Senate Republicans introduced their last-ditch effort to advance the GOP's Obamacare repeal campaign late Thursday, a "skinny" bill they don't want to become law but hope to use as a vehicle for further negotiations with the House.
The eight-page Health Care Freedom Act keeps much of the Affordable Care Act in place.
But it changes several features, including eliminating the requirement that Americans have health insurance.
After weeks of legal battles and bipartisan pushback from top election officials nationwide, President Trump’s voter fraud commission has renewed a message for the states: It’s safe to pass along your data about voters.
“Individuals’ voter registration records will be kept confidential and secure throughout the duration of the commission’s existence,” Kris Kobach, vice chairman of the commission, wrote in a letter sent late Wednesday to all 50 secretaries of state.
Even so, by Thursday, much of the criticism that greeted an earlier request from the commission was repeated by election officials and activists,who have expressed concerns about privacy and have called the panel both a sham created by an insecure president and a tool to suppress votes.
When President Trump said this week his administration is going after "bloodthirsty" criminal gangs like the notoriously violent MS-13, he added a menacing flourish: "Our guys are rougher than their guys."
The comment raised concerns that Trump was instructing immigration agents to use excessive force when going after suspected gang members.
President Trump won't apologize for a surprisingly political speech this week to Boy Scouts that provoked a backlash for his attacks on his predecessor, his election rival, dissident Republicans and the news media.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders delivered that word on Thursday, just after a top executive of the Boy Scouts of America issued an apology on behalf of the organization for allowing the "political rhetoric" to occur during Trump's address Monday evening at the National Scout Jamboree held in West Virginia.
Michael Surbaugh, the organization's chief executive, in a statement extended his "sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree."
President Trump’s scathing criticisms have been “kind of hurtful,” Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions said Thursday, even as he again signaled that he wants to stay on the job.
“He wants all of us to do our job, and that’s what I intend to do,” Sessions said in an interview with Tucker Carlson of Fox News.
Separately, Sessions told the Associated Press that "it hasn’t been my best week … for my relationship with the president.” He made the comment in El Salvador, during a visit to highlight joint efforts to take on the MS-13 gang.
President Trump and his aides love to complain about leaks from within the White House. But on Thursday, the infighting was out in the open.
The incoming communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, in a morning phone call broadcast on CNN, compared the West Wing to a fish that “stinks from the head down,” implying that White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is responsible for at least some of the leaks.
Later, Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to come to Priebus's defense and say whether Trump has full confidence in his chief of staff.
Senate Democrats on Thursday criticized the financial industry backgrounds of President Trump’s nominees for two key banking regulatory positions, arguing they would not protect the interests of average Americans.
Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and others sharply questioned Joseph Otting, the former chief executive of Pasadena’s OneWest Bank, and investment fund manager Randal Quarles during a confirmation hearing by the Senate Banking Committee.
Trump nominated Otting to be the comptroller of the currency, a powerful regulator of national banks. Quarles has been tapped to be the Federal Reserve’s vice chairman for supervision, who is in charge of the Fed’s oversight of the nation’s largest bank holding companies and other regulatory efforts.
A prominent Republican Senator issued a blunt warning to President Trump not to interfere with the Russia investigation, saying any effort to get rid of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III could be “the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters Thursday that “there will be holy hell to pay” if Trump fires Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, a favorite of conservatives who represented Alabama in the Senate for 20 years.
Graham's warning was the sternest yet from Senate Republicans to Trump about the potential consequences of firing either Sessions or Mueller.
The news site reports that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Wednesday called Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan with a warning that Murkowski’s vote “had put Alaska's future with the administration in jeopardy.”