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From Elections To Emails: A Look Back At The Biggest U.S. Political Stories Of 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBSNewYork) -- The presidential election stole the show in 2016, but it was just one of several political stories to grab headlines over the past 12 months.

Donald Trump dominated U.S. politics in 2016, winning the presidential election as a Washington outsider.

"They are calling tonight a very, very historic victory," he said on election night.

The billionaire businessman won the GOP nomination over a crowded field of establishment Republicans who struggled to gain traction.

Trump then defied the polls to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton, who made history by becoming the first female nominee of a major party.

"We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead," she said of her rival.

Clinton had a tough primary run against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who galvanized young voters with a grassroots campaign against big money.

Clinton also struggled to shake off criticism of her use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State. The FBI investigated her handling of classified information and found she was careless but not criminal.

"Our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case," FBI Director James Comey said.

Both her campaign chairman John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee were hacked, and Wikileaks made their emails public. U.S. intelligence agencies blamed the Russian government for the security breaches.

President Barack Obama struggled to get things done with a Republican Congress, which stalled his nomination of Merrick Garland to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The court's conservative beacon died in February.

"I fulfilled my constitutional duty. Now it's time for senators to do theirs," Obama said.

President-elect Trump has promised to tear up the Iran deal and TPP deals, and make changes to Obama's signature legislation -- the Affordable Care Act.

Trump spent the final weeks of the year getting his team in place for the transfer of power in January.

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