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President Trump and his wife, Melania, leave the rotunda after paying homage to evangelist Billy Graham, whose body is lying in honor.
President Trump and his wife, Melania, leave the rotunda after paying homage to evangelist Billy Graham, whose body is lying in honor. (Shawn Thew / EPA/Shutterstock)

A simple wooden casket bearing the body of evangelist Billy Graham was borne by a military unit on Wednesday into the U.S. Capitol and onto a black-draped catafalque in the rotunda, where the confidant of presidents and world leaders was to lie in honor until evening.

President Trump led scores of dignitaries — senators, members of Congress and diplomats — as well as longtime Graham friends in acclaiming the religious leader, who died at age 99 a week ago.

“He took his message to the poorest places, to the downtrodden and to the brokenhearted, to inmates in prison, and to the overlooked and the neglected,” Trump said, standing near the casket during a brief ceremony. 

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Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) wields the speaker's gavel after being elected as the first female speaker of the House in 2007.
Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) wields the speaker's gavel after being elected as the first female speaker of the House in 2007. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s mark on history will soon become part of the Smithsonian, with a donation of three items related to her swearing-in as the first woman to serve as speaker of the House.

Pelosi will donate a lacquered maple gavel, the burgundy pantsuit she wore and a copy of the speech she gave on the morning of Jan. 4, 2007, to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. She gave up the job four years later after Republicans won a majority and took control of the House.

Democrats are itching to regain the 24 seats they need to retake the House and potentially put the San Francisco Democrat back in the speaker’s chair during her 17th term in the House.

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  • Immigration
A barrier built in the 1990s in Calexico from recycled metal scraps and landing mat is being torn down for bollard-style posts.
A barrier built in the 1990s in Calexico from recycled metal scraps and landing mat is being torn down for bollard-style posts. (Sandy Huffaker / AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump hailed his administration’s “big victory” in court in a case that challenged his proposed border wall, but threatened Wednesday to delay improving some sections of the existing border barrier in California.

His tweet, an apparent attempt to punish California, seemed to be an effort to fuel the continuing battle between the state’s liberal, pro-immigration officials and Trump’s White House.

Trump’s administration won an order Tuesday from a federal judge in San Diego, who ruled that the administration did not abuse its authority in waiving some environmental laws and other regulations when it began building new barriers and demonstration projects in Southern California.

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks arrives for her closed-door hearing on Tuesday.
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks arrives for her closed-door hearing on Tuesday. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks declined Tuesday to answer questions from the House Intelligence Committee about her work since President Trump was inaugurated.

That means Hicks wouldn’t talk about the drafting of a controversial statement about a meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son, and a Russian lawyer offering political dirt on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign. 

The statement, issued last July when news of the June 2016 meeting came to light, falsely said the meeting was about adoption policies.

National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers testifies before Congress earlier this month.
National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers testifies before Congress earlier this month. (Olivier Douliery / Abaca Press / TNS)

Adm. Mike Rogers, who leads the U.S. Cyber Command, said Tuesday that the United States hasn’t done enough to deter Russian meddling in national politics, even as he acknowledged that President Trump hasn’t directed cybersecurity officials to take more aggressive offensive actions against Moscow. 

“I believe that President Putin has clearly come to the conclusion that, there’s little price to pay here and therefore I can continue this activity,” Rogers told the Senate Armed Services Committee. 

His testimony was a reminder of the gap between the president, who has downplayed Russian interference, and his national security advisors, who have described it as an ongoing threat. 

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New Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell said Tuesday that the central bank will try to balance economic growth with the potential for “an overheated economy” now that “fiscal policy is becoming more stimulative” with tax cuts and increased federal spending.

(Markus Schreiber / Associated Press)

Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee has decided not to run for reelection, ending a period of seriously considering getting back in a marquee midterm contest.

Corker's chief of staff Todd Womack confirmed his decision Tuesday, which was first reported by Politico.

The senator, an outspoken Trump critic, said last year that he would not run for another term. But in recent weeks, he had given it another look.

President Trump is naming former digital advisor Brad Parscale as campaign manager of his 2020 reelection campaign. 

A person familiar with the announcement confirms Parscale's selection on the condition of anonymity because the person was unauthorized to publicly discuss the news. The conservative Drudge Report website first reported his selection. 

Trump has left little doubt about his intentions to seek reelection. He filed the paperwork to organize his reelection committee on the same day as his inauguration, held his first 2020 campaign rally on Feb. 18 in Florida, and has mused publicly about would-be Democratic challengers. 

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Protesters in Seoul burn an image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in January.
Protesters in Seoul burn an image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in January. (Associated Press)

The United States’ top diplomat handling the Korean peninsula — a 30-year foreign-policy veteran — has abruptly resigned, citing personal reasons, the State Department said Tuesday.

Joseph Yun, special representative for North Korean policy and regarded a tireless negotiator, informed the State Department of his decision, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “reluctantly accepted” the resignation, department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Nauert said that despite the loss of a key point man, and while there is still no U.S. ambassador to South Korea or confirmed assistant secretary of State for the region, “our diplomatic efforts regarding North Korea will continue based on our maximum pressure campaign to isolate” the government of leader Kim Jong Un.

  • Russia
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks arrives to testify on Tuesday.
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks arrives to testify on Tuesday. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

The fractious House Intelligence Committee gathered behind closed doors on Tuesday to interview Hope Hicks, President Trump’s communications director and one of his closest and longest-serving aides.

One likely area of interest: Hicks was reportedly involved in drafting an inaccurate statement for reporters about a meeting between a Russian lawyer offering dirt on Hillary Clinton and top Trump advisors — son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and campaign chief Paul Manafort — during the 2016 campaign. 

It’s unclear how much Hicks will be willing to divulge about her conversations involving the president. Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House strategist, would answer only preselected questions this month and claimed other inquiries would infringe upon executive privilege, referring to the president’s right to protect confidential discussions or material.