The Latest: Trump promises health insurance for all

AP News
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Posted: Jan 16, 2017 5:02 AM
The Latest: Trump promises health insurance for all

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Donald Trump (all times EST):

8:50 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump says his plan to replace the nation's health care law will include "insurance for everybody."

Trump made the comment in an interview with the Washington Post published on Sunday.

The president-elect says: "We're going to have insurance for everybody. There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can't pay for it, you don't get it. That's not going to happen with us."

Trump declined to reveal any details.

An embrace of universal health care would mark a sharp break for most Republicans, as they plan to repeal and replace the current health care law.

A full repeal without an immediate replacement would strip health care insurance from millions of Americans.

Trump told the Post he expects Congress to address the issue in the coming weeks.

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8:45 p.m.

Donald Trump is lashing out at CIA chief John Brennan for saying the president-elect doesn't understand the threat posed by Russia.

Trump tweeted of Brennan, "Was this the leaker of Fake News?"

The Sunday night jab was a reference to a recent intelligence briefing that raised questions about Trump's connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The CIA director said Sunday morning on Fox News that Trump lacks "full appreciation and understanding" of the implications of lifting sanctions on Russia.

Trump acknowledged Brennan's criticism and said he "couldn't do much worse" as president.

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6:30 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump says Britain's decision to leave the European Union will "end up being a great thing." He's also predicting that the EU will continue to break apart.

The incoming president made the comments in an interview with The Times of London and Germany's Bild newspaper. Trump is set to take office on Friday.

He said Europeans are upset about an influx in immigrants and "want their own identity." He predicted that other countries would leave the European Union as well.

He says: "I think it's gonna be very hard to keep it together because people are angry about it."

Trump indicated he doesn't care whether the EU stays together. His position marks a break from the Obama administration, which encouraged Britain to remain in the EU.

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12:20 p.m.

The Trump team is taking a hard line on the ethics official who's questioned the president-elect's potential conflicts of interest.

Donald Trump aide Reince Priebus (ryns PREE'-bus) tells ABC's "This Week" that the independent watchdog "ought to be careful because that person is becoming extremely political."

"That person" is Walter Shaub Jr., director of the Office of Government Ethics.

Shaub has said the only way Trump could avoid a conflict of interest would be to divest from his business and place his assets in a blind trust.

Shaub has been summoned by the GOP chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, to answer questions about his comments.

The committee's top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, says Trump's team and Republicans are "engaged in a blatant, coordinated attack" against Shaub for doing his job.

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11:50 a.m.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence says it is "deeply disappointing" that civil rights icon John Lewis would question the legitimacy of Donald Trump's White House victory.

In an interview with CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday, Pence said he respects "the sacrifice" the Georgia congressman made, but said that he is one of many people making "baseless assertions" that the president-elect's victory was illegitimate.

Trump tore into Lewis on Saturday, just days ahead of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

Pence says that "Donald Trump has every right to defend himself."

He says the nation faces "deep challenges" and he hopes Lewis will reconsider his decision to boycott the inauguration and his remarks questioning Trump's victory.

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11:15 a.m.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence says both he and Donald Trump welcome the oversight work by Congress into reports of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

In an interview with CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday, Pence said the incoming administration believes there is "no evidence of impact on voting machines," adding that "Donald Trump won the election fair and square."

He said that "we certainly respect the right of Congress to provide oversight and make inquiries where they see appropriate," but he said that "the American people have spoken."

President-elect Trump has described reports questioning the legitimacy of his White House victory as a "witch hunt." Pence said Sunday that there are efforts by the national media to "demean and question the legitimacy of this incoming administration."

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11:10 a.m.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence is calling the timing of a conversation between Donald Trump's national security adviser and the Russian ambassador to the U.S. "strictly coincidental."

In an interview with CBS's "Face the Nation," Pence says retired Gen. Michael Flynn sent a text message to the Russian ambassador wishing him a Merry Christmas and offering his condolences for a recent Russian plane crash.

Pence says, "it was strictly coincidental that they had a conversation" as new sanctions were announced. He insists the discussion did not address a decision by the Obama administration to expel Russian diplomats or extend sanctions over recent allegations that the Russian government interfered with the U.S. presidential election.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Pence also says the Trump presidential campaign had no contacts with the Russians ahead of the election.

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10:55 a.m.

Sen. Rand Paul says that Rep. John Lewis' record as a civil rights icon shouldn't make him immune to criticism and debate.

In an interview Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," the Kentucky Republican addressed President-elect Donald Trump's recent accusations that Lewis' district is "crime infested" and that he is "''All talk, talk, talk — no action or results," after Lewis questioned the legitimacy of Trump's White House victory.

Paul said he has a great deal of respect for Lewis, but "he's a partisan and I disagree with him on a great deal of issues."

He said, "I should be able to disagree with him and not to have it all come back to I have no appreciation for a civil rights icon because of this, and I think that's the part that I think is unfair."

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10:35 a.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is so steamed about the FBI director that he thinks James Comey may want to find another job.

The Vermont senator — who ran against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination — is among the lawmakers still angry about how Comey handled the election-year inquiry into Clinton's private email practices.

And now Comey is refusing to say whether the FBI is investigating possible links between President-elect Donald Trump's campaign and Russia.

Sanders tells ABC's "This Week" he thinks Comey "should take a hard look at what he has done. And I think it would not be a bad thing for the American people if he did step down."

The Justice Department's internal watchdog announced last week that he's investigating Comey and the department.

Some Democrats blame Comey's statements and actions in part for Clinton's loss to Donald Trump.

Trump's incoming White House chief of staff says the president-elect has confidence in Comey. Speaking on the same show, Reince Priebus describes Comey as "extremely competent" and says there are no plans to cut short his term as FBI director.

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10:20 a.m.

CIA Director John Brennan says Donald Trump's "talking and tweeting" is not in the nation's interest and that the president-elect lacks a full understanding of the threat Russia poses to the U.S.

Brennan said Sunday the national security questions Trump will face after becoming president on Friday are not "about him." Brennan added that Trump needs to understand that "he's going to have an opportunity to do something for our national security as opposed to talking and tweeting." Such spontaneity, Brennan said, is not in the nation's national security interests.

Brennan said intelligence officials briefed Trump on a dossier of unverified but potentially damaging information Russia had on him because it was well known and they wanted the president-elect to be aware of it.

The CIA director spoke on "Fox News Sunday." Trump's choice to lead the agency is former Rep. Mike Pompeo.

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10:10 a.m.

President Barack Obama's chief of staff says the president has sought an assessment on any interference in the 2016 election so that policymakers could address the issue.

Denis McDonough says it is "important for the president that we get a full assessment" to brief policymakers so they can "implement policies to make sure that doesn't happen again."

President-elect Donald Trump has lashed out at those who have suggested his win was aided by Russian involvement.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," McDonough said the intelligence community is "staffed by an unbelievably cadre of professionals" and he dismissed the notion that they would seek to undermine Trump's victory as Trump has suggested.

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9:55 a.m.

Donald Trump's team is still plenty steamed after a leading House Democrat described Trump as an illegitimate president — and there are now calls for President Barack Obama to act.

Trump's incoming White House chief of staff says the congressman, civil rights leader John Lewis of Georgia, is being "irresponsible" and has started a "firestorm."

Reince Priebus (ryns PREE'-bus) tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that Obama should "step up" and "call it what it is — it's wrong what is happening, it's wrong how some of these Democrats are treating President-elect Trump."

Lewis had told NBC that he didn't see Trump "as a legitimate president," and believes that Russian meddling in the election helped put Trump in office.

President Barack Obama's chief of staff addressed Preibus' call in a separate interview. Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," Denis McDonough said "the president is not going to get in the middle of this right now."

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9:35 a.m.

President Barack Obama's chief of staff says Donald Trump should mend relations with civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis to send a message to the American people and the world.

The president-elect tore into Lewis on Saturday for questioning the legitimacy of his White House victory, intensifying a feud with the black congressman days before the national holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

Obama's chief of staff, Denis McDonough, told CNN's "State of the Union" that Trump should address his differences with Lewis to "send a message to the American people not only that we are willing to work together, but to the Russians that we are united."

McDonough noted that Trump should recognize the role Lewis has played to advance civil rights policies, saying Lewis fought, bled and went to jail for the cause.

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This story has been corrected in the 11:50 a.m. item to say Pence is vice president-elect, not president-elect. Also corrects reference to Britain, instead London, leaving the European Union and that Trump's interview was with the Times of London, not the Sunday Times.