Donald Trump

In the last 28 months, the Republican Party has lost the White House and lost control of both chambers of Congress.

With the shock of those setbacks still sinking in, the party has been rocked and riven by former President Donald Trump's refusal to concede, a pro-Trump riot in the U.S. Capitol, and an impeachment effort that even some Republicans backed.

The rift within the Republican Party spilled out into full view this week.

After voting to acquit Donald Trump on an impeachment charge of incitement of insurrection following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said unequivocally that the former president is to blame.

Tributes to the conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh poured in on Wednesday following news of his death earlier in the day. He was 70 years old.

Former President Trump praised the talk show host as a "legend."

"He was with me right from the beginning. And he liked what I said and he agreed with what I said. And he was just a great gentleman. Great man," Trump said in a phone interview on Fox News.

Leo Brent Bozell IV, the son of a prominent conservative activist and media critic, has been charged for his alleged involvement in the Capitol insurrection.

Updated at 5:09 p.m. ET

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been in office three weeks. He arrives at a challenging time: the U.S. must figure out how to deal with China, Russia and Iran, the coronavirus pandemic rages on, and the State Department must rise from the morale slump it suffered during the Trump administration.

In an interview Tuesday with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly, Blinken said that "there is no doubt" that the ability of American diplomats to promote democracy and human rights has been "tarnished by recent events."

In a highly personal attack, former President Donald Trump blasted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, calling him an unfit leader of the Republican Party.

"The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political 'leaders' like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm," Trump said in a lengthy statement Tuesday.

"Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again," he added.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson is suing former President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and two far-right groups — the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers — for allegedly conspiring to incite the deadly violence on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol.

Sen. Ben Sasse is one of seven Republicans who crossed party lines to vote to convict former President Donald Trump during his historic second impeachment trial.

The effort fell 10 votes short of the 67 needed to convict but served to fortify the junior senator from Nebraska's bona fides as a conservative with an independent streak and put him further at odds with party leaders back home.

In a wide-ranging interview with NPR's Morning Edition on Tuesday, Sasse said the Republican Party is in a battle between what he calls "conservatism and short-term-ism."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced plans for Congress to establish an outside and independent commission to investigate "the facts and causes" related to the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

In a letter sent to her Democratic colleagues on Monday, the California Democrat said the commission will be modeled on the commission established after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Even before taking office, former President Donald Trump's administration obsessed over the U.S. census.

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