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White House defends vetting of veterans affairs nominee Ronny Jackson

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The White House on Wednesday defended itself against charges that it had failed to adequately vet President Donald Trump’s choice to be veterans affairs secretary, whose nomination has been imperiled by charges of misconduct.

“In fact, because Dr. Jackson has worked within arm’s reach of three presidents, he has received more vetting than most nominees,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters, referring to White House physician Ronny Jackson.

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“Given his unique position of trust and responsibility, Dr. Jackson’s background and character were evaluated during three different administrations,” Sanders said.
Jackson, who was nominated by Trump in March to lead the sprawling Veterans Affairs department, had been considered an unusual choice for the post given his lack of experience managing a large organization.
John Tester, the top Democrat on the Senate committee considering the nomination, has said the panel had received allegations that Jackson had improperly distributed sleeping pills, drank excessive amounts of alcohol on overseas trips and oversaw a toxic work environment.

Earlier this week, the committee indefinitely postponed a hearing it had planned on the nomination while it looks into the allegations.

Sanders said Jackson had undergone four different background investigations, including an FBI check, and had received glowing recommendations from his superiors, including former President Barack Obama.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by Tim Ahmann and Makini Brice; Editing by Bill Trott

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West Virginia’s billionaire GOP governor busted for Trump-like business corruption while in office

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This article was produced in partnership between the Charleston Gazette-Mail and ProPublica. By Ken Ward, Jr.

Last fall, Gov. Jim Justice called reporters to his office in the West Virginia Capitol for a hastily arranged news conference.

Sitting behind a table and flanked by GOP lawmakers, the governor touted the latest budget surplus and announced a proposed pay raise for teachers and a plan to fix the state’s underfunded public employee health care plan.

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Trump may ‘undo his presidency’ — with Republicans backing impeachment: CNN’s conservative anchor

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President Donald Trump's presidency is in peril as Republican lawmakers condemn the administration for green-lighting Turkey's ethnic cleansing of Kurds in northern Syria.

"President Trump this week set fire to the emoluments clause by announcing his own resort would host the G-7 summit. His Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, set fire to his boss’s innocence admitting on camera to the very thing Trump is being investigated for and possibly impeached over," CNN's S.E. Cupp said.

"Donald Trump has put the Republican Party through a lot. Most have gone willingly along with him -- kids in cages, a trade war, protecting Putin, honoring Kim Jong-Un, breaking the law, the lies, the insults, the fake news, the rape allegations. Defending the president over the indefensible has become something of a cottage industry for Republican lawmakers, few of whom have ever dared to call him out," she noted.

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Boris Johnson said he would rather be ‘dead in a ditch’ than delay Brexit — but just asked to extend deadline

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to write to Brussels seeking a Brexit deadline extension after MPs voted Saturday to demand he delay Britain's October 31 departure date.

In a phonecall with European Council President Donald Tusk after the vote, Johnson said he would send the letter mandated by MPs to seek more time, a EU source told AFP.

"The PM confirmed that the letter would be sent to Tusk today," the source said.

"Tusk will on that basis start consulting EU leaders on how to react. This may take a few days," he added.

Tusk said on Twitter that he was "waiting for the letter".

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