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Trump: McCain ‘never had any intention’ of backing latest health care bill

President Donald Trump took a shot at U.S. Sen. John McCain early Saturday in a series of tweets, saying the Arizona Republican “never had any intention” of voting for the latest GOP health care bill. McCain’s rejection of the Graham-Cassidy proposal effectively ends the party's chances at repealing Obamacare -- for now.

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McCain “let Arizona down.,” the president wrote on Twitter.

“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” McCain said in a statement Friday.

>> Trump touts transparency on Twitter

Since the entire Democratic caucus opposes the bill, Republican leaders can afford to lose only two GOP senators on it. McCain’s decision means the bill doesn’t appear to have the votes to pass. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has said he opposes the bill, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has said she’s “leaning against it.” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who voted against the last repeal bill, is also uncertain about backing the bill.

Trump was campaigning for fellow Republican Luther Strange in Huntsville, Alabama, Friday night. The president was backing Strange in a the state’s GOP primary runoff, and he covered a variety of subjects, including the health care bill and McCain’s opposition to it.

>> Trump: NFL anthem protesters should be fired

Trump said that McCain’s last senatorial campaign “was all about repeal and replace, repeal and replace.

“So he decided to do something different, and that’s fine,” Trump said. 

Trump was less conciliatory Saturday morning, saying that McCain “was sold a bill of goods” by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Trump touts transparency on Twitter

President Donald Trump has no intention of scaling back his Twitter presence. 

>> Read more trending news

The president, campaigning for fellow Republican Luther Strange in Alabama on Friday night, touted his provocative and sometimes controversial tweets, CNN reported.

"That is the great thing about Twitter," Trump said during the rally, set just days ahead of the state’s Senate Republican primary runoff election. “You know, when the press is dishonest, which is most of the time, and when they say, like, I don't want to build a wall, I can tweet ‘That was a false story. Boom. Boom. Boom.’”

Trump took more shots at the media while discussing his plans to build a wall on the country’s southern border.

"Well, every once in awhile you hear, ‘Well, he doesn't really want to build the wall,’ I say, ‘Excuse me?’” Trump said.

Trump's Twitter handle, @realDonaldTrump, now has almost 39 million followers. His tweets range from calling out the media to announcing White House policies to criticizing foreign leaders, CNN reported.

"Every time he tweets, I am entertained. Sometimes I'm informed. It tells me what to care about today, tells me what he's thinking," Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip and an early Trump supporter, told CNN. “It's transparent. Sometimes it's provocative. Sometimes it's too provocative. I like that, too.”

Round 3: Jimmy Kimmel continues criticism of GOP’s health-care bill

For the third straight night, Jimmy Kimmel used his opening monologue to criticize the Graham-Cassidy health-care bill in the Senate. 

>> Read more trending news

Thursday night on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the talk show host did not back down, responding to Republicans who keep bringing him up as the GOP tries to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Kimmel began with President Donald Trump getting involved on Twitter on Wednesday night. Kimmel said the president probably didn’t know that the bill proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) does not protect people with pre-existing conditions. But Trump would “sign copies of the Koran at the Barnes and Noble in Fallujah if it meant he could get rid of Obamacare,” he said.

Cassidy had appeared on Kimmel’s show shortly after the host revealed that his infant son had undergone open heart surgery, the Huffington Post reported. Kimmel said Wednesday that on that emotional night, “I learned there are kids with no insurance in the same situation.”

Cassidy had pledged that no family would be denied medical care because they couldn’t afford it. “This guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied to my face,” Kimmel said Tuesday night.

Cassidy responded by saying he was “sorry” Kimmel didn’t understand the legislation, and Kimmel answered several hours later. Cassidy had referenced Kimmel on CNN, asking if principles he believed were necessary to pass a repeal and replacement of Obamacare.

"I ask, does it pass the Jimmy Kimmel test?" Cassidy said. 

Thursday on “Fox & Friends,” Cassidy repeated his claim that Kimmel does not understand the bill, the Huffington Post reported.

“Yeah, so Jimmy doesn’t understand,” Cassidy said. “And not because he’s a talk show host, [but] because we’ve never spoken. He’s only heard from those on the left who are doing their best to preserve Obamacare. He’s not heard from me.”

Kimmel fired back Thursday night. 

“A lot of people have been saying that I’m not qualified to talk about this, and that is true,” he said during Thursday’s monologue. “But I think those people forget, Bill Cassidy named this test after me.”

Kimmel added he’d been told he should give Cassidy the benefit of the doubt.

“I do give him the benefit of the doubt,” Kimmel said. “I doubt all the benefits he claims are part of this new health-care bill.”

Immigrant taken by ICE from Texas courthouse was killed in Mexico

Juan Coronilla-Guerrero’s wife warned a federal judge this spring that her husband would be killed if the U.S. government followed through with his deportation.

Her prediction came true last week. Three months after the former Austin, Texas, resident was taken back to Central Mexico by federal authorities, his body was found on the side of a road in San Luis de la Paz, Guanajuato, near where he had been living with his wife’s family.

>> Read more trending news

Coronilla-Guerrero’s death comes six months after federal immigration agents took the rare step of entering the Travis County criminal courthouse to detain him on charges of illegal reentry — a move that escalated fears about ICE’s crackdown on unauthorized immigrants.

“I knew,” said Coronilla-Guerrero’s wife, who has returned to Mexico and spoke to the American-Statesman on the condition of anonymity because she fears for her family’s safety. “I knew that if he came back here, they were going to kill him, and look, that’s what happened. That’s what happened.”

She suspects the 28-year-old was killed by the same gangs that had prompted the family’s move to Austin in the first place.

Since the Trump administration ramped up deportations of people living in the U.S. illegally, immigration activists, attorneys and the relatives of deported immigrants have warned of the heavy collateral damage to families and of safety risks in Mexico related to drug trafficking and gangs.

“There’s a real reason people want to come here. I don’t think it’s going to change,” said Austin attorney Daniel Betts, a lawyer who defended Coronilla-Guerrero in criminal court.

Armed intruders

In the middle of the night on Sept. 12, Coronilla-Guerrero’s wife says four armed men barged into a house owned by her family in San Luis de la Paz. She had stayed behind in Austin with one of their children and was not at the home on the night of his death.

The intruders pointed a gun at her mother while they scoured the house, until they found Coronilla-Guerrero asleep in bed with their son, his wife said. They ripped the father from the bed and held a pistol to his head, she said.

Coronilla-Guerrero told his son, “‘Don’t worry, my love. Don’t worry,’” his wife said.

The next morning, Coronilla-Guerrero’s body was found, some 40 minutes away from their home.

Local Mexican police declined to release information about the case. Coronilla-Guerrero’s wife said police have not told her anything. A spokesman with the Mexican Consulate in Austin said he had no details.

An autopsy report obtained by the Statesman confirms basic information, saying Coronilla-Guerrero was killed by gunshot wounds in a homicide.

Local media reports said six other people were killed in the area around the time of Coronilla-Guerrero’s death.

Deportees are targeted

Coronilla-Guerrero was taken into federal custody on March 3, as he waited for a routine court appearance on misdemeanor charges of family violence and marijuana possession.

News of the arrest stoked fear that ICE would use the courts as a hunting ground for people they suspected of living in the country illegally. However, ICE has made no other known arrests there since that day.

Coronilla-Guerrero had been deported before, in 2008, but eventually made his way back to the U.S. and was working for a construction company in Buda when he was arrested for the misdemeanors.

Asked about his family violence charge, the wife said it was a misunderstanding and that he never hit her. He was granted a bond and later was sentenced to time served after pleading no contest. He had been arrested once before, when he was 18, for unlawful use of a motor vehicle and evading arrest. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail.

Early this year, Coronilla-Guerrero was one of the jail inmates who Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez had refused to hold for federal immigration officials because of her controversial policy not to honor so-called detention requests for most inmates suspected of being in the country illegally. The Travis County sheriff’s office honors such requests only for those charged with the most serious crimes – among them, murder, human trafficking and child sex abuse.

“Juan was a very nice young man who always had a smile on his face,” said local attorney David Peterson, who represented Coronilla-Guerrero in federal court on the illegal entry charge. “This is a true tragedy for him and his family. Deportation should never be a death sentence.”

Immigration experts said gangs often prey on deported immigrants, kidnapping them at dangerous border crossing points in Tamaulipas and Coahuila and holding them while their loved ones come up with ransom payments.

Mexican officials have encouraged the U.S. government to take immigrants to safer interior locations, such as Mexico City.

“It really is an act of violence at this point to continue the immigration policies that the government is currently pushing that are sending so many people back to their deaths,” said Bethany Carson, an immigration researcher and organizer for nonprofit Grassroots Leadership.

Leaving Austin

Coronilla-Guerrero’s wife said they had chosen Austin because of its Mexican population and because they believed they would face less racism. But in recent years, the political climate changed and state laws like Senate Bill 4, the so-called sanctuary city ban, were passed, she said.

“Even though it was illegally, we brought our kids to give them a better future,” she said, but in the end, “it wasn’t possible.”

Coronilla-Guerrero’s wife, who did not have legal authorization to live in the U.S., said she traveled to Mexico for the funeral and has no plans to return to Austin. Without papers and without a second income, it would be too difficult, she said.

Coronilla-Guerrero’s wife described her husband as a good father who worked hard to support his children. Even after his return to Mexico, she said he called often to tell his family he loved them. A friend said Coronilla-Guerrero often gave her diapers and milk for her children when her husband was out of town for work.

“Yes, he made mistakes in the past, but he had a family,” Coronilla-Guerrero’s wife said. “It wasn’t fair because he had changed. Because all people change, and he had changed for the better.”

Reports: Trump's controversial decisions in office under scrutiny by Mueller

Special counsel Robert Mueller has asked the White House for documents related to some of the most scrutinized decisions made by President Donald Trump while in office, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

>> Read more trending news

The request indicates that Trump’s actions in the White House are being included in the scope of Mueller’s investigation.

Donald Trump brands North Korea's Kim Jong Un with new nickname – 'Rocket Man'

President Donald Trump has never been shy about giving his opponents nicknames — “Crooked Hillary,” “Lyin’ Ted,” “Crazy Bernie,” “Goofy Elizabeth Warren,” “Low-energy Jeb” and “Little Marco” all immediately come to mind — and now North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has his own Trump moniker.

>> On Rare.us: North Korea fires another missile into Japanese airspace

“Rocket Man” is the latest of Trump’s derisive epithets.

>> WATCH: Trump's 'awkward' handshake with first lady Melania has internet buzzing

On Sunday morning, Trump launched Kim's new nickname into cyberspace.

>> See the tweet here

>> Trump retweets doctored video of golf ball hitting Clinton

“I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night. Asked how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines in North Korea. Too bad!” Trump tweeted.

>> Read more trending news

The “Rocket Man” nickname is a clear jab at Kim Jong Un’s now semi-regular missile launching over Japan.

>> On Rare.us: Former NBA standout Dennis Rodman stands by his man Kim Jong-un in a bizarre interview — 'He jokes'

The most recent launch happened Thursday. North Korea has fired at least 21 missiles since February 2017 in 14 missile tests.

WATCH: Trump's 'awkward' handshake with first lady Melania has internet buzzing

First lady Melania Trump shared an awkward moment with her husband, President Donald Trump, on Friday during an appearance at a military base near Washington, D.C.

>> Watch the moment here

The president and first lady were at Joint Base Andrews where the president gave a speech to a group of service members. He was introduced by his wife, and, in an awkward moment, shook Melania’s hand then ushered her off stage.

>> Read more trending news

The encounter wasn’t lost on the internet.

British tabloid Daily Mirror called the handshake “awkward” and was joined by a number of other outlets making similar remarks.

Social media users also had something to say about the unusual exchange:

This isn’t the first time that the Trumps' interactions have been in the spotlight. Earlier this year, the first lady seemed to pull away from her husband during their trip to the Middle East, which also caused a stir on the internet.

Read more at Rare.us.

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin asked to use government plane for honeymoon

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin inquired about using a government jet for his European honeymoon after marrying Scottish actress Louise Linton in June, officials confirmed Wednesday in a statement.

The request was later deemed to be unnecessary, a Treasury Department spokesman said.

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Mnuchin asked about using a government plane in an effort to ensure that he had access to secure communications while on his honeymoon, according to the Treasury Department.

“We have multiple issues around the world where the secretary is directly involved in national security, notably North Korea, Iran and Venezuela, among others,” a department spokesman said. “It is imperative that he have access to secure communications, and it is our practice to consider a wide range of options to ensure he has these capabilities during his travel, including the possible use of military aircraft.”

Another way to provide Mnuchin with access to secure communications was instead found, and the Treasury Department deemed his request to be unnecessary, officials said.

>> Treasury secretary won’t commit to putting Tubman on $20 bill

Critics slammed Mnuchin’s request, characterizing it as another example of the treasury secretary attempting to use tax payer dollars to fund personal travel. Also under scrutiny is a trip he and his wife made last month to Kentucky in which a government plane was used.

“You don’t need a giant rule book of government requirements to just say (to) yourself, ‘This is common sense, it’s wrong,’” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, told ABC News on Wednesday. “That’s just slap-your-forehead stuff.”

 Politico reported that requests to use military jets for personal travel are unusual, but not unprecedented.

“Such trips can cost tens of thousands of dollars to operate per hour,” according to the news site. “Treasury secretaries tend to fly on commercial airlines but have used government planes for overseas work trips.”

Mnuchin, a wealthy, former Goldman Sachs banker, was criticized last month after he and his wife took a government jet to fly to Kentucky. Linton posted a photo to Instagram after the trip in which she promoted the high-end designer brands she wore while disembarking the government plane.

>> Treasury secretary's wife mocks 'adorably out of touch' critic on Instagram 

The Treasury Department is reviewing the flight to determine whether any ethical violations were made, The New York Times reported

A Treasury Department spokesperson told The Associated Press last month that Mnuchin and Linton are reimbursing the government for the cost of Linton’s travel and added that she was not given compensation for promoting the luxury brands on Instagram.

Some critics suggested Mnuchin and Linton traveled to Kentucky to get a better view of the solar eclipse, Politico reported, although Mnuchin has denied the allegation. He said that he was in the state, which was in the path of totality for the eclipse, for meetings on tax reform, according to Politico.

In a statement released to the Times, Richard Delmar, counsel to the inspector general, said, “We are looking at all requests for use of government aircraft.”

Federal probe launched after Equifax data breach

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday confirmed that it is investigating a massive data breach at credit reporting giant Equifax that exposed the sensitive information of millions of Americans.

>> Read more trending news

Peter Kaplan, FTC’s acting director of public affairs, said that the agency typically does not comment on ongoing investigations in a statement obtained by Politico.

“However, in light of the intense public interest and the potential impact of this matter, I can confirm that FTC staff is investigating the Equifax data breach,” Kaplan said.

Equifax, one of America’s three major credit bureaus, said last week that a “cyber security incident” might have exposed the names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses of 143 million Americans. Driver’s license numbers might have also been accessed, the company said.

The breach took place from mid-May through July 2017, according to Equifax.

>> Related: Equifax reports massive data breach that could affect 143 million in U.S. 

Equifax set up a website to help affected consumers and keep them abreast of updates in the company’s investigation. On a frequently asked questions section of the site, Equifax officials identified the flaw that allowed hackers to access sensitive information as one flagged publicly last year.

A patch for the vulnerability, Apache Struts CVE-2017-5638, was released by The Apache Software Foundation in March, Bloomberg reported.

>> Related: Equifax cyberattack: What to know

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, a member of the Banking, Budget and Finance committees and cofounder of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, on Wednesday called for an investigation into the data breach. 

“The volume and sensitivity of the data potentially involved in this breach raises serious questions about whether firms like Equifax adequately protect the enormous amounts of sensitive data they gather and commercialize,” Warner wrote in a letter addressed to FTC Acting Chairwoman Maureen Ohlhausen.

>> Related: Equifax cyberattack: How to get a free credit report, protect your identity

He called the incident “one of the largest, and potentially most impactful, breaches in recent history.”

Hurricane Irma: Trump Organization 'assessing' Mar-a-Lago, golf courses

President Donald Trump’s business empire is “still assessing” the impact of Hurricane Irma on his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach and his other properties in Florida and St. Martin.

>> Read more trending news

Mar-a-Lago appears to have survived major wind damage, The Palm Beach Daily News reported.

Trump also owns the Trump International Golf Club in unincorporated West Palm Beach, Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter and Trump National Doral near Miami.

Trump’s Chateau des Palmiers on the Caribbean island of St. Martin was also in Hurricane Irma’s path. USA Today reported it survived “nearly unscathed.”

“The damage caused by Hurricane Irma is incredibly sad and we know that there will be much rebuilding to be done in the months and years ahead,” a spokesperson for the Trump Organization said in an email responding to The Palm Beach Post.

“Our teams in both Florida and St. Martin were very well prepared and we are proud of their efforts on the ground. We are currently still assessing the situation at the properties that were in the storm’s path and at this time we continue to send our thoughts and prayers to all of the victims.”

George Buff IV, a member of Mar-a-Lago Club who lives just north of the 17-acre property, told The Palm Beach Daily News that a maintenance worker reported three trees down and flooding in the club’s back parking lot. A drive by the property showed thinning landscape and vegetation littering the road to the south of the club, but its ballroom windows were intact, the Daily News reported.

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