President Trump appears on track to decertify the Iran nuclear deal next week, a decision that will open an unpredictable debate in Congress and could lead to an unraveling of the landmark agreement.
Trump is planning to announce next week that the Iran deal is not in the U.S. national security interest, and that additional sanctions should be imposed on Tehran to prevent it from restarting its nuclear program at some point in the future, according to a person briefed by the White House who was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Aides are drafting a harsh speech that Trump is tentatively planning to deliver on Wednesday or Thursday in which he will explain his decision, according to people briefed on the president's thinking.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted Thursday that President Trump is an "incredible advocate" for the 1st Amendment.
Then she defended his threat to investigate news organizations with a complaint that Trump had not received enough positive news coverage.
"With the 1st Amendment, with those freedoms, also come responsibilities, and you have a responsibility to tell the truth, to be accurate," Sanders said during her regular briefing with White House reporters.
"We know that members of both parties and multiple organizations are planning to take a look at bump stocks and related devices," Sanders said during Thursday's regular press briefing. "We certainly welcome that. We'd like to be part of that conversation, and we would like to see a clear understanding of the facts."
The Las Vegas massacre has forced a breach in congressional Republicans' solid opposition to gun restrictions, prompting many, from party leaders on down, to say they will consider banning "bump stocks" that turn assault rifles into virtual machine guns.
The National Rifle Assn., to which most Republicans are loyal and which had been silent since the gunman's attack Sunday night, on Thursday in a statement said it could back such limits -- as a federal regulation, not law.
“The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.” its statement on Thursday said.
Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions says he will push federal prosecutors to put a more intense focus on prosecuting street criminals, saying the Justice Department needs to focus on rolling back a recent increase in the violent crime rate.
The Justice Department announced Thursday that it would add 40 prosecutors to 20 U.S. attorney districts across the country, with instructions to team with local law enforcement to target guns, illegal drugs and the most violent offenders.
FBI statistics released last month show that violent crime rose for the second straight year, in a 4% increase from 2015. Murders increased nearly 9%, largely due to a surge in violence in Chicago; Memphis, Tenn.; San Antonio; Louisville, Ky.; and several other cities.
It's time for Rep. Nancy Pelosi and other longtime party leaders in Congress to make way for a new generation to lead House Democrats, Rep. Linda Sanchez, the vice chairwoman of their caucus, said Thursday.
"Our leadership does a tremendous job, but we do have this real breadth and depth of talent within our caucus and I do think it’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of leaders," said Sanchez, of Whittier.
It was a bold declaration for a member of Democrats' House leadership, especially for a member from Pelosi's home state, and could signal that Sanchez is reflecting the views of other House Democrats.
The partisan gap that already divided Americans into increasingly estranged camps has widened even further in President Trump's first year in office, largely because Democrats have moved to the left on a wide range of issues, a new large-scale, nonpartisan poll has found.
On issues as varied as government aid to the poor, immigration and the role of diplomacy versus military force, Americans who identify themselves as Democrats or independents who generally side with the Democrats have shifted to more liberal positions in the last several years. That shift has become even more pronounced in the last year, according to the new survey by the Pew Research Center.
Across the board, "the divisions have never been this large" between partisans, Pew found. The gap between Democrats and Republicans now looms larger than the divide in opinions between blacks and whites, young and old, pious and secular or college educated and non-college educated Americans.
Not long ago, Paul D. Ryan stood before charts and graphs as the House Budget Committee chairman like a new Ross Perot, promoting an austerity plan that slashed taxes and spending, and warning of the dangers of deficits.
“The facts are very, very clear: The United States is heading toward a debt crisis,” he said then. “We face a crushing burden of debt which will take down our economy, which will lower our living standards.”
Now as House speaker, the Wisconsin Republican is undergoing a role reversal, championing President Trump’s tax cuts, which promise massive tax cuts for corporations and, to some extent, individuals — and which experts say will add some $2 trillion to the nation’s red ink over the next decade.