who invested in Innate were not implicated in the indictment, the allegations against Collins have revived calls for stricter rules about financial investments or corporate board seats held by members of Congress while they are sitting on committees with oversight into those businesses.

Spaulding Lake, where Collins lives, is one of the most well-known addresses in Western New York, a neighborhood where homes have sold for more than $1 million. Comeuppance and sympathy were among the reactions expressed by the congressman’s neighbors since his arrest last week on insider trading charges.

A controversial, but common practice of paying Executive Chamber staff from the budgets of agencies and authorities was used when two Democratic state Senate candidates – Aaron Gladd, who’s running for the seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Kathy Marchinone, and Alessandra Biaggi, who is primarying ex-IDC Leader Jeff Klein – briefly worked for Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Nixon’s wife banded together with a bunch of City Hall aides in an effort to stop singing star Jennifer Hudson from performing at a Success Academy rally — by feeding her negative information about the charter network.

Before she ran for governor, “Sex and the City” star Nixon — who played Miranda opposite Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie — passed along to de Blasio the concerns of high-society types and persuaded them to back his causes.

Should she become governor, Nixon is pledging greater transparency on the $3.9 billion Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge — and even seems open to revisiting the issue of the new crossing’s name.

Cuomo confessed to being illegally in possession of an eagle feather that he collected during a trip to Saranac Lake.

After The Associated Press in Albany inquired about the issue, Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi said the governor’s family was unaware of the federal law when they took the feather from the water.

It’s official: Westchester County Legislator Virginia Perez is on the ballot to challenge state Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins in the Democratic primary.

Chris Churchill weighs in on the battle between Cuomo and Spectrum, and determines that it’s about a lot more than cable service.

The four men appointed to award all 213 New York lawmakers their first raises in 20 years have four months left to sift through salary data, field public comments and make that politically charged decision. But they have yet to hold their first meeting.

A series of emails and text conversations between City Hall and would-be NYC Schools Chief Alberto Carvalho were released on Friday as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request, and in those exchanges, Carvalho gave no hint he planned to reneg on his reported acceptance of the job.

An Australian tourist on a bicycle died after she was hit by a garbage truck on Central Park West near West 67th Street in Manhattan around 4:45 p.m. Friday, reigniting calls for safer bike lanes in the city.

Trump administration officials, whose push to impose work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries was dealt a blow by a federal judge in June, say they have found a way around the ruling and will continue to allow states to put the restrictions in place.

On Christmas Eve 1998, five days after the House impeached President Bill Clinton, Brett Kavanaugh, now a Trump nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, urged his boss — Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel — not to pursue a criminal indictment of Clinton until after he left office.

Kristin Davis, also known as the “Manhattan Madam,” was expected to testify before a grand jury Friday in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

Randy Credico, the New York radio host who allegedly served as Roger Stone’s back-channel to WikiLeaks, confirmed Friday he has been subpoenaed to testify in special counsel Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin.

An airline employee took off in a stolen plane at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday night in an episode that frustrated stranded travelers, riveted witnesses and ended with the plane crashing about 30 miles from the airport, the authorities said.

While the government has already tied up two Halfmoon properties as part of their civil proceedings against Nxivm leader Keith Raniere, they’ve now opted to tack on the home of organization co-founder Nancy Salzman to their criminal case against the group as well.

Clare Bronfman’s transit from heiress to criminal defendant in the Nxivm case, interviews and court filings suggest, appears to be the story of a child of privilege who fell under the spell of a beguiling manipulator who offered power, a sense of purpose and the possibility of love.

De Blasio’s deputy mayors, commissioners and top aides took 136 meetings with lobbyists over just three months this spring – and his pals in the real-estate industry dominated the talks, newly disclosed city records show.

A de Blasio donor and alleged cop briber is demanding that charges against him be dismissed over an evidence blunder that forced his corruption trial to be pushed back by five whole months.

Members of New York’s congressional delegation are throwing their support behind Zellnor Myrie, an insurgent Democratic candidate running to unseat a fellow Democrat, ex-IDC member Jesse Hamilton, as part of an effort to help steer the Senate to Democratic control next fall.

The conservative scrutiny on NY-14 Democratic candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took a strange turn this week when a popular conservative commentator and speaker, Ben Shapiro, challenged her to a debate and offered to pay her campaign $10,000 in return. She likened the offer to catcalling, and refused.

Democratic state AG candidate Zephyr Teachout said she was “against unpaid internships” when she ran for governor in 2014, but interns for her 2016 congressional campaign were only offered college credit.

Of the 63,599 who applied to the Excelsior Scholarships program, 43,513, or 68.4 percent, were rejected, largely because they lacked the required 30 credits per academic year to qualify, a Center for an Urban Future report says.

Staten Island Assembly candidate Bobby Digi, a Democratic activist, has a lengthy rap sheet — and he says that’s because cops racially profiled him for decades.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler and officials from the Public Theater pleaded for the FAA to divert helicopter traffic from Central Park because the noise keeps interrupting Shakespeare in the Park, which is currently staging “Twelfth Night.”

As the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, NYC is approaching a terrible milestone — nearly 10,000 people have suffered cancers linked to the toxic dust and smoke at Ground Zero.

The soon-to-be ex-wife of former U.S. Sen. Al D’Amato was arrested on Long Island Friday morning – the second time in more than four weeks – for allegedly flipping off her neighbor who has a restraining order against her, police said.

New York State doesn’t seem to need any help dealing with the illegal “I Love NY” signs that line its highways. The deadline to remove them is approaching fast and there’s no sign that the signs are, or will be, taken down.

A coalition of clergy members, labor unions and people whose criminal convictions were overturned are urging Cuomo to sign legislation that would create a panel to investigate prosecutorial misconduct.

After two days of barely detectable levels of algae toxins were found in Syracuse drinking water intake pipes in Skaneateles Lake, the toxins have disappeared.

It is an idea that took root among the Democratic Party’s far left. Now, Republicans are seizing on calls to abolish ICE.

The commissioner of the state Department of Agriculture and Markets has written a letter to the state’s 52 county fairs, urging them to not sell or display “items that run counter to our great state’s long history of inclusion for all.”

An inmate who died at the Oswego County Correctional Facility Friday was a 34-year-old Oswego man, Daniel Ellis, according to his family.

The state Health Department improperly designated an employee’s main workplace for several years — resulting in $93,338 in improper travel reimbursement, a recent state Comptroller’s audit says.

Burmese refugees who eat fish from Great Lakes waters in Western New York have more mercury in their blood than the typical American, but not enough to cause any health problems, the state said.

A spokesman for Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said late Friday afternoon that the city is opposed to a plan by civic advocate Kevin Gaughan to remove a golf course from South Park and replace it with a new one on a vacant swath of brownfield.

Complaints of nuisance bears have more than doubled to 1,191 this year from just over 500 in 2017, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

A single ticket sold on Staten Island won Saturday’s Powerball jackpot worth $245.6 million, lottery officials announced.

A popular hollow tree at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden got the ax. So did the arborist who campaigned to save it.