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January 27, 2016
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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

2:09 a.m. ET

On Sunday's State of the Union, CNN's Jake Tapper asked Full Frontal's Samantha Bee about comedy in the age of President Trump. She called doing her show a form of "catharsis," of trying to make sense of Trump's America. But "we always lean in the direction of funny," she said. "When you're doing topical comedy like this, you really are walking a razor's edge, and you don't want to drop over into the activism side of things too often — you don't really want to do that at all. So we always err on the side of comedy and hope that everything works out."

"You have been cited as part — not part of the reason why Hillary lost, but part of the problem, part of liberal America's problem," Tapper said, citing specifically a Ross Douthat column in The New York Times, "Hillary Clinton's Samantha Bee Problem." Bee joked that she's flattered by the attention, but she doesn't see any evidence. "It's one person's opinion, one wonderful chap who I'd love to have on the show," she said.

Tapper pulled back a bit, noting that Bee has touched on the theme in her show, "so remove yourself from it: Does he have a point about 'smug liberals?' I'm not talking about you, but is there a smug-liberal problem?" "I just can't take responsibility for the way the election turned out," Bee said. "Is there a smug liberal problem? I guess, you know, I don't think there is. I do the show for me and for people like me, and I don't care how the rest of the world sees it, quite frankly. ... We make the show for ourselves, we put it out in the world, we birth it, and then the world receives it however they want."

Bee emphatically has no plans to ever run for any office herself, she told Tapper, but if the Democrats decided to run a celebrity in 2020, "I don't know that that solves all the ills of the Democratic Party, but I'm willing to try anything."

Tapper had actually appeared for a short bit half-mocking himself at Bee's "Not The White House Correspondents' Dinner" on Saturday night. You can watch their not-terribly-different comedic interaction below. Peter Weber

1:06 a.m. ET

On Sunday's Face the Nation, President Trump told John Dickerson that he "would not be happy" if North Korea tested another nuclear weapon, but declined to say what he would do. In the interview, taped on Saturday, Dickerson asked Trump what he makes of North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un. Trump appeared to be sympathetic, as he had been in a Reuters interview last week. "I really, you know, have no comment on him," he said, continuing:

"I can tell you this, and a lot of people don't like when I say it, but he was a young man of 26 or 27 when he took over from his father, when his father died. He's dealing with obviously very tough people, in particular the generals and others. And at a very young age, he was able to assume power. A lot of people, I'm sure, tried to take that power away, whether it was his uncle or anybody else. And he was able to do it. So obviously, he's a pretty smart cookie. [Trump, to CBS News]

Some observers — noting that Kim "was able to do it" by regularly purging his government and family of perceived threats, including his uncle and half-brother — viewed that assessment of Kim as of a piece with Trump's evident admiration for authoritarian leaders, citing his warm words for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, among others, plus his verbal attacks on perceived domestic critics like the media, the courts, and the "archaic" rules of Congress.

Dickerson had a different theory on Sunday. "You can imagine that what the president is trying to do is send a little message there, make a little connection with the North Korean leader as a way of de-escalating," he said. "If there is going to be de-escalation, it is going to require a certain saving-of-face for the North Korean leader, and the respect that the president's comments displayed there could be a part of creating an off-ramp to get away from the tensions what we're seeing now." Watch below. Peter Weber

April 30, 2017

After 42 years of writing letters back and forth, George Ghossn and Lori Gertz were finally able to update each other on their lives in person.

Ghossn, 56, lives in East Islip, New York, and Gertz, 54, resides in San Diego. Gertz planned on taking her son to visit Hofstra University near Ghossn's house, and she wanted to get to see him face to face. For years, he was too "superstitious" to meet, but this time, he agreed, and in the lobby of a Red Roof Inn on April 11, the friends were finally in the same room. "We just hugged and we cried," Ghossn said. "It was very emotional after all the years."

They were brought together through a chain letter, which they kept up by writing a letter to each other once a month. When they were younger, the letters were rather simple, but as they became older, they often discussed serious topics; in 2006, Ghossn wrote a note to Gertz on the back of a napkin while flying to his mother's funeral, for example. "That just blew my mind," Gertz told ABC News. "[It signaled] a loyalty and a deep abiding commitment to our relationship that I'd never had with anybody. Anybody." Ghossn and Gertz have kept all of the letters they received, evidence of a deep friendship that they both stressed was never romantic. Ghossn, whose parents and brothers have all died, views Gertz as a sister, while she told ABC News, "I love George. George is a staple in my life. My whole family knows George ... it's my longest relationship that I've had with anybody. It's beautiful." The two left their meeting knowing they would continue to write. Catherine Garcia

April 30, 2017
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On Sunday evening, leaders in Congress reached an agreement to fund the government through the end of September, congressional aides told Politico.

The deal includes $1.5 billion for border security, $2 billion in new spending for the National Institutes of Health, and extends health insurance benefits for coal miners that were set to expire on Friday. The agreement does not include any funding for a border wall with Mexico. Democrats and Republicans were unable to reach a final deal last week, due to a disagreement over funding Medicaid in Puerto Rico through the end of summer 2018. On Friday, Congress passed a stopgap bill to keep the government funded through May 5, avoiding a shutdown. Catherine Garcia

April 30, 2017
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Former Vice President Joe Biden told a crowd of Democrats in New Hampshire Sunday that he will not be running for president in 2020.

Biden was at the state's Democratic Party dinner, honoring the country's first all-female, all-Democratic congressional delegation, The Associated Press reports. By going to the state that holds the first presidential primary election, Biden said he knew it "was going to cause speculation. Guys, I'm not running." The crowd responded by booing.

While he's not going to throw his hat in the ring, Biden said he is planning on raising money and campaigning to get Democrats elected. He also urged politicians of all stripes to start talking and get things done together. "I know it seems like we're hopelessly divided," he said. "I know it feels like we're hopelessly stuck in a political death match and we can't figure out how to get out of it. But we are better than that. I've always believed that we're strongest when we act as one America." Catherine Garcia

April 30, 2017

First Lt. Weston Lee, a 25-year-old with the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, died Saturday in Mosul, Iraq, from wounds he sustained after an improvised explosive device was detonated near him while on patrol, the Pentagon announced Sunday.

Lee, from Bluffton, Georgia, joined the Army in March 2015, and was a platoon leader. He was deployed to Iraq in December 2016. Col. Pat Work, the commander of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, called Lee "an extraordinary young man and officer. He was exactly the type of leader that our paratroopers deserve." The Army said Lee has posthumously been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, and Meritorious Service Medal. Catherine Garcia

April 30, 2017
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Sebastian Gorka, a deputy assistant to President Trump and member of the Strategic Initiatives Group, is expected to leave the White House soon, several administration officials told CNN.

Gorka, a former national security editor for Breitbart, reportedly took an oath of loyalty to a Hungarian order that the State Department says was "under the direction of the Nazi government of Germany"; Gorka denies ever being a member of Vitézi Rend or taking an oath of loyalty to the group.

Gorka first started working with the Trump campaign in 2015. One senior administration official told the Washington Examiner Gorka is taking on a new job outside of the White House but at a federal agency, likely involving the "war of ideas" to counter radical Islam, but another official told CNN said it is possible he will just take on a new role inside the administration though he's most likely making a full exit because of several controversies, including the Vitézi Rend report. It has never been clear what role Gorka, a frequent guest on Fox News, played in the Trump campaign or the White House. Catherine Garcia

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