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Trump, in Oval Office, signs first executive order on Obamacare

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President Donald Trump signed his first executive order on Friday, heading into the Oval Office shortly after his inaugural parade to direct agencies to ease regulations associated with Obamacare, the signature healthcare law of his predecessor that Trump has vowed to replace.

The White House also directed an immediate regulatory freeze for all government agencies in a memo from Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.

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The White House did not immediately provide details about what the executive order or memo entailed.

Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act was a central pledge for Trump during the presidential election campaign, although Republicans in the U.S. Congress have not yet laid out a plan to replace the insurance program.

In a hastily arranged signing ceremony, with some of his top aides around him, Trump sat behind the presidential Resolute Desk, signing the order. He also signed commissions for his newly confirmed Defense Secretary James Mattis and his Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

Trump spoke briefly about his day with reporters. “It was busy, but good. It was a beautiful day,” Trump said.

Vice President Mike Pence then swore in Mattis and Kelly in a separate ceremony.

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There were other signs of change in the Oval Office, which former President Barack Obama vacated on Friday morning. Golden drapes hung where crimson ones had earlier in the day, and new furniture dotted the room.

(This version of the story corrects spelling of Priebus in second paragraph; removes erroneous reference to Churchill bust replacing Martin Luther King Jr. bust in final paragraph)

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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‘I know a dying administration when I see one’: British journalist says brutal crackdown will seal Trump’s doom

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British journalist Ed Luce called out Senate Republicans for covering a dying Trump administration that's threatening U.S. democracy as it gasps for survival.

The Financial Times' chief U.S. commentator told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that President Donald Trump is trying to crack down on dissent and rally his hardcore base as the coronavirus and now nationwide protests against police brutality threaten his re-election chances.

"There are other Republican senators who are keeping silent because they know that what Trump is doing, what Trump is suggesting, is wrong," Luce said. they're scared of a backlash if they speak out."

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Massive new fence construction at White House draws howls of laughter: ‘Mexico might actually pay for this wall!’

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President Donald Trump may no longer be hunkering down in a bunker, but he does seem to be building a lot more fencing around the White House.

CNN reporter Betsy Klein on Thursday posted a video showing a massive amount of new fencing being built at the White House, which is part of an effort to limit anti-police brutality protesters' ability to demonstrate directly in front of the building.

More fencing going up around the White House complex early this morning pic.twitter.com/VLBRnx1lgz

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‘This isn’t going away’: Defying curfews and police brutality in relentless push for justice, uprising over killing of George Floyd keeps growing

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"Essential workers are exempt from the curfew, and what we are doing here is essential."

Refusing to be cowed by militaristic intimidation tacticsmass arrestsdraconian curfews, and violence endorsed and directly ordered by the Trump administration, tens of thousands of people demanding justice for the police killing of George Floyd—and so many others—took to the streets across the U.S. once more Wednesday in a powerful signal that the nationwide uprising is only growing in the face of repression.

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