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

6:35 p.m.

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. says he has been asked to lead a presidential task force on higher education reform.

Falwell told The Associated Press he spoke with Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s senior strategist, on Tuesday about the role. He says the details of the task force are still being sorted out, but the aim will be “to get the government off the backs of higher education.”

Falwell says he is scheduled to discuss the task force with Trump Wednesday.

Falwell was an early supporter of the president. He told the AP in November that Trump offered him the job of education secretary but he turned it down for personal reasons, including not wanting to relocate his family. He said Tuesday that nominee Betsy DeVos was a great choice.


5:25 p.m.

Elaine Chao has been sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence as the next transportation secretary following her Senate confirmation.

Chao served as labor secretary for eight years under President George W. Bush. She is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. McConnell attended the swearing-in ceremony.

Chao is expected to take a leading role in President Donald Trump’s goal of investing $1 trillion in infrastructure to improve highways, rail service and bridges.

Chao was deputy transportation secretary under President George H.W. Bush.


3:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump has delayed signing an executive order aimed at strengthening cybersecurity.

Trump had been expected to sign the order in the Oval Office on Tuesday afternoon. It’s unclear what’s behind the delay.

A White House official said Tuesday the order would charge the head of the Office of Management and Budget with assessing the security risk to computer networks across the executive branch of government.

The official said the order also directs agency heads to develop plans to modernize information technology infrastructure.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the executive order hadn’t been publicly released.

-By Jill Colvin


2:25 p.m.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is insisting President Donald Trump’s immigration order should not be referred to as a travel “ban.” That’s despite the fact the president has called it that himself.

Spicer says during a press briefing that, “When we use words like travel ban that misrepresents what it is.” He says “a ban would mean people can’t get in.”

Trump’s policy bars the entry of nationals from seven majority-Muslim countries for 90 days and temporarily suspends the country’s refugee program.

Trump himself referred to his order as “the ban” in a Monday tweet.

Spicer says Trump was only using the media’s words.


2 p.m.

President Donald Trump has offered condolences to the family of a Navy sailor who was killed during a weekend raid on an al-Qaida base in Yemen.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer says Trump had a “somber and lengthy” conversation with relatives of Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens.

Owens, who was from Peoria, Illinois, died Saturday of wounds suffered during the raid. Owens is the first known U.S. military combat casualty since Trump took office on Jan. 20.

Spicer says Owens was on his 12th deployment. Spicer says the debt of gratitude that is owed to Owens can never be repaid.

Three other service members were wounded during the firefight with militants from al-Qaida.


1:40 p.m.

San Francisco is suing President Donald Trump, claiming an executive order over immigrant-protecting “sanctuary cities” is unconstitutional and a severe invasion of the city’s sovereignty.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday says Trump is trying to coerce local authorities into abandoning sanctuary city laws and policies, which San Francisco has adopted.

The president signed an order last week to withdraw funding from sanctuary cities that decline to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. It didn’t specify what kind of money could be pulled.

San Francisco receives about $1.2 billion a year in federal funding. The suit argues that the city is safer when all people, including those in the country illegally, feel safe reporting crimes.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera says the order violates state’s rights as well as the rule of law.


12:20 p.m.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is defending his staff’s work on President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugees and immigration while insisting they had no final say on the policy.

In a statement Tuesday, Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia said he proudly allowed his staff to provide expertise to the Trump transition team. But while they gave advice, Goodlatte said they didn’t have authority to make decisions on the policy. That was made that highest levels of the administration, he said.

Goodlatte said his staff “had no control of the language” in the executive order, its timing or the rollout.

The lawmaker said he supports the policy.


10:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is planning to sign an executive order aimed at strengthening cybersecurity.

A White House official said Tuesday that the order will charge the Trbet head of the Office of Management and Budget with assessing security risk to computer networks across the executive branch of government.

The official said the order also directs agency heads to develop plans to modernize information technology infrastructure.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the executive order hadn’t been publicly released.


10:15 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has given a strong defense of President Donald Trump’s refugee and immigration ban.

That’s the word from Republicans who attended a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning. Lawmakers said Ryan told them he backs the order, which has created chaos and confusion worldwide.

Ryan cautioned lawmakers that support won’t be easy and warned them to expect protests in their districts.

Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee said Ryan told GOP members that the “the rollout was a little bumpy, been a few potholes in the road but the actual policy he agreed with.”

Ryan said it was similar to legislation that the House backed in 2014.


9:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he wants to lower drug prices and bring pharmaceutical companies back to the United States.

Trump is meeting with drug company executives at the White House Tuesday. He says “we’re going to be changing a lot of the rules” and promises to end “global freeloading.”

He is also vowing to reduce the prices of Medicare and Medicaid.

Among the attendees were executives from the drug companies Novatis, Merck, Worldwide Pharmaceuticals-Johnson & Johnson and Amgen.

Trump is promising the group that he will soon name a “fantastic person” to head the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


9:45 a.m.

Democrats say President Donald Trump should stop the name calling.

In a tweet Tuesday, Trump mocked congressional leaders who protested at the Supreme Court on Monday night against the new executive order on refugees and immigration.

Trump tweeted: “Nancy Pelosi and Fake Tears Chuck Schumer held a rally at the steps of The Supreme Court and mic did not work (a mess)-just like Dem party!”

Matt House, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Schumer, said Trump should learn that name calling is not going to solve the self-inflicted problems of the Trump administration. House said Trump should repeal the executive order halting the entire U.S. refugee program and banning all entries from seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days.

Schumer became emotional this past weekend at a news conference on the refugee issues.


7 a.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump will leave intact a 2014 executive order that protects federal workers from anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

In a statement released early Tuesday, the White House says Trump “is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community” and that he “continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election.”

The Trump administration has vowed to roll back much of President Barack Obama’s work from the past eight years and had been scrutinizing the 2014 order. The directive protects people from LGBTQ discrimination while working for federal contractors.

The recent statement says the protections will remain intact “at the direction” of Trump.


6:05 a.m.

The Trump administration has named a new acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Thomas Homan, who was in charge of the agency’s enforcement and removal operations, has been named acting director. The agency’s Twitter account says that Daniel Ragsdale, who had been temporarily in charge, is returning to his previous position as deputy director of ICE.

Both men are longtime career employees.

The administration didn’t offer any explanation for the move announced late Monday, the same day that President Donald Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates for publicly declining to defend Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in announcing the change that Homan had led efforts “to identify, arrest, detain, and remove illegal aliens.” The statement didn’t make any mention of Ragsdale.


3:50 a.m.

In an extraordinary public showdown, President Donald Trump fired the acting attorney general of the United States after she publicly questioned the constitutionality of his refugee and immigration ban and refused to defend it in court.

The clash Monday night between Trump and Sally Yates, a career prosecutor and Democratic appointee, laid bare the growing discord and dissent surrounding an executive order that halted the entire U.S. refugee program and banned all entries from seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days. The firing also served as a warning to other administration officials that Trump is prepared to terminate those who refuse to carry out his orders.

Yates’ refusal to defend the executive order was largely symbolic given that Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for attorney general, will almost certainly defend the policy once he’s sworn in. He’s expected to be confirmed Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee and could be approved within days by the full Senate.


This version corrects Daniel Ragsdale’s standing with the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. After temporarily being put in charge of ICE, he is returning to his previous position as deputy director there.

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.