Trending 5-15-18

author/source: Renée Greene

Melania Trump Kidney Surgery  
Melania Trump is recovering in the hospital after undergoing kidney surgery. She is "in good spirits," according to a tweet from the President, but people have a lot of questions about the procedure the first lady went through and how serious it was. According to a White House statement, she "underwent an embolization procedure to treat a benign kidney condition." CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta says embolization, which purposefully cuts off blood supply to part of the body, is sometimes used to treat benign tumors. A urologist told CNN it could be a benign, fatty growth that doesn't usually pose a danger, but can be painful. Trump is the first US first lady to undergo such a serious medical procedure while in the White House since Nancy Reagan had a mastectomy in October 1987.

Last Week at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

*President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

Despite the American withdrawal, key European allies and Iran said they would remain in the deal. Trump announced Tuesday that he would withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, in what is likely the most consequential national security decision of his administration thus far.  The United States will re-impose the sanctions it imposed on Iran before the deal, and it is considering additional penalties. The move indicated that Mr. Trump, emboldened in his second year in office, is reshaping foreign policy to reflect the “America First” doctrine that he advocated during his 2016 presidential campaign, and it emphasized that trans-Atlantic relations are in trouble.  Iran’s hard-line authorities denounced the administration’s withdrawal with nationwide rallies at which American flags were burned.

*President Trump and wife, Melania, were at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland early Thursday to welcome three American prisoners freed from North Korea

North Korea released three detainees, all Americans of Korean descent, to the United States, with Mr. Trump heralding their return early Thursday at Joint Base Andrews near Washington. The release followed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to North Korea. There, he extended an olive branch: “All the opportunities your people so richly deserve” in exchange for the end of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.  After the detainees’ release, Mr. Trump confirmed the final details for his summit meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un: It will be held June 12 in Singapore.

*More Revealed About Michael Cohen

The shell company Michael Cohen used to pay hush money to Stephanie Clifford, the pornographic film actress widely known by her stage name, Stormy Daniels, is said to have also received more than $1 million from several corporations from several corporations with business before the Trump administration and from an American company linked to a Russian oligarch. The new reports detailed how Mr. Cohen, left out of the White House despite his aspirations to join the administration, became seen as someone who could help others gain access to the president.  Randall L. Stephenson, AT&T’s chief executive, came forward Friday to say that the company had made a big mistake in hiring Mr. Cohen to advise on the company’s deal with Time Warner. 

   *Comment on "dying" John McCain draws bipartisan condemnation

The McCain family responded on Friday to a tasteless comment about Sen. John McCain. A White House staffer had made the comment in response to McCain's opposition to President Trump's nominee to head the CIA.  "I don't understand what kind of environment you're working in when that would be acceptable and then you can come to work the next day and still have a job," Meghan McCain said on The View.  She was reacting to the comment made by White House communications aide Kelly Sadler. According to sources, in a staff meeting on Thursday, Sadler joked that McCain's opposition to the president's CIA director nominee doesn't matter because "he's dying anyway."

McCain, who is being treated for terminal brain cancer, said he would oppose Gina Haspel's nomination because of her involvement in a Bush-era enhanced interrogation program. Sadler's comments drew bipartisan condemnation. Former Vice President Joe Biden wrote: "People have wondered when decency would hit rock bottom with this administration. It happened yesterday." 

"I certainly have respect for many of the things that he's accomplished and so much respect for his family," said Sarah Palin, McCain's former running mate.  And House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke out, saying: "Look, John McCain's a hero. No two ways about it." That was a reference to comments Mr. Trump made about McCain in 2015, saying he wasn't a war hero because "he was captured."

Since taking office, Mr Trump and McCain have frequently clashed. McCain famously voted down a White House-led effort to repeal Obamacare. On Friday, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Sadler was still on the job. CBS News,


Celtics Handily Take Game 1 of East Finals, Beating Cavaliers 108-83   

Jaylen Brown had 23 points and eight rebounds, Marcus Morris added 21 points and 10 boards, and the Boston Celtics opened a 21-point, first-quarter lead and scorched the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-83 on Sunday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.  Al Horford scored 20 points for the Celtics, who ran off 17 consecutive points in the first quarter and never allowed the Cavaliers within single digits again. Boston led by 28 when Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue pulled LeBron James for good with 7:09 left.  Kevin Love had 17 points and eight rebounds, and James finished with 15 points, nine assists, and seven boards. The Cavaliers missed their first 14 3-point attempts of the game and shot just 32 percent in the first half.  By that time, Boston led 61-35 -- the biggest halftime playoff deficit in James' career.

With injured stars Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving on the bench in street clothes, the Celtics continued their stunning run this season with what may have been the most surprising turn of events yet. A year after dropping the first two games at home against Cleveland in a five-game East final, the Celtics pounced on James, and the favored Cavaliers were never really in it.  The Celtics took the floor to a hype video that began with the broadcast of Hayward's injury in the first quarter of the first game, at Cleveland. A variety of commentators predicted the team's demise, including Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, says: "Their season's over." As more players went down to injury, the prophesies grew even gloomier.  

But there the Celtics were, back in the Eastern Conference finals against the Cavaliers for the second year in a row -- with Hayward, Irving, Daniel Theis and Shane Larkin all injured and coach Brad Stevens down to an eight-man rotation. It was more than they needed.  Morris, starting in place of Aron Baynes, backed up his boast that he could cover James better than anyone except Kawhi Leonard and helped pester James into seven of Cleveland's nine turnovers. (James had eight in the entire four-game, second-round sweep of the Raptors.)

Horford made his first seven shots of the game and scored 10, including eight straight, during the 17-0 run that turned a three-point deficit into a 21-7 lead. After James wiggled his way to a layup Cleveland's first points in 4 minutes, 43 seconds -- Boston ran off eight more points in a row; Brown had six of them, and he finished the quarter with 13 points and five rebounds. Cleveland scored seven straight points early in the third and finished the quarter with six in a row to make it 78-64. But Boston made the first three baskets in the fourth and, after running off nine in a row to make it 96-68 with 7:09 left, the Cavs conceded. UP NEXT:  Game 2: Tonight, Boston. ESPN, AP