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Trump’s Own Cabinet Secretaries Tried to Stop His Latest Attempt to Kill Obamacare — He Ignored Them

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Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar tried to stop President Donald Trump from waging another war against the Affordable Care Act this week.

Trump told the GOP caucus that he wants the Republican Party to become the “healthcare party,” while at the same time urging the courts to completely unmake the law informally known as Obamacare.

According to Politico, Azar argued against the administration supporting a lawsuit to get a full repeal of the law during a December White House meeting. He cited a lack of an alternative piece of legislation from the GOP, two sources told Politico. Budget director Mick Mulvaney claimed that supporting the “bold stance” would force Congress into repealing and replacing the law. That didn’t work out well.

Now, the country is firmly behind the law with 50 percent who support it and only 37 percent against. It matches the meager 37 percent of Americans who think Trump is doing great on health care while 52 percent disapprove of Trump’s work on healthcare.

The White House was quick to dispute the claim, saying all of Trump’s cabinet secretaries are firmly behind the president.

“Secretary Azar fully supports the Administration’s litigation position in the ACA case, which bears his name,” HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley said in a statement. “Any insinuation that Secretary Azar has ‘butted heads’ with Mulvaney on this issue is false.”

Azar joins with Attorney General Bill Barr who wants nothing to do with an unpopular battle that the Justice Department will likely lose in court, Politico said.

“The Republican Party will soon be known as the party of health care,” Trump told reporters after the caucus meeting. “You watch.”

Meanwhile, the Politico report noted that this is an example of Mulvaney trying to create his own “mini-fiefdom inside West Wing.”

“The Obamacare decision was backed by DPC Chief Joe Grogan and acting OMB Chief Russ Vought, both Mulvaney allies, as well as by Mick Mulvaney himself, who pushed Obamacare repeal while in Congress,” tweeted Politico’s Eliana Johnson. “Mulvaney hasn’t tried to restrict access to Trump but rather added allies inside the WH, accumulating a roster of people who share his views who also now have access to POTUS. Monday’s decision was an example.”

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Questions Swirl About Uvalde Police as Photos, Videos, Witness Accounts Appear to Tell Story of Inaction During Massacre

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Barely days after 19 elementary school children and two teachers were shot to death by an 18-year old with two AR-15 style assault rifles, questions are swirling about the actions of local law enforcement, supported by video and photos apparently taken by those who were outside Robb Elementary School during the massacre. NCRM has not confirmed the authenticity of the photos or videos posted to social media.

“Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes and ended when the 18-year-old shooter was killed by a Border Patrol team,” the Associated Press reports.

“Go in there! Go in there!” nearby women shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, said Juan Carranza, 24, who saw the scene from outside his house, across the street from Robb Elementary School in the close-knit town of Uvalde. Carranza said the officers did not go in.

Multiple reports state police waited outside for those 40 minutes, or more, before taking action to neutralize the shooter. During that time, some have noted, it’s possible children who had been shot died of their wounds rather than receiving medical attention.

CNN’s Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto:

Veteran journalist Soledad O’Brien:

Indeed, additional reports appear to show not only did police not storm the school, for reasons yet unknown, they appear to have prevented desperate parents from doing anything to help save their children, even using force, including a taser, to stop them. And in one case (below,) from the account of one of the children who survived published by CBS affiliate KENS5, police action may have led to the death of one of the students.

VICE News reports “Texas law enforcement officials are being strangely opaque about what actually happened during the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas.”

“When asked how much time passed between the gunman arriving at the school and the gunman being killed, Texas’ Director of Public Safety Steve McCraw offered an indefinite response.”

“Forty minutes, an hour,” he said. “But I don’t want to give you a particular timeline.”

VICE adds that “officers ‘were responsible’ for containing the gunman in a classroom, McCraw said. (Spokespersons for the Texas Department of Public Safety had repeatedly told news outlets earlier that the suspect barricaded himself into the classroom and immediately started shooting.)”

NBC News correspondent covering national security and intelligence Ken Dilanian:

Matt Novak, a senior writer at the tech site Gizmodo, posted these tweets:

This one is tragic:

Sawyer Hackett, a senior advisor to Julián Castro, the former Obama HUD Secretary and former Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, reposted these videos and offers some commentary:

Even this editor from the right wing website Daily Caller says “it appears the police did everything wrong once the shooter was in the room.”

 

 

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‘I Will Find Out’: Jimmy Kimmel Questions Why Texas TV Station Cut Away From His Monologue on School Shooting

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A Dallas/Fort Worth television station cut away from Jimmy Kimmel’semotional monologue about the Robb Elementary school massacre that left 19 children and two adults dead.

ABC affiliate WFAA-TV interrupted the six-minute, comedy-free monologue with a string of commercials, starting with an in-house news spot, before airing the end of Kimmel’s opener, which he used for a three-minute ad for the gun violence prevention organization Everytown.org, reported the Star-Telegram.

“To my friends in Dallas who are asking: I do not know whether our @ABCNetwork affiliate @wfaa cut away from my monologue tonight intentionally or inadvertently but I will find out,” Kimmel tweeted. “In the meantime, here’s what you didn’t get to see.”

You can watch the clip below or at this link.

A source at the TV station said the commercials were aired and part of the monologue was cut because the 10 p.m. newscast ran long, and an interview with “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane was also chopped up into segments that aired between commercial breaks.

READ MORE: NYT’s Maggie Haberman reacts to ‘stunning’ testimony that Trump approved of ‘Hang Mike Pence’ chants

Kimmel called out elected officials, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and John Cornyn (R-TX), and urged them to take action to prevent another mass shooting.

“Once again we grieve for the little boys and girls,” Kimmel said, fighting back tears. “Whose lives have been ended and whose families have been destroyed. While our leaders on the right, the Americans in Congress and at Fox News and these other outlets warn us not to politicize this. They immediately criticize our president for even speaking about doing something to stop it, because they don’t want to speak about it because they know what they’ve done and they know what they haven’t done, and they know it’s indefensible, so they’d rather sweep this under the rug.”

“The reason they call them common-sense gun laws is because that’s what they are,” he added. “Eighty-nine percent of Americans want background checks before a gun can be purchased, which is the very least we can do.”

 

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Watch: Texas Republican Opposes Any New Gun Legislation Because We’re Going to ‘Convict’ and ‘Punish’ the Shooters

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A Texas Republican state lawmaker said just one day after 19 elementary school students were shot and killed he opposes any new gun legislation for two reasons: the U.S. Constitution, and under existing laws prosecutors should just “convict” the shooters.

“What we want to know is what your solution is,” CNN host Alisyn Camerota told Rep. James White, who happens to be a former school teacher.

“We’ve all seen how quickly and creatively Texas—your local legislature—can act when it wants to, say, protect the unborn embryo,” Camerota added, referring to Texas’ vigilante abortion ban, as The Daily Beast reported. “Why not act with that alacrity to protect living, breathing 10-year-olds in this school behind me?”

“We have this thing called the Constitution,” White replied, even though the Texas abortion ban, under current law, violates at least the spirit of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

Like Texas Governor Greg Abbott and many other Republicans, and like the NRA, White then defended his desire to pass no legislation to help reduce gun violence by declaring the problem is actually one of mental health.

He said, “these young men, for some reason, they have some very disturbed emotional state.”

There is no evidence, according to Gov. Abbott, that this shooter had any documented mental health issues.

White then decided to propose utilizing existing law to reduce gun violence.

“At the end of the day,” he said, “we’re going to look at the people who do these acts, we’re going to convict them, and we’re going to punish them.”

Appearing flabbergasted, Camerota replied, “You can’t convict him, sir.”

“Sir you can’t convict him. He was killed. He was killed, along with 19 children in the school behind me.”

Watch:

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