February 23, 2018

The second day of the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference has begun, with President Trump set to speak at 10:05 a.m. ET. The gathering in National Harbor, Maryland, is one of the biggest events of the year for conservative activists, with attendance known to top 10,000 people.

Following Trump's speech is a panel on "the new Trump Doctrine" at 11:15 a.m.; a conversation between White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and the administrator of the Small Business Administration, Linda McMahon, at 11:55 a.m.; a speech by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai at 12:30 p.m.; and a talk by British pro-Trump politician Nigel Farage at 3:35 p.m.

See the full schedule here and watch CPAC live below. Jeva Lange

February 23, 2018

President Trump will speak at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, although his vision and voice were strongly felt throughout the first day of events Thursday in speeches by Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro was one of the lone voices of criticism, hitting Trump for "his repeated untruths, which earned some applause," observed Tom Kludt for Reliable Sources.

Trump is set to speak at 10:05 a.m. ET, and his message will be "a test of whether or not the conference can move on from the issue that gripped most of the day on Thursday — responding to last week's shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school that killed 17 people," NPR reports. Watch a live stream here. Jeva Lange

February 21, 2018

The White House has repeatedly insisted that just because Special Counsel Robert Mueller reached the conclusion that Russian agents "conspired to obstruct the lawful functions of the United States government through fraud and deceit," it does not mean that foreign actors actually had a tangible impact on the 2016 election. "The results of the election were not impacted," President Trump insisted last week. "The Trump campaign did nothing wrong — no collusion!"

Fox News' Shep Smith thinks such claims are hogwash. Speaking Tuesday after Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said "we know from the Russia indictment that there was no collusion," Smith put the breaks on the administration's attempts to brush Mueller's report aside. "That is not true," Smith said, adding that Fox News reports the probe into possible collusion is "a separate investigation" altogether.

Smith additionally had no patience for the administration's spin on the integrity of the 2016 election. "The White House is trying to say it's incontrovertible the Russian meddling had no impact on the election," he said. "That is not true, it's an open matter." Watch Smith break it down below. Jeva Lange

February 20, 2018

CNN's Chris Cuomo was barely able to mask his outrage during an interview Tuesday with Republican House candidate Tyler Tannahill, who has refused to suspend his campaign's AR-15 giveaway contest even after the same weapon was used to kill 17 people at a Parkland, Florida, high school last week. "Help me understand, brother," Cuomo said. "Why, after this, would you want to give away the same weapon used to kill all those kids?"

Tannahill, a candidate for Congress in Kansas, announced the giveaway on Feb. 13, a day before the Valentine's Day shooting. After the attack, he said his campaign considered what he called "the typical Republican response: 'Let's hide in our holes, let's say thoughts and prayers and move on.'" He said they ultimately decided against it: "We do have a problem, we have to protect our students, we have to protect our teachers," he told Cuomo.

An emotional Cuomo tried to offer some perspective. "God forbid you knew somebody who was in that school," he said. "And then, right on the heels of [the shooting], when you're trying to get your mind around this madness, there's a guy giving away the same damn weapon that just took your loved one's life."

Cuomo added: "You think that would be seen as a constructive step forward in a conversation about how to stop it, or a slap in the face, and somebody just shaming you with what you had to live through?" Watch the tense exchange below. Jeva Lange

February 20, 2018

Sure, presidential historians have their own rankings of presidential greatness, but President Trump grades on a different scale, according to Late Night's "Donald J. Trump's Guide to U.S. Presidents, Vol. 1." Trump, naturally, ranks No. 1 and his predecessor, Barack Obama, was barely worth a mention, but Trump also weighed in on Grover Cleveland ("He always cracked me up when I would see him on Sesame Street"), George Washington's wife, Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton's wife. Watch below. Peter Weber

February 12, 2018

CNN's Chris Cuomo was openly appalled Monday morning over what he believes is President Trump's partisan way of reacting to allegations of domestic violence and sexual misconduct. Speaking on New Day, Cuomo compared Trump's strong response to a photo of former Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) groping a woman while she slept: "The president was disgusted by this picture of obvious groping and assault," Cuomo said. "This was horrible evidence."

Next to the photo of Franken, Cuomo had a picture of former staff secretary Rob Porter's first wife, Colbie Holderness, with a black eye that she claims her ex-husband gave her during a 2005 trip to Florence, Italy. Both Holderness and Porter's second ex-wife, Jenna Willoughby, say Porter physically and verbally abused them.

"The picture on the left is the first wife of Rob Porter," Cuomo said. "This? The president unmoved."

Trump has publicly claimed that Porter is innocent, and predicted that the former staff secretary "will have a great career ahead of him." Republican strategist Alice Stewart jumped in to skewer the president on New Day: "He typically tries to downplay these allegations," she said. "He will defend the men and he will denigrate the women. This is the president's pattern."

She added: "The hard, cold reality is domestic violence and sexual harassment is nonpartisan." Watch the segment below. Jeva Lange

February 6, 2018

President Trump quarreled with "one of the most vulnerable House Republicans" on Tuesday after she called him out on urging a government shutdown, The Washington Post's Robert Costa reports.

Speaking at a law enforcement panel centered around the MS-13 gang, Trump had said: "If we don't change [immigration] legislation, if we don't get rid of these loopholes where killers are allowed to come into our country and continue to kill ... let's have a shutdown." He added: "If we have to shut it down because the Democrats don't want safety, let's shut it down." Immigration is not included in the bipartisan legislation being worked on at the moment in the Senate, The Hill reports.

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) additionally told Trump: "We don't need a government shutdown on this," the pool reports. She further "emphasiz[ed] both that both parties see the downside of a shutdown, and there is bipartisan support for a crackdown on violent gangs." Trump cut Comstock off to tell her: "You can say what you want. We are not getting support of the Democrats."

It is not the first time Trump has refused to bat an eye at a shutdown. In May 2017, he urged "a good shutdown" in a tweet. Jeva Lange

February 2, 2018

Utah Republican Rep. Chris Stewart did not stand a chance on Friday when facing a spitting mad Wolf Blitzer on CNN. The interview followed President Trump's decision to release a controversial memo that alleges his former campaign adviser, Carter Page, was improperly surveilled by the government. The FBI and Justice Department have expressed "grave concerns" about the memo's accuracy.

Blitzer furiously challenged Stewart — a member of the House Intelligence Committee, which used an obscure rule in order to declassify the memo — on the partisanship in of the process. "You voted in favor of releasing the Republican report right away," Blitzer said. "You didn't vote in favor of releasing the Democratic report right away."

Stewart, managing to get a word in edgewise, asked: "Wolf, why are we talking about that instead of talking about the contents of this memo? This is a remarkable — "

That set Blitzer off on a rant. "Because the contents of the memo, congressman, the contents of the memo are being seen as political," he said, adding: "So this has seen by at least a big chunk of the American public, congressman, as being a politicized moment in American history, which you could have avoided by simply releasing both memos at the same time, which has always been the case."

Blitzer later told Stewart, shaking his head, that "you must be very upset that your committee has now been blown apart. Going back many, many decades, I've never seen the House Intelligence Committee so partisan as it has become over the last several months." Watch the uncomfortable debate below. Jeva Lange

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