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President Trump will skip the annual Kennedy Center Honors this year to allow the "artists to celebrate without any political distraction," the White House said Saturday.

Three of the five artists set to be honored had either expressed a specific intent to boycott the traditional White House reception before the event, or were said to be considering it.

Updated at 1:00 p.m. ET

Thousands of counterprotesters gathered on the Boston Common on Saturday, far outnumbering a "Free Speech" rally of a few dozen conservative activists who said they have no connection to last week's violent protests in Charlottesville, Va., which drew white nationalists and sparked violent clashes and a deadly vehicle attack.

Under police escort, the Free-Speech demonstrators left the location where they said they would rally as they faced a sea of counterprotesters. It wasn't immediately clear if they would reassemble elsewhere.

A statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was removed from the entrance to Duke University Chapel early Saturday by order of the university president who said in a letter that the move was not only a safety measure but also meant to express the "abiding values" of the school.

The decision to remove the statue from the Durham, N.C., campus, comes after it was defaced on Wednesday and follows violent clashes last week in Charlottesville, Va., between right-wing extremists and counterprotesters over plans to remove another statue of Lee.

Before any hard battle, it's common to seek a little spiritual guidance.

In preparation for the coming fight this fall to overhaul the entire federal tax code, a group of House Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee traveled this week to Rancho del Cielo — the ranch of former President Ronald Reagan outside Santa Barbara.

The ranch is the site where Reagan signed one of his major tax cuts into law, and the GOP is working this month to capture some of that Reagan-era magic to deliver a modern tax bill of their own.

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Rep. Charlie Dent On Steve Bannon's Ouster

5 hours ago

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Carbondale's 2-Time Eclipse Plans

5 hours ago

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UVA Student On The Community's Response

5 hours ago

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