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Trump declared to be in ‘very good health’ after annual physical

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By Lauren Egan

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is in “very good health,” the White House physician said Friday after conducting his annual physical examination.

“While the reports and recommendations are being finalized, I am happy to announce the president of the United States is in very good health and I anticipate he will remain so for the duration of his presidency and beyond,” Dr. Sean Conley said in a statement Friday evening after the president’s exam at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

“Over the course of approximately four hours, I performed and supervised the evaluation with a panel of 11 different board certified specialists. He did not undergo any procedures requiring sedation or anesthesia,” Conley said.

Trump did not answer reporters’ questions Friday about his physical exam. A more conclusive report on his results is expected from the White House in the coming days.

Recent presidents have undergone physical exams as a way of assuring the public that they are in good health and fit to serve the country. This examination was Trump’s second in office.

Last year, the president’s physical was performed by Dr. Ronny Jackson, who was nominated to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, leading to his being replaced by Conley. Jackson ultimately withdrew his nomination following accusations of drinking on the job and overprescribing medication to patients.

Trump, 72, does not drink alcohol or smoke. However, he is known to enjoy fast food.

In 2018, Jackson said Trump was in “excellent” health overall. However, he did express concern over Trump’s weight and encouraged the president to eat healthier and exercise more frequently.

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Democratic chairmen demand Trump admin documents on sanctuary city proposal

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By Alex Moe and Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — Three Democratic House committee chairmen said Monday that the Trump administration lacks the legal authority to transfer undocumented migrants to sanctuary cities, and they’re calling on top officials to provide documents related to the plan’s consideration by early May.

“We are deeply troubled by multiple reports, recently confirmed by the President, that the Trump Administration is considering releasing detained immigrants into congressional districts represented by Democrats in a bizarre and unlawful attempt to score political points,” said the lawmakers’ letter to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.

The three-page letter is signed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and House Homeland Security Committee Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.

Citing a report by The Washington Post, the chairmen wrote, “This proposal was considered at least twice in the last six months, and the president confirmed on April 12, 2019, that the proposal is once again being given “strong considerations.”

The reports are “alarming,” they wrote, adding, “Not only does the Administration lack the legal authority to transfer detainees in this manner, it is shocking that the President and senior Administration officials are even considering manipulating release decisions for purely political reasons.”

In the letter, the chairmen asked that several documents between last November and mid-April be provided to them by May 3, including emails and other communications between Department of Homeland Security officials and White House officials about the transfer or release of immigration detainees to specific locations in the U.S. They also asked for all DHS documents that discussed policy or legal justifications for such a plan.

Last week, Trump tweeted, “Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only….”

The president continued to defend the potential policy over the weekend.

On Saturday he tweeted that Democrats must change the immigration laws. Otherwise, he said, “Sanctuary Cities must immediately ACT to take care of the Illegal Immigrants – and this includes Gang Members, Drug Dealers, Human Traffickers, and Criminals of all shapes, sizes and kinds. CHANGE THE LAWS NOW!”

In a separate tweet, Trump wrote, “Just out: The USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities. We hereby demand that they be taken care of at the highest level, especially by the State of California, which is well known or its poor management & high taxes!”



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New ‘Patriotic Millionaires’ group says: Please, tax me more

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By Ali Vitali and Stefanie Cargill

WASHINGTON — Karen Seal Stewart is rich. And she wants to pay more in taxes.

Yes, you read that right.

Stewart is one of the Patriotic Millionaires, a group of about 200 wealthy individuals — worth billions combined — who say they should be taxed more, and as soon as possible.

“It’s a matter of equity, fairness and the fact that we have the money to pay the taxes and we’re not being asked to pay them,” Stewart, a former real estate executive, told NBC News. “My sense is we are really at a cusp. We better get our act together ’cause … the lack of fairness and opportunity is growing.”

“We see how the system is skewed in our favor, and how that’s really hurting our country, and in the very long run, hurting us, too,” Morris Pearl, Patriotic Millionaires chairman and a former BlackRock managing director, said last week at a gathering for the group in Washington, D.C.

For Pearl, it’s about his kids and grandkids being able to “grow up in the same kind of country where I grew up, to have the opportunities I did. And … (they) are not gonna have the same opportunities I had if we continue the direction we’re going.”

Asked about the best ways to fix the tax system, Pearl notes there are “a lot of possibilities out there.”

Many of those ideas are being floated the Democratic campaign trail, where 2020 hopefuls are putting the wealth gap front and center.

For some, like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, taxing wealth — as opposed to income — is the answer, a proposal that sets her apart in a Democratic field that largely agrees on rolling back the tax cuts for corporations and top earners that were backed by President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans.

Others in the field, like former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, support a wealth tax but have not released specific plans. And Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed hiking the estate tax, something he estimates would hit the small fraction of Americans who inherit more than $3.5 million.

The idea of taxing the rich more isn’t just popular among the Patriotic Millionaires.

In fact, 63 percent of voters think higher-income people pay too little in taxes, according to a Politico-Morning Consult online poll. And Warren’s plan plays well across party lines — with 74 percent of Democrats backing her proposal, and half of Republicans, in that same poll.

The millionaires aren’t backing any specific candidate — though they say Warren is right on taxing wealth. They just want action.

“Important things” like infrastructure and health care require money, Stewart said. “You need to get the money where it is. It’s with the wealthy. … Do not feel sorry for us. We will still be fine. And the country will be better off.”

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Trump snubs John McCain during bill signing intended to honor him

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By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — Congress wanted to honor the ailing Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. President Donald Trump did not.

In extended remarks during a visit to Fort Drum in upstate New York to sign the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 — this year’s version of an annual bill that sets defense policy — Trump chose not to mention the former prisoner of war and Senate Armed Services Committee chairman who is battling brain cancer. He even omitted McCain’s name when citing the title of the bill.

The two men have long been fierce critics of each other, with McCain calling Trump’s supporters “crazies” in 2015 and Trump retaliating by questioning whether McCain, who was subjected to torture in a Vietnamese prison camp, is really a “war hero” because “he was captured.”

The snub at Fort Drum, home to the combat aviation brigade of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division, did not escape the notice of McCain’s allies.

“For those asking did I expect Trump to be an a—— today. No more than I expected it to be Monday,” Mark Salter, McCain’s longtime aide, wrote on Twitter.

McCain’s condition — dire enough that a recent HBO documentary on him was titled “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls” — has not stopped Trump from deriding the Arizona senator at political rallies. Though Trump does not use his name, he tells crowds that he would have been able to repeal Obamacare if not for a thumbs-down sign from one senator — McCain.

The senator’s own statement included Trump’s name in the headline and in a preamble written by staff. But the words attributed to McCain did not.

“I’m very proud that the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 has been signed into law,” he said.

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