Wed, Apr. 19, 2017: Trump welcomes New England Patriots to White House

President Donald Trump welcomed the New England Patriots to the White House Wednesday, noting the parallels between his own upset victory and their stunning Super Bowl win — but avoiding discussion of the apparent prison suicide of their former teammate Aaron Hernandez earlier in the day.

As he extolled the team’s virtues and saluted individual players, the president did not name star quarterback Tom Brady, who notified the White House that he was dealing with a “personal family matter” and would not attend the ceremony.

Trump hosted the five-time champions on the South Lawn and declared that “no team has been good this long.” Continue reading “Wed, Apr. 19, 2017: Trump welcomes New England Patriots to White House”

Wed, Apr. 19, 2017: Trump signs Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act

President Donald Trump extended the Veterans Choice Act on Wednesday to set the stage for a push in Congress to expand the program and allow more access to private care for veterans.

Flanked by veterans at an Oval Office ceremony, the president signed the bill to extend the Choice program, which was to expire on Aug. 7, and allow the expenditure of the remaining $950 million in the program.

The Choice Card program allowed vets facing lengthy wait times at Veterans Administration facilities or living more than 40 miles from the nearest VA to seek care in the private sector. Those already in the program will not need to re-apply under the bill signed by Trump, VA officials said.

The new bill — the Veterans Choice Improvement Act — addressed a major complaint of veterans service organizations by directing the VA to cover co-pays and deductibles directly for private care rather than reimbursing veterans for paying up front.

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Wed, Apr. 19, 2017: Trump signs Veterans Choice Act, hosts Patriots at White House

10:00 am: Receives his daily intelligence briefing

10:30 am: Meets with Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin

11:30 am: Signs S. 544 the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act; Roosevelt Room

1:20 pm: Greets Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots in the Oval Office

2:30 pm: Holds an event with the Patriots on the South Lawn

3:30 pm: Meets with National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster