breaking-news

Melania Trump aide Grisham to be White House press secretary and communications director
Grisham replaces Sarah Huckabee Sanders, whose last day is Friday

Stephanie Grisham, right, communications director for first lady Melania Trump, and Emma Doyle, White House principal deputy chief of staff, return to the White House in March after President Donald Trump spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. The first lady announced Tuesday that Grisham will be the next White House press secretary. (Al Drago/Getty Images file photo)

Stephanie Grisham, who has been a top aide to first lady Melania Trump, will be the next White House press secretary and communications director.

The first lady announced the move in a tweet a week after Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that she would leave the post. Friday will be Sanders’ last day.

U.S.-Iran confrontation escalates as Trump threatens ‘obliteration’ after Rouhani’s insult
Schumer: ‘The danger of bumbling into war is acute‘

Then-Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., conduct a news conference in the Capitol after a briefing with senators on the Iran nuclear deal in September 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Responding to Iranian officials calling his White House “mentally retarded,” President Donald Trump called their latest statement “ignorant and insulting” before warning them he is prepared to use “great and overwhelming force” against their country.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani used the same televised Tuesday address that included an insult for Trump and his staff to say new sanctions the Trump administration slapped on some of their top leaders “useless.” He sharply criticized Trump’s hawkish national security adviser, John Bolton, as “a source of belligerence and aggression” in the region. (Bolton for years has advocated a U.S. policy of seeking regime change in Tehran.)

Chuck Schumer wants Senate to vote on Iran, after the Democratic debates
New York Democrat: All senators should be present for vote on restricting Trump actions

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.,  wants all senators present for a vote related to Iran policy.(Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer wants senators to vote on restricting the ability of the Trump administration to go to war with Iran, but he suggested Monday that vote should not take place until after this week’s Democratic presidential debates.

“One of the best ways to avoid bumbling into a war is to have a robust, open debate, and for Congress to have some say,” the Democrat from New York said on the Senate floor.

Trump delays ICE raids hoping for bipartisan plan — but doesn’t say what he’ll support
Operation to round up undocumented migrants had been scheduled to start Sunday

President Donald Trump said Saturday that a planned roundup of undocumented immigrants would be delayed, but he urged Congress to send him a bipartisan plan that would change asylum procedures. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump announced Saturday that “at the request of Democrats” a planned roundup of undocumented immigrants will be delayed.

In a tweet from Camp David, Trump said he ordered the delay for two weeks “to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the asylum and loophole problems at the southern border.”

Trump says he aborted strike against Iran because it wouldn’t have been ‘proportionate’
President says U.S. forces were ‘cocked & loaded’ to hit targets but he called off operation 10 minutes before strike

President Donald Trump said Friday he was told by a general that a planned strike against Iran would have caused 150 deaths, so he called it off. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Friday defended his decision to abort strikes on three Iranian targets involved in shooting down a U.S. military drone, saying U.S. forces were “cocked & loaded,” but the expected 150 deaths would not have been a “proportionate” response.

The New York Times first reported that Trump ordered strikes on Iranian targets but then canceled the mission with U.S. aircraft en route to take out Iranian missile and radar sites.

Schumer pushes for vote to make clear Trump needs congressional approval for Iran War
Democrats returning from a White House meeting on the same page about limitations of current authorizations

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is pushing for a floor vote to say that any military action against Iran requires congressional approval (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Returning to Capitol Hill after a meeting at the White House about the shooting down of an American drone, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer increased the pressure for a floor vote to make clear that authorization would be needed for military action against Iran.

The New York Democrat highlighted an amendment that has been filed to the fiscal 2020 defense policy bill led by Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Tim Kaine, D-Va. The Senate is expected to proceed to the Pentagon legislation Monday evening.

White House threatens to veto resolutions blocking Saudi arms sales
Senate sends 22 resolutions disapproving of sales to Saudis and UAE to the House where they have good prospects for passage

President Donald Trump meets with Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office in 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

The White House said Thursday it would veto Senate-passed measures to block its proposed arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries.

“The transfer of these capabilities and services to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan directly supports the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of friendly countries that continue to be important forces for political and economic stability in the Middle East,” according to a statement of administration policy memo.

Acting Defense Secretary Shanahan gives up post, withdraws name from nomination
Shanahan was to succeed Mattis, who had differences with President Trump

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has stepped down, and Army Secretary Mark Esper will succeed him. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has given up his post and withdrawn his nomination to take the job permanently, President Donald Trump tweeted, announcing yet another Cabinet change.

Army Secretary Mark Esper will be the new acting Pentagon boss, Trump said. Shanahan, a former defense industry executive, replaced retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis when he stepped down, citing differences with Trump.

Senate Democrats prioritize defense amendments to boost election security
Schumer makes public push for McConnell to allow NDAA votes on election security

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is prioritizing election security amendments to the NDAA. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

In one of the few chances they have to offer amendments this year, Senate Democrats are trying to prioritize efforts to keep Russia from further meddling in U.S. elections.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer made that clear Tuesday morning, highlighting Democrat-led efforts to amend the fiscal 2020 national defense authorization measure that is in line for floor consideration after several nomination votes.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders leaving White House press secretary post
Trump tweets she will return to Arkansas, encourages her to run for governor

Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be leaving her post as White House press secretary at the end of this month, President Donald Trump announced Thursday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 5:59 p.m. | White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who shut down daily briefings and was frequently accused of making false statements, is leaving her post at the end of this month and returning to her home state of Arkansas, President Donald Trump announced Thursday.

Sanders said she was “blessed and forever grateful” to Trump for the opportunity to serve, adding that she was “proud of everything he’s accomplished.”