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Mar 23, 8:04 PM EDT

The Latest: Former Manafort aide leaves pro-Trump group

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

8 p.m.

A former Trump campaign official is leaving an outside group set up to promote President Donald Trump's policies.

In a tweet, the America First Policies group says Rick Gates is "on to more ventures" but doesn't explain the reason for his departure.

Gates was a deputy to Paul Manafort, one of the Trump campaign associates whose ties to Russia are being scrutinized. The Associated Press reported that Manafort secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago.

Gates helped run the inauguration and has been seen inside the White House on a number of occasions.

The outside group is organized as a nonprofit, meaning it does not have to disclose its donors. Its leaders say they have primarily been working on fundraising.


2:15 p.m.

The White House says the New England Patriots will visit next month.

Spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday that the 2017 Super Bowl champions will stop by the White House on April 19.

Patriots owner Bob Kraft joined President Donald Trump aboard Air Force One last week, although it's unclear if the visit was discussed.

A number of players said they will boycott a White House visit.

Trump responded to the planned boycott by some players even before a visit was officially announced. He told Fox News, "They're taking a lot of heat. But you know what? They're also getting a lot of popularity out of it."

Spicer, a native of Rhode Island, said he was "proud" to make the announcement.


12:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump and Denmark's prime minister have a scheduled a White House meeting for next Thursday.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer says the March 30 visit by Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen will fall on the eve of the 100th anniversary of Denmark formally ceding the U.S. Virgin Islands to the United States.

Spicer says Trump and Rasmussen will discuss bilateral relations, defeating the Islamic State group, and the defense and security relationship between their countries, bilaterally and through NATO.

The meeting comes as tensions between Turkey and the Netherlands run high over the Dutch authorities' refusal to allow Turkish ministers to hold campaign meetings to address Turkish citizens before an April 16 referendum on expanding the powers of the Turkish president.

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