FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
January 27, 2016
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump may not be the most religious candidate in the GOP field, but a new Pew Research Center poll out Wednesday suggests evangelicals are willing to vote for him anyway.

The poll reveals that just 5 percent of Republicans view Trump as very religious, compared to fellow Republicans Ben Carson with 47 percent, Ted Cruz with 30 percent, and Marco Rubio with 20 percent. Even Hillary Clinton is seen as more religious, with 10 percent.

Yet, in what Time calls a break with an old "political rule" that "only devout candidates can attract religious voters," Trump tied with Carson in first for the highest share of white evangelical voters who see him as a good leader.

"Many Republicans think Trump would be a good president despite his perceived lack of religiousness," Pew reports. "The pattern is very different for other leading GOP candidates; virtually all Republicans who think Cruz, Rubio, and Carson would be successful presidents (and who express a view about their religiousness) also say they view those candidates as at least somewhat religious."

The poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points, comes a day after evangelical leader and Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. endorsed Trump. Becca Stanek

10:31 p.m. ET
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Authorities say on Sunday afternoon a North Carolina man walked into a Washington, D.C., pizza parlor that has been the subject of a false conspiracy theory and fired at least one shot.

Police have identified the suspect as Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, of Salisbury, North Carolina. He allegedly walked into Comet Ping Pong carrying an assault rifle, and pointed the firearm in the direction of an employee, police said. The employee was able to run away, and notified authorities. After firing at least one shot, Welch was arrested without incident, and told police he was there to "self-investigate" Pizza Gate, a bizarre fake story that spread across the internet before the election, claiming that Comet Ping Pong was the epicenter of a child sex slave ring organized by Hillary Clinton and her former campaign manager, CBS News reports. Authorities found two firearms inside the building, as well as an additional weapon inside Welch's vehicle. He has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

Owner James Alefantis said he believes the story was started because he was a Clinton supporter. Over the past several months, he has received thousands of threats, and in late November, police found two women on the Comet Ping Pong patio who said they were looking for underground tunnels used to transport children "so they can do these rituals," adding that they were "putting a lot of curses and spells over the city." Catherine Garcia

9:30 p.m. ET
Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Calling it the "hardest decision I've ever made," New Zealand Prime Minister John Key surprised his country Monday by announcing he is resigning.

After eight years on the job, he cited family reasons for his decision; The New Zealand Herald reports his wife, Bronagh, requested that he step down, and during his announcement, he said his children have had to deal with an "extraordinary level of intrusion." He won his third term in 2014, and said he doesn't know what he will do next. Now, the National Party has to hold a caucus to select a new prime minister, with Bill English, deputy prime minister, likely to take over in the meantime. Catherine Garcia

8:58 p.m. ET
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced early Monday that he will turn in his formal resignation to President Sergio Mattarella later in the day, following a heavy defeat in his referendum on constitutional reforms.

Renzi said he took "full responsibility" for the loss, adding, "We gave the Italians an opportunity to change, but we didn't succeed." Renzi took office two-and-a-half-years ago promising to be an anti-establishment "demolition man," and the referendum was designed to reduce the powers of the upper house Senate and regional authorities in order to quicken the legislative process.

Renzi was up against every major opposition party, and early projections showed him only having slightly more than 40 percent of the vote. Mattarella will select a new prime minister, Italy's fifth in as many years, with elections not scheduled until 2018. As Renzi made his resignation announcement, the euro fell to a 20-month low. Catherine Garcia

5:13 p.m. ET
Jim Watson/Getty Images

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Sunday announced it will not grant an easement permitting construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline under North Dakota's Lake Oahe, the Missouri River reservoir which has led to months of protests organized by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

"Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it's clear that there's more work to do," said Army Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy. "The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing."

The federal government also ordered the protesters to leave their main camp by Monday, though authorities do not plan to forcibly remove the protesters if they refuse to go voluntarily. The Corps will now conduct an environmental impact review to determine if the proposed pipeline can be rerouted so it does not cross the Missouri. Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the oil pipeline, did not immediately comment on the news. Bonnie Kristian

12:51 p.m. ET

Once in office, President-elect Donald Trump will decide whether to interfere with companies considering outsourcing 'on a day-by-day basis," Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Sunday. "He is going to put on the table all the tools that are going to take away the advantages of companies that for far too long have been pulling up stakes, leaving American workers behind," Pence explained while speaking with ABC News. "We're going to create trade policies that take away the advantages that these multinational corporations have had in moving jobs overseas now for decades."

Trump himself sent out a series of tweets on the issue Sunday morning, promising a 35 percent tax to discourage would-be outsourcers. "Please be forewarned prior to making a very expensive mistake!" Trump concluded. "THE UNITED STATES IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS" — you know, like the Hotel California.

Watch Pence's comments in context beginning around the 4:40 mark in the video below. Bonnie Kristian

12:26 p.m. ET
Ty Wright/Getty Images

Leon Panetta — former defense secretary, CIA director, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and White House chief of staff — said in an interview on CBS' Face the Nation Sunday that President-elect Donald Trump needs to be better informed. Responding to reports that Trump is skipping most intelligence briefings, Panetta said he is concerned Trump does not have the knowledge he needs to make wise decisions once in office.

As president, "you can have a lot of bright people and they can present you a lot of options. But unless you've taken the time as president to understand those issues, to read into those issues, to understand the consequences of those issues, you cannot just rely on others to tell you what you should or shouldn't do," Panetta said. "Every president I know, and I worked under nine presidents, every one has taken their intelligence daily brief because that sets the agenda for what you have to focus on as president of the United States."

Also on Face the Nation, Trump's chief of staff pick, Reince Priebus, said the new president is "certainly informed." "He's getting briefed and it feels like every day," Priebus said. "I'm not sure if it is every day, but it's a lot. Bonnie Kristian

11:55 a.m. ET
Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

The death toll of a fire at a warehouse dance party in Oakland, California, late Friday night has reached 24 people, officials said Sunday, up from an initial count of nine bodies. About 15 people believed to have been in the building remain missing, and fire crews are slowly searching the rest of the badly damaged structure.

Many people who were killed or injured in the blaze had difficulty escaping the warehouse, described as a labyrinth of artists' workspaces and illegal dwellings. The main staircase to the upper floor, where the party was held, was flimsy and unreliable, while another staircase ended at a boarded-up door.

"If you were not familiar with the building and the way that it was," said Danielle Boudreaux, a former friend of the building's owner, "if you were going there for a party, you wouldn't be aware of the maze that you have to go through to get out." Only about 20 percent of the building has been explored by rescue workers so far, and more bodies are expected to be discovered soon. Bonnie Kristian

See More Speed Reads