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Trump blindsided after Macron ‘covertly’ invites Iran Foreign Minister Zarif to G7 summit for talks: report

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According to a report from the Washington Post, President Donald Trump and his staff were “blindsided” when Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made a surprise visit to the G7 summit, reportedly as part of a “covert invitation” from French President Emmanuel Macron.

The report states that Zarif engaged in conversation with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Dria, without the knowledge of anyone from the White House and that Trump himself was not aware of the meeting until a reporter asked him about it.

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The Post reports, “Zarif’s arrival in Biarritz appeared to be a covert initiative by French President Emmanuel Macron, a senior European official said, and other leaders were not informed ahead of time. There was no immediate plan for the Iranian foreign minister to meet anyone other than French officials, the officials said. President Trump, whose antics often leave other world leaders searching for words, had little to say about the unexpected guest.”

The surprise visit comes after Trump had tweeted praise of Macron as a longtime friend.

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Florida reports record number of coronavirus deaths one month ahead of GOP convention

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Florida, the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, reported a record 156 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday and nearly 14,000 new infections.

The total number of virus cases in the "Sunshine State" has now surpassed 315,000 and there have been 4,782 deaths, according to Florida Department of Health figures.

The reporting of 156 virus deaths in the state in a 24-hour period surpasses the previous high of 132 deaths announced just two days earlier.

Florida is now reporting more COVID-19 cases daily than any other state in the country. California and Texas are next with about 10,000 new cases a day.

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GOP officials admit 2020 platform is basically whatever’s on Trump’s Twitter account

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President Donald Trump has shaped the Republican Party into his own image in less than four years on the job, and that doesn't seem likely to change anytime soon.

Nearly half of the House Republicans on the job when Trump took office in 2017 have either retired, resigned, been defeated or are retiring in 2020, and many of the GOP newcomers are devoted Trump loyalists, reported Politico.

“Whether the president wins or loses, his policy views and style have firmly taken over the Republican Party — nationalism and white grievance, those kinds of things,” said Matt Moore, former chairman of South Carolina's GOP. “I don’t think that Trumpy politics will be leaving the stage anytime soon.”

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Coronavirus data disappears from CDC dashboard after Trump hijacks info

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The Trump administration on Tuesday forced all hospitals and states to make a significant and immediate change in how they report coronavirus patient data, hijacking the information to be funneled into the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Experts warned the move could allow the administration to politicize the data, hide it, be less transparent, all of which interferes in the real-time usage of information to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

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