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Sen. Lankford has ‘no issue’ with stronger gun background checks

WASHINGTON — Republican Sen. James Lankford said Sunday he is open to stronger background checks for gun sales but resisted calls to ban assault weapons after another mass school shooting. “I have no issue with more extensive background checks, I have no issue for slowing down purchases for people that show all the basic warning signs,” Lankford said in an exclusive interview on “Meet The Press.” Lankford, who represents deep-red Oklahoma, pressed for passage of a bipartisan gun bill introduced late last year dubbed the “Fix NICS Act,” which attempts…

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Sheriff didn’t pursue sex case against Texas church gunman

HOUSTON — Sheriff’s deputies didn’t pursue a sexual assault investigation against the gunman in a mass shooting at a Texas church, even though the woman reporting it signed a complaint detailing the alleged attack, according to records released Friday. The records also contradict the reason previously given for why the case stalled against Devin Patrick Kelley, four years before the November 2017 massacre at a tiny church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Had Kelley been prosecuted for sexual assault, a conviction could have stopped a trail of violent allegations that culminated…

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Science 

'It's Like a Nightmare.' Man Killed His Wife and Daughter Before Shooting Himself, Police Say

Police believe Bob Bonini killed his wife Margo and daughter Katelyn before shooting himself More (SEBEWAING, Mich.) — A police chief says there’s no record of domestic violence calls to a Michigan home where a man is believed to have killed his wife and college-student daughter before fatally shooting himself. Sebewaing police Chief Bill Owens identified the man as 61-year-old Bob Bonini, his wife as 60-year-old Margo Bonini and their daughter as 21-year-old Katelyn Bonini. The family was found dead from gunshot wounds around 1 a.m. Thursday after a family…

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Why won’t the Rob Porter scandal die? Political incompetence — and cynicism.

What’s baffling is that the White House had ample history to learn from. One notable example dates back 30 years to the Reagan White House, which faced a spousal abuse scandal much like Porter’s — involving high-profile official at the Securities and Exchange Commission John Fedders — and yet but managed to emerge relatively unscathed. Charlotte Fedders said that her husband had abused her for more than 15 years. It began early in their marriage, with his breaking her eardrum, and ended, finally, after he threatened their children. After President…

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Trump aides are asked if they are vulnerable to blackmail

WASHINGTON — Top White House officials seeking security clearances are asked to disclose whether anything in their backgrounds — or those of family members — could pose a conflict of interest, be a source of embarrassment or be used to blackmail them, according to an excerpt of a questionnaire obtained by NBC News. In the wake of Wednesday’s report by NBC News that more than 130 White House officials lacked full security clearances as of November, the supplemental questions — which are not part of the standard questionnaire filled out…

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Scores of top White House officials lack full security clearances

WASHINGTON — More than 130 political appointees working in the Executive Office of the President did not have permanent security clearances as of November 2017, including the president’s daughter, son-in-law and his top legal counsel, according to internal White House documents obtained by NBC News. Of those appointees working with interim clearances, 47 of them are in positions that report directly to President Donald Trump. About a quarter of all political appointees in the executive office are working with some form of interim security clearance. White House officials said Wednesday…

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Why so many temporary White House clearances? Adam Schiff wants to know

President Trump’s White House isn’t famous for sweating the small stuff. Maybe that’s one reason it is stumbling over something known for exacting detail: the security clearance process. More than a week after allegations of spousal abuse against former staff secretary Rob Porter burst into public view, the administration is still struggling to explain who knew about problems revealed by Mr. Porter’s background check, when they knew them, and what they did or didn’t do in response. Testimony from FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday indicated that White House officials…

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White House mess leaves embattled Kelly in limbo

WASHINGTON — As the criticism over the White House’s handling of domestic violence allegations against a former top aide continues to grow, so does rampant speculation that John Kelly’s days as chief of staff are numbered, according to multiple people familiar with the discussions. Kelly, a no-nonsense retired four-star Marine general, was brought on last summer to instill military-style discipline in a White House fraught with leaks and disorganization. Now, the contradictory public and private accounts offered up about how he handled the accusations against former staff secretary Rob Porter…

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Trump decries domestic abuse, doesn’t mention Porter accusers

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump spoke out against domestic violence on Wednesday, a week after Rob Porter resigned as White House staff secretary over allegations that he abused his two ex-wives. “I am totally opposed to domestic violence and everybody here knows that,” Trump told reporters during a meeting about opportunities from tax reform. “I am totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind. Everyone knows that and it almost wouldn’t even have to be said. So now you hear it, but you all know it.” The short response to…

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Trump speaks against domestic violence, but doesn’t mention Porter accusers

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump spoke out against domestic violence Wednesday, over a week after White House aide Rob Porter resigned from his post over abuse allegations involving his ex-wives. “I am totally opposed to domestic violence and everybody here knows that,” Trump told reporters during a meeting about opportunities from tax reform. “I am totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind. Everyone knows that and it almost wouldn’t even have to be said. So now you hear it, but you all know it.” The short response to questions…

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