The Latest: Watchdog group says it will sue President Trump

January 23, 2017 GMT
President Donald Trump, center, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, right, arrives for a White House senior staff swearing in ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump, center, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, right, arrives for a White House senior staff swearing in ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times EST):

8:20 p.m.

A legal watchdog group says it will file a lawsuit alleging that President Donald Trump is violating the Constitution by allowing his businesses to accept payments from foreign governments.

The group says he is violating a clause in the Constitution that prohibits his businesses from receiving anything of value from foreign governments. Because he didn’t divest his businesses, they say, he is now getting gifts from foreign governments via guests and events at his hotels, leases in his buildings and real estate deals abroad.

White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks directed inquiries to Trump attorney Sheri Dillon.

Hicks says in an email: “She was very clear on this issue two weeks ago and nothing has changed; the president has no conflicts.”

The liberal-funded watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington say they planned to file the lawsuit in the Southern District of New York on Monday.


5 p.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that peace with the Palestinians “can only be negotiated directly between the two parties” and that the U.S. will work closely with Israel on that goal.

Trump and Netanyahu spoke by phone Sunday, their first conversation since Trump’s inauguration. The White House says Trump invited Netanyahu for a visit to Washington in early February.

According to the White House, the two leaders agreed to consult on a range of regional issues, including “the threats posed by Iran.” The White House says the president also affirmed his “unprecedented commitment to Israel’s security” and his administration’s focus on countering terrorism.

Netanyahu had a frosty relationship with Trump’s predecessor, former President Barack Obama, and has so far spoken favorably about the new U.S. leader.


4:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump is expected to meet with bipartisan congressional leaders at the White House Monday night.

That’s according to a person familiar with plans for the meeting.

The meeting would be Trump’s first formal meeting with Hill leaders as president. He did mingle with lawmakers at an inaugural lunch on Capitol Hill and also met with Republican leaders during the transition.

Trump’s congressional agenda includes repealing and replacing the nation’s health care law and passing tax reform. The president will also be seeking Senate support for his yet-to-be-named nominee to fill the current Supreme Court vacancy.

The person familiar with the plans insisted on anonymity in order to confirm the meeting ahead of an official announcement.

—Julie Pace


4 p.m.

President Donald Trump is singling out FBI Director James Comey at a reception to thank law enforcement offers and others that helped during his inauguration.

Trump called Comey up to where he was standing to offer a handshake and hug.

He says Comey has “become more famous than me.”

Trump was speaking in the Blue Room of the White House to law enforcement officers and other agency heads who’d helped with Friday’s festivities.

Trump thanked the officials for their work on the inauguration, saying the day was “such a success and such a safety success.”


2:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he will discuss immigration and renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement when he meets with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

The White House has said the meeting will take place Jan. 31.

Trump ran for office on a pledge to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and have Mexico pay for it. He reiterated that promise following the election, and on Sunday he said Mexico has “been terrific.”

The president is also expected to meet soon with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose country is also a partner in NAFTA.

Trump has blamed the three-nation trade pact for disadvantaging American workers and leading companies to move out of the U.S.


2:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump is telling his top advisers that they’re in the White House to “devote ourselves to the national good.”

Trump is swearing in his senior White House team during a ceremony in the East Room. He says their work isn’t about party or ideology, “it’s about serving the American people.”

Trump praised his team’s talent. But he also joked that if his advisers are not doing their jobs well, “I will let you know.”

Vice President Mike Pence joined Trump for the event and carried out the official swearing in.


2:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump has spoken with Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia to express his condolences about those killed by the powerful tornadoes that have ripped through his state.

Trump described the tornadoes as vicious and powerful during remarks in the East Room of the White House during his second full day in office.

He says he’ll be speaking with Gov. Rick Scott of Florida later this afternoon.

Deadly weather in the southeast has killed at least 15 people and injured dozens more.


1:25 p.m.

The White House says it’s at the “very beginning” of discussing plans to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The statement follows reports in Israeli media that President Donald Trump had imminent plans to announce the move.

Trump is scheduled to speak to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by telephone later Sunday.

Like many presidential candidates, Trump promised to make the embassy move. But presidents have avoided following through on that pledge in part because of concerns that it would inflame tensions in the Middle East.


11:35 a.m.

White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway says President Donald Trump will not release his tax returns, appearing to shut the door on a decades-long tradition of transparency.

Every president since 1976 has released their returns. During the campaign, Trump refused to make his filings public, saying they were under audit by the Internal Revenue Service and saying he’d release them after that review is complete.

Conway was asked Sunday about a petition on the White House website signed by more than 200,000 people calling for Trump to release his returns.

Conway told ABC’s “This Week”: “The White House response is that he’s not going to release his tax returns.”

She added: “We litigated this all through the election. People didn’t care.”

Polls show a majority of Americans want him to release the returns.


11:30 a.m.

Transportation officials in Washington say more than a million trips were taken on the city’s rail system Saturday — a tally that is hundreds of thousands more than on Inauguration Day and sets a Saturday record.

Metro tweeted Sunday that 1,001,616 trips were taken on the rail system on Saturday, the day of the Women’s March on Washington.

Metro spokesman Dan Stessel had said that on Friday, the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, just over 570,000 trips were taken on the rail system.

Saturday’s ridership number topped the previous Saturday ridership record set in 2010 on the day of the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear hosted by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. More than 825,000 trips were taken that day.