Politics

Political news

Updated at 12:59 p.m. ET

Steve Bannon has been removed from his controversial role on the National Security Council just months after he was elevated to the position.

President Trump's chief strategist will no longer be a regular attendee of the principals committee of the NSC, but he will retain his role as senior adviser for domestic affairs.

Speaking to CEOs on Tuesday, President Trump touted his plans for deregulation and infrastructure-building. In the process, he made a striking claim: that the Obama administration passed an infrastructure bill that built nothing and gave money to social programs.

You may not remember that happening (because it didn't). Here's what Trump seems to have been saying and how close to the truth it is.

President Barack Obama stepped to the microphone in the White House briefing room and had a job to do — make the case for a major change made by his party's Senate leader to how the chamber works.

"Ultimately, if you got a majority of folks who believe in something, then it should be able to pass," Obama said in 2013 after then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., changed the rules of the Senate to require a simple majority to allow for judiciary nominees other than those for the Supreme Court to proceed to a final vote for confirmation.

President Trump has donated his salary from his first few months in office to the National Park Service, making good on a campaign pledge to forego a presidential paycheck.

His gift represents a small fraction, however, of the money the Park Service stands to lose if Trump's budget were adopted.

Instead of collecting a salary of $400,000 a year, Trump has volunteered to donate that money to charity. He chose the Park Service as the beneficiary of his first installment, $78,333, which covers the first ten weeks Trump was in office.

Would opening the door to cheaper, skimpier marketplace plans with higher deductibles and copays attract consumers and insurers to the exchanges next year? That's what the Trump administration is betting on.

In February, the administration proposed a rule that would take a bit of the shine off bronze, silver, gold and platinum exchange plans by allowing them to provide less generous coverage while keeping the same metal level designation.

Washington lawmakers are working this year to craft a solution to the state’s school funding crisis. Much of their work is happening behind the scenes and in closed door meetings. So who’s in those meetings and who’s trying to influence the outcome? The top four leaders of the legislature denied a public records request to see their emails and calendars. 

Jared Kushner "is on the ground" in Iraq, visiting the embattled nation along with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford, White House press secretary Sean Spicer says. Kushner is both a senior adviser to President Trump and his son-in-law.

Spicer confirmed Kushner's visit to NPR's Tamara Keith early Monday. According to Reuters, which has a reporter traveling with Kushner and Dunford, the U.S. group arrived on Monday, not over the weekend as some news outlets reported on Sunday.

With a razor-thin margin, leftist candidate Lenín Moreno appears to have won Ecuador's presidential election. But his conservative opponent, Guillermo Lasso, plans to object to Sunday's vote — he says the numbers don't add up, citing an exit poll that had showed him in the lead.

The U.S. Senate could make history this week, but no one is feeling particularly good about it.

"It is depressing; I'm very depressed," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "We're all arguing against it, but we don't know any other option."

The nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and the GOP blockade against Merrick Garland before him are forcing another showdown over whether to invoke the "nuclear option" and change the rules of the Senate to make it easier for a president to get all of his nominations approved.

Since the Republican health care bill collapsed a little more than a week ago, President Trump's White House has struggled with a path forward. Trump is dealing with finger-pointing and infighting that threatens to derail his agenda, as well as nagging Russia investigations on Capitol Hill that are raising more questions than answers about his team.

It's creeping toward 9 in the evening, but a group of young people is still busy at the National Front party's office in Metz, in eastern France. They're preparing for a rally for their presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen.

Twenty-one-year-old Arnaud de Rigné remembers when he first became interested in the party.

President Trump escalated a Twitter war with lawmakers in his own party on Thursday evening, calling out three members of the Freedom Caucus by name.

"If @RepMarkMeadows, @Jim_Jordan and @Raul_Labrador would get on board we would have both great healthcare and massive tax cuts & reform," he tweeted.

Some of President Trump's proposed spending cuts would cripple programs that benefit communities full of his rural supporters, but at least in Strong City, Kan., some say they are ready "to bleed a little bit."

Strong City is a former railroad town of about 460 people, less than half the size it was in 1890. Trump's proposed budget aims at killing the program that threw a lifeline to the town's water system.

Lawmakers from both parties are increasingly convinced that the United States Senate is on a collision course that will permanently change the dynamics of the chamber — and the United States Supreme Court.

There's a growing bipartisan sadness and resignation about next week's showdown over the rules that govern high court nominations. But that doesn't mean there's any serious attempt from either party to avoid it.

After seven years of trying, Republicans failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act last week.

That doesn't mean the health care drama is over, though. House Speaker Paul Ryan this week told donors that the party is "going to keep getting at this thing," according to The Washington Post.

But whatever Ryan and his colleagues manage to do, plenty could still change in the Affordable Care Act. Last week's failed bill, after all, was only one part of the GOP's plan.

Hillary Clinton criticized the lack of diversity in the Trump White House and the ill-fated Republican health care proposal in what were her most political public remarks since losing the November presidential election to Donald Trump.

Clinton made her observations in an address to the Professional BusinessWomen of California in San Francisco on Tuesday night. "There's no place I'd rather be than here with you," she told the gathering, adding, "other than the White House."

The fallout from Friday's Republican health care bill collapse is still trying to be understood.

Right after the bill was pulled, President Trump teased that he wanted to work with Democrats and believed a bipartisan bill would be possible.

But it wasn't clear if that was just talk. On Tuesday night, he may have taken the first step to trying to reach across the aisle.

The House of Representatives has gone along with the Senate and voted 215-205 to overturn a yet-to-take-effect regulation that would have required Internet service providers — like Comcast, Verizon and Charter — to get consumers' permission before selling their data.

President Trump is expected to sign the rollback, according to a White House statement.

In 2008, candidate Barack Obama ran an ad with this opening line: "The hands that built this nation can build a new economy. The hands that harvest crops can also harvest the wind."

And then it showed men working on roofs: "The hands that install roofs can also install solar panels."

The ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee is asking a government watchdog to investigate recent remarks by Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin as a possible ethical violation.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., says in a statement Mnuchin's plug for a movie he helped produce signals "a blatant disregard and disrespect to the office he serves and the power it holds."

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET with additional reporting

The wonkiest soap opera in Washington served up yet more of its trademark plot twists on Tuesday as the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russia detoured even further into partisan bickering.

The upshot of the day's back-and-forth was this: Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a holdover from the previous administration whom President Trump fired on Jan. 31, is not barred by the White House from testifying in open hearings in Congress.

Calls are growing for the Republican chairman of a key intelligence panel to recuse himself.

"There is such a cloud over the chairman's leadership," Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told NPR's Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition.

Schiff was referring to Chairman Devin Nunes, who revealed Monday that he had met with an intelligence official on the White House grounds a day before announcing that there was evidence he had seen to indicate the Trump campaign and transition were scooped up in incidental surveillance.

President Trump signed a sweeping executive order Tuesday that takes aim at a number of his predecessor's climate policies.

The wide-ranging order seeks to undo the centerpiece of former President Obama's environmental legacy and national efforts to address climate change.

It could also jeopardize America's current role in international efforts to confront climate change.

In a symbolic gesture, Trump signed the document at the headquarters of Environmental Protection Agency.

Democrats in the Washington state House have proposed a $3 billion tax package to help fund schools and social services over the next two years. The budget and tax plan unveiled Monday includes a new tax on capital gains.

President Trump was downright low energy.

The look on his face, as he meandered through unscripted remarks Friday after the defeat of the Republican health care plan he supported, told the story. The unusually subdued Trump called the loss a "learning experience." Then he seemed to shrug it all off and said he was moving on.

This was to have been the week when President Trump turned his fledgling presidency around, setting a course for success and letting the wind fill its sails at last.

Instead, it became his worst week to date, ending with the ship becalmed and its crew in disarray. After other controversies had spoiled the weather, the Republicans proved unable to muster the votes to pass their repeal-and-replace Obamacare bill in the House. The president and Speaker Paul Ryan had to call off the vote scheduled on the floor — not once but twice.

The numbers, in several cases, are astounding. 350.org, a climate action group, saw donations almost triple in the month after Donald Trump's election. Since Trump's win, Planned Parenthood told NPR it's gained over 600,000 new donors and more than 36,000 new volunteers. And the American Civil Liberties Union has raised more than $80 million since Nov. 8.

After winning an election conducted amongst Hong Kong's biggest Beijing supporters, 59-year-old former civil servant Carrie Lam said her priority would be to "heal the divide" in Hong Kong society, vowing to form a government based on talent, not connections.

After more than two years of protests over the city's political future, this seemed to be what her city needed to hear, and saying the right thing at the right time was precisely what catapulted Lam to this position in the first place.

Political predictions are a dangerous business, especially this year. But it does look as though one way or another, the U.S. Senate will vote to confirm the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. The open question is how much damage Democrats will do to their own long game in the process.

The House Intelligence Committee's investigation into the Trump campaign's potential connections to Russia's election meddling isn't dead — but it's not exactly dancing a jig, either.

Pages