Political News

The Latest: Trump insists his political base remains strong

Posted August 7

— The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

10:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is discussing North Korea with his secretary of state.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters says Monday that Trump had an hour-long call with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Chief of Staff John Kelly. She says they discussed North Korea and Tillerson's trip to the Philippines for a regional Asia gathering.

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved new sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. With Trump demanding full and speedy implementation of the new penalties, Tillerson has laid out a narrow path for the North to return to negotiations that could ultimately see sanctions lifted.

North Korea reacted angrily to the sanctions, vowing to bolster its arsenal and mount revenge against the United States.

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9:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump plans to spend some time in New York City while he takes a break from Washington.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said Monday that Trump will return to his hometown for part of the first half of next week. She did not provide details.

Trump tweeted Monday that he would be heading to New York for meetings. He arrived at his private golf club in New Jersey Friday for a 17-day "working vacation."

Trump has not spent a night at his residence in Trump Tower since the inauguration.

The White House says Trump will be meeting with cabinet secretaries and top aides on issues like health care and taxes while in New Jersey. Vice President Mike Pence is expected to come for a day this week.

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9 a.m.

President Donald Trump is lashing out at Sen. Richard Blumenthal, calling him a "phony Vietnam con artist" shortly after the Democratic lawmaker said the investigation into Russian meddling in the election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign must be pursued.

Blumenthal was interviewed Monday morning on CNN, answering questions about the Justice Department targeting leakers, sanctions on North Korea and reports that special counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury.

In a series of tweets, Trump said: "Interesting to watch Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut talking about hoax Russian collusion when he was a phony Vietnam con artist!"

Blumenthal, who served in the Marine Corps Reserves during Vietnam, apologized in 2010 for saying he had served in Vietnam.

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8:02 a.m.

President Donald Trump is insisting his support is stronger than ever, despite a report that some Republicans are weighing a 2020 presidential run without him.

In a flurry of early morning tweets Monday, Trump says "the Trump base far bigger & stronger than ever before (despite some phony Fake News polling)." He specifically criticized the "failing @nytimes." The New York Times detailed efforts by some Republicans looking ahead to 2020, including Vice President Mike Pence. Pence called the report false.

Trump also tweets that he is "working hard" from his private golf club in central New Jersey, while the White House heating and cooling system is repaired, and plans to head to New York next week for "more meetings." He also reiterated personal attacks on Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

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