Scott Detrow

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It sounds like the White House might not be kicking back on this Memorial Day.

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President Donald Trump had some harsh words for Iran, and this was just in time for his arrival in Israel.

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein knew President Trump planned to fire FBI Director Jim Comey before he sat down to write a memo criticizing Comey's conduct.

That's according to several United States senators who met with Rosenstein Thursday afternoon in a secure room in the Capitol basement.

"He knew that Comey was going to be removed prior to writing his memo," Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill told reporters after the briefing.

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If the giant inflatable Trump chicken outside New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur's town hall didn't make it clear — or the group of people singing health care-themed protest songs; or the Affordable Care Act cemetery; or even the plane circling overhead trailing an anti-MacArthur message — an early moment in the Republican's constituent town hall provided a sign this was going to be a long, contentious night.

That's when several people in the Willingboro, N.J., crowd started to boo and jeer when MacArthur talked about his daughter, Grace, who died at age 11.

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FBI Director James Comey is out. But the investigations into Russian meddling continue.

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Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET.

With the clock ticking, Congress on Friday managed to fulfill its basic function — keeping the federal government running.

The House and Senate approved a short-term measure that funds the government for another week. Lawmakers voted hours ahead of a midnight deadline to avoid a partial shutdown of federal agencies.

Friday's extension gives members of Congress more time — until midnight on May 5 — to try to reach a deal on a spending bill that will last through the rest of fiscal year 2017, which ends Sept. 30.

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And now let's turn to NPR's Scott Detrow, who's covering this and many other stories.

Hi, Scott.

SCOTT DETROW, BYLINE: Morning, Steve.

Things were going well for the Democrats in Miami.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., hadn't exactly sold out the downtown theater they were campaigning in, but the audience was solid and energetic.

The anti-DNC catcalls that had plagued early stops on the uneasy allies' weeklong unity tour hadn't surfaced. And both Perez and Sanders had delivered fiery speeches that had pumped up the crowd in a key city of a critical swing state.

Sanders was shaking hands with supporters as David Bowie's "Starman" blared.

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We now have a preview of the 2018 elections when all House seats are up, including some vulnerable Republicans in California. Here's NPR's Scott Detrow.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET.

Forty-one Democratic senators have now publicly announced that they will vote against ending debate this week on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. That means Republicans cannot at this time clear the 60-vote threshold needed to proceed to an up-or-down vote on the nomination. It also sets up an historic vote to end the Senate's filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominees.

Lawmakers from both parties are increasingly convinced that the United States Senate is on a collision course that will permanently change the dynamics of the chamber — and the United States Supreme Court.

There's a growing bipartisan sadness and resignation about next week's showdown over the rules that govern high court nominations. But that doesn't mean there's any serious attempt from either party to avoid it.

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It is Day 3 for Judge Neil Gorsuch and the confirmation hearing that will determine whether he becomes the next justice to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. Gorsuch spent nearly 12 hours yesterday answering questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democrats on the committee have been doing what they can to grill the judge. Although, at this point, it appears there's little they can do to stop him from getting on the high court. NPR's Scott Detrow has been following the hearings, and he joins us in our studio. Hi, Scott.

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The director of the FBI, James Comey, told lawmakers this morning that his agency is investigating possible links between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russia.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

"This is the chance. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said the speaker, roving the stage with a wireless mic, gesturing at both the audience in front of him and the PowerPoint presentation behind him.

TED Talk? Late-night infomercial? Nope — it was House Speaker Paul Ryan, making a hard pitch for his health care plan after a week of loud conservative criticism.

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