French presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen will advance to the second round of voting, according to initial projections. Macron, a liberal centrist, is projected to have finished with around 24 percent of the vote, while Le Pen, the far-right candidate, came in a close second with 22 percent of the vote. Le Pen has the support of Europe’s populists, and President Donald Trump tacitly backed Le Pen in an interview last week, calling her the “strongest” candidate. The vote happened amid heightened security in France, just days after another terror attack in Paris resulted in the death of a police officer. As many as 50,000 police officers and 7,000 French troops were stationed at polling places nationwide.
South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford on Sunday said President Donald Trump threatened to back a Republican primary challenger against him if he voted against the American Health Care Act, the GOP’s Obamacare replacement bill that failed last month.
During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Sanford said Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget and Sanford’s former colleague in the House of Representatives, told him that Trump “hopes you vote against this because he wants to run somebody against you if you do.” According to Sanford, Trump has made similar threats to other members of Congress.
“I think that those kinds of threats are counter-productive,” Sanford added. “It all, I guess, fits in love, war and politics. But I don’t think it’s particularly productive to his own legislative agenda, and we’ll see what comes.”
Despite the threat, Sanford joined conservative and moderate Republicans in declaring that he would vote against the AHCA, referred to at the time as Trumpcare.
“I don’t work for him. I work for about 750,000 people here in the first congressional district,” Sanford said, adding that he wasn’t concerned about simply “checking the box” on healthcare without “taking into account both the considerations of the left and the right.”
North Korea has detained an American citizen who intended to fly out of the capital city of Pyongyang on Saturday. It is unclear why the individual, who was identified by the chancellor of the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology as Kim Sang-duk, was detained at the airport. “He was prevented from getting on the flight out of Pyongyang. We don’t comment further on this,” Martina Aberg, the deputy chief of mission at the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang, told CNN. Kim, a professor in his 50s who was teaching accounting at the university, is now the third American being held in the country, which has provoked international ire over its missile tests and development of nuclear weapons.
According to a new poll, 96 percent of Americans who voted for President Donald Trump do not regret their vote, but Trump’s approval rating is still historically low, sitting at 42 percent. The Washington Post-ABC News poll also found that Americans are questioning his temperament and judgment, as well as his honesty and trustworthiness, which sits well below 50 percent. Bright spots for Trump include 53 percent support for the idea that he is a strong leader. Additionally, 67 percent said the Democratic Party, in its role as the opposition party, is out of touch with Americans, while 62 percent said the same about the Republican Party.
Seven African-American Fox News employees will reportedly join a racial discrimination lawsuit next week, alleging that the network’s former comptroller Judy Slater subjected them and others to racial harassment. In addition to Slater, who was fired in February, the lawsuit names Tammy Efinger, the network’s accounting director. “Not once did Ms. Efinger step in or attempt to interfere with Ms. Slater’s outrageous conduct,” lawyers representing the employees wrote in a letter to Fox lawyers, adding that Efinger “chose to laugh or giggle following Ms. Slater’s vitriol. The letter also alleged that Slater called for arm wrestling matches between black and white employees. The lawsuit was initially filed last month.
FBI Director James Comey reportedly did not trust former Attorney General Loretta Lynch when it came to the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and believed she was trying to downplay the probe. A New York Times report on the saga revealed that Lynch did not want Comey to use the word “investigation,” but rather call it a “matter.” According to the Times, Comey worried that “a Democratic attorney general was asking him to be misleading and line up his talking points with Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.” Democrats, particularly those who worked on the Clinton campaign, have blamed Comey for Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump, saying he inappropriately intervened in the electoral process by disclosing that the FBI was looking into newly recovered emails from her private server.
President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that he will be holding a “BIG” rally in Pennsylvania next Saturday night, in a bid likely to provide counter-programming for the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Saturday also marks the 100th day of his presidency, and Trump is expected to tout his administration. The president announced in February that he would not be attending this year’s correspondents dinner, and White House staff followed suit, in a move that underscored the heightened tensions between the press and the new administration. Jeff Mason, a Reuters reporter and the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, said journalists are looking forward to “celebrating the First Amendment” at the dinner on Saturday.
President Trump’s administration asked U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to step down on Friday, replacing him with his deputy. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a late-night statement saying Murthy “was asked to resign from his duties as Surgeon General after assisting in a smooth transition into the new Trump Administration.” Murthy, an appointee of former President Obama, has been replaced by Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, the current Deputy Surgeon General and one of the first nurses to serve as surgeon general. Trent-Adams had already replaced Murthy on the surgeon general’s Twitter account late Friday, leaving commentators asking what had happened to Murthy. Murthy was outspoken in calling attention to the country’s rampant gun violence and well-known for acknowledging that marijuana can be “helpful” for certain conditions.
Erin Moran, the actress best known for playing Joanie Cunningham on the decade-long television classic Happy Days, passed away on Saturday. The 56-year-old was found unresponsive by emergency medical technicians at her home in Indiana on Saturday afternoon. Moran became one of America's most familiar faces in 1974, playing the "Joanie," the younger sister of Ron Howard's "Richie" in the hit sitcom. Moran continued in the role in the spinoff Joanie Loves Chachie, which was cancelled after one season in 1982.
More than 100 Afghan soldiers were killed Friday in a Taliban attack on a military base. The Defense Ministry put the death toll at “more than 100,” while a local official said at least 140 were killed in the attack on a base in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. Up to 10 Taliban militants entered the base Friday disguised in military uniforms and driving military vehicles, opening fire on Afghan soldiers who were eating a meal or leaving a mosque after prayers, officials said. They used rocket-propelled grenades, rifles, and suicide vests. “It was a chaotic scene and I didn't know what to do. There was gunfire and explosions everywhere,” one serviceman told Reuters. A Taliban spokesman said the massacre was revenge for military operations against the terrorist group. The Taliban claimed one of the attackers had infiltrated the military and been serving for some time, though that has not yet been independently verified.