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Wednesday, May 23rd

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Kelly thinks he's saving U.S. from disaster, calls Trump 'idiot,' say White House staffers

Kelly called Trump an idiot, among other thingsWhite House chief of staff John Kelly has eroded morale in the West Wing in recent months with comments to aides that include insulting the president's intelligence and casting himself as the savior of the country, according to eight current and former White House officials.

The officials said Kelly portrays himself to Trump administration aides as the lone bulwark against catastrophe, curbing the erratic urges of a president who has a questionable grasp on policy issues and the functions of government. He has referred to Trump as "an idiot" multiple times to underscore his point, according to four officials who say they've witnessed the comments.

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Weedkiller found in granola and crackers, internal FDA emails show

FDA finds weedkiller in food

US government scientists have detected a weedkiller linked to cancer in an array of commonly consumed foods, emails obtained through a freedom of information request show.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been testing food samples for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in hundreds of widely used herbicide products, for two years, but has not yet released any official results.

But the internal documents obtained by the Guardian show the FDA has had trouble finding any food that does not carry traces of the pesticide.

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Mick Mulvaney Used Old Campaign Funds to Cover Interest Payments on His Loans

Mick Mulvaney ysed GOP funds to pay off interest on debts

When White House budget director Mick Mulvaney repaid personal loans to his state senate campaign in September, he was digging himself out of a bit of a financial hole.

Mulvaney had loaned his South Carolina campaign thousands of dollars to cover interest payments on other six-figure loans that he used to finance his state-level campaigns before being elected to Congress in 2010.

It’s a problematic situation in which many Americans find themselves: borrowing money to pay debt service on other borrowed money. But for Mulvaney, the situation was particularly ironic: Two months after he repaid his personal loans to his state senate campaign, he was tapped to be the nation’s top financial consumer watchdog—an office that has tried to help consumers avoid just those sorts of debt traps.

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NRA draws fire from backers, foes for gun ban at event with Vice President Mike Pence

NRA draws fire from Parkland

The NRA's leadership forum at the gun group's annual meeting this week in Dallas will feature Vice President Mike Pence, but it won't feature guns.

The gun ban has drawn the ire of gun-control advocates who question how the NRA can support open carry while banning guns as a safety measure at its own event. Some gun rights supporters also are complaining, offering that no forum is safer than one where the entire audience is armed.

The group bills Friday's forum as "one of the most politically significant and popular events" in the nation, drawing Second Amendment leaders in government, the media and even entertainment.

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'A dark day': Tributes for journalists killed in Kabul

9 jounalists killed after coming to report on events

Tributes are pouring in for at least nine Afghan reporters killed in an explosion while covering an earlier suicide bombing in Kabul.

The first blast was caused on Monday morning by a motorcycle-riding attacker who detonated explosives during rush hour in the Shash Darak area of the Afghan capital.

About half an hour later, as journalists waited by a security cordon several hundred metres away from where the first explosion had occurred, a second suicide bomber apparently posing as a reporter blew himself up among them.

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Ronny Jackson won’t return to old job as Trump’s physician

Ronny Jackson won't return to old job

White House physician Ronny Jackson will not return to his role as the president’s personal physician, according to two senior administration officials, after a string of allegations caused the Navy rear admiral to withdraw his nomination last week to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Sean Conley, a Navy officer who took over Jackson’s role as the president’s personal doctor last month, will continue in the role, the officials said.

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Trump Demands Loyalty Oath From Job Seekers Who Criticized Him During Election

Trump demands loyalty oath from employeesPresident Trump has reportedly scrutinized and demanded loyalty from people up for administration positions after they criticized him during the campaign, according to The Washington Post.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions wanted Sarah Isgur Flores as “his top spokeswoman,” but Flores reportedly had to “kowtow” to Trump personally before getting the gig. According to sources, Flores “told the president she was on board with his agenda and would be honored to serve him” in the Oval Office after she “repeatedly” criticized him in the 2016 primary.

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Migrant caravan prepares to reach the US-Mexico border this afternoon

Caravan of migrants reach US  borderA caravan of hundreds of migrants is expected to reach the US-Mexico border on Sunday afternoon after a monthlong trip from Central America that has sparked the ire of President Donald Trump.

On Sunday morning, migrants in the caravan gathered at Friendship Park in Tijuana and prepared to march to the border and then ask for asylum in the United States. Buses carrying members of the caravan reached Tijuana on Tuesday.
In anticipation of the final march, demonstrators lined both sides of the border on Sunday.
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House chaplain’s mysterious firing triggers uproar

House chaplain's mysterious dismissal

The mysterious firing of the House chaplain morphed into a full-on political firestorm for Republicans Friday as Democrats forced a floor vote on the issue and Catholics on both sides of the aisle said they weren’t satisfied with the reasons given for his ouster.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) tried to quell the controversy Friday morning by addressing his decision to fire Father Patrick Conroy during a private GOP conference meeting. Ryan said Conroy's ouster wasn’t politically motivated, as some have speculated. He said it came after complaints from multiple members about how the Jesuit priest wasn’t meeting their “pastoral needs,” as several Republican lawmakers exiting the meeting put it.

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