Trump Attacks Merck CEO

In light of the deadly Charlottesville barbarity, the CEO of Merck, a pharmaceutical firm, announced he is resigning from a White House jobs council. CEO Kenneth Frazier pulled out of the American Manufacturing Council, announcing, “America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal.” President Trump usedTwitter to fire back, stating, “Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”

While Frazier did not specifically mention Trump’s view over the Charlottesville conflicts, he is standing against this violence as a “matter personal conscience.” Along with this statement comes bipartisan criticism of the president for not exactly denouncing white supremacists on Saturday. The White House, along with other administration officers, have released a statement denouncing the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups.

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Cheaper Plans with Fewer Benefits?

     Republican Senators exposed their newest health care bill on Thursday, still awaiting the majority to repeal and replace Obamacare. This new health care bill holds the amendment of Texas Senator Ted Cruz, allowing insurers who provide Obamacare to also issue cheaper policies. While this is meant to appeal to Republicans, moderates may also be unhappy with this, believing that this would cause premiums to spike. There are significant changes regarding funding for opioid treatment and distribution of money to the states  concerning lower premiums for high-cost enrollees. By 2026, it is estimated that 15 million fewer people could be insured.

     Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader, still searches for his 50 votes to pass his bill. Already, politicians are showing a steady fight ahead. Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, has mentioned his opposition to a vote next week. In addition to, Susan Collins, a Maine moderate, has doubts supporting this bill. Many Senators have mentioned that they’re unfamiliar with the revised bill. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was not pleased to find that lobbyists had read summaries while she had yet to see the bill. Murkowski stated, “I think that as a courtesy to those of us who are actually making the decisions that we would actually have an opportunity to see it first.” It is alleged that President Donald Trump will be “angry” if Republicans fail to pass the bill. President Trump encourages Republicans to move swiftly.

 

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Mitch McConnell Wants Revised Health Care Bill by Friday

     Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, delayed a vote on the Senate Health care bill on Tuesday. The bill will now be delayed until after the July 4 recess, allowing his caucus more time to broker alterations to the proposal. GOP senators are trying to figure out a path towards the future. The goal is to have a new deal by Friday and then get it scored by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office next week. This way, they will be able to vote on it when they return from recess. A senior GOP told CNN that while it may be difficult, it could very well happen.

     The public is wondering exactly how much could change in just a matter of days. Donald Trump’s position, as seen from the Hill: “He has his role. We have ours. There probably won’t be much intersection,” according to a GOP aide. The President will publish big promises through social media and television according to GOP aides. Tuesday, the second meeting with GOP senators, was described as a good meeting In which the President mainly listened and talked about promises that needed to be made, as well as money that needed to be put into the bill. Three GOP senators came out strongly opposing the need to draft a bill after McConnell delayed the vote and pledged changes. The reality of the situation is that the dynamics haven’t truly changed.

Trump Denies Rumors of Tapes with Comey

     After weeks of speculation, President Donald Trump ends the rumors that he recorded his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey. In Trump’s tweet, he stated, “With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.” Comey hopes that there are recordings of their conversations. Trump suggested in previous tweets that it is possible that there was some surveillance; however he is not aware of any attempts. Numerous government agencies have agreed with the president, telling news outlets, like CNN, that there are no official recording devices. In a tweet published on May 12, Trump declared that Comey “better hope there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

     Trump and his aides have played the situation down over the possibility of White House tapes. A senior administration official believes that Trump has tapes and has to come clean about his involvement. This administration official, a Republican, believes that this is one of the worst things that Trump has done so far in his administration. The Republican associate believes, “If he doesn’t regret this, he should.” Sarah Hucabee Sanders said that she will “try to look under the couches” to check for a recording system when talking to reporters about the issue. For weeks, White House officials have been unable to confirm the existence of such recording devices; however Trump believes that reporters would be dispirited by the answer.

 

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Sally Yates Testifies on Flynn’s Russia Ties

    Former Attorney General Sally Yates testified today, May 8, in front of a Senate subcommittee about what and when she exactly told the White House regarding Flynn’s communication with Russia. This testimony will push headlines back into the news regarding Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. According to Yates, she assures that she told the White House that Flynn could be blackmailed for lying over Russia meetings. She, also, claims to have had numerous meeting with Trump’s White House lawyer regarding the matter. Reince Priebus, White House Chief of Staff, and Sean Spicer, press secretary, agree that Yates passed along information regarding Flynn and Russia; however they have stated that the White House counsel checked and found nothing. Despite this major controversy, Trump continues to call the Russian investigations on Capitol Hill “fake news.”

    President Trump has commented on the Obama administration and Flynn stating, “General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama administration- but the Fake New seldom likes talking about that.” He added, “Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers after she explained it to the W.H. (counsel).” In Yate’s hearing, she claims to not know how this classified information was leaked to the press. Trump has had problems his whole presidency regarding ties with Russia, and it appears each time that Flynn is at the center of it all. Regardless of Yate’s testimony and new headlines regarding Russia, the Russia story isn’t going away anytime soon.

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Obama’s Warning to President Trump

    Barack Obama, then-president, warned Donald Trump, president-elect, about hiring retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his national security advisor, according to many officials from the former Obama administration. Allegedly, Trump was warned by Obama in their Oval Office meeting on November 2. Obama’s concerns don’t come from the Defense Intelligence Agency, instead they come from the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. A senior Obama administration source revealed that Flynn’s name came up numerous times throughout their conversation. The White House has recently confirmed these rumors. Sean Spicer, press secretary, stated, “It’s true President Obama made it known he wasn’t exactly a fan of Gen. Flynn.” Despite this, Spicer believes that Obama disliked Flynn due to him being an “outspoken critic” of the Obama administration. Spicer reassured some by stating that if Obama was “truly concerned” there were steps he could’ve taken during his term, including the suspension of his security clearance. Under the Obama administration, Flynn served as the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency until he was forced out of his position for internal alterations on management in 2014.

    Regardless of Obama’s advice, Trump took the actions that he wanted. President Trump fired Flynn 24 days after news broke of Flynn’s talks with the Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. Attorney General Sally Yates warned the White House on January 26 that Flynn was lying when he refused to have any contact with Kislyak regarding US sanctions on Russia. Weeks passed before Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation, only letting him go after stories leaked about Flynn misleads Vice President Mike Pence about his discussions with Kislyak. Attorney General Sally Yates it to testify before Congress on Flynn’s contact with Russian officials.

 

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Syrian Missile Strike

    On April 6, 2017, the United States initiated a military strike on a Syrian government airbase to respond to the week’s earlier chemical weapons attack, killing dozens, including children. Listening to Trump’s orders, 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched at the airbase that was responsible for holding the warplanes that performed the chemical attacks. Over the course of this six-year Syrian civil war, this is the United States’s first military action against the Bashar al-Assad regime. Allegedly, six people were killed in the airstrike.

    Russia, disagreeing heavily with the United States, saw the strike as an “act of aggression.” Assad’s office described the attack as “a disgraceful act” that “can only be described as short-sighted.” Trump stated, ““There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council. Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed and failed very dramatically.” Trump has drastically changed his viewpoint on the decision to involve the United States in military action against the Syrian President’s regime.

    Many, out of all of the chaos, are worried about one main thing: the effect of US relations with Russia, Syria’s biggest ally. It was confirmed that Russians were at the base when the US attacked, the US giving Russia a one-hour heads up. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it clear that the US strike has “dealt a serious blow to Russia-US relations.” Overall, majority of US lawmakers have supported Trump’s decision to strike Syria. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, often critics of Trump, stated, “Acting on the orders of their commander-in-chief, they have sent an important message the United States will no longer stand idly by as Assad, aided and abetted by Putin’s Russia, slaughters innocent Syrians with chemical weapons and barrel bombs.” Many are happy that something has finally been done to attempt change at the direct violation of human rights in Syria, while others were shocked at Trump’s decision to switch viewpoints. For majority of people, they wonder if this is a stepping stone to Trump changing his views on letting Syrian refugees enter the US.

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The Battle Between Donald Trump and Preet Bharara

    Preet Bharara is an American lawyer who has served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2009 to 2017. Bharara, a graduate of Harvard and Columbia Law School, has received the reputation of “the Sheriff of Wall Street” due to his takedowns of corruption on Wall Street, gangs, terrorists, and cyber bullies. After a denied request from the Trump administration to resign, he was fired. Bharara took to Twitter stating, “I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired.” After his nomination by President Barack Obama in 2009, he swiftly gained a status of pointing out financial frauds of prominent Wall Street firms or at hedge funds. Famously, his department received about $500 million in settlements from practices, such as Deutsche Bank and CitiMortgage. In addition to, he brought down huge cyber hacking groups, like LulzSec and Anonymous.

     On his campaign trail, Trump had made a promise to “drain the swamp”, or drain corruption out of Washington, D.C. Supporters of Prosecutor Bharara say he was doing exactly that. New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky said, “Preet Bharara has shaken the foundations of our capital — whether you’re a Republican or Democrat he’s been an equal opportunist when it comes to rooting out corruption.” Even supporters of Trump, Republican Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, who agreed to “drain the swamp”, declared that the firing of Bharara was “definitely not a wise move at all.” Former attorney general Alberto Gonzales said that “there’s nothing at all unusual” about the Trump administration asking all existing U.S. attorneys to resign. However, the public seems to have a huge problem with this, believing that Trump is doing wrong under his “drain the swamp” pledge. Regardless, many believe Bharara’s refusal to resign can be looked upon as a method to send a message to the American public and put into perspective Trump’s administration and their future objectives.

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Is Trump Hitting the Reset Button?

    Almost a month into a rocky presidency, Trump has decided to meet with his supporters at a campaign-style rally in Melbourne, Florida. The first 45 minutes included no mention of Trump’s failure to receive approval with the American public, instead he focused on it becoming “a new day in America.” Trump bolstered to the 9,000 people in the crowd, “This will be change for the ages, change like never before.” Many believe this is a ploy to protect Trump’s administration after four weeks that have been filled with more dissension than coherence. While Trump declares that his administration is “running like a fine-tuned machine”, liberals believe he is just blaming all of the problems on “fake news” and the Left.

    Many believe this rally will mark a fresh start on behalf of the Trump administration. A historian at New York University, Timothy Naftali, states, “Except for the fact that he doesn’t have a big plastic button, this certainly looks like a reset.” Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, guides the President, “all new presidents go through a series of resets because the initial transition from campaign to governing is too enormous and complex. . . . Trump’s challenge is compounded because he is a genuine outsider trying to build a new system.” Trump doesn’t exactly believe it was pushing the reset button because he is “quite proud of a lot of the achievements over the past four weeks”; however he does promise a new version on his executive order on immigration. Trump continues to stand firm in his beliefs on what made him popular from the start: the creation of employment, trade limitations, and the prioritization America. No matter what, Trump is determined to put the “forgotten man” and America first.

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