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Cleveland Clinic’s Toby Cosgrove withdraws from running to head VA

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Toby Cosgrove, the head of the prestigious Cleveland Clinic who the White House had considered nominating to lead the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, said on Saturday he had withdrawn from consideration for that position.

Cosgrove, 73, a Vietnam veteran and surgeon, was in the running to replace former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, who resigned on May 30 amid a political firestorm over widespread delays in veterans’ medical care.

Deputy Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson has been leading the agency while President Barack Obama looks for a permanent replacement. Last week, Cosgrove was said to be under consideration.

In a statement on Saturday, Cosgrove said he was honored to have been considered for the VA position and had great respect for veterans.

“This has been an extraordinarily difficult decision, but I have decided to withdraw from consideration from this position and remain at the Cleveland Clinic, due to the commitment I have made to the organization, our patients and the work that still needs to be done here,” Cosgrove said.

The Cleveland Clinic under Cosgrove has looked to broaden its reach by opening a large, super-modern specialty hospital in Abu Dhabi.

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White House officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Cosgrove’s decision.

The VA scandal began with reports of schemes to hide long patient wait times at facilities in Phoenix, and has since spread to other parts of the country. The agency’s inspector general now is probing 42 separate VA healthcare locations.

Gibson, the department’s acting head, told reporters in Phoenix on Thursday that VA staff had contacted 1,700 veterans whose names appeared on secret waiting lists and found that 18 of them had already died.

(Editing by Eric Walsh)

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Fox News writer: Harvard reject was just ‘espousing conservatism’ when he used the N-word 11 times

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Michael Knowles argued for Fox News this week that Kyle Kashuv was only "espousing conservatism" when he was rejected by Harvard for using the N-word at least 11 times and calling to "kill all the f*cking Jews."

In an op-ed on the Foxnews.com website, Knowles asserted that Kashuv is being singled out by Harvard because he has conservative views.

"The cruel irony is that, while there is no evidence that Kyle Kashuv harbors any actual racial bigotry, there is plenty of evidence that Harvard does," Knowles wrote. "Plaintiffs in a major racial discrimination lawsuit against the university introduced evidence last year demonstrating that Harvard systematically disadvantages Asian-American applicants."

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Trump’s acting Pentagon chief abruptly resigns after FBI investigation delays his Senate confirmation hearing

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President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump's acting defense secretary abruptly resigned after an FBI investigation further delayed his confirmation hearings.

Patrick Shanahan has headed the Department of Defense since January, after James Mattis resigned, but the Pentagon has been fielding questions from the media about his personal life -- including accusations of abuse from his ex-wife, who was also arrested as part of a domestic dispute.

"Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who has done a wonderful job, has decided not to go forward with his confirmation process so that he can devote more time to his family," Trump tweeted.

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Fox host: ‘Ecstatic’ Pompeo and Bolton having ‘tickle parties’ as they push Trump into conflict with Iran

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Fox News host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery on Tuesday worried that President Donald Trump's top advisors were pushing him towards a war with Iran.

"I think Mike Pompeo and John Bolton are jumping around like a couple of 11-year-olds at a sleepover," she remarked during a panel discussion on "Outnumbered."

"They're having pillow fights and tickle parties because they are ecstatic at the thought of an increased military presence near Iran. That's very unfortunate, because the problem isn’t directly challenging Iran with some of their misbehavior. The problem is getting into another Afghanistan and another protracted military campaign --"

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