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House Democrat leaders backed off the idea of immediately launching impeachment proceedings against President Trump in an urgent conference call Monday evening, amid a growing rift among the party’s rank-and-file members, presidential contenders and committee chairs on the contentious issue.

Fox News is told by two senior sources on the conference call that even House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, an anti-Trump firebrand, told fellow Democrats that while she personally favored going forward with impeachment proceedings, she was not pushing for other members to join her.

Waters’ hesitation signaled clearly that, for the time being, any impeachment effort would struggle to gain steam. Just last week, Waters, D-Calif., took a far more aggressive tone, charging that “Congress’ failure to impeach is complacency in the face of the erosion of our democracy and constitutional norms.”

Waters also has called Attorney General Bill Barr a “lackey,” saying he was not being “respectful” to Congress. Barr held a news conference presenting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusions and has referred bluntly to the FBI surveillance of the Trump campaign as “spying,” rankling Democrats even as he said the important issue was whether the spying was properly predicated.

On the call Monday night, Waters took a more muted tone and said she was simply saying what she personally thought — not demanding impeachment proceedings.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said while she personally favored impeachment proceedings, she was not pushing for other lawmakers to join her. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said while she personally favored impeachment proceedings, she was not pushing for other lawmakers to join her. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reportedly told colleagues on the call that while the findings from Mueller’s investigation merited further review, taking the president to trial would be premature. Congress is currently on a two-week recess, and representatives are scattered across the country.

The brewing fractures in the Democrat Party were evident on the Sunday talk show circuit, as House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif, told “Fox News Sunday” that the impeachment question presented a “very difficult decision” that would take “the next couple of weeks” to determine.

TOP DEM DISMISSES POSSIBILITY OF COLLUSION FATIGUE: ‘THE RUSSIANS AREN’T GETTING TIRED’

“I’m not there yet, but I can foresee that possibly coming,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Democrats would be wise to instead focus on the upcoming presidential election.

“Obstruction of justice, if proven, would be impeachable,” New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” adding his committee would “see where the facts lead us.” Nadler issued a subpoena on Monday for documents and testimony from former White House Counsel Donald McGahn, who resisted Trump’s calls to fire Mueller, according to the special counsel’s findings.

Meanwhile, prominent progressive firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat running for president in 2020, wholeheartedly embraced the impeachment push.

Pelosi recognized the intra-party split in a letter to Democrats on Monday, ahead of the conference call.

“While our views range from proceeding to investigate the findings of the Mueller report or proceeding directly to impeachment, we all firmly agree that we should proceed down a path of finding the truth,” Pelosi wrote. “It is also important to know that the facts regarding holding the president accountable can be gained outside of impeachment hearings.”

Pelosi added: “Whether currently indictable or not, it is clear that the president has, at a minimum, engaged in highly unethical and unscrupulous behavior which does not bring honor to the office he holds.”

Mueller’s 18-month-long probe found no evidence the Trump team conspired illegally with Russians, and debunked numerous conspiracy theories that mainstream media outlets had advanced on the topic. Democrats quickly pivoted to focus on whether the president had illegally obstructed the Russia investigation — a question Mueller chose to allow Barr, the Justice Department, and Congress to address.

Fox News’ Alex Pappas, Chad Pergram, Mike Emanuel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said Monday Democrats can’t just get President Trump’s financial records “because they want to torment him” and “Congress will have to state for what purpose they want this.”

Napolitano made the comments on “America’s Newsroom” hours after Trump’s lawyers sued to block a subpoena issued by members of Congress that sought the president’s financial records.

The complaint named Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Democratic chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Peter Kenny, the chief investigative counsel of the House committee, as its plaintiffs.

“We will not allow Congressional Presidential harassment to go unanswered,” said Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president.

Earlier this month, Cummings, D-Md., said the committee would subpoena the accounting firm Mazars USA LLC for Trump’s financial information. Cummings is seeking annual statements, periodic financial reports and independent auditors reports from Mazars, as well as records of communications with Trump.

TRUMP SUES TO BLOCK DEMOCRATS’ SUBPOENA FOR FINANCIAL INFORMATION

“The question is if the subpoena goes from the House of Representatives to a third party to his accountants can the president jump in the middle of that and seek to quash the subpoena? The answer is yes,” said Napolitano.

He added, “The complaint actually asks the court to second- guess Congress’s motivation and courts are reluctant to do that because the courts and the Congress are equal branches of government. They don’t get in the business of second-guessing the motivation of either. However, Congress has to have a legitimate legislative purpose for wanting the president’s tax returns and financial records. They can’t just get them because he’s the president and because his predecessors have exposed this type of material about themselves and they can’t just get them because they want to torment him. They have to have a legitimate purpose.”

“So Congress will have to answer this complaint, establish a purpose, it doesn’t have to be a purpose directly out of the Constitution, it could be something tangentially related to what Congress does that’ll probably suffice. But, if they can’t show that purpose, then they’re going to lose. Then the subpoena will be quashed,” Napolitano said.

In the suit on Monday, Trump’s lawyers ask the court to declare the subpoena “invalid and unenforceable.” It also asks for a “permanent injunction quashing Chairman Cummings’ subpoena.”

HOUSE OVERSIGHT CHAIRMAN WILL SUBPOENA TRUMP’S ACCOUNTANT

Trump’s suit also asks for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction prohibiting Mazars from producing the requested information.

“Congress will have to state for what purpose they want this,” said Napolitano adding, “Once they state something even related to a congressional purpose, the court, I think, will allow this to go through.”

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The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta, a 2014 appointee of then-President Barack Obama.

Fox News’ Alex Pappas, John Roberts and Bill Mears contributed to this report.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has unequivocally stated her opposition to launching impeachment proceedings against President Trump, calling it “divisive” and “just not worth it.”

But the top House Democrat is now facing mounting pressure from those inside her party who say Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s newly released report lays the groundwork in Congress for impeachment proceedings. Things could come to a head late Monday afternoon, when Pelosi is set to hold a conference call with House Democrats to discuss Mueller’s findings.

MUELLER REPORT IGNITES NEW DEM BATTLE OVER IMPEACHMENT

In a letter to Democratic colleagues on Monday, Pelosi acknowledged the split in the party.

“While our views range from proceeding to investigate the findings of the Mueller report or proceeding directly to impeachment, we all firmly agree that we should proceed down a path of finding the truth,” Pelosi said. “It is also important to know that the facts regarding holding the president accountable can be gained outside of impeachment hearings.”

Pelosi, in her letter, called for being able to read the “full Mueller Report” without redactions so Congress “can make our decision on how to proceed.”

A growing number of prominent Democrats are calling for the House to seek impeachment: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is running for president, on Friday urged Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump. Another outspoken Democrat, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, announced last week she’ll sign onto Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s, D-Mich., resolution urging the House Judiciary Committee to probe whether Trump committed impeachment-level offenses.

Pelosi’s top lieutenants in the House appear to be straddling the fence, saying during appearances on Sunday news shows they aren’t there yet on impeachment — but not ruling it out.

“I’m not there yet, but I can foresee that possibly coming,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“I think it’s a very difficult decision and we’re going to have a caucus about this over the next couple weeks to try to figure out what the best course is, not for the party, but what’s the best course for the country,” California Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“Obstruction of justice, if proven, would be impeachable,” New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” adding his committee will “see where the facts lead us.”

KELLYANNE CONWAY: TRUMP CAN’T BE IMPEACHED BY AN INVESTIGATION DEMOCRATS STARTED

The sprawling and detailed Mueller report released Thursday, while effectively clearing the president and his associates on the Russia collusion charge central to the probe, outlined a series of Trump actions that were investigated as part of the obstruction-of-justice inquiry.

Mueller did not reach a determination on that issue, but provided a cornucopia of dramatic anecdotes showing the president trying to curtail the special counsel investigation. Among other things, the report said Trump told then-White House Counsel Don McGahn in June 2017 to tell the acting attorney general that Mueller “must be removed.” McGahn refused.

Republicans have dismissed the calls for impeachment.

“Only high crimes and misdemeanors can lead to impeachment,” Trump tweeted Monday. “There were no crimes by me (No Collusion, No Obstruction), so you can’t impeach. It was the Democrats that committed the crimes, not your Republican President! Tables are finally turning on the Witch Hunt!”

During an appearance Monday at the White House’s Easter Egg Roll, Trump was asked if he’s worried about impeachment. He replied: “Not even a little bit.”

It takes a majority of House members to pass an article of impeachment. Even if the Democratic-led House were to pass impeachment articles, the GOP-controlled Senate would then vote to acquit or convict, with the latter requiring a two-thirds majority.

Fox News’ Mike Emanuel and Judson Berger contributed to this report.

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A new poll in the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House shows Sen. Bernie Sanders of neighboring Vermont leading in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The University of New Hampshire Granite State Poll also shows former Vice President Joe Biden a distant second, with South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg surging to third. And the survey, released Monday, puts Republican President Trump far ahead of his declared or potential primary rivals in New Hampshire’s GOP presidential primary, which will be held next February.

BIDEN EXPECTED TO ANNOUNCE ON WEDNESDAY

According to the poll, 30 percent of likely Democratic primary voters in the Granite State say they’d back Sanders, the independent from Vermont who’s making his second straight run for the White House. Sanders crushed eventual nominee Hillary Clinton in the state’s 2016 Democratic primary. Biden, who’s expected to launch his White House bid this week, is at 18 percent, with Buttigieg at 15 percent.

Sanders held at 26-22 percent edge over Biden in UNH’s previous poll, which was conducted in February. Buttigieg stood at just one percent in that survey.

SOME SANDERS BACKERS UPSET WITH BUTTIGIEG

“While Biden continues to garner the second most support among likely Democratic Primary voters, his share of support has fallen considerably since early 2018, while support for Sanders has remained largely steady as he has lead the field over the past year,” explained UNH pollster Andrew Smith.

The UNH survey differs from a Saint Anselm College Survey Center poll released two weeks ago. That survey indicated Biden on top, at 23 percent, with Sanders at 16 percent and Buttigieg in third at 11 percent.

THE LATEST FOX NEWS 2020 POLL

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of neighboring Massachusetts stood at 5 percent in the new UNH survey.

“Warren, while still among the top five Democratic candidates, continues to experience far less support than she enjoyed in 2017 and 2018,” Smith pointed out.

Sen. Kamala Harris of California registered at 4 percent, with Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas at 3 percent, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, and New York entrepreneur Andrew Yang at 2 percent.

Sen. Kirsten Gillbrand of New York, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Eric Swalwell of California, and Miramar, Florida Mayor Wayne Messam registered at 1 percent, with everyone else in the large field of Democratic presidential contenders at less than 1 percent.

Biden and Sanders have topped nearly every single national and early primary and caucus state poll in recent months. Name recognition is a likely contributing factor, as early polling in an election cycle is often heavily influenced by name ID.

Fifty-one percent of likely Democratic primary voters said they would like to see Biden run, with 36 percent saying they hoped the former vice president wouldn’t launch a presidential bid.

Thirty percent said Sanders is the Democratic candidate with the best chance to defeat the president in the 2020 general election, with 25 percent indicating Biden had the best shot of topping Trump.

In the GOP primary race, the poll indicates Trump enjoys 76 percent support among likely Republican primary voters, with former Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 10 percent. Kasich, a vocal critic of the president who came in second to Trump in the 2016 New Hampshire primary, is mulling a 2020 bid.

TRUMP CHALLENGER WELD ENVISIONS MCCAIN-STYLE PATH TO PRIMARY VICTORY

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who last week launched his primary challenge run against the president and immediately came to New Hampshire to campaign, stands at 5 percent support. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who’s mulling a primary challenge, stands at 1 percent. Hogan comes to New Hampshire on Tuesday to headline ‘Politics and Eggs,’ a must stop for White House hopefuls.

The Granite State Poll was conducted April 10-18 by the University of New Hampshire, with 549 randomly selected Granite State adults interviewed by live telephone operators. The survey’s sampling error for the 241 likely Democratic primary voters was plus or minus 6.3 percentage points.

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President Trump assured a child at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday that the long-promised wall is being built on the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Oh, it’s happening,” Trump told the child on the South Lawn of the White House, after the child apparently urged the president to “keep building” it. “It’s being built now.”

A LOOK AT THE STATE OF THE WALL ON THE US-MEXICO BORDER

Trump made the comments after stopping by to talk with children who were coloring cards for service members.

“Can you believe that? He’s going to be a conservative some day!” Trump said.

President Donald Trump, joined by the Easter Bunny, sings the national anthem with a member of the "The President's Own," United States Marine Band, from the Truman Balcony of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 22, 2019, during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump, joined by the Easter Bunny, sings the national anthem with a member of the “The President’s Own,” United States Marine Band, from the Truman Balcony of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 22, 2019, during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

NEW MEXICO MILITIA DETAINS MIGRANTS AT GUNPOINT UNTIL BORDER PATROL ARRIVES

Trump has vowed since running for president to build a border wall to deter illegal immigration. He has struggled to secure funding from Congress to build new walls, though existing fencing on the border has been replaced during his presidency.

Earlier this year, Trump declared a national emergency to free up billions to use for the wall, though the plan has been targeted in lawsuits by critics.

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President Trump never said he wanted to “get rid” of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and instead cooperated fully with his investigation, according to one of the president’s former attorneys.

John Dowd, who served as a member of President Trump’s legal team from June 2017 until March 2018, discussed Trump’s approach to Mueller during an interview on “Fox & Friends” Monday.

Frequent media accounts prior to the release of the report suggested Trump tried to fire Mueller at times during the Russia investigation. The report itself said Trump told then-White House Counsel Don McGahn in June 2017 to tell the acting attorney general that Mueller “must be removed.” McGahn refused.

But asked on Monday when Trump said to fire Mueller, Dowd said: “He never did. I was there at the same time that the report says McGahn mentioned this, and I was assigned to deal with Mueller and briefed the president every day.

CONTROVERSIAL STEELE DOSSIER BACK IN SPOTLIGHT AFTER MUELLER REPORT’S RELEASE

TOM PEREZ: NO ONE — NOT EVEN PRESIDENT TRUMP — IS ABOVE THE LAW FOLLOWING MUELLER REPORT REVELATIONS

“At no time did the president ever say, ‘you know, John, I’m going to get rid of him.’ It was the opposite.

“Here’s the message the president had for Bob Mueller, he told me to carry — number one, you tell him I respect what he is doing; number two, you tell him he has my full cooperation; number three, get it done as quickly as possible; and number four, whatever else you need, let me know.

“That was always the message and that is exactly what we did.”

Dowd continued, saying he spoke to Mueller about the president’s frequent public criticism of the investigation.

GIULIANI SLAMS ‘CONFLICTS OF INTEREST’ IN SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE: ‘WHEN DID MUELLER BECOME GOD?’

“I talked to Bob about that. I said, ‘do you understand what’s going on?’ and he said, ‘oh, it’s political, he has to do that for political reasons’.

“I said, ‘I tell you what, the president and I will make sure, we’ll say publicly cooperate with Bob Mueller’ and we did early on. So that was it.”

Host Steve Doocy then asked Dowd about “the suggestion from the report that Don McGahn, the president’s attorney, was told go out and fire him” Mueller.

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“I just I think there was a misunderstanding,” Dowd said.

“I just don’t believe it. I think the president simply wanted McGahn to call Rosenstein, have him vetted, because the president believed Mueller did have some conflicts.”

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A BuzzFeed News world editor faced backlash Sunday for taking a swipe at President Trump while tweeting an article about the attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter.

“Suspect we’d be hearing a lot more outrage from Trump and co. if the Christians killed in Sri Lanka were white,” Miriam Elder tweeted with a link to BuzzFeed News.

Elder’s tweet, as The Washington Examiner reported, received more comments than likes or retweets. It had received nearly 2,000 replies, 55 retweets and 120 likes as of Sunday evening.

Many of the commenters asked why the BuzzFeed News world editor would politicize the terrorist attacks.

BuzzFeed News did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Trump on Easter morning offered condolences to the people of Sri Lanka. The president tweeted about the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, saying “we stand ready to help!”

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More than 200 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in eight bomb blasts that rocked churches and luxury hotels in or near Sri Lanka’s capital on Easter Sunday — the deadliest violence the South Asian island country has seen since a bloody civil war ended a decade ago.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks; Sri Lanka’s defense minister described the bombings as a terrorist attack by religious extremists.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Frank Miles is a reporter and editor covering geopolitics, military, crime, technology and sports for FoxNews.com. His email is Frank.Miles@foxnews.com.

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Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Sunday that CNN kept him off the network due to his analysis of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and claimed that the channel once booted him from appearing on air in favor of troubled lawyer Michael Avenatti.

Dershowitz made the claims during an interview with Howard Kurtz on Fox News’ “Media Buzz,” saying that he knew “for a fact” that CNN President Jeff Zucker nixed his appearances because of Dershowitz’s views on the Russia investigation.

“CNN, which used to have me on all the time, on Anderson Cooper, on Cuomo, on Lemon, as an analyst, as a centrist analyst, they decided no, no, it is okay to have extreme Trump supporters, because people just use them as a stick figure exhibits,” Dershowitz said. “What they didn’t want was a centrist liberal that went against their narrative.”

ALAN DERSHOWITZ: A PROSECUTOR’S JOB IS TO MAKE DECISIONS, MUELLER DIDN’T FINISH THE JOB

“Walter Cronkite could not get a job in the media today.”

— Alan Dershowitz

CNN did not immediately respond to Fox News’ requests for comment.

Dershowitz added that if he were to grade the media on their coverage of the Mueller probe, he’d give them an “F.”

“Even with grade inflation, I just think the media comes off awful, terrible, for the most part. I think we are seeing an elimination of the distinction between the editorial page and the news pages in some of the leading media in the country, and that’s a shame. Walter Cronkite could not get a job in the media today,” he added.

In regards to Zucker’s alleged order, Dershowitz said: “I asked [Zucker] how come I am not on anymore, and he said, oh, no, no, no, you will be on, but since the summer I’ve never been on a single time. I have been on all of the other networks repeatedly. But clearly, they made a decision. They did not want my kind of analysis.”

What appeared to really rile up the Harvard Law professor was that CNN chose frequently to use Avenatti – over Dershowitz – for its analysis of the Mueller investigation.

“They had a choice of a Harvard law professor for 50 years who has been getting it right, a centrist liberal and who has credibility, or Michael Avenatti,” Dershowitz said. “And they picked Michael Avenatti.”

He added: “He became their go-to guy. Every one of his predictions turned out to be false.”

Avenatti, who previously represented adult-film star Stormy Daniels in her feud with President Trump, recently has become embroiled in a series of legal quagmires of his own.

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Earlier this month, he was hit with a 36-count indictment that accused him stealing millions of dollars from clients, cheating on his taxes, lying to investigators and trying to hide money from debtors in bankruptcy proceedings.

Avenatti denied the charges on Twitter, saying he had made powerful enemies and would plead not guilty and fight the case. “I look forward to the entire truth being known as opposed to a one-sided version meant to sideline me,” he tweeted.

The new charges did not include a New York extortion case alleging Avenatti demanded millions to stay quiet about claims he planned to reveal about Nike paying high school players.

Avenatti, 48, was arrested March 25 in New York on the Nike charge. Federal prosecutors at the time announced he also faced single counts of wire and bank fraud in Southern California, where he lives and practices law.

Fox News’ Howard Kurtz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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The deadly Sri Lankan bomb attacks on Easter Sunday were met with an outpouring of grief and condolences from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in the United States.

From President Trump to congressional leaders to the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, the attacks that claimed more than 200 people and injured hundreds of others were immediately condemned across the political spectrum in the U.S.

“The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka,” Trump tweeted early on Sunday morning. “We stand ready to help!”

POPE CELEBRATES EASTER SUNDAY AMID BLOODSHED IN SRI LANKA

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the bombings “heartbreaking” for a country that suffered from years of bloody civil war.

“Today’s heartbreaking attacks in Sri Lanka come as the country has worked hard to build a common future after years of war,” Pelosi tweeted. “Our thoughts are with the injured & the families of those killed in today’s Easter Sunday attacks.”

A series of eight bomb blasts rocked churches and luxury hotels in or near Sri Lanka’s capital on Easter Sunday — the deadliest violence the South Asian island country has seen since a bloody civil war ended a decade ago. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said at least 207 people were killed and 450 wounded.

Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardena described the bombings as a terrorist attack by religious extremists and said seven suspects had been arrested, though there was no immediate claim of responsibility. He said most of the blasts were believed to have been suicide attacks.

The explosions at three churches and three hotels collapsed ceilings and blew out windows, killing worshippers and guests. People were seen carrying the wounded out of blood-spattered pews. Witnesses described powerful explosions, followed by scenes of smoke, blood, broken glass, alarms going off and victims screaming.

“As countless people attend Easter service today, our prayers are with the people of Sri Lanka who lost loved ones in these horrible attacks,” Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., tweeted. “No person, of any faith, should be fearful in their house of worship.”

The three hotels and one of the churches, St. Anthony’s Shrine, are frequented by foreign tourists. Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry said the bodies of at least 27 foreigners were recovered and included people from Britain, the U.S., India, Portugal, and Turkey. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says ‘several’ Americans were killed in the attacks, while China’s Communist Party newspaper said two Chinese were killed.

“These attacks demonstrate the brutal nature of terrorists whose sole aim is to threaten peace & security,” Pompeo said in a tweet.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he feared the massacre could trigger instability in Sri Lanka, a country of about 21 million people, and vowed to “vest all necessary powers with the defense forces” to take action against those responsible. The government imposed a nationwide curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“My prayers are with the people of Sri Lanka this Easter morning,” Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., tweeted. “Heartbreaking sadness on a day that so many celebrate.”

The scale of the bloodshed recalled the worst days of Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war, in which the Tamil Tigers, a rebel group from the ethnic Tamil minority, sought independence from the Buddhist-majority country. During the war, the Tigers and other rebels carried out a multitude of bombings. The Tamils are Hindu, Muslim and Christian.

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Sri Lanka, situated off the southern tip of India, is about 70 percent Buddhist, with the rest of the population Muslim, Hindu or Christian. While there have been scattered incidents of anti-Christian harassment in recent years, there has been nothing on the scale of what happened Sunday.

There is also no history of violent Muslim militants in Sri Lanka. However, tensions have been running high more recently between hard-line Buddhist monks and Muslims.

“Easter is a reminder that there is hope and rebirth even in the darkest of times. We must remember that today, more than ever,” Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who is running for president in 2020, tweeted. “I am horrified by the attacks in Sri Lanka, where so many families were celebrating such a joyous day. Praying for the victims and their loved ones.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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White House counselor Kellyanne Conway questioned on Sunday why Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not rule whether or not President Trump obstructed justice during the Russia investigation and argued that Mueller leaving the ruling open means that Trump has been exonerated.

“That’s not really the job of a prosecutor. The job of a prosecutor is to gather evidence and decide whether to indict or to decline to indict,” Conway said on ABC’s “This Week.” “They declined to indict. The president is not going to jail, he’s staying in the White House for five-and-a-half more years,” Conway said. “Why? Because they found no crime, no conspiracy. That was the central premise.”

In the redacted report released last Thursday, Mueller declined to make a decision on whether or not Trump obstructed justice with his efforts to curtail the special counsel’s investigation, but he did lay out in the report multiple episodes in which Trump directed others to influence or curtail the Russia investigation after the special counsel’s appointment in May 2017.

KELLYANNE CONWAY REITERATES CALL FOR ADAM SCHIFF’S RESIGNATION AFTER MUELLER REPORT’S RELEASE

Those efforts “were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests,” Mueller wrote.

In one particularly dramatic moment, Mueller reported that Trump was so agitated at the special counsel’s appointment on May 17, 2017, that he slumped back in his chair and declared: “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m f—ed.”

In June of that year, Mueller wrote, Trump directed White House Counsel Don McGahn to call Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw the probe, and say that Mueller must be ousted because he had conflicts of interest. McGahn refused — deciding he would sooner resign than trigger a potential crisis akin to the Saturday Night Massacre of firings during the Watergate era.

According to the report, Trump also ordered McGahn to deny a January 2018 New York Times story that detailed the president’s efforts to have his counsel fire Mueller.

Trump also made another attempt to alter the course of the investigation, meeting with former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and dictating a message for him to relay to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The message: Sessions would publicly call the investigation “very unfair” to the president, declare Trump did nothing wrong and say Mueller should limit his probe to “investigating election meddling for future elections.” The message was never delivered.

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On the McGahn incident, Conway did not dispute the former White House counsel’s statement during her interview on Sunday, but she expressed her doubts that McGahn would have continued in his post if the events had played out the way they did in the report.

“I believe that Don McGahn is an honorable attorney who stayed on the job 18 months after this alleged incident took place,” Conway said. “If he were being asked to obstruct justice or violate the Constitution or commit a crime — help to commit a crime by the president of the United States — he wouldn’t have stayed.”

Conway added: “I certainly wouldn’t stay.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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