breaking-news

After Shooting, Trump Focuses on Mental Health, Not Guns
President says safety at schools will be priority, not limiting access to firearms

Members of the West Ohio Minutemen practice their right to carry firearms near the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, July 19, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An American citizen’s use of a military-style semi-automatic weapon to carry out a mass murder on U.S. soil thrust President Donald Trump into a somber spotlight on Thursday, and he sent a clear signal he views the incident as about mental health, not guns.

The president offered his condolences to the loved ones of the 17 people law enforcement officials say 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz shot dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He also spoke in the same measured tone he and his predecessor, Barack Obama, have used following shooters’ murderous rampages.

Gowdy Launches Oversight Investigation Into Rob Porter Scandal
‘How in the hell was he still employed?’ House Oversight Committee chairman asks

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, launched an investigation into the Rob Porter scandal Tuesday evening. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has launched an investigation into the White House’s handling of senior aide Rob Porter, who was not issued a permanent security clearance due to allegations of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives.

“Who knew what, when, and to what extent? Those are the questions that I think ought to be asked,” the committee’s chairman, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, said Wednesday on CNN.

FBI, White House Offer Different Timelines on Porter Clearance
FBI director testifies background check report was first completed in July

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on “World Wide Threats.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

FBI Director Christopher Wray has offered a different account from the White House of the timeline for the security clearance investigation of former Staff Secretary Rob Porter.

“I can’t get into the content of what was briefed,” Wray testified Tuesday at the Senate Intelligence Committee. “What I can tell you is that the FBI submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in March, and then a completed background investigation in late July. Soon thereafter we received request for follow-up inquiry, and we did the follow-up and provided that information in November.

Dems Wrote Memo To Set Up White House, Trump Says
President: Intel Dems wanted to ‘blame the White House for lack of transparency’

President Donald Trump speaks in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building last month. Trump is blasting House Intelligence Democrats over a rebuttal memo of which he is blocking the release. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is accusing House Intelligence Committee Democrats with purposely crafting their rebuttal memo about FBI and Justice Department officials’ actions early in the Russia election meddling probe in a way that would back his White House into a corner.

The president used a Saturday tweet to explain his Friday night decision to block the release of the Democratic document that counters one released last week by the panel’s Republicans. Trump claims the Democrats crafted “a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods (and more), would have to be heavily redacted.”

Trump Will Clear Dems’ Intel Memo for Release
Democrats warn of blacked-out sections for ‘political’ reasons

President Donald Trump, here walking to Marine One at the White House, has cleared a Democratic memo for release that rebuts a GOP one alleging FBI and Justice Department abuse in the early days of the Russia election meddling probe. (McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump said Friday he has signed off on the release of a memo crafted by House Intelligence Committee Democrats that rebuts a GOP document claiming abuses by the FBI and Justice Department in the early phases of the Russia probe.

“It’s going to be released soon,” Trump said. “We’re going to be releasing a letter soon.” That letter must accompany the returned copy — possibly redacted — to the House panel to explain his decision.

Senate Passes Budget Deal With Shutdown Underway
Prospects for House action are less clear

Congress was in session late again into Friday as appropriations lapsed. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate passed the bipartisan budget agreement in the wee hours of Friday morning, with a brief government shutdown having already kicked in.

The 71-28 vote on the $320 billion package that would reopen the government through March 23 sends the measure to the House, where the prospects are believed to be more precarious. The House vote may not take place until some federal workers are already on their way to work Friday morning.

Senate Leaders Strike Budget Deal
Agreement between McConnell and Schumer may not yet have Pelosi support

The Senate’s leaders have reached an agreement on a longer-term budget agreement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate leaders announced Wednesday the contours of a bipartisan deal to raise defense and nondefense spending by nearly $300 billion over the next two years.

The agreement, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced on the chamber floor, would raise defense spending by $80 billion in the current fiscal year and more next year, and nondefense spending by $63 billion in fiscal 2018 and $68 billion in fiscal 2019.

Eagles Super Bowl Parade Boots Heritage Retreat From Philadelphia
Dozens of conservative lawmakers attend the annual Heritage Foundation retreat

A man climbs a traffic pole as Philadelphia Eagles fans celebrate victory in Super Bowl LII against the New England Patriots on Sunday in Philadelphia. The large crowd expected for a victory party this week caused the Heritage Foundation to move its retreat from Philadelphia to Washington. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

The annual Heritage Foundation retreat for conservative lawmakers this week has been moved from Philadelphia as the city expects millions of people to flood the streets Thursday for a parade to celebrate the Eagles’ 41-33 Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots.

Heritage officials have relocated the retreat to Washington, D.C.

Trump Uses NFL Player's Death for Latest Border Security Push
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson was allegedly killed by drunk driver who was undocumented immigrant

President Donald Trump commented on the death of NFL linebacker Edwin Jackson in a series of tweets Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump is not a stranger to responding controversially to tragedy. (He once patted himself on the back “for being right on radical Islamic terrorism” in the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in 2016.)

The president used the death of NFL linebacker Edwin Jackson to hammer Democrats for weakness on border security after authorities said the drunk driver who crashed into Jackson’s ride share was an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala.

Trump Formally Clears Release of Nunes Memo
President ignores FBI director’s objections as Democrats howl

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., makes his way from the panel's office to a news conference at the Capitol in March. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ignoring warnings from his hand-picked FBI director, President Donald Trump on Friday cleared the release of a classified memo compiled by House Intelligence Committee Republicans alleging the bureau overstepped its authorities early in the Russia election meddling probe.

President Donald Trump confirmed he cleared the Nunes memo for release, telling reporters on Friday that its contents amount to a “disgrace.”