terrorism

Omaha Man Pleads Guilty to Plotting to Kill Joni Ernst
Suspect believed Iowa Republican was connected to ISIS

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, was the target of a potential plot on her life last July. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An Omaha man pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to threatening the life of Sen. Joni Ernst, who he believed was in cahoots with Islamic State terrorists.

Robert W. Simet, 64, told employees at a motorcycle shop near the Nebraska-Iowa border last July that he might kill the Iowa Republican at a speech she was scheduled to deliver there, according to court documents obtained by The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Trump Again Waives Iran Sanctions — But With a Threat
President has vowed to kill what he calls 'the worst deal ever'

Donald Trump, then president-elect, talks after a meeting with then-President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on Nov. 10, 2016. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Despite Donald Trump’s vows to kill it, Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal lives. The 45th U.S. president on Friday again gave a reprieve to the 44th's pact despite his longheld stance that it is “the worst deal ever.”

Trump is again waiving sanctions on Iran that would jeopardize the nuclear pact between Tehran and world powers, according to senior administration officials. But it is the final time he plans to do so, they warned, adding Trump wants to negotiate a new pact with European allies that would re-impose sanctions on Iran if its government violates terms produced by those desired talks.

Royce Retirement Prompts Foreign Affairs Successor Questions
Potential successors, Smith and Rohrabacher, have histories of bucking party

With Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, left, retiring at the end of this term, fellow California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is a potential successor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce announced his retirement Monday, joining a wave of fellow senior Republicans in the House and Senate declining to seek re-election in a tough political environment.

The 13-term California lawmaker had only one year remaining on his term as committee chairman, but his retirement announcement nonetheless casts a spotlight on his potential successors, two of whom have histories of bucking the party.

Scalise to Undergo Planned Surgery Related to Baseball Shooting
Recovery timetable unclear

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., center, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrive for a news conference after the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on November 29, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise will undergo a planned surgery Wednesday as part of his recovery from injuries sustained last June from a shooting at a GOP congressional baseball team practice.

The operation will take place at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in D.C.

Pence Doesn’t Rule Out Sending More Troops to Afghanistan
‘Bureaucrats don’t win wars, soldiers do,’ VP says during surprise visit

U.S. Army soldiers walk away as a NATO helicopter flies overhead at Forward Operating Base Connelly in the Khogyani District in the eastern province of Nangarhar, Afghanistan. (WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Mike Pence is not ruling out sending more American troops to Afghanistan.

The vice president also defended the Trump administration’s strategy in the country, which has been criticized by Democratic lawmakers.

Waters Asks Justice to Investigate Forged Letter Opponent Tweeted
Fake letter alleged that Waters wants ‘more terrorists’ in district

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., has asked the Department of Justice to investigate a forged letter tweeted out by one of her GOP opponents. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters is asking the Justice Department to investigate the source of the letter posted to Twitter by her top GOP competitor that falsely alleges she wants to resettle “up to 41k” refugees in her California district.

Omar Navarro, the Republican candidate being backed by many far-right donors, tweeted out the document, a forgery, on Monday with an attached caption.

White House Mum on Trump Accusers, But Not on Media
Democrats blamed for New York attack

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders answers a question during the daily briefing at the White House December 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The president’s top spokeswoman lashed out at the media during a tense briefing Monday. The press corps wanted to know about resurfaced sexual misconduct accusations against the president. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wanted to talk about Democrats’ hand in a New York City bombing attack and news media’s loose relationships with facts.

President Donald Trump said NASA should hustle-up on getting the country to Mars.

Trump’s Tweets Again Spark Courtroom Questions on Travel Ban
“Do we just ignore reality?” one judge asked

President Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim tweets came up in court Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump retweeted three anti-Muslim videos last week, just as two appeals courts prepared to hear arguments on challenges to the latest version of his travel ban. 

The tweets were bound to come up in court — and they did in a big way Friday, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit grilled a Justice Department attorney on whether the tweets taint the restrictions on immigration from eight countries, including six that are majority-Muslim. 

Trump’s Jerusalem Decision Called ‘Provocative,’ Counterproductive
‘He’s undercutting his own efforts at peacemaking,’ Rep. Welch says

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a joint statement in May with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. On Wednesday, Trump announced he is moving the American embassy to Jerusalem despite Muslim allies urging him against it. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump says his decision to buck the advice of America’s closest Muslim allies and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is part of a broader strategy shift needed to produce a Middle East peace pact. But some lawmakers and experts argue the president has unnecessarily undercut himself.

Trump on Wednesday formally announced he will abide by a 1995 U.S. law and move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognize that city as the country’s official capital. He noted that for the last 22 years, his predecessors have — despite some campaign-trail pledges to the contrary — exercised a waiver in that law to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv.

On Jerusalem, Trump Will Finally Enact Whims of Congress
Past presidents have resisted Congress on formal Israeli capital, embassy location

President Donald Trump on Wednesday will announce that he is reversing a decades-old U.S. policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Wikimedia Commons)

President Donald Trump is poised to enact a law Congress passed two decades ago by ordering the U.S. embassy be moved to Jerusalem, and answer a bipartisan call by recognizing the city as Israel's capital.

Like Trump, previous presidents promised to make the same decision prior to being elected. But once in office and confronted with responsibility for the inevitable fallout in the long-volatile Middle East, each one has opted instead to exercise a waiver built into the 1995 law to delay the embassy’s relocation to the city, which is important to the Jewish, Islamic and Christian faiths.