Donald Trump

Updated at 4:56 p.m. ET

Peril from foreign interference in American elections will persist through the 2020 presidential race, former special counsel Robert Mueller warned on Wednesday.

Asked whether Russia would attempt to attack future U.S. elections, as it did in 2016, Mueller replied: "They're doing it as we sit here."

Mueller didn't detail a prescription for how he believes Congress or the United States should respond, but he recommended generally that intelligence and law enforcement agencies should work together.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

One week ago, President Trump said in a tweet that four Democratic freshman Congresswomen "go back" and "help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came." All of the representatives are U.S. citizens. Three were born here. 

Democrats widely criticized the tweets. Republicans mostly stayed silent. Trump denied the comments were racist.

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

Former special counsel Robert Mueller is appearing today in two separate hearings before the House judiciary and intelligence committees. Though Mueller has said his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election is his testimony, lawmakers have insisted that he testify in person.

The House judiciary and intelligence committees have scheduled hearings for 8:30 a.m. and noon.

The Trump administration wants to change the way states determine who qualifies for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits, also known as food stamps. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 3 million people would lose their food assistance as a result.

The Trump administration is planning changes to the U.S. citizenship test. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says it is revising the test to ensure that "it continues to serve as an accurate measure of a naturalization applicant's civics knowledge."

The racist rhetoric from President Trump attacking four freshmen Democratic women, who he tweeted should "go back" to their countries of origin, escalated Wednesday night at his campaign rally in North Carolina.

"Send her back," the crowd chanted, during a riff in which the president criticized Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Somali-born American citizen from Minnesota.

President Trump is showing no signs of dialing back what Democrats are calling a "blatantly racist attack" on four members of Congress, who are all women of color. Trump is accusing the "squad" of "radical Democrats" of hating America and has said they should "go back" to where they came from.

Updated at 9:20 p.m. ET

Congress has delayed testimony by former special counsel Robert Mueller one week to permit lawmakers to get more time to question him, committee leaders said on Friday.

Mueller had been scheduled to appear on the morning of July 17 before the House Judiciary Committee and then that afternoon before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

That was put on hold after grumbling by some members of Congress over the rules of procedure for the sessions.

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is stepping down after criticism over his role in a nonprosecution deal reached years ago with the well-connected businessman accused of sex crimes, Jeffrey Epstein.

Acosta appeared on Friday at the White House with President Trump and announced his resignation.

"I do not think it is fair for this administration's Labor Department to have Epstein as its focus rather than the incredible economy we have today," Acosta said. "The right thing was to step aside."

Updated at 6:55 p.m. ET

President Trump announced Thursday he would sign an executive order to obtain data about the U.S. citizenship and noncitizenship status of everyone living in the United States.

In a Rose Garden ceremony, Trump said he would drop efforts to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census. Instead, his executive order will direct all U.S. agencies to provide the Department of Commerce all information they have on U.S. citizenship, noncitizenship and immigration status.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

President Trump on Thursday announced he is directing his administration to explore all regulatory and legislation solutions to "protect the free speech of all Americans."

Trump, speaking to conservative social media personalities at a White House "summit," said big tech "must not censor the voices of the American people."

"We're not going to be silenced," he said. Trump complained that people have been unable to follow him on some social media platforms. "People come up to me and say 'Sir, I can't follow you.' "

Even from the beginning, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump had a complicated relationship.

In 1989, McConnell was running for reelection to the Senate. As he once told a Senate committee, the reason he and other lawmakers spent much of their time fundraising was because "we like to win."

Facing a backlash, Home Depot sought to distance itself from billionaire co-founder Bernie Marcus after he pledged to back President Trump's bid for re-election in 2020.

Calls to boycott the retailer took off this week on social media as news spread that Marcus told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution late last month that he plans to support Trump's bid for another term.

Facing a House of Representatives controlled by Democrats who are issuing document demands and subpoenas, President Trump's White House counsel's office grew its payroll by nearly a third, newly released records reveal.

From 2018 to 2019, the counsel's office added 10 people.

Updated at 2:47 p.m. ET

President Trump is standing by Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, at least for now.

Acosta is facing calls for his resignation after new sex trafficking charges were filed against multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein on Monday.

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