Democrats selected former Labor Secretary Tom Perez over Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison as their new chairman on Saturday, concluding a hotly contested race to lead a battered party as it tries to channel the anti-Donald Trump energy of its base into an electoral rebound. Perez defeated Ellison in a 235-200 vote among the Democratic National Committee's 435 members who cast ballots Saturday. It took two rounds of voting to select a winner after Perez found himself just one vote shy in the first ballot. The five other candidates, who had amassed 13.5 total votes, all exited the race before the second round began.
A top New York Police Department official said Friday that jumping a subway turnstile -- a minor offense -- will not get you deported if you are an illegal immigrant. "Even if you're a recidivist and jumped a turnstile for the fourth or tenth time, and we arrest you for the misdemeanor crime, that's a misdemeanor -- it's not a qualifying" Larry Byrne, the deputy commissioner for legal affairs, told reporters. "Nobody is getting deported for a minor offense." The nation's biggest city is prepared to challenge President Trump's crackdown on immigrant-protecting "sanctuary cities" with legal action if necessary, New York's mayor said Wednesday, arguing Trump's move could undermine public safety. read more
Officials in President Trump's administration Friday downplayed an intelligence report by the Homeland Security Department that contradicts the White House's main argument for implementing a travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries. The report, which was viewed by the Wall Street Journal and Associated Press, determined that the "country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity." The Trump administration has taken the position that immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries should be blocked from the U.S. due to their terror risk. Trump used terrorism a primary justification when he announced the now court-blocked travel ban in late January. The intelligence report found that in the past six years, foreign-born individuals who were "inspired" to strike in the U.S. came from 26 different countries. read more
President Trump likes Campbell's soup, he told the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday.
The aside was a humorous reference to his meeting with business leaders on Thursday, when he created another Twitter meme by telling Denise Morrison of Campbell Soup Company, "Good soup."
That was a high point in the speech, a warmed-over broth of poll numbers, self-aggrandizement and grievance over his "bad press."
In the final moments of his rant, he offered a reheated version of his stump speech, vowing without many specifics to fight radical Islamic terrorism, build a wall, deport more "bad dudes" and place "America First."
He also managed to offend another American ally, by claiming that Islamic terrorism in France meant that "Paris is no longer Paris." read more
President Trump may have skipped the annual Conservative Political Action Conference last year, but this year he was the annual gathering's hero who had finally returned the White House to Republicans.
Trump's stem-winder of just under an hour that he delivered to the adoring crowd Friday morning felt more like a campaign speech than a presidential address, reliving many of his greatest hits and applause lines on the campaign trail -- even down to the crowd breaking out in chants of "lock her up" about his vanquished rival, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The president boasted to attendees that "the era of empty talk is over" as he began to tick off each of his campaign promises.
"We're going to repeal and replace Obamacare," he promised, despite the fact that Republicans have not yet settled on an alternative plan.
"We're going to build a wall. Don't worry about it," Trump crowed to the crowd, saying the plans were "way ahead of schedule." read more