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Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved. Monday, February 27, 2017
Politics
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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- White House press secretary Sean Spicer told ABC News' Jonathan Karl that the White House "did [its] job" by pointing reporters to sources who could dispute The New York Times' reporting on the Trump campaign contacting Russians prior to the election.

"I will say I think we did our job very effectively by making sure that reporters who had questions about the accuracy and claims in The New York Times, we were pointing them to experts who understood whether or not that story was accurate or not," Spicer told Karl.

"So, the answer is, you know, we have continued to give reporters information and sources that went to the accuracy or lack thereof of a report in a newspaper."

 

.@PressSec to @jonkarl: White House "did our job" by pointing reporters to sources who might dispute Russia report https://t.co/u0OUjL2NpO pic.twitter.com/MnM5YaOU8p

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 27, 2017

 

Spicer would not say whether he reached out to CIA Director Mike Pompeo directly to dispute the Russia reports.

When pressed by Karl over whether or not a special prosecutor was necessary to restore public trust that an investigation would be independent, Spicer disputed that there’s any existing evidence that an investigation is appropriate in the first place.

“It's the same stuff over and over again that we've heard for literally six months. And so the question becomes at some point, what do you need to further investigate if there is nothing that has come out?” said Spicer.

Spicer asserted that the intelligence community, House and Senate have already looked into any possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russians.

“At some point, you do have to ask yourself, what are you actually looking for? How many times do you have to come to the same conclusion before you take the answer?” said Spicer.

On Monday at the White House, reporters asked President Trump as he left a meeting with health-care executives if he would support an independent investigation into possible ties between Trump presidential campaign advisers and Russians.

“I haven’t called Russia in 10 years,” said President Trump.

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ABC News(WICHITA, Kan.) -- President Trump will outline his plans for the nation in his first major address to Congress Tuesday night.

While the White House promises the message will be focused on the "renewal of the American spirit," Americans across the country are weighing in on the key issues they would like to see tackled in a new administration.

ABC News has launched a "Listening to America" series dedicated to sharing how Americans across the nation feel about the direction of the country.

The series begins in Wichita, Kansas, an industrial hub that is commonly referred to as the "Air Capital of the World" and is home to Koch Industries.

Wichita mayor, Jeff Longwell, describes the city as friendly, taking pride in its welcoming spirit.

"We’re the kind of city that when you walk by someone, a total stranger, they’re going to say 'Hi,' they’re going to wave," he said. "We’re that typical Midwestern city."

Longwell, a Republican elected to office in 2015, attended President Trump’s inauguration in Washington, D.C. Protests, following the inauguration and later policy announcements by the Trump administration, have been organized in cities across the country, including Wichita.

But, Longwell said he believes the political climate and feeling in his city are different from other places.

"We’ve had the friendly protests; we’ve had some marches here, but a different tone to them," he said. "I don’t know if it’s the same tone of the angriness you see in other places."

Wichita entrepreneur, Schane Gross said she has seen more residents become politically active since Trump was elected.

"There wasn’t a lot of political activation that happened in Wichita while Obama was in the presidency, but with Trump being in the presidency there’s a lot of political activation," Gross told ABC News. "There are people who have never been involved with politics before that are stepping up and running for office or supporting people that are running for office, that I’ve never seen before."

As all eyes turn to President Trump for his congressional address, Gross is hoping to get a sense of transparency –- something she says she expects from any administration, past, present or future.

"I feel like if everybody knows the tools that they have to work with, then there is no reason why they can’t get ahead."

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump offered his opinion Monday on the Best Picture mix-up at the Academy Awards, saying that the ceremony's focus on politics distracted from its organization and "glamour."

Trump made the comments as part of an Oval Office interview with Breitbart News. The president noted that he had "been to the Oscars" previously and that something was "missing" this year.

"I think they were focused so hard on politics that they didn’t get the act together at the end," said Trump. “It was a little sad. It took away from the glamour of the Oscars. It didn’t feel like a very glamorous evening… To end that way was sad."

"La La Land" was announced as Best Picture by actress Faye Dunaway after she and fellow presenter Warren Beatty were mistakenly given the envelope for Best Actress, won by the movie's star Emma Stone. As "La La Land's" representatives were giving their acceptance speeches, the show's producers hurried to the stage to correct the error and and "Moonlight" was declared the award's true winner.

Trump's presidency loomed over the show as several honorees gave politically-themed remarks and host Jimmy Kimmel poked fun at the president -- at one point publicly tweeting to him from the stage.

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Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Immigration activist Astrid Silva will be delivering the Democratic response to President Donald Trump's address to a joint session of Congress in Spanish on Tuesday night.

Silva marks the first time a Spanish response will be delivered rebutting a president’s first address to a joint session of Congress. She will be joined by former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, who will deliver the Democratic response in English.

Her speech Tuesday night will target Trump's immigration policies. "It is more important than ever that we show the American people the real faces of immigrants and that we push back on President Trump and Republicans’ plan and vision for America," Silva said in a statement released by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Friday.

Here is more to know about Silva:

Coming to the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant

“When I was 4 years old, my mother and I climbed into a raft and we crossed the river to join my father in America, in search of a better life. All I had was a little doll,” Silva said in her speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Having crossed the border from Mexico to the U.S., Silva’s family decided to make Nevada their home. Her father worked as a landscaper and her mother cleaned houses.

Living in America 'in fear'

Silva wanted to attend a magnet high school, but her parents said no because they were afraid someone would discover Silva was undocumented. But she applied behind their backs and was accepted. Silva finished magnet school at the top of her class and didn't want to stop there.

For the next five years, she worked as a babysitter in order to pay for community college classes, earning two associate's degrees in arts and political science. She then went on to earn her third degree from Nevada State College.

“But for all of my individual success, my family still lived in fear that we would be separated,” Silva wrote in a USA Today opinion piece.

Then in 2011, her father was detained and facing deportation.

“Just to have my dad in a detention center for one week was devastating to me,” Silva said during her December 2014 testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Her father’s deportation was deferred to 2014 and then later deferred again under President Barack Obama’s 2014 executive action.

Spotlighted by President Obama


Her speech at the 2016 DNC, however, was not the first time her story received national attention.

In announcing new executive action on immigration in 2014, President Obama used Silva’s story to show the plight of undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for most of their lives.

“Are we a nation that kicks out a striving, hopeful immigrant like Astrid, or are we a nation that finds a way to welcome her in?” President Obama said in his remarks to the nation on Nov. 20, 2014.

President Obama’s announcement of new immigration reform - Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or “DAPA” -- allowed her father temporary stay because her brother was born in America.

“When the president told my story, I looked at my dad, and then over to my mom, and I started crying with relief,” Silva wrote of her experience watching President Obama’s speech.

The next day, after the president’s speech, Silva introduced Obama at a rally at the Del Sol High School in Las Vegas.

Becoming an activist

Silva decided to become an immigration activist after her family could not return to Mexico to attend her grandmother’s funeral.

“That's when I realized I couldn't sit idly by and watch families being torn apart because of our broken immigration system. I knew I had to act,” Silva wrote in USA Today.

She co-founded the Dream Big Vegas organization in her community for immigration reform. She also struck up a friendship and partnership with former Nevada Senator and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to push for legislation.

“My family and I are here because of people like Sen. Harry Reid. Who put themselves in our shoes and helped us,” Silva said at the 2016 DNC.

Adding that her family still is fighting for legal citizenship, she said, “And while President Obama's immigration action protected me, we live in constant fear that my parents could be taken away from their grandson, Noah.”

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- During a rare interview on NBC’s Today show, former President George W. Bush -- who seldom commented on political issues during Barack Obama’s presidency -- offered his critique of the Trump administration’s policies and the president's contentious relationship with the press.

The nation's 43rd president was on the show to promote his new book, Portraits of Courage, a series of paintings of wounded veterans.

Here are the key highlights from his interview:

Bush calls for answers on possible connections between Russia and Trump campaign

Bush said he supports an investigation that explores possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign.

“I think we all need answers,” Bush told Matt Lauer.

Bush, however, did not say whether or not a special prosecutor is needed to conduct an investigation, instead leaning on any recommendation that comes from Senate Intelligence Chairman Sen. Richard Burr.

”I'm not sure the right avenue to take. I am sure, though, that that question needs to be answered,” he added.

Bush defends the media as a check on "addictive" power

Bush critiqued President Trump’s feud with the media, calling it “indispensable to democracy.”

“Power can be very addictive. And it can be corrosive. And it's important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power,” Bush said.

Bush said that during his time as president he tried to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin of the importance of an independent press.

Bush on Trump’s immigration policy

When asked if the Trump administration’s executive order banning the immigration of people from seven Muslim majority countries makes it harder for the United States to fight terrorism, Bush replied, “It's hard to fight the war on terrorism if we're in retreat. And I think we learned that lesson.”

“If the United States decides to pull out before a free society emerges, it's going to be hard to defeat them," he said. "The enemy is very good about exploiting weakness. It's going to be important. If that's the goal, to defeat ISIS, which I believe it should be, that we project strength. Now, whether or not the domestic politics plays helps them or not.”

When pressed by Lauer if he supports Trump’s ban, Bush wouldn’t give a definitive "yes" or ‘no.”

“I'm for an immigration policy that's welcoming and upholds the law,” he answered.

Bush reflects on the divisions facing the country

Bush laughed at Trump’s description of “carnage” across America but noted the divisions facing the country.

“We were pretty divided when I was president right after a while. We were united after 9/11,” he said. “Some of this will burn out, but it requires all of us understanding how the other person thinks.”

But as divided as the country might seem, Bush pointed out that divisions were “much worse" during the 1960s.

When asked how Trump can help heal those divisions, he said give the president some time.

“First of all, there's only been one month in office," Bush said. "Secondly, I think you have to take the man for his word that he wants to unify the country. We'll see if he's able to do so. It's hard to unify the country with the news media being so split up.”

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Trump's first major congressional address this week will be met with a Democratic response highlighting the success of Obamacare in a state that Trump won.

Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, a strong supporter of Obamacare and Medicaid expansion, will deliver the Democrats' rebuttal to the president's first address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday.

"Nobody is better equipped to talk about the successes of the [Affordable Care Act] than he is," said Congressman John Yarmuth of Kentucky. “In terms of lowering the uninsured rate and people getting preventive care, the numbers in Kentucky are staggering."

While governor from 2007 to 2015, Beshear led the state in lowering its rate of people without health insurance from over 20 percent to 7.5 percent, one of the biggest improvements in the nation.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the president's address will be about "the renewal of the American spirit." Possible topics include the proposed wall along the southern U.S. border; repealing and replacing Obamacare; tax and regulatory reform; and job creation.

With Republicans planning to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Democrats are scrambling to counter that argument by urging constituents to attend GOP representatives' town halls, hold rallies and highlight success stories.

“Under Governor Beshear’s leadership, Kentucky became one of the great success stories of the Affordable Care Act in delivering quality, affordable health coverage for all," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a joint statement with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announcing Beshear as their party's speaker. "Gov. Beshear is an experienced job creator and a uniquely credible voice on the devastating consequences of Republicans’ plans to make America sick again."

In addition to health care, the red state Democrat is also expected to talk about job creation and to critique the first 40 days of Trump's administration.

“Real leaders don’t spread derision and division -- they build partnerships and offer solutions instead of ideology and blame," Beshear said in a statement.

In addition to Beshear, immigration activist and "dreamer" Astrid Silva, who came to the United States at age 4, will deliver the Democrats' Spanish-language response.

Silva will be the first non-lawmaker to deliver an official Spanish response for either party.

“While President Trump unleashes a cruel deportation dragnet on hardworking immigrant families, Astrid Silva personifies the values that have always made America strong,” Pelosi said.

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Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images(OXON HILL, Md.) — The first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference — also known as CPAC — gave conservatives a chance to hear from some of President Donald Trump’s top advisors at the White House and even included a Supreme Court prediction by one of Trump's former rivals.

Here’s five things to note from the first day of CPAC.

Bannon and Priebus Insist They're Buddies


White House senior adviser Steve Bannon and chief of staff Reince Priebus took their buddy comedy on the road at CPAC, insisting that the White House is not in chaos and that they are working well together.

Priebus and Bannon insisted they are "dear friends" and have a smooth working relationship.

"In regard to us two, I think the biggest misconception is everything that you're reading. We share an office suite together, we're basically together from 6:30 in the morning until about 11:00 at night," Priebus said.

He continued his praise, "I think that he’s very dogged in making sure that every day, the promises that President Trump has made are the promises we’re working on every day, number one. Number two, he’s incredibly loyal. And number three — which I think is a really important quality as we’re working together — he’s extremely consistent."

For his part, Bannon said of Priebus, "I can run a little hot on occasions. And Reince is indefatigable."

DeVos Supports Trump's Decision To Reverse Transgender Guidelines


Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said she supports President Trump's rollback of Obama administration guidelines on transgender students' choice of bathrooms in schools. During a Q & A at the conference on Thursday, DeVos said the previous president's guidance issued last year to public schools was a "very huge example of the Obama administration's overreach." She said, however, "It's our job to protect students" and "to protect personal freedoms."

Kellyanne Conway Tells Young Conservatives: "Don’t Live Online"


When asked to give her recommendations for the many college-age conservatives who flocked to CPAC this year, White House counselor KellyAnne Conway was succinct: get offline. "Live in real time. I’m just astonished how many people live online, on Facebook, texting, Twitter, email. Remember: it’s a mode of communication, it’s not communication. It’s not real life," she said.

As she concluded her remarks Thursday morning, President Trump, a frequent social media user himself, had not yet issued any new tweets, his preferred mode of communication.

Ted Cruz Predicts Second Supreme Court Vacancy in the Summer


Sen. Ted Cruz, a former Texas solicitor general who once clerked for the late Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, said during a conversation onstage at CPAC that there would be a second Supreme Court vacancy "this summer." He didn’t give any hints as to which seat he thinks will be free, but there have been rumors that Justice Anthony Kennedy will retire after the current term.

The Conservative Swag


Most of what was shown on TV were the speeches in a large ballroom. But there’s much more to CPAC than just politicians speaking. There’s a whole lot of Republican merchandise and kitsch, ranging from women dressed in skirts bearing elephants to shirts reading "Socialism sucks."

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Trump administration officials are previewing details of the president's first budget blueprint that is expected to include a boost in defense spending offset by cutbacks to foreign aid and other "lower priority" programs.

Two Office of Management and Budget officials said in a conference call with reporters Monday that the "passback budget" being sent for Congress' review will be seen as a “security budget,” with a proposed increase of $54 billion in defense spending.

The officials reiterated this was merely a “first draft” and shell of what the administration will send Congress in its formal budget request next month.

During a drop-by of the National Governors Association meeting Monday, President Trump said the budget will include "an historic increase in defense spending."

“This budget will be a public safety and national security budget,” Trump said. “Very much based on those two with plenty of other things but very strong."

The two OMB officials, who were authorized by the White House to request anonymity in their briefing of reporters, did not say which departments would feel the brunt of these cuts, though they said “there will be a large reduction in foreign aid” in keeping with Trump’s campaign promises.

When it was pointed out by a reporter on the call that foreign aid amounts to less than 1 percent of spending by the U.S., the officials said the proposed reduction should still be praised for putting Americans first.

"This budget expects the rest of the world to step up in some of the programs this country has been so generous in funding in the past," one OMB official said.

The officials also did not specify what specifically the increase in defense spending would pay for, instead saying that the money would be sent to the Pentagon for them to allocate.

Trump also said in his remarks to the NGA that the budget includes an increase in “all spending for federal law enforcement.”

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — President Trump will give his first major congressional address at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, laying out his agenda for the nation. In addition to lawmakers, the audience is expected to include most of his cabinet, the Supreme Court justice and top military brass.

His appearance follows an invitation last month from House Speaker Paul Ryan, who called the address "an opportunity for the people and their representatives to hear directly from our new president about his vision and our shared agenda."

The Talking Points


The commander-in-chief's address comes on the heels of a rocky first 39 days: from the troubled roll-out of the travel ban to the ousting of national security adviser Michael Flynn following reports that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contact with Russians officials.

On Tuesday, Trump is expected to recast his fledgling presidency as a victory for the American people, outlining ways he and lawmakers can work together.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer says the address will be "the renewal of the American spirit." Possible topics that will be discussed: Trump's proposed wall along the southern U.S. border; repealing and replacing Obamacare; tax and regulatory reform; and job creation.

The Democratic Response


Trump won't get the last word Tuesday night.

Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear will give the Democratic response to Trump's address, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced last Friday.

The Democratic governor of a largely conservative state, Beshear, was a strong supporter of Obamacare and an expansion of Medicaid in 2014. Within two years, his state's uninsured rate fell nearly 13 percentage points, according to Gallup.

"Under Governor Beshear’s leadership, Kentucky became one of the great success stories of the Affordable Care Act," Pelosi said in a statement. "Governor Beshear is an experienced job-creator and a uniquely credible voice on the devastating consequences of Republicans’ plans to Make America Sick Again."

The Democrats also announced that immigration activist Astrid Silva, a DREAMer who came to the United States at age 4, will deliver the Spanish-language response.

She'll be the first non-lawmaker to deliver the official Spanish response for either party.

“While President Trump unleashes a cruel deportation dragnet on hard-working immigrant families, Astrid Silva personifies the values that have always made America strong,” Pelosi said.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — On Tuesday, most of the nation's political elite — from Vice President Mike Pence to House Speaker Paul Ryan — will file into the House chamber to hear President Trump outline his national agenda. But one member of the administration definitely won't be watching in person.

During major presidential addresses, the administration isolates one cabinet-level official in an undisclosed location. That person takes control if a disaster were to wipe out all those in the presidential line of succession.

Usually selected by the president's chief-of-staff, the identity of the so-called "designated survivor" is kept secret until shortly before the event.

If the president dies or is removed from office, he's succeeded by the vice president, followed by the speaker of the House and the president pro tempore of the Senate, currently Utah Republican Orrin Hatch. According to the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, the president pro tempore is followed, in order, by the secretaries of state, treasury, and defense, the attorney general, and the secretaries of the interior, agriculture, commerce, labor, health and human services, housing and urban development, transportation, energy, education, veterans affairs and homeland security.

According to historians, the practice dates back to the 1960s, when the nation, rocked by the Cold War, began fearing a nuclear attack. It was not until the 1980s, however, that the survivors' identities became matter of public record.

Prior to the attacks on the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, the designated survivor had a relatively relaxed evening. One survivor recalled spending the night with his daughter, while another hosted a pizza party in the White House.

But post-9/11, security was beefed up: the designated survivor now undergoes hours of briefings and even practices disaster scenarios. Shortly before the president's speech, the designated survivor is whisked out of the nation's capital, accompanied by presidential-level security and a military aide carrying the "football," a briefcase that houses the nuclear launch codes.

During President Trump's inauguration in January, then-President Obama's secretary of homeland security, Jeh Johnson, served as the designated survivor.

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MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- After not seeing a tweet from President Trump all night long, Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel decided to take action.

He tweeted at Trump live on stage, saying he was "worried" about the president after the show had gone on for more than two hours.

First Kimmel wrote, "Hey @realDonaldTrump u up?" The crowd erupted in laughter.

Hey @realDonaldTrump u up?

— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) February 27, 2017

Next, he made it a bit personal, writing, "@realDonaldTrump #Merylsayshi."

Kimmel was referring to Trump tweeting about the 20-time Oscar nominee after she spoke out about the president at the Golden Globe Awards.

@realDonaldTrump #Merylsayshi

— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) February 27, 2017

Streep gave a speech at the Golden Globes, and though she never mentioned Trump by name, she said a "person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country" gave an impression of a disabled reporter during one of his campaign stops.

He responded by tweeting, saying she was "over-rated."

"Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn't know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never 'mocked' a disabled reporter," he wrote.

Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn't know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a.....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2017

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Well, the big night is finally here! The 2017 Oscars have begun, and your host for the evening Jimmy Kimmel has taken the stage.

In his opening monologue, the late-night host did not hold back, poking fun at President Donald Trump, close friend and pretend-enemy Matt Damon, and even Denzel Washington.

Kimmel came out and immediately addressed the elephant in the room. He said that many people had told him that the country is so divided right now he should address it. "I can't do that," he said.

"There's only one 'Braveheart' in the room," he said of Oscar-winner Mel Gibson, who is nominated again this year for his new film "Hacksaw Ridge." "And he's not going to unite us either," he added as the crowd laughed.

Kimmel got more serious then when he said that if everyone watching right now "took a moment to reach out to one person you disagree with and have a positive, considerate conversation ... we could really make America great again."

But just as quick, the host's jokes began rolling again. Kimmel feigned as if he wanted to bury the hatchet with Matt Damon before making fun of the actor's choice to pass up starring in "Manchester by the Sea" only to star in a "Chinese ponytail movie instead and that movie went on to lose $80 million. Smooth move dumba---."

"When I first met Matt, I was the fat one," he also joked.

Kimmel's first crack on Trump was thanking him because, "remember when last year the Oscars were considered racist?"

After picking on Oscar nominee Denzel Washington for directing himself in the film "Fences," he teased French actress and nominee Isabelle Huppert.

"We didn't see 'Elle,' but we absolutely loved it," he said. "I'm glad Homeland Security let you in tonight," he added, a joke apparently about Trump's order restricting entry into the U.S. of people from seven Muslim-majority countries which has been put on hold by the courts.

Finally, Kimmel closed with a riff on Meryl Streep, the actress who is nominated for her 20th Oscar this year whom Trump called overrated after she gave a speech at the Golden Globes that criticized the president without naming him.

"One actress has stood the test of time for her many uninspiring and overrated performances," he said. "[She's] phoned it in for more than 50 films. This is Meryl's 20th Oscar nomination ... she wasn't even in a movie this year, we just wrote her name in out of habit."

He closed with, "Some of you will [win tonight] and give a speech that the president of the United States will tweet about in all caps."

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- While Hollywood rolls out the red carpet for the Oscars, the president and first lady hosted a night of glamour of their own Sunday night. But instead of movie stars, the guests at the White House were the nation's governors.

It's an annual tradition for the president to invite the nation's governors to the White House for a dinner. Sunday night's Governor's Ball was a first for President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump in acting as host and hostess of the White House for a gala-style event.

"I hear this is a record number of governors, 46 and that’s the highest that have ever showed up for this evening," the commander-in-chief said during his toast.

The theme of the dinner was "Spring's Renewal," with the first lady noting in a statement that "the scents of jasmine and roses fill the air as we give thanks for this great Nation and the glory of renewal."

The first lady also says the night will be an opportunity to leave political labels behind and unite.

"I am proud to invite all the governors to the White House for this important annual event," the first lady also said. "Tonight, we come together as one Nation, leaving political labels and partisan interests behind."

However, President Trump did briefly tout the accomplishments of his young presidency -- highlighting border security:

"I can say that after four weeks, it’s been a lot of fun accomplished but we’ve accomplished almost everything we’ve started out to accomplish -- the borders are stricter, tighter," he said, complimenting Homeland Security Sec. John Kelly's work.

He also teased the group's upcoming discussion of former President Obama's signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act.

"Tomorrow we're going to meet and we’re going discuss things like perhaps healthcare will come up, perhaps and I think we've made a lot of progress on that and we’re going to have a speech Tuesday night and we’re going to be speaking very specifically about a very complicated subject," the Trump said. "We’re going to have it fixed, and we’re going to repeal and replace, and I think you’re going to see something very special."

 

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iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- As part of a new initiative to support the American Civil Liberties Union, Oscar nominees and other stars are wearing blue ribbons with the organization's name on them.

Already spotted wearing the ribbons, part of the "Stand With ACLU" campaign, are Lin-Manuel Miranda and his mother, Loving star Ruth Negga and more.

"For almost 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States," the organization lists as its mission on its official website.

The organization launched the campaign this week, and the Oscars actually aren't the first event at which celebs have supported the cause. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Casey Affleck wore one last night at the Independent Spirit Awards. The outlet adds that in the past three months, the organization's membership has doubled and it has raised millions in online donations.

In February, the ACLU announced it would create a "rapid response team" to help those deported or kept out of the United States following President Donald Trump's travel ban, which has since been halted by a federal court judge in Washington state.

#Hamilton's @Lin_Manuel is also wearing a blue @ACLU ribbon. He brought his mom to the #Oscars. pic.twitter.com/yHAxx5Htwt

— Veronica Miracle (@VeronicaABC30) February 26, 2017

In a blog post on the group's website on Friday, the ACLU wrote, "The ACLU will continue to defend our basic freedoms and hold this administration accountable for every unlawful or unconstitutional measure they propose. We will use the courts as one avenue to aggressively advance our agenda, but we cannot do it alone."

As stars walk the Oscars red carpet, the official ACLU Twitter page has been sharing photos of the celebs wearing the ribbons and even cracking jokes.

"Who ever thought we'd be fashion icons?" the organization wrote, thanking the celebs for their support.

Who ever thought we'd be fashion icons? #Oscars https://t.co/ii6f71xKq3

— ACLU National (@ACLU) February 26, 2017

Thanks @Lin_Manuel, glad you gladly join the fight. And when our children tell our story, they’ll tell the story of tonight. #Oscars https://t.co/k5wgvUFRlt

— ACLU National (@ACLU) February 26, 2017

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The new chair of the Democratic National Committee acknowledged the party made mistakes in its past election strategy and has work ahead to win more seats at all levels of government.

“We didn't invest enough in our state party infrastructure,” newly-elected DNC Chair Tom Perez told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos on This Week Sunday. “We didn't invest enough in grassroots organizing. We ignored rural swaths of America.”

“We need an every zip code strategy. We need to redefine the role of the DNC so that we're helping to elect people from the school board to the Senate,” Perez added.

The former Obama administration labor secretary was elected as the Democratic National Committee’s new chair on Saturday after a close race against the other leading contender, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison. Perez won by 235 to 200 on a second round of voting after none of the candidates received the majority of votes on the first ballot.

In a show of unity, Perez immediately after his election named Ellison as deputy chair, and the two stood together at the podium. Many in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party had backed Ellison, who was an early supporter of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primary, and who was backed by Sanders to lead the DNC. Ellison was also endorsed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Stephanopoulos asked about apparent discord at the DNC meeting with some protest chants after Perez won, and Sanders' statement later that it was “imperative that Tom understands that the same-old, same-old is not working and that we must open the doors of the party to working people and young people in a way that has never been done before.”

Perez responded that “Congressman Ellison and I are united, and our values our identical ... We want to make sure that everyone has a fair shake. These are things that Donald Trump is fighting against."

“Our Democratic unity is Donald Trump's worst nightmare,” Perez said. "When we lead with our values, we win. And that's what we're going to do."

The new DNC chair added, "There is such an electricity out there across America, and it's not just the traditional activists ... Congressman Ellison has been spectacular at tapping into that grassroots advocacy. And we're working together to translate this activism into results.”

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