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OnPolitics Today: A paid-off porn star, a doctored email and a Rob Porter investigation  1 Week ago

Source: USA Today  

Yes, President Trump's lawyer paid off a porn star. Yes, Trump's ex-staffer will now be investigated after allegations of domestic abuse. Yes, Trump's VA chief misused taxpayer funds to fly his wife to Europe.

But the day's political headlines became insignificant in the wake of Florida's tragedy: A shooting at a Miami-area high school left 17 dead on Wednesday — the sixth school shooting of the year. It's only February.

This is OnPolitics Today. You can subscribe here.

As news of another tragedy rippled into Washington, leaders responded as you might expect: For something to change, Democratic lawmakers said, something needs to change, namely gun laws. President Trump issued a tweet of "prayers and condolences," as he did after attacks in Dallas, England and France.

"My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting," Trump tweeted. "No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school."

A user name Kerry Burns responded.

"We are talking about spending billions to build a wall to protect us," he said, "but we can't even protect our kids in high school."

Trump's personal lawyer issued a carefully worded statement late Tuesday claiming he used "my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000" to the adult film star known as Stormy Daniels, who claimed Trump had an affair with her. What the lawyer, Michael Cohen, didn't say is who made the payoff, watchdogs noted: While Cohen denied that Trump's business and campaign were involved, he said nothing about the direct involvement of Trump himself. Cohen and the White House didn't immediately respond to requests for clarification from USA TODAY.

The House Oversight Committee's Republican chairman launched an inquiry into how now-former White House staff secretary Rob Porter laid eyes on classified documents that reached Trump's desk for over a year without getting a permanent security clearance. The chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy, also wants to know who in Trump's White House knew about allegations of domestic abuse raised by two of Porter's ex-wives during a background check last year.

Investigators found that Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin misused taxpayer resources during a trip to Europe last year. His chief of staff doctored an email to make it look like Shulkin was getting honored during a 10-day trip, the inquiry found, letting him expense his wife's flights. Shulkin got Wimbledon tickets from a woman he called a friend. They had only met three times. Shulkin, in an interview with USA TODAY, said he "relied upon my staff to do this," and should have asked more questions.

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