Trump: VP Pence “Wants to Hang” All Gays!

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Back in the United States, the White House is denying an explosive article published in The New Yorker that reports President Trump joked that Vice President Mike Pence “wants to hang” gay people. According to reporter Jane Mayer, Trump made the comments in a private meeting with a legal scholar, saying of the vice president’s views on LGBT rights, “Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!” Trump also reportedly mocked Pence over his religious views and his anti-abortion activism. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters the remarks never happened, but The New Yorker stands by its reporting, saying the report was meticulously researched and based on interviews with over 60 officials.

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Pope Francis Warns U.S. over Withdrawal from Paris Climate Accord

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The extreme weather events came as Pope Francis warned of the dangers of climate change, taking a swipe at the Trump administration for withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. The pope was speaking at a United Nations event in Rome.

Pope Francis: “Thanks to scientific knowledge, we know how to confront these problems, and the international community has also worked out the legal methods, such as the Paris accord, which, sadly, some have abandoned. However, we are seeing negligence toward the delicate equilibriums of the ecosystems, the presumption of manipulating and controlling the limited resources of the planet for greed, for profit.”

Rep. John McCain Warns of Trump’s “Half-Baked, Spurious Nationalism”

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Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona condemned what he called “half-baked, spurious nationalism” Monday, in a clear reference to President Trump’s foreign policy. McCain made the comment during a speech at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Sen. John McCain: “To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain the last best hope of Earth, for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism, cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems.”

Drug Czar Nominee, Rep. Tom Marino, Led Effort to Undermine Opioid Abuse Fight.

President Trump declined to say Monday whether he’d continue to back his nominee for drug czar, Republican Congress member Tom Marino, after a Washington Post/”60 Minutes” investigation found Marino spearheaded a drug industry-backed effort to weaken federal government’s ability to crack down on the opioid epidemic. The legislation, backed by Rep. Marino and passed in 2016, made it nearly impossible for the Drug Enforcement Administration to intervene in cases where large, suspicious shipments of opioids are delivered to pharmacies bound for the black market. The Washington Post reports the drug industry lobbied heavily to win passage of the bill, contributing $1.5 million to its 23 congressional co-sponsors. Among them was Congress member Marino, who accepted nearly $100,000 in campaign cash from the industry. Drug overdose deaths—primarily from opioid abuse—surged in the U.S. last year to nearly 60,000, becoming the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.

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Trump Called for Tenfold Increase in Nuclear Weapons Arsenal; Tillerson calls Trump “a moron.”

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In news from Washington, officials say President Trump has called for a nearly tenfold increase in the United States’ nuclear weapons arsenal. The unnamed officials told NBC News that Trump called for the massive nuclear arms build-up during a July 20 meeting with the highest-ranking military leaders. It was after this meeting that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly called Trump a “moron.” In response, Trump has now called for an IQ competition with Tillerson.

New version of health care bill will help Alaska, Maine — home of two holdout senators

 

WASHINGTON — The Republican senators at the forefront of the latest effort to undo the Affordable Care Act plan to release a revised version of their bill Monday sending more health care dollars to the states of key holdouts, as hardening resistance from several GOP senators left their proposal on the verge of collapse.

According to a summary obtained by The Washington Post, Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, will propose giving Alaska and Maine get more funding than initially offered. Those states are represented by Republican senators Lisa Murkowski, Alaska, and Susan CollinsMaine, who have expressed concerns about the bill but have yet to say how they would vote.

The Cassidy-Graham legislation would overhaul the ACA by lumping together the current law’s spending on insurance subsidies and expanded Medicaid and redistributing it to states in the form of block grants. Alaska would get 3 percent more funding between 2020 and 2026 than under current law, and Maine would get 43 percent more funding during that time period, according to a summary obtained by The Post.