Melania Just Put Michelle to Shame With 1 Message She Posted for US Army Aviators

Though her husband has been in office for less than half a year, first lady Melania Trump has already made a surprising number of gestures — more than former first lady Michelle Obama ever did, it seems — to showcase her appreciation for our men and women in uniform.

On Friday, for example, she posted an image to her Facebook page thanking a specific US Army regiment for helping her and her staff arrive safely to their meetings at the G-7 summit in Italy.

“Thank you to the @usarmy 1-214th Aviation Regiment for getting me & my staff to our mtgs safely today!” she specifically wrote.

This is just one small example of Melania showering deserving soldiers with love. Many more exist.

Prior to her leaving with President Donald Trump last week for their nine-day overseas tour, the first lady announced she would be “meeting with the wives and children of US and allied soldiers” during the couple’s pass through Italy, according to Newsweek.

Earlier this month, the presidential couple invited “active-duty troops, their spouses and mothers” to the White House for a special Mother’s Day event:

“While you stand with many other parents, so strong and so proud, I am sure that you sometimes march on this journey alone,” Melania said at the event. “While your sons and daughters are away serving so selflessly, having a community share even some of that burden must make all the difference in the world.”

And just last month the first lady reportedly wore a khaki green, military-themed suit during her husband’s meeting with Argentine President Mauricio Macri and first lady Juliana Awada.

All of this isn’t to say that former first lady Michelle Obama did nothing for the military, as that would be a bold-faced lie.

It does admittedly appear, however, that Melania’s gestures toward our men and women in uniform have carried more weight and sincerity than those of her predecessor.

Suffice it to say, whereas it always felt as if Michelle were merely playing a role, with Melania, the love and appreciation seem 100 percent real.


Mattis: Trump is ‘wide open’ on Paris climate deal

President Donald Trump is “wide open” on the Paris climate accord as “he takes in the pros and cons,” Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said in an interview to air Sunday.

“We’ve obviously got a discussion going on about our policy in this regard,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “I was sitting in on some of the discussions in Brussels, by the way, where climate change came up, and the president was open. He was curious about why others were in the position they were in – his counterparts in other nations – and I’m quite certain the president is wide open on this issue as he takes in the pros and cons of that accord.”

Trump on Saturday wrote on Twitter that he would make his final decision next week on whether the US would remain in the climate accord, an international agreement to curb carbon emissions. Throughout the campaign, Trump had pledged to withdraw from the pact.

Mattis, however, said the US position on climate change is “not inside my portfolio.”

“Obviously we deal with the aspects of a warming climate in the Department of Defense, and to us, that’s just another one of many factors we deal with which we call the physical environment,” he continued.

During the interview, Mattis additionally said Trump’s message on NATO is “a consistent message” that the US has given allied nations in the past.

During remarks at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, Trump criticized “23 of the 28 member nations” for not paying enough for their national defense.

“Having been a NATO officer, under President Bush and President Obama, and then having been back there in Brussels representing the Department of Defense under President Trump…this is a consistent message that we have given the NATO nations,” Mattis said.

“They get the best defense in the world, the NATO countries, and we’ve all got to be willing to deal with it like a bank: if you want to take something out of it you’ve got to put something into it.

“And the bottom line is that nations are spending more on defense now than they were five years ago or ten years ago,” he said.


UK lowers terror threat level to ‘severe’ as more arrested in Manchester attack

Britain reduced its terrorism threat level a notch, from “critical” to “severe,” as authorities said major progress has been made in unravelling the plot behind the Manchester bombing.

Prime Minister Theresa May said “a significant amount of police activity” and several arrests led to the level being lowered. But she urged Britons to remain vigilant and said soldiers would remain at high-profile sites throughout the holiday weekend. The troops will gradually be withdrawn beginning Monday, May said.

A severe threat means an attack is “highly likely,” as indicated by the scale set by Britain’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre. Until it was raised Tuesday, it had stayed at severe since mid-2014.

Police made two more arrests Saturday, bringing the number of suspects in custody to 11. All are men, ages 18 to 44.

Greater Manchester Police said two men, ages 20 and 22, were detained early Saturday in the northwest England city on suspicion of terrorism offenses. Police used an explosive device to get into a property to make the arrests.

Investigators are searching several including bomber Salman Abedi’s home in south Manchester and other houses in nearby districts.

Residents were evacuated from streets in the south Manchester neighborhood of Moss Side in what police called a precaution. Photos showed an army bomb-disposal unit at the property.

Mark Rowley, Britain’s top counterterrorism police officer, said authorities have dismantled a “large part” of the network around bomber Salman Abedi. But he said there were still “gaps in our understanding” of the plot, as investigators probed Abedi’s potential links to jihadis in Britain, Europe, Libya and the Middle East.

The 22-year-old Briton of Libyan descent died in Monday’s explosion, which killed 22 people and wounded dozens as crowds were leaving an Ariana Grande concert.

Hundreds of soldiers have been sent to replace police at high-profile sites including Buckingham Palace and Parliament, and police armed with submachine guns are being deployed in city centers, transit hubs, tourist areas and major events.

Despite the alert, police have urged people to go out and enjoy themselves over the three-day holiday weekend. More than 1,000 armed police are on standby as major events including the Football Association Cup Final and the Premiership Rugby Final are expected to draw tens of thousands of people.

Manchester is slowly returning to normal, though dozens of people remain hospitalized and the damaged arena and adjacent Victoria train station remain closed.

Grande has promised to return to Manchester for a benefit concert. In a statement Friday, she said “I’ll be returning to the incredibly brave city of Manchester to spend time with my fans and to have a benefit concert in honor of and to raise money for the victims and their families.”

“Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before,” she said. “We will not quit or operate in fear. We won’t let this divide us. We won’t let hate win.”


Trump-Supporting Lena Epstein Raises $100k In 24 Hours For Senate Run

It appears the Republican Party has a rising star on its hands. As indicated by The Daily Caller, Michigan businesswoman Lena Epstein raised an impressive $100,000 in just one day after announcing her bid for the Senate in 2018.

Epstein, 35, was a co-chairwoman for Donald Trump in her native state throughout the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump scored an upset win in the Wolverine State, on the way to his upset win nationally.

In a campaign news release, Epstein said she wanted to build on the Trump momentum.

“Politicians have failed us, and Michigan citizens are looking for another way,” she said. “Michigan spoke loud and clear in the last election — we want an outsider with business leadership skills who can inspire the people of Michigan with a bright vision for the future. I will speak for those who have not been spoken for. I will represent those who know, deep down, that their government has failed them and their families.”

Epstein is a successful general manager and third generation co-owner of Michigan-based Vesco Oil. The company is a distributor of automotive and industrial lubricants. It boasts 200 employees and an annual revenue of $175 million.

Epstein appeared on local television and radio shows while then-candidate Trump was running against Hillary Clinton.

However she still has very little recognition throughout Michigan, which make her $100,000 fundraising day all the more amazing.

As indicated by The Associated Press, Epstein said she will “take the fight directly to” Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat who is expected to seek a fourth term and who coasted to re-election in 2006 and 2012.

Epstein is the first Republican to enter the race and her announcement this far ahead of August 2018 shows that she understands the need to get her name out and into the public.

But it also shows she’s ready to fight.


Trump: NATO money ‘beginning to pour in’ from alliance partners

President Donald Trump early Saturday tweeted that NATO countries have “agreed to step up payments” and “money is beginning to pour in” following his contentious meeting with leaders of the western alliance during his ongoing foreign trip.

“Many NATO countries have agreed to step up payments considerably, as they should. Money is beginning to pour in- NATO will be much stronger,” he tweeted.

Trump on Thursday berated US allies for not spending enough on defense, suggesting they owe “massive amounts” in back payments to the US under the umbrella of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

“Over the last eight years, the United States spent more on defense than all other NATO countries combined,” he declared as the leaders of other NATO member countries looked on uncomfortably.

However, the commitments are for NATO allies to spend more on defense overall, mainly on their own militaries – so the increases would not necessarily be seen at headquarters but in the military budgets of individual countries.

Trump in his Brussels address likewise declined to confirm the US commitment to Article 5 of the treaty, which guarantees the US would back a treaty partner in the event of a conflict with a foreign power.

Early Saturday, the president likewise tweeted: “Big G7 meetings today. Lots of very important matters under discussion. First on the list, of course, is terrorism. #G7Taormina.”

The US will be the lone holdout on endorsing the Paris accord on climate change when leaders of the G7 will issue their 2017 declaration later Saturday, officials said.

Trump had said he would give European leaders a chance to make their case for the climate change accord, but will make a final decision until returning to Washington on whether his administration will remain committed to the 2015 agreement.


President Trump calls Germans ‘very bad’ and promises to stop car imports

In a Brussels meeting with top European Union leadership, President Trump took a pretty personal dig at Germany over its trade surplus.

“The Germans are bad, very bad,” Trump told EU Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council president Donald Tusk, as indicated by German news magazine Der Spiegel.

“Look at the millions of cars they’re selling in the US. Terrible. We will stop this,” Trump reportedly said of the Germans.

Here’s the thing: the US can’t negotiate a deal with Germany alone. It has to deal with the entire EU, since Germany is a member state. Merkel reminded Trump of this when they met in March, noting that trade agreements with the US have “not always been all that popular in Germany either.”

While Trump’s irritation over German car sales isn’t new – Trump told a German newspaper earlier this year he wanted a 35% import tax on BMWs assembled in Mexico to encourage manufacturers to move to the US, according to Quartz – Twitter users also wondered about the president’s reported choice of words on his first foreign trip.


The Spokesman of Melania Trump Reveals That She’s A Practicing Catholic

In the wake of first lady Melania Trump’s visit with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday, her spokeswoman revealed that the Slovenian-born former model is a practicing Roman Catholic.

Stephanie Grisham did not say when Melania Trump had been baptized.

The last Catholics to inhabit the White House were President John F. Kennedy and his family.

In February, some web sites noted that Melania Trump’s Wikipedia entry described her as Catholic.

However, in keeping with her reluctance to enter the spotlight during her husband’s campaign, the issue of her faith had never emerged.

The Trump White House will be a blend of faiths. President Donald Trump is a Presbyterian. His daughter, Ivanka, converted to Judaism upon her marriage to Jared Kushner, who now is an adviser to the president. The Trumps were married in an Episcopal church.

Melania Trump grew up in Communist-ruled Slovenia, and as the daughter of a Communist Party member was never baptized into any religion.

During her visit with the pope Wednesday, the pontiff blessed a rosary for her.

Later on Wednesday she prayed at the Bambino Gesù (Baby Jesus) Hospital and laid flowers at the feet of a statue of the Madonna. She likewise prayed in the hospital chapel and read to a young Greek boy in need of a donor heart.

She later shared with the media an update on that child.

“Upon landing in Belgium, I learned a young boy and his family who had been waiting for a heart transplant was informed that the hospital has found a donor,” she said in a statement.

“I read a book and held hands with this special little one just a few hours ago, and now my own heart is filled with joy over this news,” she added.

She said that the time spent at the hospital was deeply meaningful.

“To spend time speaking to and coloring with children who have such a positive spirit despite illness was an amazing gift. The time I spent with the little ones in the intensive care unit is something I will never forget, and I will pray for each of them daily,” she added.

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Trump calls Gianforte’s victory a ‘great win in Montana’

President Donald Trump celebrated Republican Greg Gianforte’s victory in Montana’s special Congressional election all the way from Italy on Friday, telling reporters there that the incoming GOP lawmaker had secured a “great win in Montana.”

The president did not elaborate any further on his remark, made unprompted to the pool of media members traveling with the president on his eight-day, multi-nation international trip.

Gianforte’s win keeps Montana’s lone seat in the House of Representatives under Republican control after Ryan Zinke vacated it to become Trump’s secretary of the interior. The incoming lawmaker won with just over 50 percent of the vote, six percentage points better than Democrat Rob Quist.

The win was not without last minute drama, which arrived on the night before the election when Gianforte was cited for misdemeanor assault after he reportedly body-slammed a reporter asking a question about the incoming congressman’s position on the House-passed legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. Gianforte apologized for the incident in his victory speech Thursday night.

In a state that Trump won handily during last year’s presidential election, Gianforte was the beneficiary of significant assistance from high-profile Republicans, including the president and Vice President Mike Pence, both of whom recorded robocalls on behalf of the GOP candidate. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) all sent fundraising emails for Gianforte, who was likewise boosted by phone-banking efforts from the National Rifle Association.

Both Pence and Donald Trump Jr. additionally made in person appearances in support of Gianforte.


Melania Trump Visits Children’s Hospital While In Rome, Speaks Italian With Patients (Video Inside)

First lady Melania Trump was in her element while visiting the children of Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital in Rome on Wednesday.

According to her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, Trump was greeted by the children in unison with a “Ciao Melania.”

“She went in the children’s [intensive care unit], which was very emotional,” Grisham said. “She spoke to them in Italian, she signed bandages and she took lots of selfies.”

The president himself wrote a letter to Pope Francis asking if the first lady could visit the hospital, stressing the fact that it was very important to her.

The first lady visited with children from nine countries and handed out gifts, including backpacks from the White House which contained coloring supplies.

Bambino Gesù was the first pediatric facility in Italy. It is now run by the Catholic Church and provides free health care and housing for approximately 3,500 families.

The hospital houses roughly 600 patients, with some children coming from as far as Iraq and Nepal.

It is the largest pediatric research center in Europe.

Before leaving, Melania Trump left a message, telling the children “Great visiting you! Stay strong & positive!”

Besides her native Slovenian, Trump speaks fluent English and is knowledgeable in German, French, Italian and Serbo-Croatian.

Before leaving, the first lady stopped by the hospital’s chapel and lit a candle in front of a tapestry of Jesus.

The president and first lady likewise met with Pope Francis on Wednesday. Following traditional dress code for private papal visits, Trump wore a black veil and formal black long sleeved clothing.

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Trump praises Duterte for ‘unbelievable job’ cracking down on drugs in the Philippines

President Donald Trump congratulated his Filipino counterpart, Rodrigo Duterte, during a phone call last month for doing “an unbelievable job on the drug problem” in the Philippines, where the government has sanctioned the extrajudicial killing of suspects.

A transcript of the April 29 conversation published online by The Intercept and reported by multiple media outlets, including The New York Times, comes from the Office of American Affairs in the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs. The transcript is preceded by a coversheet marked “confidential” that lays out security procedures for the document.

“I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” Trump told Duterte, according to the transcript. “Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that.”

As indicated by the State Department’s 2016 Human Rights Report, which was last updated in March, police and vigilantes in the Philippines had killed more than 6,000 suspected drug dealers since July, the month after Duterte took office. An “apparent governmental disregard for human rights and due process” was among the State Department’s “most significant human rights problems” in the Philippines.

While Trump started his conversation with Duterte by congratulating him on his approach to dealing with his nation’s drug problem, the two men spent the bulk of their call discussing North Korea and its dictator, Kim Jong Un. Duterte told Trump that Kim is “not stable” and that he seems to be “always laughing” when he has a “dangerous toy in his hands which could create so much agony and suffering for all mankind,” a reference to North Korea’s efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon and a missile capable of delivering it.

Trump disclosed that the US has stationed two nuclear submarines in the area, which he called “the best in the world,” but cautioned that he did not want to have to use them.