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President Donald Trump signs an Executive Order in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, April 28, 2017, directing the Interior Department to begin review of restrictive drilling policies for the outer-continental shelf. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Trump just signed the religious liberty executive order


UPDATE May 4, 11:56 a.m. EST:

President Trump signed the religious liberty executive order during a ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House. 

Trump's order weakened what's known as the Johnson Amendment, which punishes a religious leader or institution for political speech by a removing their tax-exempt status. 

Trump also announced he'd be making his first international trip as President to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and to Rome, Italy, before the NATO G7 summit.

Trump said that he would be speaking with Saudi Arabian leaders about how to bring peace to the "war-ravaged Middle East."

Trump just signed the religious liberty executive order

WATCH | Trump announces his first trip as president.

ORIGINAL STORY: President Trump has reportedly invited a group of conservative leaders to the White House on Thursday to witness the ceremonial signing of a highly controversial, yet long-awaited, executive order on religious freedom, senior officials confirmed to Politico. The plans haven't yet been finalized, but officials noted that lawyers are in the midst of reviewing and redrafting language in the bill. 

The bill's signing is likely to occur on Thursday, which also happens to be the National Day of Prayer.

The executive order echoes the work of Vice President Mike Pence, who has dedicated his political career advocating for religious freedom. 

A draft of the order was leaked to The Nation in February. In it, the bill called for board exemptions for people and groups to claim religious objections under most circumstances. Since Pence and a small group of conservatives began to work behind the scenes to revise the language of the bill. 

The newest version of the executive order is being locked down, but one influential conservative who saw the text said it hasn't changed that much from the original. 

“The language is very, very strong,” the source said.

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