The FBI admitted Friday that it received a tip from "a person close to" Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old who has confessed to carrying out Wednesday's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, that "provided information about Cruz's gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting." The bureau did not follow through with the established protocol, allowing the information to fall by the wayside, the FBI said.
The tip came into the FBI's Public Access Line (PAL) on Jan. 5, 2018, and the information should have been passed on to the FBI Miami Field Office for subsequent investigative steps, but it was not. "I am committed to getting to the bottom of what happened in this particular matter," said FBI Director Christopher Wray.
BREAKING: FBI says it received a tip about the Parkland shooter, but didn't follow protocols to investigate further. pic.twitter.com/TC2LKuCG36
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) February 16, 2018
Separately, a YouTube account posting under the name Nikolas Cruz commented on a video in September saying, "I'm going to be a professional school shooter." The comment was reported to the FBI by another YouTube user, but the investigation apparently led nowhere.
Cruz killed 17 at the Florida high school Wednesday. Jeva Lange
President Trump announced Thursday that he is planning to visit Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday. "We are all joined together as one American family and your suffering is our burden also," Trump said, addressing the victims and their families. "No child, no teacher, should ever be in danger in an American school," he added.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 15, 2018
Trump additionally expressed a commitment to "the difficult issue of mental health," reiterating a tweet made Thursday morning when he said "neighbors and classmates" knew about the "mentally disturbed" shooter. "Answer hate with love, answer cruelty with kindness," Trump said, speaking directly to American children.
As many observed, the president did not use the word "gun" in his address. He additionally ignored a shouted question by CNN's Jim Acosta about if he will do "something about guns." The 19-year-old suspected shooter had legally purchased the AR-15 used in the attack after passing a background check within the past year.
Watch a portion of Trump's remarks below. Jeva Lange
President Trump to America’s children: “I want you to know you are never alone and you never will be. You have people who care about you, who love you… Answer hate with love, answer cruelty with kindness.” https://t.co/rBZVCr3djC pic.twitter.com/rFQyrH4wRO
— CNN (@CNN) February 15, 2018
President Trump on Thursday reacted to the deadly high school shooting in Florida that killed 17 people, tweeting: "So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!"
The tweet about the 19-year-old suspect, identified by police as Nikolas Cruz, was written as a "reply" to Trump's tweet from Tuesday about congressional negotiations on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, although there was no obvious correlation:
So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2018
Cruz, who was adopted, had apparently been living with a friend's family after the death of his mother three months ago, from the flu and pneumonia, CNN reports. He had also reportedly made social media posts like "I [wanna] shoot people with my AR-15" and had legally bought the firearm used in the attack after passing the background check within the past year. Jeva Lange
At least 17 people were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in south Florida on Wednesday, authorities said.
Police responded to an incident at the school, located in the city of Parkland, around 3:15 p.m. ET. One shooter is believed to have carried out the attack, in the school's freshman building. The suspect, identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, was taken into custody "without incident," Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said. The suspect was a former student of the school who had been expelled; one teacher told The Miami Herald that Cruz had been identified last year as "threatening students."
About 3,000 students attend the school, which is described as being in "an affluent Fort Lauderdale suburb," The New York Times writes.
MORE: Aerial footage above Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shows students running from grounds of campus after authorities respond to report of shooting in Parkland, Florida https://t.co/1Y5NBGZMdE pic.twitter.com/D62xmQxo9K
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 14, 2018
Drone footage of the scene showed handfuls of students fleeing on foot. "My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting," President Trump tweeted. "No child, teacher, or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school." The Week Staff
This is a breaking news story and has been updated throughout.
The House Oversight Committee has launched an investigation into the scandal involving former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter, committee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) confirmed Wednesday. Porter resigned last week after his ex-wives went public with claims of physical and verbal abuse, although it was reportedly widely known in the West Wing last fall that Porter's lack of security clearance was due in part to the charges.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the committee's ranking member, called for a review of the security clearance process in a letter to Gowdy the day after allegations about Porter came out, Newsweek reports. Speaking on CNN, Gowdy said: "I'm going to direct questions to the FBI that I expect them to answer. And if they don't answer them, then they're going to need to give me a really good reason." Watch below. Jeva Lange
Chairman Trey Gowdy says the House Oversight Committee is "directing inquiries" to the FBI about Rob Porter https://t.co/0xN6S6UOoF
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 14, 2018
A federal judge has blocked President Trump from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, saying the administration's justification was not "legally adequate." Under DACA, which Barack Obama created via executive order, young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children can apply for legal protections. The Trump administration announced in September that the program would expire on March 5. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued to protect DACA, eventually resulting in today's ruling.
This isn't the first time a judge has blocked Trump on DACA. In January, a federal judge in California ordered the Trump administration to again start accepting DACA renewal applications. Tuesday's ruling goes farther, saying that the Trump administration must start processing new DACA applications.
The judge in Tuesday's ruling called Trump's DACA decision "arbitrary and capricious," and noted that while the administration had claimed that DACA's implementation by Obama was unconstitutional, Trump's tweets about revisiting DACA suggested that he thought the president was well within his right to use executive authority this way.
Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can't, I will revisit this issue!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2017
The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday closed up 330 points, or 1.4 percent, after a rocky day that saw it span a range of more than 800 points. Friday's end-of-day buying also boosted the S&P index up 1.5 percent. Overall, the Dow closed Friday down 6.2 percent from Monday’s opening bell.
The Dow traveled some 20,000 points this week, CNBC notes, fluctuations that stem from a strong January jobs report that "sparked … inflation fears and worries that interest rates could rise faster than expected," USA Today writes.
On Friday morning, the House narrowly approved a bipartisan two-year budget deal, 240-186, with Democratic votes needed to overcome a revolt by fiscal conservatives in the majority Republican caucus. The Senate passed the bill earlier Friday morning, 71-28, but not before the government shut down at midnight. Once President Trump signs the bill, the short-lived and unexpected shutdown will be over. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) proudly took the blame for this shutdown, throwing up procedural hurdles on Thursday night to protest the legislation's surge in deficit spending — the bill adds roughly $320 billion to the federal deficit.
The legislation raises budget caps on military and domestic spending, adds $90 billion for hurricane and wildfire recovery, extends $17 billion in business tax breaks, authorizes infrastructure and opioid-fighting spending, and renews several large health-care programs. It does not include protections for DREAMers, or young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, as House Democrats had hoped. The legislation only funds the government until March 23, at which point Congress will have to pass what lawmakers hope is the final spending bill of fiscal 2018. Peter Weber