On Politics: Number of Children Separated From Parents May Be Much Higher

Good Friday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today.

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The Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the care of children in federal custody, has identified 2,737 children who were separated from their parents under President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. But the real number may be much higher, a government investigation has found.

Mr. Trump responded to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s threat to cancel his State of the Union address by grounding the military plane that was going to take her to Afghanistan, a trip he called a “public relations event.” Read about it here (and read the president’s letter to Ms. Pelosi here).

House Democrats are contemplating a homeland security spending measure that would counter the president’s demand for a wall with their own ideas for securing the border.

Michael D. Cohen, the president’s former lawyer, acknowledged that he paid the owner of a tech company to doctor the results of an online poll as Mr. Trump was considering a presidential run.

In a speech, Mr. Trump vowed to reinvigorate and reinvent American missile defenses, but the actual plans released by the Pentagon were incremental.

As the government shutdown drags on, some people and institutions are stepping up to help unpaid federal workers — for instance, by suspending late fees on their credit cards, or by feeding them for free. But needs are still going unmet, and many federal employees are filing for unemployment.

The Trump administration is asking most State Department employees to return to work next week, despite the shutdown. These employees will be paid, at least in the short term.

Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a Democratic candidate for president, apologized for her record of anti-gay rhetoric and her past work for an anti-gay advocacy group.