Politics

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.

Issa Skips Town Hall, But Has Impromptu One Outside Office
Greeted critics and supporters

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., spoke with protesters and supporters outside of a district office for more than an hour, local media reported. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Darrell Issa skipped a town hall event organized by local groups on Wednesday, but did meet with protesters and supporters outside a district office earlier in the day.

The California Republican had been invited to a town hall event organized to pin him down on his views on the 2010 health care law, but his office said he already had a commitment, the San Diego Union Tribune reported.

Town Hall Mostly Civil, Emmer Doesn’t Have to Leave
Chief of staff had said congressman would leave if crowd got unruly

Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., had a civil discussion at his town hall after threatening to leave if it got too raucous. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After initially threatening to cancel a town hall if it got too rowdy, Minnesota Republican Rep. Tom Emmer saw a mostly civil back and forth with constituents.

Emmer apologized for holding the event at the Sartell City Hall, which held 150 people and left many of the hundreds of people who were in line outside, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

Trump Rescinds Obama-Era Guidance on Transgender Students
Move affects pending SCOTUS case on transgender bathroom use

Under the previous guidelines by the Obama administration, public schools were told to allow transgender students to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identities. (Sara D. Davis/Getty Images file photo)

The Trump administration on Wednesday withdrew Obama-era guidance directing public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, a move that changes a pending Supreme Court case on the contentious social issue.

A letter from the administration to the Supreme Court on Wednesday included a memo from the Education and Justice departments formally withdrawing the guidance.