Germany’s Merkel visits
Facing imminent deadlines, President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel largely papered over their differences on trade and the Iran nuclear accord Friday, stressing instead ties between the longtime allies and their shared goal of a nuclear-free North Korea. Still, Merkel’s brief three-hour visit, coupled with French President Emmanuel Macron’s more lavish stopover earlier this week, made clear that the U.S. president’s divisions with European allies remain substantial.
Jackson allegations disputed
The White House said Friday that internal records raise doubt about some of the most serious allegations leveled against White House doctor Ronny Jackson in his failed bid to become Veterans Affairs secretary. Jackson withdrew his nomination Thursday after allegations by colleagues. Democratic Sen. Jon Tester’s office collected the allegations, which included a claim that Jackson “got drunk and wrecked a government vehicle” at a Secret Service party. Records show three minor accidents where he was not at fault. The White House medical unit he ran successfully passed regular controlled substance audits, according to the records for the last three years. Separately, the Secret Service said it has no evidence to support an allegation that its personnel intervened to prevent Jackson from disturbing former President Barack Obama during a foreign trip in 2015.
Chaplain firing angers Dems
Irate Democrats erupted Friday over Speaker Paul Ryan’s move to oust the House chaplain, charging that the Rev. Patrick Conroy’s political leanings contributed to his dismissal. Ryan told GOP lawmakers he forced Conroy out because he wasn’t doing a very good job tending to the pastoral needs of lawmakers and that lawmakers had brought concerns to him. It would be the first forced ouster of a chaplain in the history of the House.
Cops to halt paintball battle
Stepped-up police enforcement is planned this weekend in Detroit to quell a social media-publicized citywide paintball war that so far has resulted in six arrests and left an unmarked patrol car splattered. Chief James Craig said Friday that organizers of “Paint Up, Guns Down” are pitching it as an alternative to gun violence: “If you want to work with us and stop the violence, there are a number of things we can do together, but having paintball wars across the city is not the way to do it.”
Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires
National news briefs: White House disputes allegations against doctor Ronny Jackson