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- 01/22/17--14:02: _Trump, Mexican Pres...
- 01/22/17--14:19: _After mass turnout,...
- 01/23/17--13:27: _CDC cancels climate...
- 01/23/17--14:13: _For the film ‘Pater...
- 01/23/17--14:34: _3 takeaways from Se...
- 01/23/17--15:15: _WATCH: Oscars nomin...
- 01/23/17--15:15: _You can thank Ohio’...
- 01/23/17--15:20: _A meeting of nation...
- 01/23/17--15:25: _Do Americans care a...
- 01/23/17--15:25: _If Trump ends Ameri...
- 01/23/17--15:28: _Schumer says Trump ...
- 01/23/17--15:30: _Trump administratio...
- 01/23/17--15:35: _Explaining the laws...
- 01/23/17--15:40: _Sen. Schumer on Dem...
- 01/23/17--15:45: _News Wrap: Senate c...
- 01/23/17--15:50: _Trump refocuses on ...
- 01/23/17--16:25: _360 video time laps...
- 01/23/17--19:59: _AP report: Trump ad...
- 01/24/17--05:37: _WATCH LIVE: Tom Pri...
- 01/24/17--05:49: _WATCH LIVE: Trump b...
- 01/22/17--14:02: Trump, Mexican President Peña Nieto to meet in Washington
- 01/22/17--14:19: After mass turnout, can protests turn into political impact?
- 01/23/17--13:27: CDC cancels climate conference, but doesn’t say why
- 01/23/17--14:13: For the film ‘Paterson,’ poet Ron Padgett wrote four original poems
- 01/23/17--14:34: 3 takeaways from Sean Spicer’s first official news briefing
- 01/23/17--15:15: WATCH: Oscars nominations announced
- 01/23/17--15:15: You can thank Ohio’s tropical sea for your winter road salt
- 01/23/17--15:20: A meeting of nationalist leaders sows division in Europe
- 01/23/17--15:25: Do Americans care about Trump’s feud with the press?
- 01/23/17--15:25: If Trump ends America’s world leadership role, who will step up?
- 01/23/17--15:28: Schumer says Trump off to ‘bumpy start’ in NewsHour interview
- 01/23/17--15:30: Trump administration wastes no time in fighting the press over facts
- 01/23/17--15:40: Sen. Schumer on Democratic opposition under Trump
- 01/23/17--15:45: News Wrap: Senate committee OKs Tillerson for State Department
- 01/23/17--15:50: Trump refocuses on the economy after a rocky rollout
- 01/23/17--16:25: 360 video time lapse: Watch Donald Trump’s inauguration
- 01/24/17--05:37: WATCH LIVE: Tom Price’s second confirmation hearing
- 01/24/17--05:49: WATCH LIVE: Trump budget pick Mick Mulvaney’s confirmation hearing
ALISON STEWART, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR: President Trump said today that he will begin to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement when he meets with the leaders of Canada and Mexico. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto will be coming to Washington on January 31st. Pena Nieto says he wants an open dialogue with Mr. Trump who’s vowed to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and make Mexico pay for it.
For more analysis of this meeting, I am joined by Skype from Mexico City by “Washington Post” reporter Josh Partlow.
So, Josh, what is the biggest issue facing the Mexican people as these two presidents meet?
JOSH PARTLOW, WASHINGTON POST: I think the biggest issue that will affect most Mexicans is the trade issue. You know, President Trump has said he’s going to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA, and for Mexicans, that’s a huge deal. The economic changes that have happened here over the past two decades have been pretty extreme and that’s something they don’t want to lose.
So, I think the wall while it may have a more symbolic or — symbolic impact, the trade issues are really the ones that strike fear into the heart of the government here.
STEWART: Let’s talk about that Mexican wall that Mr. Trump says he’s going to build and claims he is going to get Mexican pay for it. Where has the Mexican president come down on this?
PARTLOW: They’ve been really clear all along that they’re not going to pay for the wall. That’s one thing they have been consistent with. The Mexican government has said that over and over, and that Mexican President Pena Nieto had said that over and over, including just a couple of days ago.
So, that’s something that I don’t think at least — you know, I don’t think that’s going to change.
STEWART: Pena Nieto’s approval rating has been in a downward spiral, at least at 12 percent by one account. How much of that has to do with how he’s handled things at home, and how much of that has to do with how he’s handled Mr. Trump thus far?
PARTLOW: How he’s handled Mr. Trump has definitely given his approval ratings another kick downwards. I mean, he hasn’t been popular here for a couple of years. There have been a lot of scandals here in Mexico during his administration, which has lasted about four years now. The economy is not doing very well. And he’s not very popular. He has not been popular for a long time.
But the Trump visit, particularly in August, was a big deal for a lot of Mexicans. President Pena Nieto invited Donald Trump to come visit while he was still a candidate. And they stood side-by-side and it was seen by many here as something that legitimized Donald Trump’s campaign, even after Trump had said numerous insults against Mexicans. So, that was seen — that was something that really was unpopular for a lot of Mexicans.
STEWART: Mexico’s foreign minister said this about Mexico’s position in this negotiation about trade, that Mexico will negotiate with, quote, “great self-confidence, without fear, knowing the economic, social, and political importance that Mexico has for the United States.” That framing is very different than what we’ve been hearing. Is there truth in that, that we’re so intertwined, that Mexico can come to these trade negotiations from a power — a position of power in some ways?
PARTLOW: Yes, I think it there is definitely truth that the two economies are extremely interconnected. There is something like $500 billion of trade each year, back and forth, between the two countries. But, you know, it’s also clear that Mexico is the weaker partner here. And they have a lot more to lose than the United States does.
I don’t think they have no leverage. They can impose tariffs on American goods, coming too Mexico just as easily as the United States can do that to Mexican exports going to the United States.
STEWART: Joining us from Mexico City, Josh Partlow from the “Washington Post” — thank you.
PARTLOW: Thank you.
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DENVER — Deb Szeman, a self-described “homebody,” had never participated in a demonstration before hopping on an overnight bus from her home in Charlotte, North Carolina, to attend the women’s march on Washington.
She returned on another bus that pulled in at 4 a.m. Sunday, full of people buzzing about what might come next and quipping that they would see each other at the next march.
“I wouldn’t have spent 18 hours in Washington, D.C., and taken the bus for seven hours both ways if I didn’t believe there was going to be a part two, and three and four and five,” said Szeman, 25, who works at a nonprofit and joined the National Organization for Women after Trump won the White House.
“I feel like there’s been an awakening,” she said.
More than a million people turned out Saturday to nationwide demonstrations opposing President Donald Trump’s agenda, a forceful showing that raised liberals’ hopes after the election denied them control of all branches of federal government. Now, the question is whether that energy can be sustained and turned into political impact.
From marches against the Iraq War in 2003 to Occupy Wall Street, several big demonstrations have not directly translated into real-world results. In Wisconsin, for example, tens of thousands stormed the state Capitol in 2011 to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s moves to weaken unions. Walker has since been re-elected.
Trump also won the state in November as Republicans increased their hold on the statehouse, part of the GOP’s domination of state-level elections in recent years.
Organizers of Saturday’s marches are promising 10 additional actions to take during the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency. So far, the first and only is for supporters to write to their senators or representatives.
Groups scrambled so fast to arrange the massive demonstrations in only a few weeks that they have had limited time to determine how to channel the energy into additional action. But, they promise, it’s coming.
“The left has really woken up and said, ‘My gosh, we’ve been fighting the symbolic fight, but we haven’t been fighting the institutional fight,'” said Yong Jung-Cho of the activist group All of Us, which organized protests at the inauguration as well as the women’s march.
There’s still value in symbolism. Saturday’s immense crowds ruffled the new president as his press secretary falsely contended that Trump had broken a record on inauguration attendance. Jamie Henn of the climate action group 350.org said that reaction is a hint on how to build the movement.
“Size matters to this guy,” Henn said. “It’s like dealing with a schoolyard bully and some of us need to go back to middle school and revisit what that’s like” as they think up new tactics.
Saudi Garcia, a 24-year-old anthropology student at New York University, is a veteran of Black Lives Matter protests in New York. She rode to Washington with longtime, largely minority activists to block checkpoints to the inauguration.
She was heartened to find herself in a very different crowd Saturday, which she described as largely white women, many of whom brought young children to the women’s march. Garcia hopes those women stay involved in fighting Trump.
“We need to be like the tea party was in 2009,” Garcia said. “Those people were relentless — showing up at town council meetings, everywhere.”
Stan A. Veuger of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, co-authored a study of how the nationwide demonstrations that launched the tea party movement led to increased conservative political clout.
Higher attendance at individual demonstrations correlated with more conservative voting by congressional members and a greater share of Republican votes in the 2010 election, when the GOP won back the House, he said.
But, Veuger cautioned, it wasn’t automatic. The tea party activists also went home and volunteered in local organizations that helped change the electoral results.
“Political protests can have an effect,” he said. “But there’s nothing guaranteed.”
One positive sign for the left, he added, was that the women’s marches seemed to draw an older crowd not deeply rooted in demonstrating — people who are more likely to volunteer, donate and vote.
Beth Andre is one of them. Before the election, the 29-year-old who works in crisis services at a college had bought a ticket from her home in Austin, Texas, to Washington to watch what she thought would be Hillary Clinton’s inauguration.
After Trump won, she canceled the trip. She was heartbroken again when she realized that meant she could not attend the women’s march. But a friend invited her to a meeting to plan a women’s march in Austin instead.
Andre has never been involved in a protest movement before. Still excited after Saturday’s demonstration, she’s planning to attend lobbying workshops by her local Democratic Party and is thinking of running for office.
“We want to be able to harness that energy and anger that we have right now and turn it into something good,” she said.
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NEW YORK — The government’s top public health agency has canceled a conference next month on climate change and health but isn’t saying why publicly.
But a co-sponsor was told by the Centers for Disease and Prevention that the agency was worried how the conference would be viewed by the Trump administration.
The incoming administration did not ask or order that the meeting be canceled, said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.
“They had no idea or not whether the new administration would be supportive,” said Benjamin, whose group was a co-sponsor of the event with the CDC.
Rather, the decision was “a strategic retreat,” intended to head off a possible last minute cancellation or other repercussions from Trump officials who may prove hostile to spending money on climate change science, Benjamin said Monday.
“They decided the better part of valor was to stop and regroup” until it could be discussed with Trump’s new health leadership, Benjamin said. A new CDC director has not been named.
Benjamin called the decision understandable but worrisome. He was echoed by Kristie Ebi, a professor of global health at the University of Washington in Seattle, who was invited to speak at the conference.
“In the long run, climate change is affecting the health of Americans,” she said. “At some point, I hope they will go forward with the conference.”
A CDC official confirmed the agency’s decision last month to cancel the Climate and Health Summit scheduled for Feb. 14-17 but offered no explanation when asked. In a statement to those registered, the CDC said the summit may take place later in the year.
Public health experts say climate change is a man-made problem that contributes to a range of health issues and illnesses, including heat stroke and diseases spread by tropical insects. The CDC has a $10 million program on climate and health, and published guidelines to help local health officials deal with human vulnerability to climate change.
In 2012, Trump tweeted that the concept of global warming was created by the Chinese to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive. He later said he was joking, but during the presidential campaign referred to global warming as “a hoax.”
Before he took office, Trump met with former Vice President Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio, both prominent climate activists. Trump picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. During his confirmation hearing, Pruitt backed away from his own past statements and said climate change is real.
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By Ron Padgett
When you’re a child
there are three dimensions:
height, width, and depth.
Like a shoebox.
Then later you hear
there’s a fourth dimension:
Then some say
there can be five, six, seven…
I knock off work,
have a beer
at the bar.
I look down at the glass
and feel glad.
This poem is one of four that American poet Ron Padgett wrote specifically for the new Jim Jarmusch film “Paterson,” which follows a poetry-writing bus driver (played by Adam Driver) who shares a name with his city of Paterson, New Jersey. Throughout the film, we both see and hear Paterson recite his poetry, inspired by his daily routine.
When Jarmusch asked Padgett, a friend, to write original poetry for the film, Padgett initially said no. But after talking it over with Jarmusch, Padgett told the PBS NewsHour,“I thought … why do I have to be such a chicken? Why can’t I just really accept this challenge?”
After the poet read the script, he said he began to form an idea about who the character of Paterson was, and “found myself falling into what I kind of temporarily fantasized to be his world.”
Paterson’s world is full of routines: he drives his bus, writes poetry at lunch, sees his wife at home at night and then goes to have a beer at the local bar. So goes the poetry Padgett has written for him in the film: “I knock off work, / have a beer / at the bar. I look down at the glass / and feel glad.”
Padgett, known for this kind of plain, observational writing, said young people too often have a narrow or inflated view of what poetry has to look like. For Padgett, poetry can simply come, as it does in the film, from the familiar — or the imagined. “Maybe a film like Paterson will help some people say, huh, maybe I could write something like this too,” Padgett said.
Watch PBS NewsHour arts correspondent Jeffrey Brown’s interview with Padgett and Jarmusch below.
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White House press secretary Sean Spicer held his first official news briefing on Monday, taking questions from reporters for over an hour.
The press conference was a departure from last Saturday, when Spicer refused to take questions from the podium while delivering a statement that included false claims about Inauguration Day.
PBS Newshour correspondent Lisa Desjardins and online politics editor Dan Bush went on Facebook Live following the briefing to put Spicer’s remarks in context.
Here are a few takeaways from Spicer’s first full back-and-forth with the press.
Crowd size still an issue
Spicer did not repeat his claim from Saturday that the white platforms covering sections of the National Mall on Inauguration Day were not used at previous inaugurations. (That was not true: the platforms were used for former President Obama’s second inaugural address in 2013.)
But Spicer did stand by his assertion that President Trump’s inauguration set a viewership record, when combining the people who watched the ceremony in person and viewers around the country and the world who tuned in on television or online.
It’s difficult to verify the global online streaming numbers. But some viewership figures are clear: Roughly 31 million people watched the inauguration on television, according to Nielsen. Approximately 38 million people watched Obama’s 2009 inauguration on TV, and about 41 million watched Ronald Reagan’s first inauguration in 1981. There’s no official estimate for how many people showed up in Washington, D.C. in 2017, but a crowd expert hired by the New York Times estimated the crowd as about a third of the 1.8 million people who attended Obama’s inauguration in 2009.
Fighting over facts
In response to a question about his approach to his job, Spicer said on Monday that he believed the Trump administration has a responsibility to “be honest with the American people,” adding that “our intention is never to lie.”
But Spicer also said there was room for debate about the truth. “We can have disagreements about the facts,” he said. The remark echoed Kellyanne Conway’s comments over the weekend. In a television interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Conway, a senior White House adviser, defended Spicer’s version of events on Inauguration Day, calling them “alternative facts.”
The Trump presidency is still in its infancy. But comments like these signal that top officials in the administration are prepared for a combative relationship with the press. Spicer admitted as much later on in his press conference on Monday. “The default narrative [around President Trump] is already negative. And it’s demoralizing,” he said.
Spicer did make some news Monday, though most of it came in the form of updates to previously discussed plans (like President Trump’s plan to nominate a Supreme Court justice in the next few weeks).
A lot of questions went unanswered, however. Spicer did not provide details on President Trump’s plan for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects around 750,000 people from deportation. The Trump administration has signaled that it will roll back the program, which was put in place by Obama. On Monday, Spicer did not go into specifics, though he said that President Trump was focused on drafting a plan to remove undocumented immigrants with criminal backgrounds.
Spicer also provided no new clues on the Trump administration’s replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act. President Trump signed an executive order last Friday, shortly after his inauguration speech, directing federal agencies to ease the regulatory burdens associated with Obama’s signature law. But the administration, and congressional Republicans, still have not agreed on a broader plan to replace the law with something new.
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The nominations for the 89th annual Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 8:18 a.m. ET. PBS NewsHour will live stream the event.
Favorites for nominations this year include the breakout musical, “La La Land,” the affecting drama, “Manchester by the Sea,” and the coming-of-age film, “Moonlight,” all three of which performed well in the Golden Globes. “Moonlight,” which follows a boy as he grows up black, gay and poor during the era of the “War on Drugs,” took home the Golden Globe for best picture.
In an interview with PBS NewsHour arts correspondent Jeffrey Brown, “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins said, “I think that right now there’s a time in this country where people want to see beyond the barriers of their own experience.”
Other favorites include the film “Loving,” which tells the real-life story of two people fighting for a mixed-race marriage, “Hidden Figures,” about three black women who helped launch the first American into space, and “Fences,” the on-screen adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning August Wilson play.
Favored actors include “La La Land’s” Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, “Moonlight’s” Mahershala Ali, “Fences'” Viola Davis and “Paterson’s” Adam Driver.
See more of our favorite movies from 2016 here and find links to all of our coverage of film as we go beyond the red carpet.
In our NewsHour Shares series, we show you things that caught our eye recently on the web. What about you? Leave your suggestions in the comments below, or tweet to @NewsHour using #NewsHourShares. We might share it on air.
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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s pursuit of an “America first” foreign policy is raising questions about who, if anyone, will fill the void if the U.S. relinquishes its traditional global leadership role. China and Russia are among the aspirants for greater economic and military influence, while an ambivalent Germany could emerge as the West’s moral compass.
For generations, the U.S. has largely set the terms for the global economy, policed international security threats and spearheaded the response to crises like Ebola and Haiti’s earthquake. But after sweeping into office with an isolationist-tinged message rooted in the idea the U.S. needs to refocus on itself, Trump has said and done little to dispel the notion that he wants the rest of the world solve its own problems.
In his inaugural address, Trump said the U.S. for too long has been invested in other countries’ industries, militaries, borders and infrastructure while letting its own fall into “disrepair and decay.”
“That is the past,” Trump said.
In one of his first acts, Trump on Monday formally withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a project launched under President George W. Bush and negotiated by President Barack Obama to set trade rules with Asia and counter China’s economic influence
Trump said he was doing a “great thing” for U.S. workers by tearing it up. But Sen. John McCain, a fellow Republican, said the withdrawal “abdicates U.S. leadership in Asia to China.”
China isn’t the only country that could profit from U.S. retrenchment. In their own ways, Russia and Germany also could stake a claim to a greater global role. But no one can simultaneously match America’s economic, military and moral might, and a more isolationist U.S. could mean a power vacuum.
“There’s no country or collection of countries that can do what the U.S. has done for the last half-century,” said Jon Alterman, a former State Department official now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It’s partly a question of resources and capacity, and it’s partly a question of ambition.”
“A huge number of things will simply not be done,” he said.
While U.S. rivals like China and Russia would relish the opportunity to try to replace the United States, many countries in Asia, Europe and elsewhere are fretting the prospect of an American retreat. Even Germany is unsettled about being increasingly looked to as a moral example.
China, which has been investing billions in Africa and Latin America to curry influence in the developing world, could become an increasingly dominant economic power. It already is aggressively pursuing a multicountry trade deal that would appear the likeliest alternative to TPP, a scenario Obama’s administration had warned would let China “write the rules” and lead to worse labor and environmental standards.
Beijing has used Trump’s inauguration as an opportunity to ridicule America’s democracy and tout its own communist system as superior. And many of China’s neighbors share its fears about Trump’s threats to trigger a “trade war” with the Asian powerhouse by taxing Chinese products.
“Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean that you cannot escape from,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, laying out his plans for growth, overseas investments and expanded trade opportunities. It was the type of agenda the U.S. might have previously touted.
America’s military alliances are no sure thing, either.
Trump has suggested a broad rethink, calling NATO “obsolete” and challenging U.S. allies to bear greater cost while beefs up its military in the Pacific and Russia exerts military power in Eastern Europe, which suffered for decades under Soviet domination.
It’s not the only place the Kremlin is flexing its muscles. In Syria, Russia has backed more than a year of successful Syrian government offensives against rebels and is currently directing peace talks between the two sides. The U.S. was but a bystander at the negotiations Monday, while the White House said it could partner Russia to fight the Islamic State group in Syria. Such an arrangement could significantly enhance Russia’s reputation in the Middle East.
“With the election of Donald Trump, the old world of the 20th century is finally over,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier wrote in the Bild newspaper, reflecting a broader European lament about confused international leadership and increased disorder.
Trump’s push has mirrored a broader global debate about globalization vs. isolation. British Prime Minister Theresa May will visit Trump later this week, seeking cooperation from an American leader who cheered her country’s vote to leave the European Union — which Obama campaigned against.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who once cursed Obama for the American’s criticism of his country’s war on drugs, has embraced Trump’s “America first” approach and expressed relief the U.S. will no longer lecture others on how to behave. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, long accused of undemocratic tendencies, echoed that message, declaring “the end of multilateralism” in the age of Trump.
While China’s increased economic strength and Russia’s military vigor may appeal to some, few Western-looking nations will turn to either for moral leadership. Germany has tried to fill that void, embracing hundreds of thousands of refugees and championing a dwindling multilateralism 70 years after being culpable for some of history’s greatest ever atrocities in World War II.
But Germany, Europe’s economic motor, has a glaring shortcoming: An inability to match the hard power of aspiring leaders in Moscow and Beijing. And for all her efforts, German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a tough re-election later this year, where she will find out if her Germany is immune to the new populist surge.
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Between a visit to the CIA and a continuing focus on inauguration crowds, President Donald Trump’s first 72 hours in office have been “bumpy to say the least,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday.
In an interview with PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff, Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the thing Trump “has to realize is he’s [the] president, not a candidate.”
Schumer, who spoke during Friday’s inauguration, also discussed the president and congressional Republicans’ plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
“They want to keep the good things, and repeal it,” Schumer said. “But they don’t know how to do it.”
On Monday, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana introduced the first ACA replacement bill, which would allow individual states to decide if they wanted to continue providing health care options under the existing law.
Schumer said House Republicans would pose the biggest challenge to a replacement bill, because they’ll likely oppose any measure that boosts federal spending.
Still, Schumer said he was confident that the landmark health care law is here to stay.
It’s “very easy when they’re out of power to repeal it,” Schumer says. “Not so easy now.”
Schumer also touched on the Supreme Court vacancy.
Since President Trump won the election, Schumer has called on him to nominate a mainstream candidate to fill the court’s open seat. Senate Republicans don’t have the votes to block a filibuster of Trump’s nominee.
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has made it clear he is not taking the “nuclear option” — a procedural move that would allow Republicans to confirm a Supreme Court nominee without a single Democratic vote — off the table
“The last two presidents have nominated four people to the Supreme Court,” Schumer said. “They all got bipartisan support.”
Schumer also offered a warning: If President Trump nominates someone from the “far right,” Schumer said, Senate Democrats “will oppose [the pick] with everything we have.”
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Take a front and center view of Inauguration Day via a 360 video that was shot by Digital Domain/IM360 for the press pool at this year’s event. This video was created by a camera with 11 sensors, mounted on the front of the main camera platform at the event. Watch closely around the 30 second mark, when Donald Trump appears on the dias.
Also, don’t miss our time lapse of crowds on the National Mall:
Click here for our complete coverage of the 58th Inauguration.
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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump asserted in a private meeting with congressional leaders Monday night that he would have won the popular vote in the 2016 election if 3 million to 5 million immigrants living in the country illegally hadn’t voted.
Trump made the debunked claim, without offering any evidence, at a White House meeting with Democratic and Republican leaders, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the exchange who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., alluded to it, telling reporters that Trump and the lawmakers talked about “the different Electoral College, popular vote.” Asked if anything surprised her about the meeting, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said, “I won’t even go into that.”
There has been no evidence of widespread tampering or hacking that would change the results of the presidential contest. Trump won the Electoral College by a comfortable margin but Democratic rival Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 2.9 million votes.
Throughout the campaign, Trump pushed false claims about the propensity of voter fraud, telling his supporters the election had been “rigged” against him.
Trump has made the unverified claims before, tweeting in late November that he would have won the popular vote “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” He also alleged at the time that there had been “serious voter fraud” in California, New Hampshire and Virginia and complained that the media wasn’t covering it.
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Here online at the PBS NewsHour, watch the second confirmation hearing for Tom Price, President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, is scheduled to start at Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 10 a.m.
WASHINGTON — A second Senate committee is ready to interrogate President Donald Trump’s pick for health secretary, a nominee who’s backed by Republicans but under fire from Democrats for his support for tearing down President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul and his past stock trades.
Trump’s selection, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., 62, is a veteran conservative congressman and orthopedic surgeon from Atlanta’s suburbs who has long favored voiding Obama’s 2010 law and wrote his own proposed substitute for it. Chairman of the House Budget Committee until recently, he’s also favored revamping Medicare and Medicaid, which Democrats vehemently resist and Trump as a presidential candidate said he opposed changing.
Tuesday’s Senate Finance Committee hearing comes as GOP lawmakers intent on repealing Obama’s law continue trying to figure out how they would replace it. That remains a top priority for Trump and congressional Republicans, and GOP lawmakers plan a retreat in Philadelphia later this week to discuss what to do.
Trump has been pressuring Republicans to move quickly on legislation scuttling Obama’s law and replacing it.
The hearing also follows an executive order Trump issued Friday, his first day in office, that vaguely empowers federal officials to curb fiscal burdens Obama’s overhaul imposes and give states more flexibility to interpret it. That could let agencies take steps like stopping fines of people who don’t buy coverage or easing the law’s requirement that insurers cover birth control, but there could be procedural and political pitfalls to exercising those powers.
In prepared remarks, committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, praised Price for having “the experience and qualifications” needed for the post. He accused Democrats of a “level of partisan rancor” he said he’d not seen before in trying to derail Price and other Trump nominees.
Top panel Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon called Price “the architect of repeal and ruin” in prepared remarks. He said Price’s plan would “tell vulnerable Americans that their health care will go only as far as their bank accounts will take them.”
As head of the huge Health and Human Services Department, Price would have enormous power to decide how Obama’s law is interpreted and enforced. For example, he could weaken the statute’s requirements that people buy insurance and larger employers provide it to workers by granting broader exemptions, or reduce the extent of coverage insurers must provide for 10 types of mandated health services.
Trump has offered few details on how he’d reshape the law.
He’s said he wants to provide “insurance for everybody” and force pharmaceutical companies to negotiate prices with the federal government, proposals that appeal to many Democrats. He also wants to rely more on health savings accounts for people’s medical expenses and let states decide how to spend federal Medicaid dollars for low-income people, GOP ideas that Democrats oppose.
Obama’s law has provided coverage to 20 million people by creating online marketplaces for those without employer-provided coverage and subsidizing many of them, and expanding Medicaid to more lower-income people.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated last week that repeal without a replacement would cost 18 million people their insurance in the first year and spike premiums for individual coverage — not provided by companies — by up to 25 percent.
The Wall Street Journal reported last month that over the past four years, Price traded more than $300,000 worth of shares in around 40 health-related companies, even as he pushed legislation that could affect the firms’ values.
Price has signed a government ethics agreement to sell his stock, but Democrats have suggested he’s gotten special deals and inside information for some purchases. Price has said he’s done nothing wrong.
A bipartisan Finance panel staff memo obtained by The Associated Press said that in disclosure forms he’s filed, Price undervalued around 400,000 shares of stock he purchased last August in an Australian drug company.
The memo said Price reported the shares were worth $50,000 to $100,000, based on the purchase price then. Those shares were worth up to $250,000 when he filed his forms to the Finance committee, the report said. Price said his figures were a “good faith valuation” but agreed to recalculate the value, the memo said.
The shares are in Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd., which Democrats have accused Price of purchasing based on insider information. Price has denied that.
The Senate Health committee held an initial hearing on Price last Tuesday, but only the Finance Committee has the jurisdiction to vote on his nomination. The full Senate would then vote on confirmation.
The post WATCH LIVE: Tom Price’s second confirmation hearing appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Here online at the PBS NewsHour, watch the second confirmation hearing for Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget, is scheduled to start at Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 10:30 a.m.
WASHINGTON — Rep. Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s staunchly conservative choice to lead the White House budget office, says the government’s “debt is a problem that must be addressed sooner, rather than later.”
But in remarks prepared for a Tuesday appearance before the Senate Budget Committee, the South Carolina Republican says it’s too early to say what steps the new administration will take to reduce intractable government deficits.
Mulvaney will appear as the Congressional Budget Office reveals new estimates about the deficits the administration will inherit. The government ran a $587 billion deficit last year and that level of red ink is predicted to rise steadily.
“Fundamental changes are needed in the way Washington spends and taxes if we truly want a healthy economy,” Mulvaney says in testimony prepared for the hearing. “This must include changing our government’s long-term fiscal path — which is unsustainable.”
But Mulvaney stops short of saying the new administration will attempt to balance the budget as Capitol Hill Republicans promised — but never sought to carry out — while Democrat Barack Obama was president.
“Fixing the economy doesn’t mean just taking a green eyeshade approach to the budget. Our government isn’t just about numbers. A strong, healthy economy allows us to protect our most vulnerable,” he says.
Mulvaney was elected in the 2010 tea party wave and is among the purest of deficits hawks on Capitol Hill. He’s been a supporter of the House GOP’s controversial plan to cut back Medicare by turning it into a voucher-like program for future retirees. Trump opposes the idea and has made it clear he doesn’t support dealing now with the program’s financial shortfalls.
“My mother-in-law relied on Social Security when she retired; she relied on Medicare to see to her medical needs before she died of cancer,” Mulvaney said. “The safety net was there for her. We would also like it to be there for her grandchildren.”
Mulvaney is also sure to face questions from Democrats on his failure to pay more than $15,000 in payroll taxes for a household worker more than a decade ago. The lapse doesn’t appear likely to derail his nomination, however. Tax issues failed to derail some past Cabinet nominees, including former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, a Democrat, but have claimed others like former Sen. Tom Daschle.
Trump’s budget goals aren’t known, though he’s promised sizable increases for the Pentagon and repealing the Affordable Care Act, including its tax increases on the wealthy. The new administration has also endorsed a controversial proposal to cut the Medicaid program for the poor, elderly, and disabled, and turning its funding into a block grant given to the states.
It’s also unclear if Trump has the stomach for reprising past budget controversies such as cutting Amtrak subsidies, eliminating funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, or cutting law enforcement grants to local governments.
Trump on Monday signed an order imposing a hiring freeze at the federal government, however, and Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said: “We’ve got to look at how we’re spending the American people’s tax money.”
At the budget office, Mulvaney will be responsible for drawing up Trump’s budget submission, likely to come in April. Then would come a budget debate in the House and Senate and follow-up legislation to fund agency budgets, reform the tax code, and perhaps cut benefit programs like Medicaid. Actually balancing the budget, as Republicans have promised in past years, is highly unlikely, given the size of the cuts that would be required.
The post WATCH LIVE: Trump budget pick Mick Mulvaney’s confirmation hearing appeared first on PBS NewsHour.