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The NRA's Wayne LaPierre speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 22.
The NRA's Wayne LaPierre speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 22. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

Leaders of the National Rifle Assn. on Thursday accused supporters of gun control of exploiting the mass school shooting in Florida to promote an anti-gun agenda. 

NRA leader Wayne LaPierre spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He said Democrats such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy are eager to blame the NRA for the Florida shooting and are calling “for even more government control.” 

He said opponents of gun rights want to “sweep under the carpet” the failure of school safety, families “and even the unbelievable failure of the FBI” to prevent such shootings. 


Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday that the Trump administration is making school safety the “top national priority” as it responds to the deadly mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school.

“As the president has said, no child, no teacher should ever be in danger in an American school,” Pence told the annual gathering of the Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC.

Trump was meeting at the White House with state and local government officials about school safety. Pence noted that the president later this week also will talk to state governors coming to Washington for their annual winter meeting.

(Mike Groll / Associated Press)

Rep. Claudia Tenney, a Republican from New York, claimed in a radio interview Wednesday that "so many" people who commit mass murders "end up being Democrats."

Tenney, a first-term congresswoman and staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment, made the controversial remark while discussing last week's school shooting in Parkland, Fla., which left 17 people dead.

Speaking to host Fred Dicker on Albany radio station WGDJ, Tenney said she feared "a lot of these legal gun owners are going to be targeted now," even though "in their demographic, they have the least amount of crimes than virtually any other demographic."

  • White House

President Trump began Thursday on Twitter defending the concept of arming teachers, an idea he’d floated the day before at a White House session with gun violence survivors to respond to last week’s Parkland, Fla., high school killings.

In a series of morning tweets, Trump raised the possibility of raising the minimum age for gun purchases to 21, bolstering the process of checking backgrounds of potential buyers and banning the so-called bump stocks that turn legal firearms into illegal rapid-fire ones.

But before listing those ideas, the president tweeted four times vigorously defending his proposal to extend “concealed carry” gun permits to school personnel, a proposal that was immediately criticized by teachers at the Parkland school who witnessed the killings of 17 students and adults, and Sen. Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida.

(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

President Trump held notes while he met with students, parents and teachers at the White House on Wednesday.

The meeting on guns and schools occurred one week after 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

Among Trump’s handwritten notes: “I hear you.” 

President Trump during Wednesday's meeting at the White House.
President Trump during Wednesday's meeting at the White House. (Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)
Jared Kushner and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley attend a U.N. Security Council meeting Feb. 20.
Jared Kushner and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley attend a U.N. Security Council meeting Feb. 20. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

It's a week of reckoning for White House senior advisor Jared Kushner and dozens of other officials who have been working without permanent security clearances for the better part of a year.

Those who have been operating with interim access to top-secret information since before June are set to see that access halted Friday under a new policy enacted last week by Chief of Staff John Kelly. Some officials are expected to leave their posts as a result, while others will continue working with reduced — or no — access to classified information.

The White House maintains that Kushner's work will be unaffected by the change, but won't explain why.

(Associated Press)

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas made a rare appearance before the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday and called for an international peace conference by mid-year — something especially needed, he said, since the U.S. can no longer be counted on as the lone mediator.

It is “essential,” Abbas said, that a “multilateral international mechanism” be established to broker peace.

The Palestinians have lost faith in the United States as an honest mediator after President Trump reversed decades of policy and recognized the disputed holy city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

(Chris Megerian / Los Angeles Times)

Rep. Adam Schiff said Tuesday that he expects to reach an agreement in the next day or two with Justice Department officials on public release of a Democratic memo about surveillance and the Russia investigation.

"We’re very close to a resolution," he said at an event hosted by the Sacramento Press Club. 

Schiff (D-Burbank), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, prepared the document as a rebuttal to an earlier memo drafted by aides to Rep. Devin Nunes, the panel’s Republican chairman. Nunes (R-Tulare) had alleged that federal law enforcement improperly obtained a secret surveillance warrant to eavesdrop on a former advisor to President Trump’s campaign, a conclusion that Democrats have rejected.