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August 1, 2017

President Trump loves golf, and he doesn't hide it — he has spent many of his weekends since January golfing, owns several courses, and has teed up with world leaders like Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

A new article coming out in the August 7 edition of Sports Illustrated shares lots of interesting tidbits about Trump the golfer, like how he'll play a second ball if his first swing didn't go his way, and how he "doesn't play a round of golf so much as narrate it," adding hyperbole along the way. But while the article gives insight into what Trump's ostentatious clubs and courses reveal about the person he is, what's getting buzz are a few comments he reportedly made to members of his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

The club, close to his home in New York City, was almost like a campaign headquarters before the election, and he's visited multiple times since his inauguration. It was there that, during a recent round of golf, he told some members of the club he was at Bedminster so often because "that White House is a real dump," Sports Illustrated reports. (A White House spokesperson denied this.) Sports Illustrated was also told that last November, when Trump was gearing up to interview Cabinet prospects at the club, he told members at a cocktail reception and dinner that "this is my real group. You are the special people. I see all of you. I recognize, like, 100 precent of you, just about." He then gave a blanket invitation to everyone in the room, letting them know they were more than welcome to swing by the Cabinet interviews. Read the entire Sports Illustrated report. Catherine Garcia

12:22 p.m.

Sometimes you just need to talk things out. Especially when it comes to Greenland.

President Trump on Friday evening said that he had a "great conversation" with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, whom he described as a "wonderful woman" before leaving the White House to head to the Group of Seven summit in France.

"We have a great relationship with Denmark, and we agreed to speak later," Trump said. "But she was very nice. She put a call in, and I appreciated it very much."

Trump's laudatory remarks come after he scrapped plans on Monday to visit Denmark in September because Frederiksen nixed the idea that Denmark would sell Greenland to the United States, a deal in which Trump has expressed interest. Trump called Frederiksen's response "nasty" — which seems to be one of his favorite words. Trump he would not have reacted so strongly if she declined politely, but it appears he was rankled by the fact that Frederiksen said the idea that Greenland is for sale is "absurd."

It looks like they've patched things up for now, although it was unclear if Trump will reconsider visiting Denmark this fall. Either way, it doesn't appear the Trump administration is backing down from its interest in Greenland, as The Associated Press reports that there are plans to open a U.S. consulate in Nuuk, the island's capital, Nuuk. The Week Staff

12:00 p.m.

North Korea reportedly fired two more suspected short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast on Saturday, the country's seventh weapons launch in a month, following what had been a 17-month hiatus on testing.

North Korea has expressed anger at joint U.S.-South Korea military training exercises, describing them as a "rehearsal for war." The earlier weapons tests were considered retaliation for the training exercises, but the launches were expected to stop following the conclusion of the drills, which occurred earlier this week.

South Korea said the tests cause "grave concern," while Japan said they were a clear violation of United Nations resolutions. The missiles did not land in Japanese territorial waters and did not cause any damage, Japanese officials said. Meanwhile, President Trump took a more relaxed approach, keeping in line with his past reactions to North Korea's tests. He said on Friday evening that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been "pretty straight me" and that "we never restricted short-range missiles."

The Associated Press reports that many analysts consider the tests to be an attempt by North Korea to apply more pressure on the United States ahead of a possible resuscitation of denuclearization talks between Pyongyang and Washington. Tim O'Donnell

10:44 a.m.

President Trump wants everyone to lighten up.

Trump's claim while looking at the sky that he was the "chosen one" when it comes to taking on China in the trade realm elicited groans on Wednesday. But the president insists the comment was just sarcasm. Before departing for the Group of Seven summit in France late on Friday, a reporter asked Trump about the remark, to which he scoffed in response.

"Let me tell you, you know exactly what I meant," Trump said, steadfastly maintaining that he was joking. "We were all smiling," he added before dismissing the question as fake news.

Trump may very well have been messing around, but the president did not appear to be smiling, as he claimed on Friday. Besides, as the old saying goes, there is a grain of truth in every joke. Tim O'Donnell

8:13 a.m.

In a three page letter from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd to the leaders of the House Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department acknowledged on Friday that a psychologist at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan had approved millionaire financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein's removal from suicide watch before he killed himself in his cell at the detention center in August.

Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell in July, though it's unclear if that was why Epstein was put on suicide watch in the first place, as Boyd's letter did not give a precise reason for the decision. Regardless, after being evaluated by a doctoral-level psychologist, it was determined those measures were no longer necessary. No reason was given for Epstein's removal, either, but Reuters reports that suicide watch is typically imposed as a short-term restriction. An inmate can only be removed, however, after a face-to-face meeting with a U.S. Bureau of Prisons psychologist.

Attorney General William Barr has said there were "serious irregularities" at the MCC, which falls under his authority. He reassigned the facility's warden and placed two guards who were responsible for watching Epstein on leave. Tim O'Donnell

7:58 a.m.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro announced plans on Friday to send armed forces to fight forest fires in the Amazon, reversing course after days of dismissing concern about the ecological disaster.

"Whatever is within our power we will do," Bolsonaro told reporters. "The problem is resources." He added that the government will take a "zero tolerance" approach to environmental crimes. Researchers and environmental groups said the Amazon fires were started by humans.

This comes after Bolsonaro, who has made pledges to ease restrictions on protected areas and under whom deforestation has increased sharply across the country, said the fires were the result of warmer weather and criticized international concern as "sensationalist." But environmental groups blame Bolsonaro's policies, which have reportedly "emboldened" farmers and ranchers to clear land by setting fire to it.

However, Bolsonaro changed his stance as European leaders threatened a trade agreement, protesters took to the streets outside Brazilian embassies, and calls for a boycott of Brazilian products gained momentum. The New York Times notes that any punitive measures could "severely damage" Brazil's economy, which is already in trouble.

CNN reports that the Group of Seven leaders, who are convening in France on Saturday, are in accordance that stopping the fires is a priority. France's President Emmanuel Macron called it an "international crisis," and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said international action is necessary to protect the world's rainforests and that "we will use G-7 to call for a renewed focus on protecting nature and tackling climate change together." President Trump, whose past praise of and cordial relationship with the right-wing Bolsonaro has drawn criticism, offered U.S. assistance. Tim O'Donnell

August 23, 2019

President Trump's tweets have sent the stock market tumbling yet again.

After China announced increased tariffs on the U.S. and Trump tweeted a heated response, the Dow Jones Industrial Average immediately began falling and eventually closed down 623 points for the day. The S&P 500 also closed down 2.6 percent and the Nasdaq Composite dropped another 3 percent — just ahead of yet another tariff announcement by Trump.

China said Friday that it would instill tariffs on $75 billion of American products next month in retaliation for the White House's proposed levies. After an inflammatory response which sparked the stock market's Friday afternoon fall, Trump at 5 p.m. sent out a string of tweets announcing he'd increase the current 10 percent tariff rate on $300 billion of Chinese goods to 15 percent starting Sept. 1. He also announced that, starting Oct. 1, the 25 percent tariff on $250 billion in Chinese goods would be upped to 30 percent.

Trump's immediate reaction after China's announcement was to tweet "we don't need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them." He additionally "ordered" American companies "to immediately start looking for an alternative to China." Trump also lashed out at his own Federal Reserve chair after the central bank failed to guarantee lower interest rates, tweeting "my only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?"

Kathryn Krawczyk

August 23, 2019

The Supreme Court said Friday that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has finished three weeks of radiation treatment for a malignant tumor on her pancreas, which was discovered during a July blood test, The Washington Post reports. "The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body," the court said, adding that "no further treatment is needed at this time." Ginsburg was treated at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

This is Ginsburg's latest cancer bout after being treated for lung cancer last December; she subsequently worked from home and returned to the court within two months. She was also treated for pancreatic cancer in 2009, as well as for colon cancer in 1999.

According to the statement released on Friday, Ginsburg maintained "an active schedule" amid her treatment, aside from canceling a summer trip to Santa Fe. NPR reports that she continued work and has not canceled any of the 11 events she has scheduled for September. In an interview with NPR published not long before this latest treatment began, Ginsburg opened up about her health, saying, "There was a senator, I think it was after my pancreatic cancer, who announced with great glee that I was going to be dead within six months. That senator, whose name I have forgotten, is now himself dead, and I am very much alive." Brendan Morrow

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