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Speaker Boehner skips Tucson memorial for RNC cocktail party

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The new speaker of the House skipped a nationally televised memorial in Arizona honoring victims of Saturday’s shootings, opting instead to host a cocktail party Wednesday night.

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) declined an offer to ride to Tucson on Air Force One with President Barack Obama and other lawmakers, Politico reported.

A Democratic leadership aide told the newspaper it was “disrespectful” of the speaker to miss the memorial service in order to attend a partisan political event, whether or not it was planned in advance.

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The party, organized by Boehner’s political action committee, featured 168 members of the Republican National Committee, according to published reports. It took place at at a Maryland resort near Washington at 7 pm EST, coinciding with the memorial slated for 8 pm.

A spokesperson for Boehner told Roll Call Wednesday that the Ohio Republican intended to leave the reception before Obama’s address began.

But that didn’t help the optics of his situation, and newspapers widely reported on Boehner’s decision. The move invited mockery from critics, who suggested the 20-year congressman was having trouble settling into his new role.

At the memorial, President Obama poignantly pleaded for civility in the wake of the national tragedy that left six dead, one of whom was a federal judge, and over a dozen wounded, including Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona.

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His speech, in which he called on Americans to transcend partisanship and vitriol as they mourn the victims, was roundly praised by liberals and conservatives.

The service was attended by First Lady Michelle Obama, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, and Arizona Republican Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl.

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Turkey quickly undermines Trump as he boasts about his deal-making: ‘This is not a ceasefire’

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House Democrats: It’s time to include Trump’s shady Turkey deal in the impeachment inquiry

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Even by Donald Trump's basement-level standards, there's something bizarre about the president's behavior in deciding to allow a Turkish invasion of Syria aimed at pushing the Kurdish population out of the area — a move that is, for all intents and purposes, an act of ethnic cleansing. Less than two weeks ago, Trump, apparently spontaneously, acceded to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an's request that the U.S. pull a small number of troops out of the area to clear the way for what swiftly turned into a slaughter. Since then, Trump's attempts to justify this betrayal — not just of the Kurds, but of basic human decency — have been alarmingly erratic, well beyond his existing baseline of constant, impulsive dramatics.

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Climate change not on agenda for next G7 summit: Trump White House

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Climate change will not be on the agenda of next year's G7 summit, to be held at US President Donald Trump's Florida golf club, the White House said on Thursday.

The announcement marks the latest development in Trump's running battle against nearly all forms of environmental regulation that has seen his administration pull out of the Paris climate accord, axe rules limiting leaks of the greenhouse gas methane and weaken key wildlife protections.

"Climate change will not be on the agenda," acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters.

The United States and China account for nearly half the planet's carbon emissions, making them the key countries needed to get behind urgent efforts to battle climate change.

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