Politics

Trump to Address Afghanistan Strategy Monday Night
Reports: President leaning toward keeping 4,000 U.S. troops there

President Donald Trump will make an announcement on Afghanistan on Monday night. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump will address U.S. military forces Monday evening about his new plan for the country’s nearly 16-year-old war in Afghanistan.

As a candidate and president, Trump often has maligned the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations for spending trillions too much in military operations overseas since the 9/11 attacks.

GOP Leadership Silent on Bannon’s Departure
Many House and Senate Republicans ignore White House chaos

House Speaker Paul Ryan, left, and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, right, often avoid addressing controversy surrounding the presidency of Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Almost two hours after news broke Friday that President Donald Trump decided to part ways with White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy  — at least at that moment — had another topic on his mind.

He retweeted a message that the chief executive sent out Friday morning, before Bannon’s ouster was reported, about elevating the country’s Cyber Command. McCarthy called it “the right move.”

Trump Is Quickly Running Out of GOP Factions to Alienate
Republican strategist: ‘He’s basically crossing out all of his allies’

President Donald Trump’s ouster of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is seen by some as his first major slight to his conservative base. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is running out of Republican Party factions to offend and alienate after firing Steve Bannon, the White House chief strategist who was a bridge to the president’s conservative base.

Along with Friday’s blow to his base, a defensive and sometimes erratic Trump in the past few weeks alone has attacked once-supportive business leaders, GOP lawmakers and voters eager to distance themselves from far-right and white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. He’s also lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a key player in any effort to push forward his legislative agenda.

Democrats Say Bannon’s Ouster Not Enough
Jeffries says ‘things won't change if Grand Wizard remains in Oval Office’

Democrats say the ouster of White House adviser Steve Bannon is a good first step. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Democrats are glad President Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon is gone,  but they say change is needed from the top down.

Democratic members of Congress hammered the president for choosing Bannon, the former Breitbart executive, to plot strategy in the White House in the first place. And they said if the president wants to repair the damage he has done, he should look inward.

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.”

Pelosi Pledges to Use ‘Every Avenue’ Against Trump
House Democrats file censure of president over Charlottesville response

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi praised a resolution filed by House Democrats that aims to censure the president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pledged on Friday to use “every avenue” to challenge President Donald Trump after three House Democrats filed a resolution condemning how the president responded to the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The censure resolution denounces Trump for not immediately and specifically condemning neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups who took part in the protest and then doubling down on his comments days later, saying some of the far-right protesters were “very fine people.”

Trump Says ‘Obstructionist Democrats’ Undermining National Security
President sends mixed messages before leaving for Camp David security summit

President Donald Trump, here aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford in March, lashed out at Democrats over what he says is their intent to "delay" his national security policies. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Donald Trump began the last workday of yet another chaotic week of his presidency by accusing Democrats of hindering the country’s security — while also sending some mixed signals.

About 90 minutes before his scheduled departure for a Camp David summit with his national security team on North Korea and related issues, the president took to Twitter with contradictory messages about the state of American security.

Florida Republican Rooney Says Trump Needs to Show ‘Moral’ Leadership
Says past presidents have ‘referred to our moral principles’

Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., said past presidents have used a unifying and healing tone in times of crisis. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Florida Republican Rep. Francis Rooney said the country is “crying out” for moral leadership from President Donald Trump after last weekend’s racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Trump’s response to it.

Rooney, a former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican and a devout Catholic, told the Naples Daily News that previous presidents used a unifying and healing tone after similar incidents.

Rohrabacher to Consult With Trump Before Sharing Wikileaks Info
Said he and Assange discussed Wikileaks getting a seat at White House briefings

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, said he will consult with President Donald Trump on Wikileaks information on the DNC hacking last year “by the end of the month.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said he will consult with President Donald Trump about “earth-shattering” information he got from WikiLeaks about the Democratic National Committee hack before going public.

The Republican representative said he met with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and said Assange denied that Russia was involved with the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.

For Bobby Scott, a District Carved in Calm
Virginia Democrat takes business-as-usual approach, absent political rhetoric

Virginia Rep. Robert C. Scott speaks to attendees at a town hall in Norfolk on Monday. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call)

NORFOLK, Va. — At a recent town hall here in Virginia’s second most populous city, Rep. Robert C. Scott patiently took questions from more than two dozen residents waiting in line. The queue stretched to the very back of a high school auditorium with some standing for the entire portion of the two-hour public meeting.

Absent was the rancor that has dominated town halls across the country this year — mostly those held by congressional Republicans facing angry crowds, upset over changes the GOP wants to make to the 2010 health care law and expressing steadfast opposition to Donald Trump’s presidency.

Budget and Appropriations Members Rack Up Travel Time
Boots on the ground or paid vacation?

Staff travel makes up a significant chuck of the amounts spent on travel by the Appropriations and Budget committees. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Members of the Budget and Appropriations committees have spent about $2 million on foreign travel since the start of 2016, including trips to Argentina, Tanzania, Italy and the United Kingdom, according to an analysis of congressional records.

Appropriations Committee members far outpace their colleagues on the Budget Committee in the number of trips and how much they've spent on travel outside the United States. From Jan. 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017, Appropriations Committee members and staff spent $1.9 million on foreign travel and Budget Committee members and staff spent $36,000.

Trump Lacks ‘Stability’ and ‘Competence’ for Job, Corker Says
Foreign Relations chairman warns of ‘great peril’ unless Trump changes

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., lambasted President Trump on Thursday. The duo is pictured above in happier times, at a Trump campaign rally in North Carolina in July 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker on Thursday lambasted Donald Trump, saying the president is driving the United States toward “great peril” because he lacks the “stability” and “competence” for the country’s highest office.

The Tennessee Republican once appeared on stage at a Trump campaign rally, but it any goodwill he might have built with Trump likely evaporated Thursday. The president, as he did with a Twitter attack earlier in the day on Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., often attacks any critics — and holds grudges.

Poll: Majority of Americans Say Trump’s Charlottesville Response ‘Not Strong Enough’
Two-thirds of respondents want a domestic terrorism investigation

A majority of Americans see President Donald Trump’s response to the racial violence in Charlottesville, Va., as inadequate. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A majority of Americans in a new poll say President Donald Trump’s response to the violence that broke out a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia was “not strong enough.”

Fifty-two percent of respondents in the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll said Trump’s response should have been stronger, while 27 percent said it was strong enough.

Trump: Country Being ‘Ripped Apart’ Over Confederate Monuments
President says beauty will be “greatly missed” and can’t be replaced

Police stand in front of protesters as President Donald Trump’s motorcade departs Trump Tower on Wednesday in New York City, amid the continued fallout from his comments on the racial violence in Charlottesville, Va. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump said the history and culture of the United States was being “ripped apart” by the removal of statues and monuments to Confederate leaders across the country.

Trump’s early Thursday tweets came after his earlier remarks that there were “very fine people” on both sides of a protest last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white nationalists and neo-Nazi groups violently clashed with counter-protesters over the removal of a statute of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Vernon Ehlers, Former Longtime Michigan Congressman, Dies at 83
Ehlers was known as champion of the Great Lakes and science education

As a congressman from Michigan, Vernon Ehlers used his physics background to advance environmental and STEM legislation for nearly two decades. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The first research physicist ever elected to Congress, Vernon J. Ehlers was known for his legislative work to bolster scientific research and education, raise fuel economy standards, and protect clean air and water.

Ehlers, who represented Western Michigan in Congress for nearly two decades, died Tuesday at the age of 83. His death was confirmed by the Zaagman Memorial Chapel in Grand Rapids, which did not immediately indicate the cause of death, The Detroit News reported.