In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) claims that a 71-year-old staffer was “assaulted” by a “mob” of “unruly activists” Tuesday, when a group of protesters showed up to his Huntington Beach office to deliver Valentine’s Day cards.

“These holier-than-thou obstructionists will be held responsible for this outrageous assault. They are exposing themselves for what they are—enemies of American self-government and democracy,” the Republican lawmaker said in a seething statement Wednesday.

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House Democrats on Wednesday announced a bill geared toward preventing President Donald Trump from relaxing sanctions against Russia.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the House minority whip, announced the legislation at a press conference along with Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). Hoyer said that the bill would "ensure that Russia does not receive any sanctions relief."

"We want to have no doubt where we stand with these sanctions," he later added.

Reps. Tom Rooney (R-FL), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), and Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) are also co-sponsors of the bill but were not present at the press conference.

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A group of conservative House Republicans on Tuesday made explicit their preference for using 2015 Obamacare repeal legislation as the model for dismantling the Affordable Care Act this spring. That may be more of a negotiating position than a hardline stance, however.

The lawmakers weren’t ready to say if they would definitively vote against any repeal legislation that didn’t go as far as the 2015 bill. Nor did they rule out supporting replacement measures being added to that repeal legislation, though they had concerns that adding provisions to the 2015 bill was bogging down the repeal effort.

“The 2015 bill that we all voted for in both the House and the Senate is the floor,” Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) told reporters at the monthly Conversations with Conservatives. “If there's something else in there, we’ll take a look at that. But we don't want to be heading in the wrong direction.”

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UPDATE 10:21 a.m: This post has been updated to include more context around the allegation against Clifton and comment from Judd Legum, Clifton’s editor at the time.

White House aide Sebastian Gorka on Tuesday addressed reports that the medal he wore to one of President Donald Trump's inaugural balls was associated with a Nazi ally by alleging that the journalist who first surfaced the story was “fired for antiSemitism.”

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The Office of Government Ethics sent a letter Monday to the White House calling on it to investigate whether Kellyanne Conway broke ethics rules by promoting Ivanka Trump's business on television and to consider disciplining Conway.

The letter was made public by the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee.

Walter Shaub, the director of the Office of Government Ethics, wrote in the letter that it appears Conway broke ethics rules barring administration employees from misusing their position.

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A trio of conservative House members said Tuesday that they were open to further congressional investigations into accusations that retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who resigned as national security adviser Monday night, had inappropriate contacts with Russia during the presidential transition.

The Republicans, speaking with reporters on Capitol Hill at their monthly "conversations with conservatives," said that the intelligence committees should first work with the intelligence community to get a better understanding of what communications did occur between Flynn and Russian officials, but that they supported a broader investigation if the intel communities found it warranted.

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Tierney Sneed contributed reporting.

Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill were forced Tuesday to grapple with the Trump administration's first major personnel crisis—less than a month into President Donald Trump's tenure at the White House—after Michael Flynn resigned from his role as national security adviser.

Some congressional Republicans instinctively worked to protect and defend Trump, praising the President for booting Flynn from the administration and shifting focus to leaks of information about Flynn's calls with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

Flynn had several phone conversations with the diplomat before Trump’s inauguration, during which he reportedly discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia. Both Flynn and the Trump administration initially denied that Flynn discussed sanctions on the call; however, after several news outlets reported last week that Flynn did in fact discuss the sanctions, Flynn stopped denying that he discussed the issue and conceded he could not be sure whether he talked about sanctions.

Other Republicans seized on Flynn's resignation to call for investigations into his calls to Russia and their implications for the Trump administration's approach to Russia and Vladimir Putin.

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