President Trump on Wednesday threatened to delay building border barriers in California until his long-promised wall goes up elsewhere, seemingly slinging another arrow in his running battle with the nation’s most populous state.
A casket bearing the body of Billy Graham lay in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday, but it signaled more than the death of a religious leader who had befriended and counseled presidents for decades.
It also marked two historic passages: the political activism by white evangelicals that has redefined the Republican Party, and the threat to that power as their numbers ebb in a changing America.
For a party halfway in the grave, the news thudded like another shovelful of dirt — thwack! — heaved atop its coffin: The Republican Party may soon slip into third place among registered California voters, trailing Democrats and self-declared independents.
President Trump has added “disgraceful” to the list of insults he’s thrown at his own attorney general. But this time, Jeff Sessions, the nation’s top lawman, is pushing back.
Trump, who has shredded long-standing norms by repeatedly attacking his own FBI and Justice Department, on Wednesday tweeted his unhappiness that Sessions had referred charges raised in a memo by House Intelligence Committee Republicans to the Justice Department’s inspector general.
“Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc.” the president complained, referring to an ongoing review of former FBI Director James Comey’s actions during the 2016 election.
A simple wooden casket bearing the body of evangelist Billy Graham was borne by a military unit on Wednesday into the U.S. Capitol and onto a black-draped catafalque in the rotunda, where the confidant of presidents and world leaders was to lie in honor until evening.
President Trump led scores of dignitaries — senators, members of Congress and diplomats — as well as longtime Graham friends in acclaiming the religious leader, who died at age 99 a week ago.
“He took his message to the poorest places, to the downtrodden and to the brokenhearted, to inmates in prison, and to the overlooked and the neglected,” Trump said, standing near the casket during a brief ceremony.