Top Political Stories of the Week: Newsweek in Review

Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at Grumman Studios in Bethpage, New York, on April 6. The Republican front-runner was treated like a superstar at the event by thousands of adoring fans who were elated to have the Long Island native back home. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

From Donald Trump's return to New York to the controversy surrounding the coming Washington D.C. Bible Museum, here are some of the top political stories from Newsweek of the past week.

When Donald Trump Came Home to Long Island

Trump got a superhero's welcome Wednesday when his adoring supporters waited for hours to hear the Queens native address up to 10,000 people assembled in Bethpage, N.Y.

Trump supporters cheer during the April 6 campaign event at Grumman Studios. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Supporters may have been nearly unanimous in their enthusiasm but otherwise differed in most every way: commuters in business clothes; blue-collar workers; college kids; metalheads and more. And nearly all were white. Two backers who work in the financial industry tell Newsweek that they were attracted to Trump's candidacy because of worries about outsourcing and immigration.

The Donald himself treated the crowd to his applause-tested lines: "We're gonna rebuild our military! We're gonna make it bigger and better than ever! We're gonna be tough, we're gonna be vigilant, and...we're not gonna be politically correct all the time!"

The Messiah Cometh: Hobby Lobby's Museum of the Bible Descends on the Nation's Capital

The Green family, owners of the Hobby Lobby crafts chain, is "prepared to spend big to make America a truly Christian nation again. Their kind of Christian."

Billionaire Steve Green and his family have reportedly spent $800 million to collect ancient religious artifacts to be housed in an eight-story, 430,000-square-foot building planned to open in 2017 in Washington D.C., two blocks from the Smithsonian. Upon opening it will be one of the largest museums in D.C.

Steve Green examines an item in storage in the basement of the Washington Design Center, which was recently demolished as part of the construction for the Bible Museum. Steve Green and his family, owners of the Hobby Lobby, are building the Bible Museum. ANDRE CHUNG/THE WASHINGTON POST/GETTY

The Greens have spent millions on evangelical causes, from funding Christian colleges to fighting a "religious freedom" case all the way to the Supreme Court. But their interest in safeguarding a particular branch of Christian theology troubles some.

"There is no such thing as 'the' Bible," says John Kutsko, executive director of the Society for Biblical Literature. He fears the Greens' museum will ignore versions of the Bible that are used by other Christians, Jews and Muslims. "We are a melting pot, and there are many religions here," Kutsko says.

Why the New York Democratic Debate Matters

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, will debate in New York Thursday in a faceoff just five days before the delegate-rich New York primary election.

Democratic U.S. presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton wave before the start of a debate in March. Both have agreed to a debate in New York on April 14. Javier Galeano/Reuters

The stakes are high for both candidates. Sanders is coming off a Wisconsin primary win and has won six straight contests, puncturing Clinton's air of inevitability. While he remains far behind in the delegate count, New York and its 291 delegates would be a significant prize. Meanwhile, the former secretary of state is seeking to halt any Sanders momentum and avoid an embarrassing loss in a state she represented in the U.S. Senate for eight years.

For a time it didn't appear there would be any debate in New York at all. Both candidates squabbled over availability for specific dates as the campaign turned nastier, with Clinton suggesting Sanders' policies wouldn't be enacted, and Sanders walking back comments that labeled Clinton unqualified for the presidency.

Deray Mckesson on Education, Safety and Why There's More to His Baltimore Campaign

Activist DeRay Mckesson, who came to prominence with the Black Lives Matter movement, tells Newsweek that he's a bit mystified at the response to his teaching background and educational policies while he campaigns for the Baltimore mayoralty.

Deray Mckesson, seen in St. Louis, Missouri on August 7, was arrested Saturday during protests against the death of Alton Sterling in Louisiana. Mckesson is a leader in the Black Lives Matter movement and formerly ran for mayor of Baltimore. Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty

In particular, his ties to Teach for America have prompted claims that Mckesson favors privatizing education and doesn't support unions. Mckesson points out that he was a chapter leader for the United Federation of Teachers when he taught in New York City's schools and has a range of experiences that "have informed how we think about what's possible in classrooms." His educational platform focuses on early childhood education, literacy, college readiness and more.

Mckesson also is closely associated with calls for safety measures to improve Baltimore's streets.

"So the changes I'm calling for are about accountability in the police department and understanding that the prevention work is beyond policing, and that mental health providers have to be part of how we think about this work if we're ever actually to end trauma in communities and end police violence," Mckesson says.

Editor's Picks

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts