Trump's 'excellent' health report called out as fake news on late-night TV circuit

@colbertlateshow/Twitter(NEW YORK) -- Comedians took aim at President Donald Trump’s doctor on Tuesday after he said the president’s "overall health is excellent," according to his recent physical assessment.

Dr. Ronny Jackson shared the outcome of Trump's exam at a White House press briefing on Tuesday afternoon, including his 6-foot-3 height and 239-pound weight, which puts him right on the brink of obesity.

“That’s awfully convenient,” Stephen Colbert, host of The Late Show, said Thursday in his opening monologue, before going on to insinuate that Trump may have bribed the doctor with cash.

"Listen, Doc, I don’t want to be obese, but I feel like this wad of cash is about one pound. Why don't you take this off my hands and weigh me again, OK," Colbert said in his best Trump impersonation.

Jimmy Kimmel also opened Live with a few jokes on the president’s weight.

“Despite the fact that he is borderline obese, Trump is in excellent health. How could he be in excellent health? When he sneezes gravy comes out. Look at him,” Kimmel joked.

“The doctor said the is examination went exceptionally well, which means he stopped eating chicken long enough to get a reading,” Kimmel added, referring to Trump’s reported love of junk food.

Over on The Daily Show, host Trevor Noah said he still had a few questions about the health report.

“So it turns out, according to the official White House doctor, Trump is completely sane, which makes me more worried because that means he's doing all of this s--t on purpose,” Noah said. “You covfefe in your normal mind?

“No heart problems, no dementia, no dentures? But did you test for racism,” he asked sarcastically.

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Steve Bannon has reached an agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller to come in for an interview 

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has reached an agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller to come in for an interview with the special counsel’s team office after he was subpoenaed by Mueller to appear before a grand jury, according to a sources familiar with the matter.

The interview has not yet been scheduled, according to one source.

Bannon spent roughly ten hours behind closed doors with the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday. The panel also subpoenaed Bannon for testimony as part of its Russia investigation after he refused Tuesday to answer questions about his time working for Trump during the transition and in the White House.

Bannon, according to one source close to him, welcomes the subpoenas and hopes it sends a signal to the president that he is not seeking to spill information. Bannon parted ways with the president this month in wake of Michael Wolff's bombshell book, “The Fire and the Fury: Inside the Trump White House”, which paints a portrait of dysfunction in the White House, told in many parts from Bannon's viewpoint.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Wednesday confirmed that Bannon’s attorney was in touch with the White House yesterday during his interview with the House Intelligence Committee, as he determined whether or not to answer members’ and staff questions.

“That's the same process that is typically followed,” Sanders said. “Sometimes they actually have a White House attorney present in the room, this time it was something that was relayed via phone and, again, was following standard procedure for an instance like this and something that will likely happen again on any other number of occasions not just within this administration but future administrations,” Sanders said.

A source familiar with Bannon’s appearance before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday said the White House had instructed Bannon not to answer questions about his time during the transition and the White House unless and until the committee and the White House can reach agreement on the proper scope of questioning in light of executive privilege concerns.

In a statement to ABC News, Bannon attorney William Burck said, "Executive privilege belongs to the President of the United States. It’s not Mr. Bannon’s right to waive it.”

On Wednesday the panel interviewed outgoing White House deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn, and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

Bannon is expected back before the House Intelligence Committee to resolve questions about his testimony and claims of privilege as early as Thursday, sources tell ABC News.

Another source familiar with the investigation told ABC News that it was anticipated that congressional investigators and the special counsel would want to speak with Bannon after Wolff wrote in Fire and Fury that Bannon allegedly called Donald Trump Jr's meeting at Trump Tower with the Russians "treasonous," "unpatriotic."

In the book, Bannon reportedly said "The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these jumos up to his father's office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero."

Bannon also allegedly told Wolff that Trump Jr. would suffer from a money laundering investigation and would "crack ... like an egg on national TV." And Wolff claims Bannon openly suggested that Jared Kushner, the president's son in law, and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort might have been involved in financial crimes.

Investigators might be interested in what Bannon knows about the White House’s slow response to then-Acting Attorney General Yates’ concerns about former national security adviser Michael Flynn (and, also his misleading of the vice president about conversations with the Russian ambassador and his subsequent firing), former FBI director James Comey’s firing, White House and campaign discussions about the Trump tower meeting with Russians, and White House involvement regarding the misleading statement by Trump Jr. about meeting with Russians, among other topics.

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Trump makes impromptu appearance at White House women's panel

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump made a surprise appearance at a White House event for women on Tuesday, thanking the women for attending and making a brief but wide-ranging speech with points on the economy and DACA.

The event, “Conversations with the Women of America,” hosted women from across America and high-level women within the Trump administration. It aimed to focus on the economy, healthcare — with a focus on the opioid crisis — and national security.

Aides didn't rule out the president's appearance at the event, though it wasn't on his schedule in advance.

“I wasn’t very far away,” the president said to laughter. “I said I’d love to do this, this is fun.”

“Women represent half of the population but they care about 100 percent of the issues that face the nation, that’s for sure,” the president said. He mentioned optimistic statistics from the Department of Labor: unemployment for women is at a 17-year low while women in the workforce is at an all time high.

Before the president took the stage, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, senior adviser and first daughter Ivanka Trump, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Small Business Association Administration Linda McMahon and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway all took part in panels.

“I’m honored to stand here with women across the administration,” he said, mentioning his daughter, Ivanka, and the women who were “front and center” on the tax bill, which he said has shown “incredible” success.

Trump focused almost entirely on the “tremendous amount of progress” his administration made over the last year during the approximately 8-minute speech. “We have a country that’s on the right track,” the president said.

Next up is immigration, he said -- a time-sensitive priority for the administration and for congress as the Friday night deadline for a government shutdown looms large, fully dependent on whether or not a bipartisan deal on DACA comes through.

“We’re working on immigration and immigration reform, and hopefully at some point we’ll be able to solve that problem. If the Democrats really wanted to they could but they really sometimes don't want to. But we’re working on it and we’ll get it done one way or another, I hope,” the president said.

There are four days until government funding runs out and currently no DACA deal in sight. Democrats are intent on tying action on DACA to any must-pass spending bill, while Republicans want DACA and spending negotiations to remain separate.

Trump made his impromptu appearance during the second panel which focused on the opioid crisis. On the stage at the time were Pam Bondi, the attorney general of Florida, Rebecca Kleefisch, lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, Kathryn Burgum, the first lady of North Dakota and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

Trump acknowledged the women on stage with him and mentioned his Election Night wins in places they represented, eventually turning to Rutledge. “Arkansas. Great state. How did I win Arkansas by so much when she [Hillary Clinton] came from Arkansas?”

“Had the other side gotten in, the market would have gone down 50 percent from where it was. Remember that,” the president said, honing in on the economic successes of his administration.

Cuts to regulations have made all the difference, Trump said, and while there’s still plenty of regulation from agencies across the U.S., “we’re cutting a lot of them, too,” he said to laughter.

Specifically, the president said he’s looking into Dodd Frank, a bill signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010 that implemented regulations on the financial industry.

He described a conversation he had with someone at a recent event who was unable to get loans because of regulations, despite a good relationship with the person’s bank. “We’re looking now to Dodd-Frank because we have to free up so the banks can loan money to great people because the banks haven’t been able to do that. They were restricted,” Trump said.

“The regulations had a lot to do with the success, don’t let anyone kid you,” the president said.

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Trump's 'overall health is excellent' says doctor, weight loss a goal (WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump's "overall health is excellent," and his cognitive health is normal, presidential physician Dr. Ronny Jackson said Tuesday.

Jackson shared the outcomes of Trump's physical with reporters at the White House press briefing, including his 75-inch height, 239-pound weight, total cholesterol of 223 and resting heart rate of 68 beats per minute. Given his height and weight, the president's body mass index falls just short of the defined threshold for obesity.

According to a calculator provided by the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Trump's BMI is 29.9. The marker for obesity is a BMI of 30, according to the institute. Despite the number, Jackson said that Trump's exercise stress echocardiogram was "above average based on age and sex."

Jackson said he discussed "diet, exercise and weight loss," among other topics, with the president and noted that a nutritionist would work with him in an attempt to change his eating habits, which are said to include a steady stream of fast food and red meat.

Asked how someone with Trump's diet and no known exercise routine could achieve such relatively strong physical results, Jackson said there was no definite answer.

"It is called genetics. I don't know," Jackson said. "Some people have just great genes. I told the president that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old. I don't know."

Despite questions swirling about the president's cognitive abilities given reports that he sometimes repeats himself during meetings, Jackson said that Trump scored a 30 out of 30 on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment — self described as a "cognitive screening test designed to assist Health Professionals in the detection of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease." The doctor added that he doesn't believe appraisals of the president's mental state should be made by persons who have not examined him.

During the presidential campaign, Trump's personal doctor, Dr. Harold Bornstein, proclaimed: "If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency." Jackson would not comment on that prior comparison Tuesday, saying that he could only assess Trump today.

Questioned by the press for nearly an hour, Jackson additionally shared that the president takes aspirin for "cardiac health;" Propecia, a medication intended to prevent hair loss; Soolantra Cream, to combat the skin disease Rosacea; and Crestor, a cholesterol-lowering drug. Trump's total cholesterol of 223 would be considered high under typical standards.

Jackson did admit that he thinks Trump "doesn't sleep much." The doctor said that he did not ask the president about his habits specifically, but guessed that he sleeps "four to five hours per night."

In total, Trump's physical last week lasted over four hours, said Jackson, who added he worked with 12 consultants on the evaluation.

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Four congressional Democrats will boycott Trump's first State of the Union after 's---hole' remark -- Four congressional Democrats are boycotting President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address scheduled for Jan. 30 after the president reportedly said African nations were "s---hole countries" in a closed-door meeting at the White House last week.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said they will not attend the president’s address after Trump made the derogatory comment during a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers on immigration.

Lewis, the longtime Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who marched with Martin Luther King Jr., said on "This Week" Sunday, "In good conscience, I can not and will not sit there and listen at him as he gives the State of the Union address."

Lewis further criticized the president, calling him "a racist."

Responding to Trump's remark, Waters released a forceful statement on Friday, in which she called for the impeachment of the president and branded him "a racist and indecent man with no good values who is woefully unfit and undeserving of the office in which he serves."

Later, Waters made clear she does not "intend to go" to the State of the Union during an interview on MSNBC’s "All In With Chris Hayes."

"I don’t trust him, I don’t appreciate him and I wouldn’t waste my time sitting in that House, listening to what he has to say," she said. "He does not deserve my attention."

In a statement to ABC News, Wilson said she will not be attending Trump's address but she has no doubt that Trump's message will be one of "innuendo, empty promises, and lies."

"It would be an embarrassment to be seen with him at a forum that under any other president would be an honor to attend," Wilson said.

Joining other members of Congress in foregoing the annual event, Jayapal shared a short video on Twitter to denounce what she called the "racist policies that are being put out of the White House."

The group of Democrats nixing the address, she said, will instead "put forward our own progressive vision of what our America looks like as we take it back."

The number of congressional members not attending the president's speech could grow. Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana told CNN in an interview that the group he chairs, the Congressional Black Caucus, will "talk about" boycotting the State of the Union as a caucus during their Wednesday meeting.

The president has denied reports that he ever said "s---hole countries" during the Oval Office meeting, instead asserting that he's the "least racist person" reporters "have ever interviewed."

The White House has not responded to a request for comment.

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Democratic National Committee rolls out 'Trump at One Year' strategy

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Eager to capitalize on a political environment that looks more and more favorable, national Democrats Tuesday unveiled their political strategy as President Trump nears one year in the White House.

“Trump At One Year: President For the 1 Percent” is the first in a series of strategy memos the Democratic National Committee (DNC) says it plans to roll out that “will explore the defining themes of Trump’s first year in office." .

The bulk of the Democratic strategy is focused on discrediting President Trump’s economic message--painting his first year as a boon for the wealthiest Americans.

“Every step of the way they have put the interest of the one percent ahead of the interests of workers,” DNC Chair Tom Perez told reporters. “This is what it's all about in year one of Trump. Yes there is change, but it is change that is hurting workers.”

Senators Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., both seen as potential contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, joined Perez for the plan's rollout.

Both Gillibrand and Warren emphasized healthcare-- the issue that helped Republicans regain control of the House in 2010 during the debate over Obamacare-- as a prime example of President Trump’s first-year failures.

“We saw the disaster that was Trumpcare, which would have hit people in their 50's and 60's really hard,” Gillibrand said, referring to the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act that last year passed the House but stalled in the Senate.

Warren, seen by many as the leading candidate of the progressive wing of the party, said Democrats need to focus on working-class voters if they want to win political victories in the Trump era.

“During the first year of the Trump presidency, Donald Trump has broken one promise to workers after another,” Warren said. “We need to fight back against the Trump-Republican anti-worker agenda. We need to defend basic protections for workers, and we need to go further.”

The push from Democrats comes as President Trump’s approval rating remains mired in the mid-to-low 30s, and the party looks to take back both the House and Senate in the 2018 midterms.

Democrats need to flip 24 House seats in order to retake the House--in Republican hands since 2011-- and many of those seats are represent suburban, highly-educated districts where Democrats hope they can mount a successful counter-narrative to Trump on the economy.

Republicans are holding on to a slim 51-49 majority in the U.S. Senate, but Democrats face the daunting task of defending 24 incumbent-held seats, while Republicans need to defend only eight.

Perez, buoyed by recent Democratic wins in Virginia, New Jersey and Alabama, was optimistic his party is in good position to add victories as the Trump enters his second year.

“We're organizing to win from the school board to the Oval Office because economic inequality is the defining issue of our time,” Perez said. “We're fighting for workers to make sure they have a fair shake, and we've seen in one year of this administration that they are doing the opposite.

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Homeland Security secretary grilled over Trump 's---hole' comments

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen faced intense questioning about her memory of the Oval Office immigration reform meeting last week in which President Donald Trump referred to several nations as "s---hole countries," including by one of the senators also present for the meeting.

Nielsen, appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, said she "did not hear" the word "s---hole," or one similar, as she was asked about her recollection of the bipartisan White House meeting, but did say she remembered "rough talk" and "tough language."

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who was singled out by Trump Monday for "misrepresenting what was said" during the conversation after he confirmed reports last week about the president's description of Haiti, El Salvador and several African countries pressed Nielsen for specific detail, but the secretary did not specifically assign attribution to Trump.

The president previously acknowledged "tough" language was used during the meeting but denied making "derogatory" remarks about Haiti in particular. A pair of senators also present last week — Sens. David Perdue, R-Ga., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., — claimed over the weekend that the media and Durbin misrepresented the president's comments.

"Apologies. I don't remember [a] specific word," Nielsen said. "What I was struck with, frankly, I'm sure you were as well, the general profanity used in the room by almost everyone."

Earlier during Tuesday's hearing, Nielsen was asked by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. about Trump's reported preference for European immigrants, including those from Norway. The president previously met with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg the day before the Oval Office meeting.

"Being from Norway is not a skill," Leahy said. "And with the standard of living in Norway better than ours, what does he mean when he says he wants more immigrants from Norway?"

"I don't believe he said that specifically," responded Nielsen, adding, "What he was specifically referring to is the prime minister telling him that the people of Norway work very hard. And so what he was referencing is from a merit-based perspective, we like to have those with skills who can assimilate to the United States."

"Norway is a predominantly white country, isn't it?" followed Leahy.

"I actually do not know that, sir," Nielsen said. "But I imagine that is the case."

Nielsen's answers faced criticism later during the hearing from Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., who called it "unacceptable" that she could not "remember the words of your commander-in-chief."

"Your silence and your amnesia is complicity," Booker said.

The reports of the meeting, which came amid continued debate over the country's immigration policies, renewed accusations by critics of the president on issues of race. In response, Trump told reporters Sunday he is "not racist."

"I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed," he said. "That I can tell you."

The meeting, held last Thursday, was part of ongoing talks between the White House and members of Congress to pass a permanent solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients -- a priority for Democrats since the president announced an end to the program in September.

The program, which began under President Obama, was scheduled to come a complete stop over the next couple of years, but the wind down is facing challenges in court.

Nielsen acknowledged to Sen. Booker that she has not met with DACA recipients or Dreamers either as Homeland Security secretary or prior.

“I personally, have not to my knowledge, met with a Dreamer," she later said.

A visibly frustrated Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was also in Thursday's meeting, implored the president to "close this deal" during the DHS hearing.

Graham, who has been a key negotiator, tried to get to the bottom of what changed between last Tuesday, when the president seemed to support a bipartisan bill of "love," and the Oval Office meeting on Thursday.

"Tuesday we had a president that I was proud to golf with, call my friend, who understood immigration had to be bipartisan," he said. "I don't know where that guy went. I want him back.”

He told Nielsen that the negotiations have "turned into an s-show."

"We need to get back to being a great country where Democrats and Republicans work together to do something that we should have done years ago,” he said.

Graham said that the "sweet spot" for a deal is to create a permanent fix for DACA recipients and an expanded group of Dreamers, along with making down payments on border security and moving to merit-based immigration system. That should be followed by phase two — moving towards greater border security, a pathway forward for the around 11 million undocumented people in the U.S., and a merit-based system based on economic need, as well as an increase in legal immigration.

He pointed out that Democrats are not going to agree to everything the Republicans want, if the only GOP concession is a fix for DACA.

In addition to border security, the president has said he wants and end to so-called "chain migration" or family reunification and and end to the diversity lottery.

Durbin said that during the meeting, Trump made it clear that one of the conditions for his agreement to protect DACA was $20 billion so he could build a wall in one year, telling Nielsen that it was "impossible" and unrealistic.

A southern border wall has been a promise of the Trump's since his presidential campaign began. So far, only prototypes have been built and funding has remained elusive.

"The president is insisting on something that is physically, legally impossible as a condition," said Durbin.

At one point, Nielsen was asked on whether the administration has arrangements for Mexico to pay for the wall — a longtime claim of the president's.

"I am not aware. I don't know what you mean by arrangement. We have a lot of agreements with them to increase border security," she said.

When Sen. Patrick Leahy pressed her again, she said,"my priority is to increase border security and to build that wall, that will work."

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Meet President Trump's new doctor: White House physician Admiral Ronny Jackson

US Navy(WASHINGTON) -- The note from President Donald Trump's current doctor may be less effusive than the one from his last.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump had longtime physician Dr. Harold Bornstein release a letter in which he wrote that Trump "unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."

Bornstein became something of a viral sensation after the rapturous report.

What the presidential physician who is treating Trump now may lack in colorful comments, he makes up for with a stacked resume.

Dr. Ronny Jackson, the presidential physician, is a rear admiral in the Navy and examined Trump last week at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

He attendedd Texas A&M University at Galveston for his undergraduate studies, majoring in Marine Biology, before going to medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch, according to his naval biography.

He has served in Virginia, Connecticut and Florida and was also assigned to work with an explosive disposal unit in Italy, as well as a platoon in Iraq. Jackson currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife and three children, according to a biography page posted by Harvard University which ran a fellowship in disaster medicine with which he was involved.

When he was in Iraq in 2006, while serving as the physician in charge of resuscitative medicine for a deployed platoon, Jackson was chosen as the White House physician.

His tenure started during the administration of then-President George W. Bush, who he examined. He also gave physicals to President Barack Obama and will now examine President Donald Trump.

Jackson's last examination of Obama came in February 2016, when he wrote a two-page memo to then-White House press secretary Josh Earnest, which was released by the White House.

The memo noted that it was the fourth exam that Jackson had performed on Obama and included details like his age, weight, height, body mass index, resting heart rate, a heart exam, gastrointestinal status and cholesterol rate. It also noted his social history, commenting on his "healthy lifestyle choices" including "healthy diet" and daily exercise.

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Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon arrives on Capitol Hill to meet with House Intelligence Committee

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon arrived on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning for a closed door meeting with the House Intelligence Committee.

Bannon is expected to face questions about the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

This meeting comes after Bannon resigned as executive chairman of Breitbart News following the release of Michael Wolff’s tell-all Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. The book, which includes harsh comments from Bannon on the controversial June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between campaign officials and a Russian lawyer, renewed questions about Trump’s campaign activity.

Bannon, who joined the Trump campaign in August of 2016, brandished the Trump Tower meeting as "treasonous," according to Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

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Maryland pastor attacks Trump with VP Pence sitting in front pew

Metropolitan Baptist Church/Facebook(LARGO, Maryland) -- A pastor in Maryland who had Vice President Mike Pence as a captive audience on Sunday took the opportunity to attack the politician's boss, calling President Donald Trump's comments on Haiti and Africa "hurtful," "dehumanizing" and "vulgar."

Dr. Maurice Watson, pastor of the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Largo, Maryland, ripped into Trump's reported negative comments about Haiti and African countries, though he never specifically mentioned Trump's name.

Pence and his wife, Karen, were sitting in the front pew.

"It is alleged that a hurtful, dehumanizing, visceral, guttural, ugly adjective that I cannot repeat in church, was allegedly used to characterize some of the nations of Africa," Watson said in his Sunday sermon, which was posted on the church's Facebook page. "And a statement was made that we ought to welcome people from Norway more than we should welcome people from Haiti. I stand here today as your pastor to vehemently denounce and reject such characterizations. Whoever said it is wrong, and they oughta be held accountable.

"You are owed an apology, but you probably won't get one," Watson added.

The congregation loudly applauded Watson's words.

WUSA said Pence was left "red-faced" by the comments. A spokesperson for Pence denied that to The Associated Press. Pence and his wife were in attendance at the church for the congregation's honoring of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Trump has also denied he called Haiti and African nations "s---hole countries" in a meeting with various politicians who were trying to negotiate a deal on DACA last Thursday. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who was in the meeting, said there was no question the president said these "hate-filled things."

Watson appeared on CNN on Monday night, where he said he didn't see the vice president's reaction to his comments, but said they had nothing to do with Pence being in attendance.

"It didn't have anything to do with the vice president, it had to do with the fact that I'm a pastor," Watson told CNN. "As a pastor, I have to speak up for my people. And the vice president just happened to have been there."

Pence did not refer to the visit on his social media pages, though he did share photos of he and wife wife laying a wreath at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., later in the day.

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