Politics

New DNC Chairman Tom Perez Calls Donald Trump a Fraud
President claims election was ‘rigged’

Former Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez became the Democratic National Committee’s new chairman Saturday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Newly elected Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez didn’t waste any time taking on President Donald Trump in very blunt terms, describing him as a fraud on Sunday.

“Literally hours into the Trump Administration, he was a fraud,” the former Obama Administration labor secretary said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

President Escalates Feud with Media, Will Skip Annual D.C. Gala
Trump uses tweet to announce he won’t attend White House Correspondents Dinner

Eric Trump shares a laugh with ABC’s Jonathan Karl at last year’s White House Correspondents Association Dinner. On Saturday, his father, now the president, announced he will not attend. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump used a Saturday tweet to announce he will not attend this year’s White House Correspondents Association Dinner, his latest salvo in his simmering clash with the media.

By using the social media site, the president took the news directly to the public and went around the press in another symbolic jab at media outlets. He made the announcement one day after his White House excluded some organizations, including CNN, Time and CQ Roll Call, from a “gaggle” with Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and after Trump lambasted the press as “enemies of the people.”

Trump White House Lets First Routine Week Slip Away
Administration clashes with reporters over invitation-only Q&A session

Trump walks to the Oval Office after arriving back at the White House after his CPAC speech on Friday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Trump White House was close to pulling off its first drama-free week after a month of chaos, but on Friday, the new administration reverted to the norm.

The new president and his team seemed to be settling in over the last seven days. Donald Trump quickly named a new, well-respected national security adviser. They held off on a coming executive order limiting who can enter the country so relevant federal agencies could weigh in. And senior White House officials stayed on message.

At CPAC, Trump Delivers a Journalism Lecture — and a Threat
POTUS hits anonymous sources after ‘senior administration official’ briefs reporters

President Donald Trump tossed the friendly crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference plenty of red meat on Friday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Donald Trump on Friday issued a blistering attack on news organizations he dubbed “fake news,” appearing to threaten those outlets and again calling them an “enemy of the people.”

The president’s latest broadside on the media came a few hours after he attacked the FBI with two morning tweets for an alleged inability to stop and find individuals within the government — including in its own ranks — that leak sensitive information to news outlets.

Democrats Cast Wide for Response to Trump Address
Kentucky governor, immigration activist frame minority party debate

Beshear will deliver the Democratic response to the president's address to Congress Tuesday. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Kentucky Gov. Steven Beshear will deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday and immigration activist Astrid Silva will deliver the Spanish language response, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced Friday.

Beshear, Kentucky’s governor from 2007 to 2015, presided over one of the 2010 health care law's successes as he implemented the law smoothly, a marked contrast to the debacle of the Healthcare.gov roll out. During his tenure, Beshear expanded affordable health care access by expanding Medicaid and shepherding the insurance exchanges on the state's own health website. His administration is credited with lowering the state’s uninsured rate from more than 20 percent to 7.5 percent.

Amash Equates Town Hall Anger to Social Media
‘People divided into factions are easier to manipulate,’ he tells audience

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., spoke with attendees of a town hall in Battle Creek for almost twice as long as scheduled on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., compares the atmosphere surrounding town hall meetings to that found on social media, he told a gathering in his district on Thursday.

“I look at some of the comments you see online, and the rhetoric you see on both sides has gotten way out of line,” he told the crowd, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer. “I think we have to find ways to work together to be critical of our government and our government officials, making sure that you're holding them accountable, but you have to find ways to make sure you're respectful toward each other.”

McSally Cheered for Views on Immigration
Not so much on other issues

Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., saw constituents praise for her for opposition to mass deportations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., faced a sometimes angry group of 200 constituents at a town hall in Sahuarita, but the audience found her answer on immigration more favorable.

McSally spoke at the Good Shepherd Church of Christ in Sahuarita on Thursday, with many people in the audience pushing her to answer “yes” or “no” to their questions, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

White House Official: FBI Said Trump-Russia Story is ‘BS’
Comey, McCabe told Priebus as much in meeting last week, senior administration official says

President Donald Trump criticized the FBI for failing to stop leakers who have “prermeated our government for a long time.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A White House official said Friday that top FBI officials told Chief of Staff Reince Priebus that the story that the agency is looking into ties between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia is “bull----.”

The White House appeared to be responding to a CNN report that the White House asked the FBI to dispel media reports of the Russia story.

Giffords to GOP: ’Have Some Courage,’ Don’t Dodge Town Halls
Louie Gohmert raises Giffords shooting as reason to duck meetings

Giffords is uring Republicans to “have some courage” and hold town halls after Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert referenced her shooting in his explanation for not holding one. Giffords has held more than 50 public events this past year, including this Nov. 5 appearance at a campaign office in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Thursday urged congressional Republicans to “have some courage” and hold town halls, after Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert referenced her shooting in his explanation for not holding one. 

In a letter to his constituents who had requested a town hall meeting with him, Gohmert referred to “groups from the more violent strains of the leftist ideology, some even being paid, who are preying on public town halls to wreak havoc and threaten public safety.”

Bannon, Priebus Deny Talk of Tension Inside White House
Chief strategist: ‘Corporatist’ media opposed to Trump’s ‘economic nationalist agenda’

Bannon, left and Priebus deny there is friction between the two. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump’s two top aides are dismissing whispers they are engaged in a personal feud at the center of a dysfunctional White House, and said the president will defy the “corporatist” media by implementing all of his campaign promises.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the “biggest misconception” about what really is going on inside the Trump White House’s inner circle is “everything you read” about tensions between he and chief strategist Steve Bannon. For his part, Bannon described the duo as “great partners.”

Democratic Group Targets 2018 GOP Senators on Russia
American Bridge pressuring Flake and Heller to support independent investigation

American Bridge 21st Century is targeting Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and Nevada Sen. Dean Heller to support an independent investigation into Russia and the 2016 election. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Democratic super PAC is targeting two GOP senators up for re-election in 2018, urging them to back an independent investigation into President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. 

American Bridge 21st Century is launching a two-week digital ad campaign Thursday against Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, with plans to expand the campaign to other platforms. The ads are targeted to “engaged voters” of all parties and direct voters to a petition calling on the senators to support an independent investigation. 

Senate Democrats Up for 2018 Re-Election Getting Pressed on Gorsuch
Politicians at home join chorus of Senate Republicans pushing for confirmation

Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, left, and Jon Tester, D-Mont., are facing pressure from Republicans back home to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats up for re-election in 2018 are being pressed by Republicans to confirm President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker criticized Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin for opposing Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation before meeting with him.

Conservatives Want Obamacare Repeal, and They Want It Now
Ted Cruz rejects John Boehner's contention that repeal and replace won't happen

Jim DeMint president of the Heritage Foundation, told conservatives at CPAC to keep the charge going to repeal the 2010 health care law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By NIELS LESNIEWSKI and LINDSEY McPHERSON, CQ Roll Call 

OXON HILL, Md. — Conservatives rallying here are calling for their congressional brethren to keep the faith and quickly gut the 2010 health care law, dismissing concerns about lost health coverage and motivated voters at town halls.

Kellyanne Conway Breaks Silence, Advises Less Time on Twitter
Despite Trump’s penchant for tweets, close aide makes pitch to ‘live in real time’

Donald Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway’s CPAC interview was her first public appearance in a week. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Kellyanne Conway, once President Donald Trump’s most visible proponent, broke her week-long silence Thursday by telling a friendly crowd they should spend less time on Twitter.

Notably, her boss did just that before her appearance at the Conservative Political Action Caucus (CPAC), a rare instance when the president held his fire during the morning news shows.

New Pro-Obamacare Ad Features Trump Voter
Ad to run in Tennessee, home to key GOP senator

The new ad features a Trump voter. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A campaign encouraging lawmakers not to repeal the 2010 health care law will launch two new television ads, one featuring a man who voted for President Donald Trump.

The ads are part of a “six figure” ad buy from the “Save My Care” campaign that will run in Ohio and Tennessee, according to an advance copy of the press release announcing the ads. Tennessee is home to Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander, a key player in the Obamacare debate.