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(Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon remained tight-lipped during a House Intelligence Committee hearing Thursday, repeatedly refusing to answer some questions despite receiving a congressional subpoena for the panel’s Russia inquiry. 

“I am not authorized to answer that question,” Bannon said dozens of times, according to two sources with knowledge of the closed-door hearing who did not have permission to speak publicly.

It was Bannon’s second appearance before the House committee, and his responses showed ongoing coordination between Bannon and the White House despite his estrangement from President Trump.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Beirut.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Beirut. (Nabil Mounzer / EPA/Shutterstock)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday delivered a warning to Lebanon’s leaders about Hezbollah, saying the Shiite Muslim movement’s growing arsenal and participation in foreign conflicts pose a threat to the country and the region.

Speaking at news conference in Beirut with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, whose coalition government includes Hezbollah members, Tillerson said it was unacceptable for the Iran-backed militia to operate outside the control of the Lebanese authorities.

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  • White House
(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

President Trump blasted a bipartisan immigration deal in the Senate Thursday, moments before lawmakers prepared to vote, writing on Twitter that passing the proposal would be a “total catastrophe.”

Trump’s harsh criticism of the bill backed by Republicans and Democrats marks a hardening of his immigration position. Just last month, Trump had said he would take the “heat” for a compromise and sign whatever Congress sent him. White House officials said earlier Thursday that Trump would veto the bipartisan bill if it made it to his desk. 

The immigration deal was crafted over several weeks by a group of 16 senators — Republicans, Democrats and one independent — and would protect so-called Dreamers from deportation in exchange for $25 billion for border security.

  • Immigration
Advocates for so-called Dreamers protest outside Trump Tower in New York on Sept. 5, 2017.
Advocates for so-called Dreamers protest outside Trump Tower in New York on Sept. 5, 2017. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

President Trump on Thursday threatened to veto a bipartisan Senate immigration plan, all but ensuring the collapse of an effort to protect Dreamers from deportation in exchange for $25 billion for border security.

The veto threat is the first of Trump's presidency, a bold move against an effort that had been painstakingly crafted by a group of 16 senators, Republicans and Democrats, working weeks behind closed doors on a consensus.

10:28 a.m. This post was updated with staff reporting.

(Paul Drinkwater / NBC)

Lest anyone doubt that Oprah Winfrey is not running for president, the billionaire media mogul is insisting — one more time — that she really, really means it.

“I am actually humbled by the fact that people think that I could be a leader of the free world, but it's just not in my spirit," she told “60 Minutes Overtime” in a web video interview released Thursday. “It's not in my DNA.”

Winfrey, now a special correspondent for “60 Minutes,” sparked talk of a presidential run with her rousing speech on sexual harassment at the Golden Globes in early January.

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Immigration activists hang a banner in the Capitol building in Washington recently.
Immigration activists hang a banner in the Capitol building in Washington recently. (John Moore / Getty Images)

Even as a bipartisan team in the Senate worked on a compromise bill to protect so-called Dreamers, the proposal came under an unusually sharp partisan attack by the federal departments that enforce immigration law.

In a statement issued before dawn Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security blasted the bipartisan deal in apocalyptic terms, saying “it would be the end of immigration enforcement in America.”

The proposal, which would include protections for Dreamers and $25 billion for a border wall and other security measures, “would effectively make the United States a Sanctuary Nation where ignoring the rule of law is encouraged,” the statement said.

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.

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.