Author: Ed OKeefe

Jeff Flake on running for president in 2020: ‘I have not ruled it out’

Jeff Flake made a trip to New Hampshire where he was critical of President Trump and said he hasn’t ruled out running against the president in 2020 on March 16. (Jordan Frasier/The Washington Post) Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) took his boldest step yet in stoking speculation about his political future by traveling to New Hampshire to critique President Trump. Flake, who is set to retire after one term in the Senate, spoke at a “Politics and Eggs” breakfast at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, a Granite State tradition that draws declared presidential contenders and those who at least want...

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Up next in the Senate: Immigration. And nobody knows what will happen.

A long-anticipated showdown on immigration reform is coming this week — and nobody knows how it will turn out. The Senate is set to begin debate Monday night on an issue that has vexed lawmakers for years, probably signaling whether the closely divided chamber has any hope of striking a bipartisan compromise. Among other challenges is whether Congress can find a way to protect “dreamers” — as a majority of Americans want for those young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children — while also enacting changes in border security eagerly sought by President Trump. “We’re going...

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Steve Wynn, RNC finance chairman, faces allegations of sexual misconduct

Republican leaders remained silent Friday about allegations of sexual misconduct against casino mogul Steve Wynn, who serves as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee and would not say whether he plans to relinquish his role. The accusations leveled against the businessman, a rival-turned-confidant of President Trump, gave Democrats an opening to revive attacks on the GOP. In recent months, Democrats and Republicans have called on the opposing party to return financial contributions or cut ties with prominent individuals accused of sexual misconduct. When allegations against entertainment executive Harvey Weinstein surfaced last fall, RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel and...

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‘I did not hear that word used’: DHS Secretary Nielsen responds when asked about Trump’s vulgar comments

By Ed O’Keefe and Nick Miroff, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen confirmed on Tuesday that President Trump used “tough language” in an Oval Office meeting last week, but she said she did not hear him describe some African countries and Haiti as “shithole countries,” as has been reported. Nielsen described Trump’s tone at the meeting on immigration policy while testifying under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday morning. She repeatedly declined to cite specific words used by the president, but otherwise confirmed the general tenor of the exchange.  During the testimony, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) asked...

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Talks on a potential immigration deal continue, with deep skepticism on both sides

By Ed O’Keefe, A bipartisan deal to resolve the status of young undocumented immigrants and make changes to border security could emerge in the coming days, according to lawmakers and aides familiar with ongoing talks — a breakthrough that President Trump has said he would support. Lawmakers summoned to the White House by Trump earlier this week planned to huddle again on Thursday in hopes of unveiling a plan just days before a spending deadline that most Democrats insist must be the date for an agreement. Government funding expires on Jan. 19, and Democrats say they will support legislation...

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Hundreds of CEOs tell Congress: Bipartisan DACA fix needed ‘immediately’

Apple chief executive Tim Cook poses for a portrait in 2016 at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. (Andrew Burton for The Washington Post) More than 100 corporate leaders called on Congress on Wednesday to act immediately to provide legal relief for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants. Letters co-signed by athletes, business leaders, entertainers and other notable people are common on Capitol Hill, but the latest message comes a day after President Trump hosted Democratic and Republican lawmakers at the White House and pressed them to enact legislation providing legal protections for nearly 700,000 immigrants under the Deferred Action for...

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In next round of budget talks, ‘dreamers’ are set to dominate

By Ed O’Keefe, Mike DeBonis and Erica Werner, With a potential government shutdown less than two weeks away, congressional leaders and the White House will meet this week to discuss ways to end an impasse over the legal status of young immigrants, which has become a primary obstacle to a spending deal.   Over the weekend, President Trump reiterated his campaign pledge to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, warning that any plan to address the fate of immigrant “dreamers” won’t happen without it. Democrats once again balked at such demands, but the party is split over whether...

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Trump, congressional leaders set to meet with shutdown looming

By Ed O’Keefe, President Trump and top congressional leaders are set to meet Thursday to discuss enacting a year-end spending agreement in hopes of averting a government shutdown. With a spending deadline set for Dec. 8, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Monday that they accepted Trump’s invitation to meet at the White House with top Republican leaders the night before government funding dries up. The meeting date puts significant pressure on GOP leaders to shore up support in their ranks ahead of a vote on a plan to keep...

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