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Wednesday October 18th, 2017 10:55AM

The Latest: Trump hails truckers as 'heroes'

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is hailing truckers as heroes at a Pennsylvania event promoting his tax plan.

Trump tells truckers assembled in an airplane hangar that, under his plan: "You're going to make more money. You're going to do better than ever before. And we truly admire you. You are our heroes, believe me."

Trump also says he's working on an infrastructure plan that will benefit truckers with "a special focus on roadways and highways."

He says friends in the industry complain that potholes badly damage their vehicles. But he predicts that, in the future, "American trucks will glide across along highways."

He says "they will be smooth, beautiful highways again."

___

6 p.m.

President Donald Trump says his tax overhaul plan will be a boon to truckers as he kicks off a tax speech in Pennsylvania.

Trump says in a Middletown, Pennsylvania, airplane hangar that "America first means putting American truckers first."

Trump is speaking in front of a big rig emblazoned with the words "Win Again."

Trump opened his remarks with a tribute to the people affected by the mass shooting in Las Vegas, as well as the wildfires ravaging California and the recent hurricanes.

He says "no destructive force on earth" is more powerful than the strength and resilience of the American people.

__

3:30 p.m.

A GOP lawmaker says Republicans who are balking at supporting President Donald Trump's big tax plan need some "accommodations" on its proposed repeal of the federal deduction for state and local taxes.

Rep. Chris Collins of New York says a cap on the amount of state and local taxes that could be deducted, as opposed to a total elimination of the deduction, could bring the fractious Republicans on board.

Collins says repealing the deduction "would impact too many middle-income people."

Republican lawmakers from high-tax states controlled by Democrats, especially New York, New Jersey and California, contend that eliminating the deduction would make people be taxed twice. The deduction is claimed by an estimated 44 million Americans. Administration officials say it forces the federal government to subsidize states and wealthy households.

___

2:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he's never discussed increasing the U.S. nuclear arsenal despite a news report to the contrary.

Trump says increasing the nuclear arsenal is "totally unnecessary," but he wants "modernization" of the nuclear force. He says it "needs to be in tiptop shape."

He's reacting to an NBC report that said he suggested this summer that he wanted to increase the U.S. nuclear force tenfold. Trump says the report is "fake news." The president adds that he knows the capabilities of the U.S. nuclear force "and it is awesome." Trump says he wants the nuclear arsenal to be "in perfect shape."

In a statement, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the report was "absolutely false."

____

10:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump is renewing his feud with NBC News, and this time he's raising the possibility of challenging broadcasting licensing for broadcast outlets.

Trump writes on Twitter that with all the "Fake News" coming out of "NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License?"

The Federal Communications Commission oversees the renewal of licenses for broadcasters.

Trump has been pushing back against a recent NBC News story that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson considered resigning during the summer and that Tillerson had called Trump a "moron."

___

6:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump is charging that congressional Democrats "want MASSIVE tax increases & soft, crime producing borders."

He says in a series of tweets that Republicans will press for "the biggest tax cut in history & the WALL."

That's a reference to the U.S.-Mexico border wall that Trump's long pushed.

Trump also says "it would be really nice if the Fake News Media would report the virtually unprecedented Stock Market growth since the election. Need tax cuts."

He says if Congress delivers on the tax overhaul he's seeking, the Wall Street and economic indicators such as new hiring in America "will grow by leaps and bounds."

___

3:46 a.m.

President Donald Trump will pitch his tax plan as a boon for truckers in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania — the latest stop on a cross-country tour.

The White House says Trump will speak before roughly 1,000 people, including lots of truckers, against a backdrop of big rigs at an air plane hangar. Trump is promoting a plan that would dramatically cut corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 20 percent, reduce the number of personal income tax brackets and boost the standard deduction.

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