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Anti-travel ban protesters gather outside a federal courthouse in Seattle in December 2017.
Anti-travel ban protesters gather outside a federal courthouse in Seattle in December 2017. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

A federal appeals court said Thursday that President Trump’s latest travel ban targeting nationals of six Muslim-majority countries unconstitutionally discriminates against Muslims.

The Richmond, Va.-based U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals’ 9-4 vote makes it the second federal appellate court to say the ban is illegal since it went into effect in September.

The San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit ruled in December that the travel ban violated federal immigration law.

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President Trump urged Americans to embrace the “dignity of life” in the wake of the deadly school shooting in south Florida on Thursday but sidestepped the idea of amending gun laws to stem the nation’s epidemic of mass shootings.

In a somber address to the nation from the White House, Trump urged listeners to “answer hate with love, answer cruelty with kindness.”

Trump said he would visit Parkland soon. He ignored a reporter who shouted, "Will you do something about guns?”

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Florida shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz was charged Thursday with 17 counts of premeditated murder as yet another community grappled with grief and horror in the aftermath of a school gun rampage, the deadliest in more than five years.
(Drew Angerer / AFP/Getty Images)

Mitt Romney postponed the expected launch of his campaign for U.S. Senate on Wednesday as a result of the Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead.

Romney had planned to announce his candidacy in a video scheduled for release Thursday morning, followed by a speech Friday night at the Utah County Republican Party's annual fundraising dinner in Provo.

Romney is still expected to attend the dinner Friday night.

(Don Emmert / AFP)

The day after President Trump’s top intelligence advisor warned that Russian hackers will be back with a vengeance in the upcoming midterm election, House Democrats intensified their push to shore up the nation’s network of wheezing voting machines that are vulnerable to attack.

The Democrats released a voluminous report detailing the many ways in which election systems are ripe to breached, and the 2016 incidents in which at least one state’s voter registration files were penetrated and 20 others were targeted for various forms of cyberattack.

Election officials and many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are growing increasingly alarmed by how vulnerable their voting systems are. Many are still using machines that are easily hacked, and they have no money to fix them. Congress has so far balked at approving any of the bipartisan measures that address the problem, such as the Secure Elections Act championed by  Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and others.

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Former Trump advisor Rob Porter left the White House last week.
Former Trump advisor Rob Porter left the White House last week. (Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump broke his weeklong silence on spousal abuse Wednesday, but only after declaring that everyone already knows his view on the subject.

“I am totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind,” Trump said, according to a pool report by Newsday reporter Laura Figueroa. “Everyone knows that and it almost wouldn’t even have to be said.”

It wasn’t said, for more than a week, as his White House has reeled from the resignations of two high-ranking officials accused of violence against former partners. The women told their stories months ago to FBI investigators conducting background checks on White House aides Rob Porter and David Sorenson, but the men did not leave the White House staff until the accounts went public.

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin speaks during a House Committee on Veterans' Affairs hearing on Feb. 6.
Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin speaks during a House Committee on Veterans' Affairs hearing on Feb. 6. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, traveling on what he said was an "essential" trip to London and Copenhagen, improperly accepted Wimbledon tickets and brought along his wife at taxpayer expense, according to a scathing new inspector general's report.

The report says Shulkin and some top staff members made a number of false and misleading statements both to justify the $122,334 trip and in defending it afterwards. His chief of staff, Vivieca Wright Simpson, doctored an email to convince an agency ethics lawyer to approve a $4,300 flight for Shulkin's wife, the report found.

Another aide devoted "many hours" to arranging for tourist activities for Shulkin and his wife, the report found, "time that should have been spent conducting official VA business and not for providing personal travel concierge services."

President Trump’s proposal to hold a large-scale military parade in Washington, with marching soldiers and rows of tanks and armored vehicles, could cost as much as $30 million, according to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney

The cost would depend on how many troops are involved and the types of military equipment chosen, Mulvaney told the House Budget Committee on Wednesday.

“I’ve seen various different cost estimates of between $10 million and $30 million, depending on the size of the parade, the scope of it, the length of it, those kind of things,” Mulvaney said.

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  • White House
  • Budget

President Trump’s proposed grand parade of American military equipment could cost as much as $30 million, his budget director said Wednesday.

In taking the administration’s first stab at a price tag on the project, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told lawmakers he has looked at more than one cost projection.

“I’ve seen various different cost estimates from between, I think, $10 million and $30 million, depending on the size of the parade, the scope of it, the length of it, those types of things,” Mulvaney told members of the House Budget Committee. “We’ve not accounted for it in this year’s budget simply because it’s come up at the last minute.”

Former White House aide Rob Porter, right, Chief of Staff John Kelly, left, and economic advisor Gary Cohn arrive at Andrews Air Force Base.
Former White House aide Rob Porter, right, Chief of Staff John Kelly, left, and economic advisor Gary Cohn arrive at Andrews Air Force Base. (Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill want to know how former presidential aide Rob Porter was allowed to work at the White House under an interim security clearance — despite allegations of spousal abuse.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, told CNN on Wednesday that the panel decided Tuesday night to launch an investigation.

Word of the probe comes a day after the FBI publicly contradicted the White House over Porter, who has been accused of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives. The FBI said that it gave the Trump administration information on multiple occasions last year about Porter and that the investigation wrapped up in January.