In it, but not of it. TPM DC

NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND—When President Donald Trump took the stage Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, he was greeted with cheers, chants of "USA," and dozens of Russian flags.

Two young, progressive activists from DC, Jason Charter and Ryan Clayton with the group Americans Take Action, purchased tickets to the conference, and handed out nearly 1,000 flags to attendees as a prank. After they were thrown out of the conference, they told TPM they wanted to "shed light on an important issue"—namely, the drip of revelations of backchannel communications between the Russian government and the Trump campaign—and allow people to "get a laugh out of their day."

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NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND–In 2016, Donald Trump canceled his planned speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference amid rumblings of an audience walkout. Several speakers used their time slots that year to bash Trump, and the crowd vigorously booed each mention of his name.

A year later, a newly inaugurated President Trump and his staffers, advisers, cabinet members, and allies dominated the event.

“By tomorrow, this will be TPAC,” joked White House counselor Kellyanne Conway as she sang her boss’ praises to thousands of attendees.

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Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) on Thursday warned that some congressional Republicans may no longer have the guts to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act after facing pressure from constituents at town halls this week.

Brooks said on WBHP's "The Morning Show with Toni & Gary," first flagged by CNN, that he believes "a significant number" of his colleagues "are being impacted by these kinds of protests and their spine is a little bit weak."

"And I don't know if we're going to be able to repeal Obamacare now because these folks who support Obamacare are very active, they're putting pressure on congressmen and there's not a counter-effort to steel the spine of some of these congressmen in tossup districts around the country," he said.

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As the week comes to a close, Republican lawmakers home in their districts continued to face pointed questions from constituents about President Donald Trump and the Affordable Care Act.

Those who did face the public in town halls were met with jeers and pressure to be a check on Trump. Two Republican members of Congress were asked about Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Some lawmakers avoided the public by either canceling planned events or refusing to engage with protesters.

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Back home in their districts while Congress is in recess, some Republicans have ducked the raucous crowds at town halls in favor of more tightly controlled conference calls and private events. But even those who stuck to closed-door events, facilitating a friendlier crowd, haven't managed to escape the tough questions and protests that earned their colleagues so many headlines.

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NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND—On the main stage of the Conservative Political Action Conference, conservative pundit Kayleigh McEnany gave a shout out to President Donald Trump's decision Wednesday night to repeal an executive order that protected transgender students' right to use the bathroom and locker room that corresponds with their gender identity.

"President Trump rescinded the Obama guidelines on transgender," McEnany said, provoking a loud cheer from the audience.

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A counterterrorism expert says White House aide Sebastian Gorka rang him up this week to threaten legal action and "berate" him for repeatedly questioning Gorka's credibility on Twitter.

Newsweek on Thursday published what it said was audio of a phone call between Gorka and Michael S. Smith II, a terrorism analyst who's advised members of Congress and, like Gorka, weighed in on the issue as a commentator on TV news.

Smith and Gorka, the former Breitbart News editor whose hardline take on Islam and ties to fringe, anti-Muslim activists have drawn criticism since he was appointed deputy assistant to the President, can be heard trading barbs for more than 14 minutes in the audio of the call.

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NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND—Richard Spencer's attempt to troll the annual Conservative Political Action Conference outside of Washington, D.C. did not last long.

Not invited by CPAC organizers, the white nationalist and self-identified leader of the alt-right purchased a ticket and showed up anyway. Spencer sat in the audience wearing a brown three-piece suit and a smirk as one of the conference's organizers gave a speech titled "The Alt Right Ain't Right At All."

Less than an hour later, Spencer was escorted out of the hotel by security.

“He is not welcome here," CPAC Communications Director Ian Walters told TPM. "His views are repugnant and have absolutely nothing to do with what goes on here.”

Before leaving the hotel, Spencer told TPM why he decided to attend and why he believes conservatives are moving in his direction.

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New York Police Department Commissioner James O'Neill on Wednesday indicated that the department will ignore new Department of Homeland Security memos that increase the number of undocumented immigrants prioritized for deportation and call on local law enforcement to help federal agents.

In an internal memo, O'Neill reminded officers of the department's policies on undocumented immigrants and tells officers not to carry out federal immigration enforcement.

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Republicans home in their districts for the week faced more rowdy crowds at town halls on Wednesday night.

In events that drew hundreds of constituents, these GOPers were often pressed about their plans to repeal and replace Obamacare, and some faced shouts and jeers. At a town hall in Louisiana, attendees even turned their backs on Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) as he tried to give a PowerPoint presentation on his replacement plan. The protest forced him to ditch his planned talking points and answer questions instead.

Below is a roundup of Wednesday's district events:

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