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Oct 16, 7:28 PM EDT

The Latest: White House condemns Somalia bombing

AP Photo
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

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

7:20 p.m.

The White House is condemning the truck bombing in Somalia that left more than 300 people dead and hundreds more injured.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Monday evening that the U.S. "strongly condemns the senseless mass murder that targeted innocent men, women, and children in Mogadishu, Somalia" Saturday.

She also says the U.S. "extends our deepest condolences and sympathy" to the victims and their families.

The attack targeted a busy, commercial area of the capital. Somalia's government has blamed the al-Shabab extremist group.

Sanders is calling terrorist organizations the "enemies of all civilized people" and says the U.S. "stands with the people and government of Somalia in their commitment to defeating these groups, ensuring the security of their people, and rebuilding their country."

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3:30 p.m.

Three of the Senate's red-state Democrats are heading to the home of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Monday night as part of the administration's efforts to reach out to moderate lawmakers.

Democratic aides say Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Claire McCaskill of Missouri are dining at the power couple's home in Washington. President Donald Trump's daughter and her husband are senior White House advisers.

The get-together comes as the administration gears up for an effort to overhaul the tax code. The three declined to sign an August letter by the rest of the Senate's Democrats that laid out conditions for supporting tax reform. They are each running for re-election next year in states Trump comfortably won.

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2:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is calling allegations of sexual assault made against him over the years "fake news."

Trump is responding during a freewheeling Rose Garden press conference Monday to a question about a subpoena reportedly issued to his campaign for documents related to sexual harassment allegations against him.

Trump says: "All I can say is it's totally fake news - just fake. It's fake, it's made-up stuff. And it's disgraceful what happens."

Trump adds that: "That happens in the world of politics."

The question came in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein that spanned decades. Weinstein has been fired by the film production company he helped create.

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2:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump is taking another swipe at former campaign opponent Hillary Clinton.

Trump tells reporters in the Rose Garden that he hopes Clinton runs for president again, adding, "Hillary, please run again!"

Trump was asked about Clinton's recent defense of NFL players who have taken a knee during the playing of the national anthem. The former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee says the players were demonstrating in a peaceful way against racism and injustice.

The president says that is an example of why Clinton lost the campaign. He says that "she was not good at what she did."

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2:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump says of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation: "I'd like to see it end."

Trump is speaking in the Rose Garden in an impromptu White House press conference.

Asked about Mueller's investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, Trump says: "The whole Russia thing was an excuse for the Democrats losing the election."

Trump adds "there has been absolutely no collusion. It's been stated they have no collusion."

Still, Trump says he is not considering firing Mueller. He says, "No, not at all."

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2:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he hopes to have a relationship with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. But he says, "if we don't, we don't."

The president tells reporters in the Rose Garden after his meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he likes the "concept" of working with Democrats. But he added, "right now, they are doing nothing but obstructing."

Trump says Democrats are against the major tax cuts he's seeking to pass through Congress.

It was a month ago that Trump cut deals with "Chuck and Nancy" on a temporary spending plan and the debt ceiling.

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2:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he will "look into" his nominee for drug czar after a report about his role in passing a bill weakening the Drug Enforcement Administration's authority to stop companies from distributing opioids.

Trump was speaking at an impromptu news conference at the White House Monday.

The Washington Post and CBS's "60 Minutes" reported Sunday on the 2016 law and Republican Rep. Tom Marino's role in it.

Trump says: "if I think it's 1 percent negative to what we want to do I'll make a change."

Trump also pledged a "major announcement" next week on the national opioid epidemic. Asked about declaring a national emergency, he said: "''we are going to be doing that next week."

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2 p.m.

President Donald Trump says his former White House adviser Steve Bannon is doing what he "thinks is the right thing" but he will try to talk Bannon out of seeking primaries against some Senate Republicans.

The president was asked Monday asked about Bannon's attempt to unseat certain Senate Republicans who are aligned with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The president says, "Steve is doing what Steve thinks is the right thing." But he adds that he has a "fantastic relationship" with Republicans in the Senate.

McConnell said in the Rose Garden that it's important to support Republicans who can win in November. He says, "winners make policy and losers go home."

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1:55 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he and President Donald Trump "have the same agenda" as they wrap up their meeting in the Oval Office.

McConnell is pushing back against the notion that he and Trump are at odds. McConnell says, "we've been friends and acquaintances for a long time" and adds that they talk frequently on weekends.

The Kentucky senator says he and the president are working on the budget, a tax overhaul and a funding bill to address the recent spate of hurricanes.

McConnell says, "we're together totally on this agenda to move America forward."

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1:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are "closer than ever before."

Trump appeared with McConnell Monday at an impromptu press conference at the White House.

Trump says McConnell has been a "friend of mine for a long time" and that they are "fighting for the same thing."

The president says that Republicans are "close" on health care legislation and said they are working together on a tax overhaul.

Trump and McConnell came to the Rose Garden to talk to reporters after they had lunch together at the White House.

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1:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump is set to deliver a statement from the Rose Garden following his meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

The White House told reporters that the president will speak to reporters shortly after the meeting. Both Trump and McConnell are expected in the Rose Garden.

Trump has blamed the Kentucky Republican for the failure of the health care overhaul. Trump has also worked with Democrats directly on some legislative deals.

And the president's former strategist, Steve Bannon, is working from outside the administration to bulldoze the Republican establishment on Capitol Hill.

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1 p.m.

President Donald Trump is suggesting that his move to slash federal subsidies for Obamacare will lead to a bipartisan health care solution.

Trump predicted Monday in a Cabinet meeting that there "will soon be a short term fix."

He went on to say that if the move failed, Democrats would be get the blame, a bold prediction considering that Republicans control all the branches of the federal government.

Trump said his move would strip the insurance companies of profits.

And he said it would help poor people even though those subsidies often allowed the less fortunate to buy cheaper insurance.

He added that he was frustrated that Republicans had not accomplished more of their agenda but added that he's "not going to blame myself, to be honest."

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12:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the "devastating wildfires" in California are something "like we've never seen."

He says that he's issued a disaster declaration for California and that FEMA and the military officials are on the ground helping.

Trump says: "We mourn the terrible loss of life." He says it's "very sad to watch how fast, how rapidly they move and how people are caught in their houses."

Trump also says federal workers on the ground have made "a lot of progress" over the last couple of days.

The fires have ravaged areas in and near Northern California's wine country, killing more than 40 people and destroying thousands of homes.

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12:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump is dangling the possibility that he may fully withdraw from the landmark Iran nuclear deal.

Trump last week did not certify that Iran was meeting the conditions of the deal but did not fully abandon the program. Instead, he ordered a further review by Congress and other nations party to the agreement.

But in a Cabinet meeting on Monday, Trump said that the final resolution "might be total termination."

He added that "some would say that's a great possibility" but did not rule out staying in the deal.

Trump long rallied against the agreement, which was brokered by the Obama administration. Trump said Monday that it was example of the United States being "taken advantage of for many years."

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12:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he "understands" his former chief strategist's anger at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and efforts to unseat incumbent Republicans.

Trump told reporters as he convenes a Cabinet meeting Monday that he "can understand where Steve Bannon's coming from."

At a conservative gathering over the weekend, Bannon declared war against the Republican establishment, including McConnell.

Trump says he has "great relations" with many senators, but says "they are not getting the job done."

Trump says "There are some Republicans that, frankly, should be ashamed of themselves," though he says "most of them are really, really great people."

He called Bannon "a friend."

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12:13 p.m.

President Donald Trump is sending a signal that he will be looking to take action on welfare fraud.

Trump, in a Monday meeting of his Cabinet at the White House, suggested that cutting down on fraud of public assistance would be a priority in the months ahead.

He added that his team would be "looking very, very strongly" at the subject and suggested that too many people are taking advantage of the system.

Trump did not immediately provide evidence of the fraud or suggest what his plan might be.

A push on welfare would add to already packed legislative calendar. Congress and the White House are already slated to tackle tax reform, the Iran nuclear deal, health care and laws that protect young immigrants.

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9:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump is lashing out at the Senate's top Democrat over the Iran nuclear deal.

On Twitter Monday Trump says that Sen. Chuck Schumer "hated the Iran deal made by President Obama, but now that I am involved, he is OK with it."

Trump adds: "Tell that to Israel, Chuck!"

A vocal critic of the deal, Trump last week accused Iran of violating the accord. But he did not pull the U.S. out, instead directing Congress to make the international pact more stringent

Schumer, of New York, said last week that Trump should listen to his top national security advisers who've recommended that the nuclear agreement be preserved.

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9:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump is assailing Democrats as he continues to lobby for his tax overhaul plan.

Trump says on Twitter Monday that "Democrats only want to increase taxes and obstruct." He adds "that's all they are good at!"

In another tweet, Trump cited an economist appearing on Fox News who criticized Democrats.

After a year with no major legislative accomplishments, Trump is hoping to pass a major tax overhaul plan, which includes a proposal to cut the 35 percent corporate tax rate to 20 percent.

Republicans have called the plan a benefit for the middle class, arguing that cutting the corporate rate will spur more investment by companies, which would then boost hiring and worker productivity.

Democrats have criticized it as a boon for corporations and the wealthy.

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3:53 a.m.

President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are set for an interesting lunch at the White House on Monday.

Trump blames the Kentucky Republican for the health overhaul failure. Trump has also worked with Democrats directly on some legislative deals. And Trump's former strategist, Steve Bannon, is working from outside the administration to bulldoze the Republican establishment on Capitol Hill.

Here's what GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says:

"Mitch McConnell's not our problem. Our problem is that we promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, and we failed. We promised to cut taxes and we have yet to do it. If we're successful, Mitch McConnell's fine. If we're not, we're all in trouble. We lose our majority and I think President Trump will not get re-elected."

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