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Trump doesn't hold Ramadan dinner, breaking White House tradition

President Donald Trump did not hold a White House dinner to mark the end of Ramadan, breaking an annual tradition dating back to President Bill Clinton's administration.

>> Read more trending news

CNN reported that Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama held yearly iftar dinners celebrating the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. Additionally, President Thomas Jefferson in 1805 made sure a formal White House dinner attended by Tunisian envoy Sidi Soliman Mellimelli, who observed Ramadan, occurred "precisely at sunset" instead of the usual 3:30 p.m., according to the Washington Post.

>> 5 things you should know about Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting

Trump and first lady Melania Trump issued the following statement Saturday:

>> Muslims in America, by the numbers

"On behalf of the American people, Melania and I send our warm greetings to Muslims as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr.

"Muslims in the United States joined those around the world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity. Now, as they commemorate Eid with family and friends, they carry on the tradition of helping neighbors and breaking bread with people from all walks of life.

"During this holiday, we are reminded of the importance of mercy, compassion and goodwill. With Muslims around the world, the United States renews our commitment to honor these values. Eid Mubarak."

CNN, citing two unnamed administration officials, also reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson turned down "a request by the State Department's Office of Religion and Global Affairs to host a reception marking Eid al-Fitr." The department had held iftar dinners or Eid al-Fitr receptions since 1999, according to CNN.

Read more here or here.

Georgia congressional candidates Ossoff, Handel slam ad that ties Dems to Scalise shooting

Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel strongly condemned an attack ad that surfaced Sunday accusing the “unhinged left” of endorsing violence against Republicans days before the nationally watched race to represent Georgia’s 6th District is decided.

>> For the latest coverage, head to, or

The ad, funded by a little-known group called the Principled PAC, opens with sounds of gunshots and footage of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise being wheeled away on a stretcher after he and other members of the Republican congressional baseball team were ambushed by a lone gunman while practicing in a Washington suburb.

>> Jon Ossoff vs. Karen Handel: Why this congressional race in Georgia matters

“The man is fighting for his life,” Ossoff said Sunday after a campaign stop. “I think it’s disgraceful to politicize it, and I think Secretary Handel should call for it to come down.”

>> Who is Karen Handel?

A spokeswoman for Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, called the video “disturbing and disgusting” in a statement that stopped short of asking for the ad to be removed.

>> Who is Jon Ossoff?

“For any group to use the shootings this week for political or personal benefit is shameful,” said Kate Constantini. “This group should be ashamed.”

>> Click here to watch the TV spot

The ad urges Republicans to “stop” Ossoff and claims that the “unhinged left is endorsing and applauding shooting Republicans.”

“When will it stop?” a narrator asks. “It won’t if Jon Ossoff wins on Tuesday, because the same unhinged leftists cheering last week’s shooting are all backing Jon Ossoff. And if he wins, they win.”


>> When your own rhetoric gives you license to commit mayhem. And worse

>> National Democrats, Republicans both see 6th District as a must-win

>> Jon Ossoff: The making of a Georgia Democratic dynamo

>> Karen Handel: A ‘fighter’ returns to the political arena

>> First-timers get involved in 6th District get-out-the-vote effort

>> Exhausted 6th District voters prepare for vote

>> Trump robocall slams ‘tax-raising’ Ossoff in Georgia 6th race

>> Georgia 6th District: AJC poll shows Ossoff with lead over Handel

Both candidates have called for more civility after the ballfield shootings in the race to represent Georgia’s 6th District, a suburban stretch of north Atlanta that both parties consider crucial to win. It’s by far the most expensive U.S. House contest in history, and President Donald Trump and other White House officials have stumped for the Republican.

>> On 6th District Poll: Race between Karen Handel, Jon Ossoff tighter than ever

After Scalise’s shooting, the tensions in the race ratcheted up even more. Handel and several neighbors received threatening letters with a white substance the FBI later said was likely not hazardous. Ossoff said he had to hire a security detail amid escalating threats his campaign had received.

The PAC’s ad flashes a screenshot of the letter sent to Handel, as well as the image of comedian Kathy Griffin holding a decapitated head that resembles Donald Trump.

>> Read more trending news

Principled PAC bills itself as a group that only supports “principled conservatives who have the backbone to stand up to the Washington elite,” but is a bit player in the political world and has faced staunch criticism from conservative leaders. Its five-figure ad buy pales in comparison to the millions pumped into the race by influential groups from both sides of the partisan divide.

Ossoff was asked whether he’s worried if these ads might sway voters.

“I can’t even think about the politics of it. You’ve got a national tragedy that’s united people,” he said. “There are still people who are in critical condition. It’s got no place in an attack ad.”

Caitlyn Jenner on GOP baseball shooting: 'Liberals can't even shoot straight'

Reality TV star and former athlete Caitlyn Jenner spoke to the College Republican National Committee's conference last week – and a comment she made about the recent shooting at a GOP congressional baseball practice is raising eyebrows.

>> Click here to watch

Jenner was asked about the shooting, which wounded members of Congress and Capitol Police officers.

“Nobody deserves what happened out there; there’s no justification,” she said, according to People magazine.

>> PHOTOS: Congressional baseball practice shooting

"It’s happened then and it will happen again, unfortunately,” she added, blaming “crazy people.”

“Fortunately, the guy was a really bad shot. Yeah, liberals can’t even shoot straight,” she said, mocking James Hodgkinson, the Bernie Sanders supporter who police say opened fire on the baseball practice.

>> Who is James T. Hodgkinson, identified as GOP baseball practice shooter?

The audience erupted in applause and cheers in a video posted to the College Republican Federation of Virginia's Facebook page. That video appears to have been deleted but later appeared on YouTube.

>> Read more trending news

She went on to answer questions about being transgender, being Republican, supporting President Donald Trump, whether she shops at Nordstrom and her work attempting to build bridges between transgender Americans and the Republican Party.

Read more here.

Suspected baseball shooter posted profane comment about Karen Handel, GOP congressional candidate

A Facebook user by the name of James Thomas Hodgkinson, the Illinois man said to be the alleged shooter at Wednesday morning’s GOP baseball practiceposted an explicit comment to the social networking website earlier this week about Georgia 6th Congressional District Republican candidate Karen Handel.

“Republican [expletive] Wants People to Work for Slave Wages, when a Livable Wage is the Only Way to Go! Vote Blue, It’s Right for You!” the user posted to his account on June 8. He linked to a Yahoo news story about Handel’s comments on the minimum wage during last week’s first 6th District debate with Democrat Jon Ossoff. 

>> Trump, first lady make surprise visit to hospital where Scalise being treated

Democrats were quick to pounce on Handel’s comment “I do not support a livable wage” after the former Georgia secretary of state uttered it during the first of two televised debates. Handel later said her comment emphasized the widely watched race’s sharp policy divides.

The shooter injured several people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Multiple news organizations identified Hodgkinson as the shooter. President Donald Trump reported that the shooter died in a hospital. The Associated Press reported Wednesday afternoon that Scalise was in critical condition following surgery.

>> FBI: Hodgkinson had rifle, pistol in GOB baseball practice attack

Handel’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Hodgkinson’s Facebook post. Earlier on Wednesday morning, Handel tweeted that she and her husband were sending “our thoughts & prayers to Rep. Scalise, Capitol Police, staff, & everyone affected by this horrific attack.”

Handel canceled her public events for Wednesday night.

>> GOP baseball shooting: Bernie Sanders says he’s ‘sickened’ that suspect was a supporter

Ossoff described the Facebook post as “sickening.”

“I condemn this appalling act of violence committed, obviously, by a disturbed individual,” Ossoff said. “The country is united right now in our prayers for those who are fighting for their lives and our appreciation of those who saved lives.”

>> Trump offers sympathy after shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise, three others at GOP baseball practice

Hodgkinson's local newspaper, The Belleville News-Democrat, reported that he frequently wrote letters to the paper protesting against Republicans and tax policies and supporting the legalization of marijuana.

Trump’s election as president was disturbing to Hodgkinson, who had also traveled recently to Washington to participate in protests, his brother told The New York Times.

>> Son of congressman at scene of shooting, rescued by GOP members

“I know he wasn’t happy with the way things were going, the election results and stuff,” Michael Hodgkinson said.

Hodgkinson also apparently worked as a volunteer with Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders campaign and filed a number posts on Facebook opposing Trump.

>> Which members of Congress were at the baseball park shooting? Who was injured?

Sanders responded to Wednesday’s shooting by saying he was “sickened by this despicable act.”

When asked about Hodgkinson’s Facebook post in an interview Wednesday morning, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said he was “not one to try to presume what the motivations are.”

>> Shooting at GOP event: Rep. Steve Scalise, aide shot in Virginia

“I just know that we live in an environment in which anyone who is involved in political life is subject to being attacked,” he said. “That’s something we have never anticipated, perhaps years ago, but it now becomes a reality with events like this.”

>> Read more trending news

Deal continued, “It requires all of us to be vigilant — but it’s the type of random act that no one can really prepare for.”

The same man also reportedly shared a political cartoon by Atlanta Journal-Constitution cartoonist Mike Luckovich on his Facebook account last month.

Trump, first lady make surprise visit to hospital where Scalise being treated

On Wednesday night, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump made an unannounced visit to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., is being treated for a gunshot wound, the Washington Post and other news outlets are reporting.

>> PHOTOS: Congressional baseball practice shooting

The president and first lady stopped by the hospital and brought two bouquets of flowers with them, according to the New York Post

>> Shooting at GOP event: Rep. Steve Scalise, aide shot in Virginia

"He entered the room, spoke with Scalise's family and sat by his bedside with Mrs. Trump," said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

>> See the photos here

>> Read more trending news

Earlier in the day, a man opened fire on Congressional Republicans as they were practicing for the upcoming baseball game. Scalise was among those injured and was first believed to be in stable condition. However, following surgery, the hospital announced that he was in critical condition. An update from The Associated Press indicates that he will need additional operations.

>> Click here to read the tweet

Following his visit, Trump took to Twitter to give his own update on the congressman, writing, “Just left hospital. Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the truly great people, is in very tough shape – but he is a real fighter. Pray for Steve!”

>> See the tweet here

WATCH: Rand Paul, Mo Brooks recall chilling details of shooting at GOP baseball practice

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and members of his staff were among the victims of a shooting early Wednesday during GOP baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia

>> Shooting at GOP event: Rep. Steve Scalise, aide shot in Virginia

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who was also present at the practice, recounted the events to “Morning Joe.” Paul said he was in the batting cage.

"I grew up in the South, and I just thought someone had discharged a shotgun, which isn’t that unusual in the South, but then I thought, ‘We are in the city; we’re not in the country here.'”

>> Who is Steve Scalise, the Congressman who was shot this morning?

He said he saw Scalise “shot but moving, trying to drag himself out of the dirt into the outfield.”

Paul said he “wasn’t sure where the shots were coming from.” He said he heard “50 to 60 shots” before the Capitol Hill police responded.

>> Click here to watch

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., also at the practice and told CNN that he was “on deck, about to hit batting practice” when the shots rang out.

>> What is the Congressional Baseball Game?

“I look around, and I see a rifle and I see a little bit of a body," he said. "Then I hear another ‘blam,’ and I realize there’s an active shooter.”

>> Read more trending news

Brooks ran to the dugout, where a number of people were laying on the ground. The congressman then used his belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding from a staffer’s leg. Brooks heard another shot and looked up to see one of the members of their security detail firing back at the shooter with a pistol.

>> Watch the interview here

Secret Service says it has no Trump 'tapes' of White House conversations

According to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed with the Secret Service by the Wall Street Journal, the Secret Service says it has no record of transcripts or recordings — “tapes” — having to do with President Donald Trump or the current administration.

>> Trump won’t say if tapes of Comey conversations exist

The news comes after Trump last month implied there may be “tapes” of his conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey.

>> See the tweet here

A letter returned to the Wall Street Journal reads as follows: “In response to your request, the Secret Service has conducted a reasonable search for responsive records […] It appears, from a review of Secret Service’s main indices, that there are no records pertaining to your request that are referenced in these indices.”

>> Read more trending news

If they existed, those recordings — or merely their presence — would likely be subject to the Presidential Records Act, a 1981 law which requires the preservation of all presidential records unless the president and the Archivist of the United States deem them not to have “administrative, historical, informational, or evidentiary value.”

It’s possible that there are tapes that could not be accessed by filing a FOIA request, or that Trump’s tapes could be in the possession of another agency.

The Secret Service was asked because it has traditionally been the agency to maintain White House recording systems.

Ivanka Trump says she wasn't expecting 'level of viciousness' toward father

First daughter Ivanka Trump got more than she feels she bargained for when her father won the presidential election.

Making a Monday morning appearance on “Fox & Friends,” Trump spoke of the administration’s plans to address the working class. She then noted that she didn’t expect such negativity toward her father after his win:

>> See the clip here

“It is hard,” she said. “There’s a level of viciousness that I was not expecting. I wasn’t expecting the intensity of this experience, but this isn’t supposed to be easy.”

>> Read more trending news

Trump also said, “I think some of the distractions and some of the ferocity, I was a little blindsided by on a personal level.”

Critics say the level of vitriol should come as no surprise considering the president's behavior.

More of Trump’s interview can be viewed below:

Congressman introduces ‘COVFEFE Act,’ law to make Trump’s tweets official record

Remember “covfefe,” the now-deleted infamous presidential Twitter typo (he meant to type “press coverage”) that drove the internet into a craze last month?

Well, thanks to Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), the term is back and made its way to the House floor Monday as an acronym for new legislation that would nationally archive President Donald Trump’s personal tweets as official presidential record.

>> Read more trending news

Under the introduced legislation, presidential tweets would be sent straight to the National Archives and the deletion of tweets from the Twitter account would be a violation of the PRA subject to “disciplinary action.”

Related: Sean Spicer's simple response to Trump's ‘covfefe’ tweet

“President Trump’s frequent, unfiltered use of his personal Twitter account as a means of official communication is unprecedented,” Quigley said in a statement. “If the President is going to take to social media to make sudden public policy proclamations, we must ensure that these statements are documented and preserved for future reference. Tweets are powerful, and the President must be held accountable for every post.”

Related: What's a #covfefe? After late-night Trump tweet, social media weighs in

Though the current language of the PRA lists any form of “electronic communication” as worthy of officially documenting and archiving, social media isn’t explicitly spelled out in the law.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told the media last week the president’s tweets should be taken as official presidential statements.

Related: ‘Covfefe’ license tag ordered in Arizona

This is Quigley’s second bill with a tongue-in-cheek jab at the president. In March, he introduced the Make Access Records Available to Lead Government Openness Act (the MAR-A-LAGO Act), which would require public visitor logs for locations where either the president or vice president conduct official business, including logs at Trump’s resorts.

According to The Washington Post, Trump’s trips to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida cost taxpayers nearly $10 million in his first month in office.

Teen says his pro-Trump shirt was censored in school yearbook photo

A 17-year-old from Wall Township, New Jersey, is speaking out after he took a look at the yearbook and saw that the Trump T-shirt he wore on picture day was Photoshopped out.

Grant Berardo said he wore the shirt in his yearbook photo for Wall Township High School because he was too young to vote for President Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but he wanted to show his support.

This is what the shirt actually looks like.

“It was Photoshopped,” Grant said in an interview with the Asbury Park Press. “I sent it to my mom and dad, just like, ‘You won’t believe this.’ I was just overall disappointed. I like Trump, but it’s history, too. Wearing that shirt memorializes the time.”

Wall Schools Superintendent Cheryl Dyer said she is “quite disturbed by the entire situation.” The photo company, Jostens, did not comment. Whether a school employee or the photo company was responsible for the edit decision remains to be seen.

>> Read more trending news

The school says political shirts are not a dress code violation.

The teen’s father, Joseph Berardo Jr., called it “censorship” and believes “it was probably politically motivated.”

The father wondered what kind of message this sends to someone interested in politics before they can vote.

“What are you doing? Don’t you go to school to debate this stuff – at the collegiate level, at the high school level,” he asked. “What’s frustrating to me is that this was the first election he took interest in, but what message did the school send?”

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