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WASHINGTON (AP) — The panel that approves media credentials to cover Congress declined to grant permanent credentials to Breitbart News Network, LLC.

The Standing Committee of Correspondents voted unanimously Tuesday to table an application from Breitbart and declined to extend temporary credentials beyond May 31.

News organizations seeking credentials for its reporters must be editorially independent of any institution or interest group that lobbies the federal government. The committee can reject applicants that fail to provide the information needed to make that verification.

Breitbart is a conservative media outlet that was headed by Steve Bannon before he joined the Trump administration as a chief strategist and senior counselor.

Committee chairman Billy House says questions have centered on whether several top editors at Breitbart are actively engaged by or affiliated with advocacy groups.

“We did not single Breitbart out for special review. But we are not going to single them out for special treatment,” House said. “The gallery rules predate any of us on the board.”

Chad Wilkinson, a spokesman for Breitbart News, said the outlet is “unequivocally entitled to permanent Senate Press Gallery credentials and is determined to secure them.”

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Progressive advocacy group Common Cause filed a complaint Tuesday after the State Department posted promotional materials about President Donald Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago club on government websites.

ShareAmerica, part of the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs, posted “Mar-a-Lago: The winter White House” on April 4. The article contained a brief history of Trump’s property, including his hosting of diplomatic meetings there. It was later posted on the U.S. Embassy in the United Kingdom’s website and the U.S. Embassy in Albania’s Facebook page, though all posts have since been removed.

“State Department use of resources to promote a private business owned by President Trump constitutes a misuse and abuse of taxpayer dollars,” Common Cause wrote in their complaint. It added later that the post and its promotion by the embassies “clearly warrant investigation.”

The Office of Government Ethics did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment. Common Cause’s letter was addressed to that office, as well as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the inspector general of the State Department and the department’s designated agency ethics official, Katherine D. McManus.

The watchdog group American Oversight filed a similar complaint with the State Department inspector general Tuesday, noting that, if the idea to promote Mar-al-Lago originated with White House or State Department political leadership, “this would raise more serious questions about whether ethical rules and possibly prohibitions backed by criminal penalties were violated.”

“This Administration’s refusal to set clear boundaries between the business of the American people and the businesses of Donald Trump has metastasized into the federal agencies,” Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn said in a statement accompanying her group’s complaint.

After the “winter White House” post was removed from Share America Monday, ShareAmerica left a note left in its place:

The intention of the article was to inform the public about where the president has been hosting world leaders. We regret any misperception and have removed the post.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — White extremists, almost by nature, are seldom good at working together.

Creating consensus among white nationalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen and the like is akin to herding rattlesnakes, given the caustic personalities often involved. Members typically get mad at each other and split, sometimes within days, resulting in the near-constant creation of new groups and a churning of both leaders and followers.

That’s why it’s something of a feat that an alliance of white-power groups born in a KKK bar in Georgia is marking its first birthday this month. Composed of multiple extremist groups, the Nationalist Front had its anniversary Saturday.

Similarly, six Klan organizations from around the country announced a consolidation last month.

The common goal, as these alliances see it, is protecting the white race at a time when the Census Bureau projects whites will be a minority within three decades.

Watchdog groups that track hate organizations aren’t impressed. They say the Nationalist Front now lists 11 member groups, about half the number it had when it was formed.

“These things never last,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the hate-monitoring Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Beirich said that while white supremacists have been emboldened by President Donald Trump’s election, such groups have been trying on and off for decades to merge, generally to appear larger than they really are.

But leaders say there’s a difference this time: A spokesman for the Nationalist Front, Matthew Heimbach, said U.S. nationalists are trying to follow the example of far-right European groups that have learned to work together rather than bicker over ideology, theology and organizational structure.

U.S. nationalist groups have cooperated on projects such as video presentations and propaganda strategies over the last year, Heimbach said, and they worked together to support white nationalist Richard Spencer when he spoke at Auburn University earlier this month.

Originally called the Aryan National Alliance, the Nationalist Front renamed itself and dropped its use of the swastika in an attempt to broaden its appeal.

Some robe-wearing KKK members who were initially part of the Nationalist Front dropped out, and some Klan groups are now consolidating to build membership and power.

The American Alliance of Klans formed during a meeting in rural Florida in March. More Klan groups have joined since, leaders say.

Tom Larson of Delaware, imperial wizard of the East Coast Knights of the KKK, a part of the new alliance, said: “We want to see people stand up and make this country great again, like Trump is saying. We’re tired of seeing white people lose everything.”

None of these groups will provide membership numbers, but it’s safe to say none is huge. About 100 people have registered to attend a Nationalist Front gathering this weekend in Pikeville, Kentucky, Heimbach said.

Photos from the meeting where the Klan alliance was formed showed about two dozen people in KKK robes and black uniforms giving the Nazi salute, but organizers said that was only leaders and does not represent total membership.

Both the Nationalist Front and the Alliance of Klans are but shadow of the United Klans of America, an Alabama-based group that claimed membership in the thousands in the 1960s and was blamed for the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four black girls. It was disbanded in 1987 after the Klan murder of a black man resulted in criminal convictions and a lawsuit that bankrupted the group.

The SPLC’s Beirich said she is less worried about new supremacist alliances than free-standing extremist entities like The Daily Stormer, which she describes as an anti-Semitic, misogynistic, racist website that entered the real world last year by forming “book clubs” that hold local meetings.

Beirich said a single hate-based website can reach millions.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ivanka Trump on Tuesday said that she doesn’t like suggestions that she is her father’s “accomplice” because the “intonation” isn’t “productive.”

Asked by NBC News’ Hallie Jackson to respond to headlines questioning whether she will exert a moderating influence on her father’s agenda or be his “loyal accomplice,” Trump expressed her distaste for the word in an interview for TODAY.

“Well, I don’t like the intonation of that, which, you know, assumes that, I think, you know, I don’t like the word accomplice, because, you know, in this context, I don’t know that that’s productive,” she said.

Trump said that her father “curates ideas and he likes to hear from people with divergent viewpoints.”

“That’s not always true in politics,” she said. “That’s actually seldom true.”

Earlier in April, Trump took issue with critics who say she is “complicit” in her father’s presidency and agenda.

“If being complicit is wanting to, is wanting to be a force for good and to make a positive impact, then I’m complicit,” she said, coming up with a new definition of the word to apply to herself.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even Supreme Court justices forget to turn off their cellphones.

A high court argument on Tuesday was interrupted by the familiar sound of a ring chime, and Justice Stephen Breyer was the culprit.

A mildly embarrassed Breyer quickly appeared to reach down to turn it off as a majority of his colleagues on the bench broke into smiles. Justice Samuel Alito struggled to suppress a laugh.

Cellphones and other electronic devices are strictly forbidden in the ornate courtroom — a rule that includes observers and lawyers arguing before the court, but apparently not the justices themselves.

Breyer and seatmate Justices Clarence Thomas shared a quick laugh about the incident. But it didn’t fluster lawyer Neal Katyal, who was in the middle of answering a question.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday pledged to “confront anti-Semitism,” professing a firm stance on a subject that his administration has repeatedly stumbled over in its early months.

“This is my pledge to you. We will confront anti-Semitism,” Trump said in remarks at the U.S. Capitol as part of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s National Days of Remembrance. “We will stamp out prejudice. We will condemn hatred. We will bear witness and we will act.”

Trump said that as President he “will always stand with the Jewish people.”

“I will always stand with our great friend and partner the state of Israel,” he said.

Trump specifically cited the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis, a statistic his administration omitted from its statement in January on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“Two out of every three Jews in Europe were murdered in the genocide. Millions more innocent people were imprisoned and executed by the Nazis,” Trump said. “We are here today to remember and to bear witness, to make sure that humanity never, ever forgets.”

He said that anti-Semitism “continues all around the world.”

“We’ve seen anti-Semitism on university campuses, in the public square and in threats against Jewish citizens,” Trump said.

He said those who deny the Holocaust happened are “filled with such hate, total hate.”

“Those who deny the Holocaust are an accomplice to this horrible evil and we’ll never be silent. We just won’t,” Trump said. “We will never, ever be silent in the face of evil again.”

The White House’s statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day was just one example of its haphazard response to anti-Semitism, not helped by the fact that prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer praised the statement as “especially Trumpian” and lauded its “de-Judification” of the Holocaust.

Trump in February told a Jewish reporter to “sit down” for asking questions about his administration’s response to recent waves of anti-Semitic acts, and said that he finds charges of anti-Semitism “repulsive.”

“I am the least anti-Semitic person you’ve ever seen in your entire life,” Trump claimed.

Jewish community leaders in March met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions after at least the fourth wave of threats made against Jewish organizations since January.

And in April, Trump’s top official spokesman Sean Spicer faced backlash when he said that Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” Those remarks were striking given that Hitler killed millions of Jews, including German citizens, many in gas chambers.

In a clarification issued just minutes later, Spicer claimed that Hitler “was not using the gas on his own people,” and appeared to coin the phrase “Holocaust centers” for what most call concentration camps.

Spicer subsequently issued another three clarifications and said the next day that he “screwed up.”

“I made a mistake,” he said. “I think I’ve let the President down.”

The Anti-Defamation League offered later that week to hold a Holocaust education training for Spicer “and anyone at the White House who may need to learn more about the Holocaust.”

The top Democrat and Republican on the House Oversight Committee announced Tuesday that ousted Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn could have broken the law by accepting payments from foreign governments as a former military officer.

After viewing classified documents that included his application to renew his security clearance, Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said there was “no evidence” that Flynn made the appropriate disclosures about payments he received from abroad.

“As a former military officer, you simply cannot take money from Russia, Turkey, or anybody else, and it appears as if he did take that money,” Chaffetz said, noting that the committee still needed to reach out to the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense for additional information.

“It was inappropriate,” he continued. “And there are repercussions for the violation of law.”

Flynn is a retired lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in the Obama administration. In 2015, he was paid $45,000 by RT, a state-run Russian media outlet, to give a speech at a gala in Moscow, where he was seated next to President Vladimir Putin.

Shortly after he was forced out of the Trump White House for failing to disclose conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., he filed paperwork with the Justice Department acknowledging that the $600,000 lobbying gig he was paid for while a top adviser to the Trump campaign “principally benefited the Republic of Turkey.” Politico reported Tuesday that the Turkish businessman who hired him, Elim Alptekin, has business ties to Russia’s government.

Cummings called the documents his committee viewed about Flynn “extremely troubling” and said both he and Chaffetz believed they should be declassified for public viewing.

The Maryland Democrat said Flynn’s January 2016 application to renew his security clearance, obtained after months of effort by the committee, contained no mention of the funds he received on the Moscow trip or evidence that he sought permission to obtain that money.

Knowingly falsifying the application is a felony, Cummings said, punishable by fines and up to five years imprisonment.

Both Chaffetz and Cummings said the final decision about what would happen to Flynn rested with the Army Comptroller and Department of Defense, but that they wanted to hold a hearing with the retired general.

In a statement to NBC News, Flynn’s lawyer said he “briefed the Defense Intelligence Agency, a component agency of DoD, extensively regarding the RT speaking event trip both before and after the trip, and he answered any questions that were posed by DIA concerning the trip during those briefings.”

Cummings also told reporters that White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus last week refused their bipartisan request for any documents “referring or relating to Lieutenant General Flynn’s contacts with foreign nationals.”

Though neither he or Chaffetz alleged the Trump administration was trying to obstruct their investigation, Cummings called the lack of information “unacceptable.”

The bipartisan letter to Priebus and response from White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short are below.

Correction: This post originally misidentified Flynn as the former director of national intelligence rather than the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Tuesday that he would give President Donald Trump’s administration a “B” grade for its first 100 days in office.

“A ‘B’?” CNN’s Jake Tapper responded, surprised, during an interview Tuesday.

“The reason I’d give him a B, first and foremost, is because of Neil Gorsuch,” Christie explained, adding of Trump that “some of things he’s done by executive action have been very good on the regulatory side, and I can see, even in New Jersey, that businesses are responding really well.”

But, Christie hedged, “with some of the implementation, and some of the ways that his staff has served him has not been extraordinarily good, and I think they’ve got to get their act together in that regard and serve the President better.”

Given his position as a confidant of the president, Christie’s critiques hold some weight. In late January, the New Jersey governor criticized the implementation of the President’s first travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, which also suspended the United States’ refugee program. “The roll-out of this executive order was terrible,” he said.

On Tuesday, Christie added Republicans’ bungled health care effort to the list.

“I don’t think the way the whole health care situation was handled either on the hill or at the White House was exemplary,” he said. “We didn’t get the result that we needed to get. Now, I know they’re going back at it again. I wish them the best of luck at it, to try to get something that will be able to pass the House and Senate and get to the president’s desk.”

“But, you know, I’ve been a governor seven and a half years,” he continued. “You rely upon your staff to be able to tee the ball up and make sure that when you swing, you hit the ball and you hit the ball far.”

During the presidential campaign, Trump staked many of his promises on a hundred-day pledge. Now, however, he is sending mixed messages on the benchmark, alternatively calling it a “ridiculous standard” and launching a web page on listing his accomplishments during that time.

Christie said of the benchmark that, “no matter whether you think it’s real or artificial, it is a historical marker.”

“People start to judge you,” he said, referring to the hundred-day mark.

Watch below via CNN:

Given the opportunity to drop its defense of Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate in a case challenging its accommodation to religious employers, the Justice Department, under President Trump, asked the court for more time Monday to consider the “complex” issues within a Supreme Court directive handed down last year in a related lawsuit.

The move upset those challenging the accommodation, the Washington Post reported, who believe the Trump administration is violating his campaign promise to reverse the Justice Department’s defense of the waiver option the federal government offers organizations with religious objections to the contraceptive mandate.

“That just seems to be very contrary to what they’ve been saying publicly,” Eric Rassbach—a lawyer working for the religious freedom legal firm that is representing some of the challengers—told the Washington Post about Monday’s filing.

The case, East Texas Baptist University v. Price, is a consolidation of multiple lawsuits against the Health and Human Services Department and other federal agencies brought by employers who object to the accommodation granted to religious organizations that don’t want to cover birth control, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. The groups say that even filling out the form asking to opt-out of covering the contraceptives—and thus triggering the process through which their employees receive the coverage elsewhere—is a form of complicity in forms of birth control to which they have religious objections.

One such legal challenge, Zubik v. Burwell, made it up to the Supreme Court last year.  The court, down to eight members after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, essentially punted and asked the parties to figure out a compromise. Those negotiations are currently going on at the appeals court level, including at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, where the East Texas Baptist University case had been paused for the parties to hash out a potential agreement.

Last week, some of the religious groups had asked for the 5th Circuit to end its pause on the proceedings and for the Justice Department to drop its defense of the accommodation:

It has been more than eleven months since the Supreme Court vacated and remanded this appeal to this Court. During that interval, there has been a presidential election, a new President inaugurated, both a new Attorney General and a new Secretary of Health and Human Services sworn in, and a new Supreme Court Justice confirmed by the Senate. There have also been four orders issued by this Court continuing the stay of this appeal, No. 14- 20112. The government’s position in this case has also changed dramatically—both before and after the events described above—in ways that make any continuation of the government’s appeal untenable. It is now high time for the Department of Justice to admit defeat and dismiss this appeal. This Court should therefore allow the current stay to expire as scheduled on April 24.

The Trump administration, however, asked for the pause on the proceedings to continue in its filing Monday:

Plaintiffs emphasize that eleven months have elapsed since that remand order but, as they acknowledge, the new Administration has been in place for only a few months. The regulations at issue here are jointly administered by three Departments—the Department of Health & Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Department of the Treasury—and are the subject of numerous other lawsuits being handled by the Department of Justice. The nominee to be Secretary of Labor has not yet been confirmed, and numerous subcabinet positions at the Departments have not yet been filled. The issues presented by the Supreme Court’s remand order are complex; for example, the original accommodation took more than a year to develop with input from interested parties.

Read the full Trump administration filing below: