breaking-news

White House: Steve Bannon Is Out
President’s chief strategist increasingly a lightning rod for criticism

Steve Bannon is out as  chief strategist to President Donald Trump. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump has decided to part ways with White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. The former Breitbart executive infused his campaign and presidency with nationalist rhetoric and policies.

“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”

Trump: Military ‘Locked and Loaded’ for North Korea
President escalates threats against Kim Jong-un

President Donald Trump speaks during a security briefing on Thursday at his Bedminster National Golf Club in New Jersey. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump escalated the war of words between the U.S. and North Korea early Friday, tweeting that the military was “locked and loaded” should Pyongyang make good on its threats to strike U.S. targets.

“Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely,” the president tweeted. “Hopefully [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Un will find another path!”

Trump Threatens Congressional Health Insurance Benefits
Tweet may be prelude to rescinding employer contribution for members

President Donald Trump is suggesting his administration may act to slash health benefits for members of Congress. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is considering stripping the employer contribution for health insurance away from members of Congress.

While the Trump White House has previously declined numerous requests from Roll Call to weigh in on the possibility, the president took to his favorite social media platform Saturday to make the threat himself.

Trump Will Sign Sanctions Bill With Tougher Russia Penalties
White House alleges president signed off after ‘negotiations’

President Donald Trump plans to sign a bill slapping sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Despite posturing otherwise this week, President Trump will sign a bill that passed overwhelmingly in both chambers slapping new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, the White House announced Friday night.

“President Donald J. Trump read early drafts of the bill and negotiated regarding critical elements of it,” according to a statement issued by the office of Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. “He has now reviewed the final version and, based on its responsiveness to his negotiations, approves the bill and intends to sign it.”

Senate Rejects Obamacare 'Repeal and Delay' Proposal
Updated 2015 proposal turned back as health care reconciliation debate continues

Sen. Rand Paul has championed the “repeal and delay” approach. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans on Wednesday were unable to garner the votes necessary to pass a measure to repeal large portions of the 2010 health law with a two-year delay.

Seven GOP senators joined with Democrats to sink the proposal, 45-55. The failure highlights the continued struggle Senate Republican leadership is facing in coalescing their conference around one health care proposal. Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, Dean Heller of Nevada, John McCain of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rob Portman of Ohio voted no. 

Now McCain Is a ‘Hero’ to Trump
President praises Arizona Republican’s return to Washington

Arizona Sen. John McCain returns to the Hill on Tuesday to vote on a motion to proceed on the Republican health care legislation. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Washington is showering its praises on Sen. John McCain for returning to the Capitol onTuesday to vote on the Senate’s motion to proceed on the bill to dismantle the 2010 health care law, a week after he was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an often fatal form of brain cancer.

Leading the charge on Tuesday morning was President Donald Trump, who once belittled the Arizona Republican for being shot down and captured during the Vietnam War.

Trump Lashes Out at Republicans, Saying They Won’t ‘Protect’ Him
President denounces disloyalty of those he ‘carried’ in last year’s election

President Donald Trump, shown here meeting with Republican senators at the White House on June 27, lambasted unnamed Republican members on Sunday for failing to "protect" him even though they rode his coattails to re-election. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump angrily lashed out at unnamed Republican lawmakers on Sunday, saying they should “protect” him as repayment for his 2016 election coattails.

“It's very sad that Republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their President,” Trump tweeted at 4:14 p.m., EDT. That was just over an hour after he arrived back at the White House after spending around four hours at Trump National Golf Club in nearby Sterling, Virginia.

New FBI Director Expected to Be Confirmed Before August Recess
Approved by Judiciary Committee on Thursday

Christopher Wray, nominee for FBI Director, is expected to win confirmation before August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators want the new FBI director on the job as soon as possible, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to see Christopher Wray confirmed before August recess. That looks increasingly likely, as the Judiciary Committee unanimously approved his nomination, teeing it up for floor consideration as soon as McConnell moves ahead.

But the year’s nomination process has been so fraught that McConnell’s staff sent a statement out announcing the Kentucky Republican’s intentions complete with a warning shot to Democrats. 

McConnell Abandons Obamacare Repeal and Replace Effort
Announcement comes after Lee, Moran pulled support for health care bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is switching gears on health care after saying the effort to repeal and immediately replace the 2010 law has been unsuccessful. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated July 18, 2017, 12:14 a.m. | Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pulled the plug late Monday on the Republican effort to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system and pledged the chamber will now focus on only dismantling the 2010 health care law.

“Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful,” the Kentucky Republican said.

Former House Staffers Indicted Over Nude Image Distribution
Charges involve private images of U.S. Virgin Islands delegate circulated last year

U.S. Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett said she was grateful to her constituents for their support during her family’s ordeal. (Courtesy Plaskett’s congressional website)

Two former staffers of U.S. Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett were indicted Thursday following an investigation into the circulation of nude photos and videos of the Democrat and her husband that one of the staffers found on her iPhone, the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia said in a statement.

Juan McCullum, 35, a legislative assistant for Plaskett in 2015 and 2016, was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of cyberstalking for allegedly creating accounts on Hotmail and Facebook using a made-up name to distribute and post the photos and video in July 2016, the statement read.