The Latest: Trump releases tax info ahead of TV report

AP News
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Posted: Mar 14, 2017 8:41 PM
The Latest: Trump releases tax info ahead of TV report

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times EDT):

8:35 p.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump made more than $150 million in income in 2005 and paid $38 million in income taxes that year.

The acknowledgement comes as MSNBC host Rachel Maddow says she has obtained part of Trump's 2005 tax forms.

The White House is pushing back pre-emptively, saying that publishing those returns would be illegal.

It says, "You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago."

The White House adds that it is "totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns" and is bashing the "dishonest media."

Trump refused to release his tax returns during the campaign, claiming he was under audit.

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7:35 p.m.

Labor secretary nominee Alexander Acosta has a Democratic supporter in the Senate.

A spokesman for Sen. Bill Nelson says the Florida lawmaker will vote to confirm Acosta, who was born in Miami.

Nelson's support for Republican President Donald Trump's choice is notable because Trump's original pick for the post couldn't get support from enough Republicans to be confirmed. Fast food CEO Andrew Puzder withdrew from consideration after criticism over his personal and professional life.

Acosta's Senate hearing is March 22. He is the dean of the Florida International University law school.

Nelson's support for Acosta was first reported by the Miami Herald.

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5:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump will travel to Michigan Wednesday, where he is expected to roll back federal fuel-economy requirements that would have forced automakers to significantly increase the efficiency of cars and trucks built in the next decade.

The fuel-economy standards were a key part of former President Barack Obama's strategy to combat global warming.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt are expected to join Trump on the visit to Ypsilanti, Michigan, a Detroit suburb.

Automakers asked Pruitt to discard a decision by the Obama administration requiring cars to average a real-world figure of 36 miles per gallon in model years 2022 to 2025. The automakers said the rule could add thousands of dollars to the price of new cars and cost thousands of jobs.

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3:55 p.m.

The federal agency that oversees health insurance programs for tens of millions of American consumers has a new leader.

Vice President Mike Pence has sworn in Seema Verma as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the Department of Health and Human Services. The $1 trillion agency oversees health insurance programs for everyone from nursing home residents to newborns.

Verma is taking over the agency as a Republican health care bill moving through the House that's backed by President Donald Trump has reopened the debate over the government's role in health care.

Verma is an Indiana health care consultant and protege of Pence, who is a former Indiana governor.

The Senate confirmed her nomination Monday by a vote of 55-43, largely along party lines.

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3:05 p.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump is "extremely confident" that the Justice Department will produce evidence backing up his claim that his predecessor wiretapped his New York skyscraper during the election.

The comments from spokesman Sean Spicer come one day after the Justice Department asked lawmakers for more time to produce that evidence. The House intelligence committee gave the department until March 20, the first day of its hearings on Russia's interference in the 2016 election and possible contacts between Trump advisers and Russians.

Spicer says the president is confident that information yet to be released will "vindicate him."

Earlier this month, Trump accused President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower during the campaign. Obama has denied the explosive allegations and there has been no evidence backing up Trump's claims.

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1:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump is sitting down for lunch with Saudi Arabia's second-in-line to the throne at the White House.

Trump shook hands with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the State Dining Room before joining several White House and Saudi officials for lunch.

The Saudi royal is the highest-level visit to Washington since November's presidential election. The prince is leading the kingdom's economic overhaul to become less dependent on oil.

Trump is expected to spend the rest of the day focused on the Republican health care overhaul. He'll be speaking by phone with Health Secretary Tom Price, Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish and two Republican lawmakers: House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

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1 p.m.

President Trump is meeting with the Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman.

The pair met in the Oval Office Tuesday before a scheduled lunch.

The prince is Saudi Arabia's second-in-line to the throne and his trip marks the highest-level visit to Washington by a Saudi royal since November's presidential election.

The prince is currently spearheading an economic overhaul aimed at helping the country become less dependent on oil as well as investments in U.S. technology firms.

He is also his country's minister of defense.

The president had originally been scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday, but that visit has been pushed back to Friday because of the snow.