Trump slams FBI, Obamacare in post-Christmas tweets
PALM BEACH, Fla. — After a quiet Christmas Day, President Trump was back at work Tuesday — on Twitter.
Trump began his day criticizing the FBI and claiming the now-famous dossier containing allegations about his connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin is a ‘‘pile of garbage.’’ Trump, who is vacationing at his private estate in Mar-a-Lago, appeared to be watching and quoting from the morning cable news show ‘‘Fox and Friends’’ while tweeting.
‘‘WOW, @foxandfrlends ‘Dossier is bogus. Clinton Campaign, DNC funded Dossier. FBI CANNOT (after all of this time) VERIFY CLAIMS IN DOSSIER OF RUSSIA/TRUMP COLLUSION. FBI TAINTED.’ And they used this Crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Trump Campaign!,’’ Trump tweeted.
The Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee helped fund the dossier, which was first published by BuzzFeed. Officials have said some of the information has been corroborated, but other parts — including the most salacious claims about Trump — remain unverified.
Trump and congressional Republican leaders are ramping up their criticism of the FBI in an effort to discredit special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. On Christmas Eve, Trump attacked FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who now plans to retire amid criticism from Republicans.
Trump had no public events on his schedule Tuesday and he headed out to Trump International Golf Club shortly after sending his morning tweets.
Earlier Tuesday morning, Trump touted the tax cut bill he signed into law last week before leaving Washington.
He took a jab at the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, and promised to ‘‘develop a great new health care plan’’ to replace it.
‘‘Based on the fact that the very unfair and unpopular individual mandate has been terminated as part of our tax cut bill, which essentially repeals (over time) ObamaCare,’’ Trump tweeted, ‘‘the Democrats & Republicans will eventually come together and develop a great new health care plan!’’
Trump team takes credit for UN budget cutbacks
NEW YORK — The United Nations’ budget is set to shrink by over $285 million next year — a 5 percent cut that the Trump administration says it negotiated.
The UN General Assembly voted Sunday to approve the nearly $5.4 billion regular operating budget for 2018-2019. The secretary general’s office said the new budget includes cuts to most departments and offices. The regular budget pays for many UN activities but not peacekeeping or some humanitarian appeals.
The United States is the largest contributor, paying about 25 percent of the regular budget. President Trump has sought to cut US contributions to the world body. In a statement Sunday, US Ambassador Nikki Haley faulted the United Nations for ‘‘inefficiency and overspending’’ and said Washington won’t let ‘‘the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of.’’
Portion of weakened tree at White House to be removed
GREENACRES, Fla. — A ‘‘large portion’’ of a famed magnolia tree planted on the south grounds by President Andrew Jackson will be removed because it is weak and poses a safety risk, the White House said Tuesday.
Removal is planned for this week while President Trump and his family are at their Florida home for the holidays.
Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for Melania Trump, says she reviewed reports from the US National Arboretum about the nearly 200-year-old tree’s weakened condition and discussed exploring options with White House staff before deciding a portion of the tree had to be removed.
Mrs. Trump has asked that wood from the tree be preserved. Jackson added the magnolia to the White House grounds in 1835, according to information from the White House Historical Association.