President Trump tried to make a dramatic surprise visit to the highly fortified border between North and South Korea on Tuesday, but his helicopter had to turn back because of bad weather, his spokeswoman said.
Trump intended to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in and stand together at the Demilitarized Zone in a "historic moment" for the presidents of the two nations, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters traveling with the president.
But fog prevented Trump's helicopter from making the trip, she said. The president's retinue waited about an hour to make a second attempt, but the fog got worse instead of better.
Federal prosecutors have decided to drop a case against a woman arrested in the U.S. Capitol after she laughed during the confirmation hearing for Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions.
Desiree Ali-Fairooz, an activist with the Code Pink organization, was one of three protesters arrested by Capitol Police during the opening statements of Sessions’ January hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. In court filings, prosecutors alleged she let out bursts of laughter after Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) praised Sessions during his opening remarks.
She was convicted of a misdemeanor in District of Columbia court, but a judge threw out the conviction in July and ordered a new trial. After Ali-Fairooz rejected a plea deal, the U.S. attorney's office in Washington continued to press the case. But prosecutors filed a notice dismissing the charges on Monday, a week before the second trial was to begin.
In the aftermath of the mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, the second-ranking Senate Republican said Tuesday that Congress would begin working on legislation to tighten background-check compliances for gun purchases.
The proposal announced by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the GOP whip, could become one of the rare times congressional Republicans have responded with legislative action following a shooting that caused mass casualties. Twenty-six people were killed when a gunman opened fire on Sunday church services.
"Obviously if things like this can happen in spite of the law, then we need to look at that and try to fix it as best we can," Cornyn said. "This seems to be an area where there is bipartisan support."
Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday defeated a Democratic attempt to restore the full deduction for state and local taxes, which would be scaled back in the GOP tax overhaul legislation.
The Republican bill would eliminate the deduction for state and local income and sales taxes while allowing individuals to continue deducting local property taxes up to $10,000.
Under the legislation, businesses still would be allowed to deduct all their state and local taxes.
President Trump said that even with tighter vetting of gun buyers, "there would have been no difference" for those killed in the mass shooting at a South Texas church on Sunday.
Trump made the comments during a news conference in Seoul with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in response to a question about why his promised “extreme vetting” for visa applicants shouldn’t also be applied to gun purchases.
"If you did what you're suggesting, there would have been no difference three days ago, and you might not have had that very brave person who happened to have a gun in his truck and shoot him, and hit him and neutralize him," Trump said, referring to a neighbor who chased down the gunman.
The Trump administration said Monday it would end a special reprieve from deportation for thousands of Nicaraguans who have been allowed to stay in the U.S. for years, but delayed a decision on similar protections for tens of thousands of Hondurans.
The Department of Homeland Security announced that it would not renew temporary protected status for about 5,300 Nicaraguans whose protections under the program expire on Jan. 5. They will be allowed to stay in the U.S. only until Jan. 5, 2019, unless they qualify to stay under other provisions of immigration law, senior administration officials told reporters.
But the administration gave a six-month reprieve to some 86,000 Hondurans also covered by the program. The officials said that acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke needed more time to determine if conditions in Honduras had improved enough to allow them to return home.