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Trump puts personal ‘touch’ on diplomacy with Macron

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Call it the “Art of the Feel.”

President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron put their warm bromance on full public display Tuesday, engaging in frequent PDAs at the White House that revealed how friendly they have grown since a tense meeting last spring.

Trump’s tenderness Tuesday first revealed itself during an arrival ceremony for Macron, when the powerful pair performed a double cheek kiss — a typical European greeting custom. Moments later, during the ceremony, the two smooched again and carried on a long handshake that clocked in around five seconds.

Later Tuesday, during a brief appearance by the two leaders in front of reporters, the American president gently wiped something — Trump said it was dandruff — off Macron’s shoulder.

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Trump expected to depart White House Wednesday morning for final time as president

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is expected to leave the White House for the final time as president Wednesday morning, according to two people familiar with his plans.

The two sources said that he plans to travel to his home in West Palm Beach, Florida, and land there before noon, when he will still be commander-in-chief. President-elect Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol will take place around 12 p.m. ET.

Trump didn’t like the idea of leaving Washington for the last time on anything but Air Force One, one of the sources said, since that is no longer the call sign for the aircraft once the oath of office has been given to an outgoing president’s successor.

People wait for a moving van after boxes were moved out of the Eisenhower Executive Office building inside the White House complex on Jan. 14, 2021.Gerald Herbert / AP

Plans are still being made for Trump’s departure, these people caution. There are discussions underway, for example, for a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews where Trump would deliver remarks before leaving for Mar-a-Lago.

This comes as people were seen at the White House Thursday packing boxes into moving trucks.

Workers move boxes onto a truck on West Executive Avenue between the West Wing of the White House and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House on Jan. 14, 2021.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Unlike previous inauguration days, the Trumps and the Bidens are not expected to interact before Biden is sworn in. Trump has already said he has opted not to attend his successor’s ceremony.

Details have not yet been finalized, however, and as recently as this week, Trump’s aides and allies were told the president may leave on Tuesday, which shows how fluid the situation has been and remains with only five days left in his presidency.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday to congratulate her and offer any assistance with the upcoming inauguration, NBC News confirmed.

It was a cordial and pleasant call, according to two sources familiar with the discussion. Pence and his wife plan to attend the inaugural ceremony Wednesday. The New York Times first reported the call.



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Covid cases horror as third of hospital patients under 65 with peak yet to come

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BORIS JOHNSON said that once the most vulnerable have been vaccinated by mid-February “we will think about what steps we could take to lift the restrictions”.

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Pelosi tasks retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré with leading review of Capitol security

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WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced Friday that she has tasked retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré with leading a review of the U.S. Capitol’s security in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 attack.

Pelosi expressed gratitude to the Capitol Police and the National Guard for their presence “to protect our democracy,” and said there must now be an investigation into the security failures last week.

“We must subject this whole complex though to scrutiny in light of what happened and the fact that the inauguration is coming. To that end, I have asked Retired Lt. Gen. Russell Honoré to lead an immediate review of security infrastructure, interagency processes and command and control. The general is a respected leader with experience dealing with crises,” Pelosi told reporters at her weekly press conference.

Honoré is best known for his role as commander of the task force that was in charge of the U.S. military response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He said that he has experience with military support to civilian authorities and specifically the security of the Washington region.

Honoré has been outspoken about the attack on Twitter, saying on the day of the breach that it was a “sh– show.”

He also wrote on Twitter that to “prevent the miscommunication that resulted in the lack of adequate security at the Capitol,” an overarching office be created for the capital region. The office would be responsible for safety and security in the area and would coordinate the agencies that protect the government and Washington, D.C.

Pelosi also expressed outrage Friday over the rioter who was seen wearing a shirt inside the Capitol that said “Camp Auschwitz” last week. He was arrested in Virginia.

“To see this punk with that shirt on and his anti-Semitism that he has bragged about to be part of a white supremacist raid on this Capitol requires us to have an after-action review,” she said.

The speaker reiterated her view that the events of Jan. 6 was an “act of insurrection” and was “incentivized by the president of the United States” that led to Donald Trump’s impeachment on Wednesday.

Asked when she plans to send the article of impeachment over to the Senate for the trial, Pelosi did not commit to a date. She said the nine managers she has named to prosecute Trump are working on their case now.



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