- Associated Press - Thursday, January 26, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the meeting of congressional Republicans (all times EST):

6 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence was pressed on the issue of voter fraud during a question-and-answer session with House Republicans.

Lawmakers and aides say a House Republican raised the issue with Pence in light of President Donald Trump’s announcement that there would be an investigation into voter fraud. Trump has claimed that votes from 3 million to 5 million illegal immigrants cost him the popular vote.

There is no evidence of that, but Pence himself did not get into new detail on the investigation or Trump’s claims.

Rep. Chris Collins of New York says, “The conversation was, we should take a look across this country on voting laws to make sure that we don’t have people who are not citizens of this country voting.”


1:10 p.m.

Hundreds of protesters are marching in Philadelphia as President Donald Trump speaks at a Republican retreat.

Chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go” and, “Love not hate, that’s what makes America great,” the throng made its way from just north of City Hall to the nearby hotel where lawmakers are holding an annual policy retreat.

Trump is speaking to a luncheon.

The crowds are diverse in age and race and also include a group in wheelchairs.


1:10 p.m.

Breaking with President Donald Trump, the House Oversight Committee chairman says he sees no evidence of voter fraud in the election, and his committee won’t investigate it.

Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah says Trump is free to order the Justice Department to investigate, but “the oversight committee is not planning to do anything with it.”

Chaffetz tells journalists at a GOP retreat in Philadelphia that voting happens at the local level, adding, “I don’t see any evidence” of widespread fraud.

Trump has claimed, without evidence, that at least 3 million people voted illegally in the election, denying him a popular vote majority. If true, the claim would mark the most significant election fraud in U.S. history.


10:10 a.m.

GOP leaders in the House and Senate say torturing suspected terrorists is illegal. And that stand distances them from President Donald Trump’s endorsement of the effectiveness of harsh interrogation techniques.

The U.S. has a legal ban on torture.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky tells reporters that virtually all GOP senators “are comfortable with the state of the law on that issue.”

And House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin says: “Torture’s not legal. And we agree with it not being legal.”

Trump told ABC News that he believes torture “absolutely” works.

A draft executive order obtained by The Associated Press directs a review of interrogation methods and seeks changes that won’t breach the torture ban.

The Republican leaders are in Philadelphia for strategy meetings.


9:55 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says President Donald Trump’s border wall will cost $12 billion to $15 billion - and Ryan says Congress will pay for it by this fall.

The Wisconsin Republican made his comments to reporters in Philadelphia, where GOP lawmakers are holding their annual strategy retreat.

Ryan was pressed on whether the wall’s price tag would be added to the deficit - or whether Congress would find some ways to offset the cost. But he wouldn’t commit.

The point, Ryan says, is that Congress will pay for “the construction of a physical barrier on the border.”

Trump is set to speak to the lawmakers later Thursday - a day after signing an executive order calling for the wall.

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