Tuesday June 19th, 2018 12:13PM

The Latest: Trump wishes the nation a festive Cinco de Mayo

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

98:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump is sending warm wishes to everyone celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

The holiday commemorates the 1862 Battle of Puebla that pitted Mexican Indian soldiers against French forces. Trump says that 19th century battle is a reminder of the "incredible courage and resolve" of the Mexican people as they defended their country and freedoms. He says it remains an important symbol of Mexican bravery and tenacity.

Some Mexican Americans and immigrants, though, are feeling uneasy about Trump's immigration policies and rhetoric. He has vowed to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to deter illegal immigration and launched his presidential campaign by attacking the character of Mexican immigrants.

Trump marked Cinco de Mayo last year by tweeting "I love Hispanics!" with a photo of himself eating a taco bowl.


2:10 p.m.

The Trump administration is moving to gut the office of the White House "drug czar" according to a preliminary budget document and an email message that its acting director has circulated to agency staff.

The proposed $364 million cut would leave a budget of just $24 million for the agency and would eliminate its two major grant programs.

The eliminations involve the high-intensity drug-trafficking area program, which just received $254 million for grants to help states and localities to fight drug trafficking, and the $100 million drug-free communities program, which helps local organizations battle drugs in their communities.

The document is a preliminary White House proposal for the drug czar's office that is subject to change before being released later this month. It was obtained by a former Obama administration official and shared with The Associated Press.

The cuts could cut staffing for the office nearly in half.

2:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump has signed his first piece of major legislation, a $1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September.

The bill cleared both houses of Congress this week and Trump signed it behind closed doors at his home in central New Jersey, well ahead of a midnight Friday deadline for some government functions to begin shutting down. But other battles over government spending lie ahead. Among those are the border wall Trump has vowed to build on the U.S.-Mexico border to deter illegal immigration, as well as a promised military buildup.

The White House and its Republican allies praised $15 billion in additional Pentagon spending obtained by Trump and $1.5 billion in emergency spending for border security.


10:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump tweets he's working out of his New Jersey golf club to avoid disrupting Manhattan traffic and to save taxpayer money.

For the first time as president, Trump is staying at his Bedminster golf course, which lies about 40 miles (65 kilometers) due west of New York.

Trump's weekend visit to Bedminster in November cost nearly $4,000 in police overtime. Now that he's president the town estimates it could spend triple that amount on police overtime and emergency services.

The Senate and House this week approved a federal spending bill that includes millions to reimburse municipalities for additional expenses when Trump visits.

A New Jersey Republican running for governor says he might propose a special tax district on the golf club as more reliable reimbursement.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy
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