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  • Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- There was a slew of high-profile departures from the Trump White House over a three-week period this past summer--but they were hardly the only ones during the first year.Some of the highest-profile positions have been part of White House shakeups--including chief of staff, press secretary, and communications director.At the same time, a number of key aides who've stayed have been on the so-called Trump train since the beginning.Here's a rundown of the biggest departures:Mike Flynn, former national security adviserFlynn's departure came less than a month into his tenure as the president's national security adviser.He lasted just over three weeks before being forced to resign Feb. 13 after it was revealed he misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of multiple contacts with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak before Trump's inauguration.On Dec. 1, Flynn pleaded to one felony count of making false statements to the FBI.Reince Priebus, former White House chief of staffAmid tensions with the then-new communications director Anthony Scaramucci, Trump decided to replace Reince Priebus.Priebus came into the White House with Trump, having served as chairman of the Republican National Committee during the campaign. Given his background in Republican politics, Priebus was widely seen as one of the more ‘establishment’ figures in the administration.On July 28, Trump announced then-Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly would replace Priebus.Sean Spicer, former White House press secretarySean Spicer became one of the best-known figures in the early Trump administration for his combative press briefings and an outlandish imitation on “Saturday Night Live.” That all ended on July 21, just over six months into the administration.A few hours after Anthony Scaramucci was brought on the team as communications director, Spicer resigned. Spicer told ABC News that he felt "relieved" and that "organizationally" the White House communications team needed a "fresh start."Spicer has made a handful of public appearances since his departure, including a controversial moment at the Emmy Awards when he mocked his own claims about the size of the crowd at Trump's inauguration.Anthony Scaramucci, former White House communications directorA former investment banker briefly became the head of the White House communications operation--before a profanity-laced conversation with a reporter led to his ouster.The hiring of Anthony Scaramucci ruffled feathers within the White House, and prompted the resignation of a beleaguered Spicer, and the replacement of Trump's then-chief of staff Priebus a week later.With Scaramucci just days into his role, The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza published a detailed account of an expletive-ridden phone conversation he had with Scaramucci. Scaramucci resigned four days after the article's publication.All told, Scaramucci officially held the role of communications director for a little more than a week.Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategistCritics opposed Bannon's purported nationalist views and former position as executive chairman of the website Breitbart News, which published articles that promoted the so-called alt-right movement.Bannon's firing came as a result of Trump's increasing frustration with him, according to one senior White House official.He returned to Breitbart News after leaving the White House, and publicly supported certain far-right candidates including Roy Moore in Alabama who made a failed run for U.S. Senate. He came under fire from Trump in January 2018 for comments he made to the author of "Fire and Fury" - a revealing book about the administration, and days later it was announced that Bannon was stepping down from his role at Breitbart.Mike Dubke, former White House communications directorDubke wasn't part of the Trump team for long, joining the White House in early March and announcing his departure only a little mo
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  • ABC News(PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- President Trump on Sunday emphatically denied saying Haiti and other African countries were "s---hole countries," adding that he is the "least racist person" reporters "have ever interviewed."The president finally addressed the disparaging remarks in person as he was headed to dinner at his golf club in West Palm Beach with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).Despite news reports and accounts from elected officials inside the room, the president pointed to two senators -- Tom Cotton and David Perdue, both Republicans, who were also present -- who maintained he hadn't slurred Haiti and Africa."Did you see what various senators in the room said about my comments?" he asked reporters. "They weren't made."Trump denied being racist, too."No, no, I'm not a racist," he said. "I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. That I can tell you."The president's remarks come after a weekend of non-stop criticism and calls for him to apologize. The remarks were reportedly made during a closed-door meeting with members of Congress to discuss immigration on Thursday.The president, according to the reports, also said the United States should accept more immigrants from places like Norway.Beyond his denial about the comments, Trump touched on topics ranging from DACA to North Korea.He blamed Democrats for failing to reach a deal on DACA, the Obama-era policy that offers protection for children who were brought to the U.S. illegally."Honestly, I don't think the Democrats want to make a deal," he said. "I think they talk about DACA but they don’t want to help the DACA people."He responded "I don't know" when asked whether there would a government shutdown, but warned it would hurt the military, which he said is unacceptable.On the false missile alert sent by Hawaiian officials, which triggered panic and confusion in the state, the president said he "love[s] that they took responsibility.""They took total responsibility. But we are going to get involved. Their attitude...I think it is terrific," he said. "They took responsibility. They made a mistake."He added, "We hope it won't happen again."And on North Korea, Trump was optimistic about recent and future talks with its neighboring country, South Korea."We're gonna see what happens," he said. "Hopefully it's all gonna work out."
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  • Cristina M. Fletes/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Wednesday night admitted that he was unfaithful to his wife Sheena in 2015.The 43-year-old Republican lawmaker's admission was inspired by local TV station KMOV's report Wednesday night, in which the ex-husband of the alleged mistress was interviewed and provided to the station secretly-taped recordings of his ex-wife detailing when and where she met Greitens. The identity of the ex-husband and woman were not revealed by the station. The station reports the woman declined comment.The admission also came hours after Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, delivered his annual State of the State address in Jefferson City, Missouri."A few years ago, before Eric was elected Governor, there was a time when he was unfaithful in our marriage," the Greitens said in a joint statement. "This was a deeply personal mistake. Eric took responsibility, and we dealt with this together honestly and privately."The statement continued, "While we never would have wished for this pain in our marriage, or the pain that this has caused others, with God’s mercy Sheena has forgiven and we have emerged stronger. We understand that there will be some people who cannot forgive – but for those who can find it in your heart, Eric asks for your forgiveness, and we are grateful for your love, your compassion, and your prayers."The Greitens married in 2011 in Spokane, Washington, according to their wedding announcement in The New York Times. It is the governor's second marriage. They have two sons, Joshua and Jacob.As for the TV report, Grietens' attorney, James F. Bennett, said in a statement Wednesday night, "The governor has now seen the TV report that ran tonight. The station declined to provide the tape or transcript in advance of running their story, which contained multiple false allegations. The claim that this nearly three-year old story has generated or should generate law enforcement interest is completely false. There was no blackmail and that claim is false. This personal matter has been addressed by the Governor and Mrs. Greitens privately years ago when it happened. The outrageous claims of improper conduct regarding these almost three-year-ago events are false."Sheena Greitens, 35, also issued her own statement Wednesday night, saying "We have a loving marriage and an awesome family; anything beyond that is between us and God. I want the media and those who wish to peddle gossip to stay away from me and my children."Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A Swiss group has started a petition to oppose President Donald Trump’s visit to the annual gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, later this month.Campax, described on its website as a “progressive” nongovernmental organization based in Zurich, launched the campaign after the White House announced Trump would be the first sitting U.S. president to attend the elite gathering in 18 years.The petition reads that Swiss citizens "ought to resist Trump's inhumane politics," calling for a "World First – not American First vision.”The campaigners also highlighted their disgust with the U.S. administration's decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement and took issue with many of the White House's priorities."U.S. President Donald Trump is on outstanding phrases with racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism, misogyny, bellicosity, local climate modify denial, human legal rights abuse and a policy that deepens poverty and inequality," the petition reads.But event organizers -- who host the world's richest and most powerful global financial, political and media elites each year at the chic ski resort in eastern Switzerland -- had hoped for high-level representation from Washington and are ready to welcome Trump.Commenting on the news of the president’s announced visit on its website, the World Economic Forum said Trump’s presence "will allow participants to get a direct perspective on U.S. political and economic priorities.”White House press secretary Sarah Sanders Wednesday told reporters the president will use the four-day forum, which starts Jan. 23, to talk about his worldview."He welcomes the opportunity to go there and advance his America First agenda with world leaders," Sanders said.But critics say that the Forum couldn't be a more mismatched place for a presentation of the administration's policies.In his first year in office, critics note, the president has criticized global trade pacts and international treaties that he says put the United States at a disadvantage. His positions are often at odds with the celebrities and chief executives who attend the forum.The petition headlined "Trump not welcome - stay out of Davos" was launched on the campax.org website at 9 a.m. Wednesday and had gathered some 2,500 signatures by mid-afternoon."We would be happy to have 10,000 or 30,000" signatures,” Campax chief Andreas Freimuller told Agence France-Presse. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Thursday released new policy guidance that allows states to enforce work requirements on the millions of low-income people who receive Medicaid.The move by the Trump administration paves the way for states to start programs that deny health coverage through Medicaid unless people demonstrate they work or are participating in "community engagement activities" like volunteering.The guidance explains what is needed for states to get federal approval for programs that impose work requirements, and explains that the proposals must not include those with a "disability, elderly beneficiaries, children, and pregnant women" who are eligible for Medicaid.Medicaid, the joint federal-state program that provides low-cost health care, is the largest federal health program with over 70 million participants and has an annual federal budget of over $400 billion.Ten states -- Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin -- have already sent in proposals for work requirements for Medicaid, according to CMS, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The states need federal approval to begin the requirements.Until now, people have not been required to have a job in order to be eligible for Medicaid help. The move signals a major shift in how the federal health care safety net is administered, one that will face a severe backlash from critics.Brad Woodhouse of pro-Obamacare group Protect Our Care called the guidance the latest move in the Trump administration's "war on health care."“Republicans want to ignore the truth in order to push their partisan health care agenda, but the majority of adults covered by Medicaid who can work, do work - often two or three jobs in fields like the service industry that are less likely to offer insurance,” Woodhouse said in a statement.“This new attack on Medicaid has nothing to do with program integrity, and everything to do with the recently revealed step-by-step Trump administration plot to wage war on our health care.”In a statement, CMS Administrator Seema Verma touted work requirements as a way for people to improve their health by participating in society.“States have the opportunity to help individuals improve and enhance the skills that employers truly value,” Verma said. “People who participate in activities that increase their education and training are more likely to find sustainable employment, have higher earnings, a better quality of life, and, studies have shown, improved health outcomes.” Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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