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The White House said Trump adviser Stephen Miller will not accept the House Oversight Committee’s invitation to appear before the panel on the administration’s immigration policy in the latest White House move to block congressional testimony by key officials.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone penned a letter to committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., on Wednesday, notifying him of the decision. While blocking Miller from testifying, Cipollone did, however, offer cabinet secretaries and other agency officials to appear instead.

TRUMP VOWS TO FIGHT ‘ALL’ SUBPOENAS AGAINST ADMINISTRATION, CALLS DEMAND FOR MCGAHN TESTIMONY ‘RIDICULOUS’

“In accordance with long-standing precedent, we respectfully decline the invitation to make Mr. Miller available for testimony before the Committee,” he wrote. “The precedent for members of the White House staff to decline invitations to testify before congressional committees has been consistently adhered to by administrations of both political parties, and is based on clearly established constitutional doctrines.”

He added: “In light of the Committee’s interest, we welcome the opportunity to discuss the Administration’s immigration policy priorities and note that many Executive Branch officials, including cabinet secretaries and other agency leaders, have testified on multiple occasions regarding the Administration’s efforts to secure the border.”

“Testimony by such Executive Branch officials with responsibilities defined by statute would be a reasonable accommodation to the Committee’s questions and legislative goals,” he wrote.

The White House’s decision comes after President Trump vowed this week to fight “all” subpoenas against the administration.

But the Oversight Committee did not subpoena Miller. Cummings invited Miller to testify on why he believes it is “good policy for the Trump administration to take the actions it has. Cummings noted the administration’s unofficial policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border, “transferring asylum seekers to sanctuary cities as a form of illegal retribution” against political adversaries, and “firing top Administration officials who refuse orders to violate the law.”

TRUMP, AGAIN, SAYS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WILL BE ‘GIVEN’ TO SANCTUARY CITIES, STATES

The invitation from Cummings came after President Trump announced that illegal immigrants would be “given” to sanctuary cities, pending official decisions from the Department of Homeland Security. Also, earlier this month, Trump said that the administration has no plans to revive the controversial policy that allowed for family separations at the border.

That announcement came amid a massive shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security. Earlier this month, President Trump announced that DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen would be resigning, and replaced with former CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, who would serve as acting secretary of the agency.

Since then, McAleenan appointed John Sanders to serve as acting CBP commissioner; former head of the Transportation Security Administration David Pekoske to be his acting deputy secretary at DHS; and Patricia Cogswell as acting TSA administrator. The White House earlier this month announced that James M. Murray would become head of the U.S. Secret Service—replacing Randolph “Tex” Alles.

Meanwhile, the committee is currently leading Trump-focused investigations. Cummings is leading an investigation into the controversial security clearance process for Trump administration officials, and also subpoenaing materials related to the president’s personal finances. Last week, Cummings vowed to subpoena Trump’s accountant.

Fox News’ Kristin Brown contributed to this report.

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Another Trump administration immigration control effort went before the critical eye of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Wednesday — and appears likely to suffer a similar fate as previous government programs that the court’s judges have struck down.

Wednesday’s case before a three-judge panel examined the legality of the Department of Homeland Security’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), an initiative announced in December to address what the feds called the “dramatically escalating burdens of unauthorized migration, which is causing irreparable harm.”

The idea: for Central American migrants who’ve crossed the U.S. border asking for asylum to be returned to Mexico temporarily. MPP was designed to provide relief to overburdened U.S. detention facilities by targeting people who were unlikely to make successful asylum claims.

Judge Paul Watford took issue with how the migrants have been processed and whether the government was giving them a fair opportunity to express their concerns about returning to Mexico – even if on a temporary basis.

“I don’t understand how that’s not arbitrary and capricious,” Watford said about current protocols which do not demand government border agents ask about fears migrants might have about staying in Mexico.

Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, a Reagan appointee who seemed favorably disposed to the government’s case, asked the lawyer representing migrants held in Mexico why her clients would rather be in detention in the United States than have freedom of movement in Mexico. “We don’t want to be in Mexico. We’d rather be in the United States,” Judy Rabinovitz of the ACLU replied.

Outside the courthouse after the hearing, Rabinovitz, who said she was cautiously optimistic for a favorable ruling, went on further to say, “we have… heard of people who are kidnapped and given death threats – didn’t matter – they were returned to Mexico.”

Judge William Fletcher criticized the government’s legal justification for the migrants it’s placed in Mexico under existing laws that appear to have given separate classifications for different types of asylum seekers.

“We’ve got dogs and cats who go to the pound but that doesn’t turn a dog into a cat or vice versa,” Fletcher, who was appointed by President Clinton, analogized. President Obama appointed Watford.

BORDER GROUP LEADER INJURED IN NEW MEXICO JAIL FIGHT

Earlier this month, a lower court judge determined the Trump administration’s policy violated existing federal law and failed to give adequate protection to migrants who feared for their safety in Mexico.

Judge Richard Seeborg issued a nationwide injunction immediately stopping immigration authorities from placing migrants in Mexico. President Trump blasted the decision, tweeting: “A 9th Circuit Judge just ruled that Mexico is too dangerous for migrants. So unfair to the U.S. OUT OF CONTROL!”

But, several days later, Seeborg’s injunction was stayed temporarily to allow each side to present Wednesday’s arguments. That prompted another presidential tweet, “Finally, great news at the Border!”

Over the past couple of years, the 9th Circuit has ruled against the Trump administration’s travel ban and attempt to end protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. It also has ruled in favor of “sanctuary” laws giving protection to illegal immigrants.

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The judges gave the packed third-floor courtroom no guidance on when a decision would be announced. The tenor of the arguments suggested the stay would be lifted but it wasn’t clear whether the underlying injunction would be preserved in full or modified in a way that would keep MPP in place under an altered state.

If the judges decide to reinstate the injunction, the government has asked for a one-week delay to file an emergency appeal with the Supreme Court.

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President Trump on Wednesday touted his administration’s success in combating the opioid epidemic in the United States, while acknowledging that there is still more work to do.

Speaking at the Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, the president’s remarks noted the steps his administration has taken to battle the epidemic, but also veered into his frequent critique of drugs coming over the U.S.’s southern border into the country.

“We will not solve this epidemic overnight,” Trump said to an audience of elected leaders and health and law enforcement officials gathered in the Georgia capital. “But we will never stop until the job is done.”

Trump added: “We will succeed and we’re making tremendous progress.”

NEW YORK SUES MAKERS OF OXYCONTIN DAYS AFTER COMPANY AGREES TO $270M SETTLEMENT

The president has declared opioids a national health emergency, while First Lady Melania Trump, who also spoke at the conference, focuses on the issue in her national “Be Best” child welfare campaign.

“I’m proud of this administration’s historic progress,” the first lady said before introducing her husband.

Opioid abuse claimed a record nearly 48,000 American lives in 2017. An estimated 2 million people are addicted to the drugs, which include both legal prescription pain medications and illegal drugs like heroin.

There have been signs of progress.The number of prescriptions for opioid painkillers filled in the U.S. fell substantially in 2017. Still, it’s unclear whether the opioid problem is on the decline.

Kellyanne Conway, one of Trump’s top advisers, said at a White House gaggle Wednesday that Twitter and Google have helped the administration combat the opioid and drug crisis. So far, the administration has helped collect 3.7 million pounds of unused and expired medications — enough to fill seven Air Force One planes, she said.

The next “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day” is Saturday.

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Conway said she met Tuesday with drug enforcement and officials from Google, which is helping the administration by displaying links to about 5,500 locations where people can drop off unused and expired pills.

Trump also hit Mexico for allowing heroin and other opioids to come into the country, and promised that his much-touted border wall will help stem the flow of drugs into the U.S.

“Heroin alone kills 300 Americans, 90 percent of which enter the Southern Border,” Trump said.

While it’s true that the vast majority of heroin in the U.S. comes from Mexico, virtually all of it makes its way into the country through legal ports of entry and not by traffickers sneaking it across the border unnoticed.

“A small percentage of all heroin seized by CBP along the land border was between Ports of Entry (POEs),” the Drug Enforcement Administration said in a 2018 report.

There is also contention over Trump’s claims of progress in combating the opioid epidemic.

Keith Humphreys, a drug policy adviser in the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations who now is at Stanford University, said some states are making progress in combating opioids abuse, but not because of Trump’s actions. Humphreys cited Rhode Island and Vermont as examples. He also said some states have regressed.

Humphreys said the president’s declaration of opioids addiction as a public health emergency in 2017 failed to translate into significant concrete action. Members of Congress, he said, “figured out they were going to have to do it themselves and they did.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

After the controversy of last year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Trump administration officials aren’t going back for seconds.

Fox News learned Tuesday that White House staff will not be attending the annual dinner, set to be held on Saturday.

An official announcement has not yet been made. In response to the news, Olivier Knox, President of the White House Correspondents’ Association, said in a statement: “We’re looking forward to an enjoyable evening of celebrating the First Amendment and great journalists past, present, and future.”

President Trump said earlier this month he would be skipping the glitzy event this year, opting instead to hold a rally in Green Bay, Wis.

TRUMP SAYS HE’LL SKIP WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS’ DINNER, WILL ‘HOLD A VERY POSITIVE RALLY INSTEAD’

MICHELLE WOLF SAYS TRUMP ‘DOESN’T HAVE A BIG ENOUGH SPINE TO ATTEND’ WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS’ DINNER

“The dinner is so boring and so negative that we’re going to hold a very positive rally instead,” Trump said.

Trump has not attended the dinner since he took office, but had suggested he might appear this year after the organization adjusted their plans and invited Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow to speak instead of a comedian.

Comedian Michelle Wolf performs at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, U.S., April 28, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein - RC155E568A20

Comedian Michelle Wolf performs at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington, U.S., April 28, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein – RC155E568A20

Comedian Michelle Wolf made waves after her performance at last year’s event, where she spoke critically of the White House and specifically Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who attended as a representative of the Trump administration.

“I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful,” Wolf said at last year’s event. “She burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.”

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“I’m never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders,” the comedian continued. “Is it Sarah Sanders? Is it Sarah Huckabee Sanders? Is it Cousin Huckabee? Is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders? Like, what’s Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women?”

While Trump has not attended the dinner as president, he has gone in the past. He was famously mocked by President Barack Obama at the 2011 dinner.

Fox News’ John Roberts and Kathleen Joyce contributed to this report.

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The White House this week directed former personnel security director Carl Kline to defy a subpoena issued by the House Oversight Committee as part of the panel’s investigation into the controversial security clearance process for administration officials.

Kline was slated to appear before the committee for an interview on Wednesday but was told by the White House to ignore the subpoena, unless a representative from the White House counsel is permitted to attend the interview.

HOUSE OVERSIGHT WILL SUBPOENA TRUMP ACCOUNTANT

“[M]y client has been instructed not to appear tomorrow. With two masters from two equal branches of government, we will follow the instructions of the one that employs him,” Kline’s attorney, Robert Driscoll, wrote to committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., late Monday.

Driscoll attached a letter from Deputy White House Counsel to the President Michael Purpura revealing the administration’s instructions for Kline to defy his subpoena.

“This letter serves to inform you that Mick Mulvaney, Acting Chief of Staff to the President, has directed Mr. Kline not to appear on April 23, 2019,” the letter from the White House to Driscoll read. “The Department of Justice is aware of and concurs with the legal position taken by the White House that Mr. Kline does not need to appear for his deposition if no representative of this office is permitted to attend.”

HOUSE OVERSIGHT VOTES TO ISSUE SUBPOENAS ON WHITE HOUSE SECURITY CLEARANCES

Last week, the White House requested that the committee “allow a representative of the Office of Counsel to the President to attend” Kline’s interview, but the committee denied the request.

Driscoll wrote to Cummings late Monday that the decision to adhere to the White House’s demands was “not made lightly and does not come from any ill will or deliberate defiance” on his or Kline’s part.

“We wished to answer the legitimate legislative questions of this committee, but warned of an impending conflict,” Driscoll wrote, adding that they have done their “best” to avoid the issue. “It is my sincere hope that this interbranch dispute can be worked out. If so, we will promptly and eagerly arrange a time with committee staff for his voluntary appearance. Thank you for your understanding.”

Kline’s subpoena was issued as part of the committee’s investigation into security clearances issued to senior Trump administration officials, including Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former White House aide Rob Porter.

The probe intensified after Tricia Newbold, an 18-year government employee who oversaw the issuance of clearances for some senior White House aides, revealed that she compiled a list of at least 25 officials who were initially denied security clearances last year, but had senior officials overrule those denials.

The allegations were detailed in a letter and memo released Monday by Cummings.

The documents, which are based on Newbold’s March 23 private committee interview, don’t identify the officials on the list but say they include “two current senior White House officials, as well as contractors and individuals” in different parts of the Executive Office of the President.

The White House’s defiance of the Kline subpoena comes after lawyers for Trump on Monday sued the committee to block subpoenas for the president’s financial records.

“We will not allow Congressional Presidential harassment to go unanswered,” counsel to the president Jay Sekulow said.

The Oversight Committee, earlier this month, said it would subpoena accounting firm Mazars USA LLC for Trump’s financial information. Cummings is seeking annual statements, periodic financial reports and independent auditors reports from Mazars, as well as records of communications with Trump.

In seeking the records, Cummings has cited the February testimony of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who claimed the president inflated or deflated the value of his assets when it would benefit him.

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly, Alex Pappas and John Roberts and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

President Trump will travel to the U.K. and France in June to mark the anniversary of the D-Day landings, the White House announced Tuesday.

“President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump accepted the invitation of Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to visit the United Kingdom from June 3 to 5, 2019,” a statement said. “This state visit will reaffirm the steadfast and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.

DESPITE ANGER IN LONDON, TRUMP FINDS SUPPORT IN ENGLAND’S PRO-BREXIT WORKING-CLASS TOWNS

Trump will also participate in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May and attend a ceremony in Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, before traveling to France on June 6, to participate in a ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery and meet with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Trump has visited both countries before, but Trump’s visit to the U.K. will be part of a state visit — an aspect that was absent when he visited the country last year on a working visit and where he sparked a significant anti-Trump protest in London, as well as a number of smaller pro-Trump rallies.

FRENCH AMBASSADOR BLASTS ‘BIG MOUTH’ TRUMP, SAYS HE READS ‘BASICALLY NOTHING’

Trump has had a somewhat rocky relationship with both May and Macron. While his relationship with May has largely been positive, he has also publicly criticized her handling of Britain’s departure from the European Union.

The relationship with Macron, on the other hand, hit a high last year when the Frenchman visited the White House and was warmly embraced by the president (“He is perfect,” Trump told the press). But it later soured over issues such as Trump’s criticism of French defense spending, tariffs and Trump’s move to begin withdrawing troops from Syria.

After Macron said in November that Europe may have to build its own army to “protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,” Trump called the remarks “very insulting” and pointed to the French surrender to Germany in World War II — before hitting Macron’s approval ratings.

“He was just trying to get onto another subject,” he said.

Fox News’ Kristin Brown contributed to this report.

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President Trump declared Tuesday that The New York Times should “get down on their knees & beg for forgiveness” for its negative coverage of his presidency, as part of an early-morning Twitter tear against a range of media outlets.

“I wonder if the New York Times will apologize to me a second tie, as they did after the 2016 Election. But this one will have to be a far bigger & better apology. On this one they will have to get down on their knees & beg for forgiveness—they are truly the Enemy of the People!” Trump tweeted.

MSNBC’S MIKE BRZEZINSKI, CNN’S ALISYN CAMEROTA SUGGEST DEMS NEED TO DO SOMETHING AFTER MUELLER REPORT

The president also blasted Times opinion columnist Paul Krugman, whose latest op-ed says “one of our two parties”—the Republican Party—“no longer believes in American values.” The column criticizes Trump and the results of the Russia investigation, claiming the president was aware of intervention in his campaign by a “hostile foreign power” and, once in office, tried to obstruct any investigation into that fact.

“Paul Krugman of the Fake News New York Times, has lost all credibility, as has the Times itself, with his false and highly inaccurate writings on me. He is obsessed with hated, just as others are obsessed with how stupid he is. He said Market would crash, Only Record Highs!” Trump tweeted.

He added: “The Radical Left Democrats, together with their leaders in the Fake News Media, have gone totally insane! I guess that means that the Republican agenda is working. Stay tuned for more!”

The president went on to tout his administration’s impact on the economy, claiming the mainstream media ignores the positive effect his presidency has had.

DEM LEADERS REJECT IMMEDIATE IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS IN URGENT CONFERENCE CALL

“In the ‘old days’ if you were President and you had a good economy, you were basically immune from criticism. Remember, ‘It’s the economy stupid.’ Today I have, as President, perhaps the greatest economy in history… and to the Mainstream Media, it means NOTHING. But it will!” he tweeted.

The president’s Twitter rampage comes amid mounting criticism from Democrats following the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s nearly 500-page Russia report last week. The special counsel, after a nearly two-year investigation, did not find evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia. But the report revealed an array of controversial actions and requests made by the president that were examined as part of Mueller’s investigation’s obstruction inquiry. Despite the findings, Mueller did not come to a conclusion on the matter of whether the president obstructed justice.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday morning, Trump went after CNN’s Chris Cuomo, blasting the network for giving him a primetime show. The president also slammed MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, saying the host of “Morning Joe” has “nosedived”  and calling him “too Angry, Dumb and Sick.”

The president later added that Twitter, the social media platform itself, is playing “political games.”

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President Trump assured a child at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday that the long-promised wall is being built on the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Oh, it’s happening,” Trump told the child on the South Lawn of the White House, after the child apparently urged the president to “keep building” it. “It’s being built now.”

A LOOK AT THE STATE OF THE WALL ON THE US-MEXICO BORDER

Trump made the comments after stopping by to talk with children who were coloring cards for service members.

“Can you believe that? He’s going to be a conservative some day!” Trump said.

President Donald Trump, joined by the Easter Bunny, sings the national anthem with a member of the "The President's Own," United States Marine Band, from the Truman Balcony of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 22, 2019, during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump, joined by the Easter Bunny, sings the national anthem with a member of the “The President’s Own,” United States Marine Band, from the Truman Balcony of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 22, 2019, during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

NEW MEXICO MILITIA DETAINS MIGRANTS AT GUNPOINT UNTIL BORDER PATROL ARRIVES

Trump has vowed since running for president to build a border wall to deter illegal immigration. He has struggled to secure funding from Congress to build new walls, though existing fencing on the border has been replaced during his presidency.

Earlier this year, Trump declared a national emergency to free up billions to use for the wall, though the plan has been targeted in lawsuits by critics.

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As thousands gathered on the White House lawn for the annual Easter egg roll on Monday morning, Kellyanne Conway criticized House Democrats latest impeachment push, calling it “a ridiculous proposition.”

News broke on Sunday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., plans to hold a private conference call with fellow Democrats to discuss the possibility of impeaching President Trump.

The issue was raised again after a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report was released last week, which Dems argue provides evidence to the contrary of Attorney General William Barr’s summary that the investigation found no evidence that President Trump obstructed justice.

However, Conway pushed back.

TRUMP SUES TO BLOCK DEMOCRATS’ SUBPOENA FOR FINANCIAL INFORMATION

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ TARGETED BY MYSTERY MULTIMILLIONAIRE DONOR

“You can’t impeach a Republican president for something the Democrats started, which is this ridiculous investigation that has cost us $25 million, over 2500 subpoenas,” Conway told “Fox & Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt on Monday morning.

“The special counsel provides a report to the attorney general who, in concert with the deputy attorney general and office of legal counsel, decided there was no obstructive conduct. They could not bring obstruction charges – they made that decision,” she continued.

“I’m sure if director Mueller and his team could have brought those very clear charges they would have.”

She added that many in the media are now trying to “save face” after fiercely believing and predicting Mueller’s investigation would uncover collusion between Trump and Russia, which would have supplemented their arguments in 2016 that Trump “lied and stole the election.”

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As the 2020 election approaches, Conway also commented on the wide array of Democrats entering the race and reminded viewers that candidates need to run on real issues.

“Simple math,” she said. “One, 19, 50, anything times zero, simple multiplication … 19 are running, but if your message is zero it’s a big zero.”

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As President Trump and the first lady prepare to welcome thousands of children and their families to annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House, Melania Trump’s spokesperson opened up about some of what people can expect this year.

Stephanie Grisham told “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning the first lady planned every detail of Monday’s spring event – from the color of the eggs to the activities offered.

“New activities that we are really excited for that go in line with her ‘Be Best’ campaign,” Grisham said. “‘Be Best’ hopscotch for the kids. ‘Be Best’ musical eggs that will be really fun… It’s going to be a great day.”

THE WHITE HOUSE EASTER EGG ROLL: MELANIA TRUMP TO GET SPECIAL COMMEMORATIVE EGG AT 141ST CELEBRATION

Grisham said the president and first lady will be part of the traditional egg roll as well as be part of an activity coloring cards with children that will be sent to troops overseas.

“There’s a ton of stuff to do. It’s going to be a great day,” she said.

When asked how the end of the Russia investigation felt as they were planning the final details of Monday’s Easter Egg Roll, Grisham said a weight was lifted off the administration.

“It was all very ridiculous, it’s great, we were down at Mar-a-Lago with the president and fast lady. Good mood and spirit.”

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The White House will host the 141st annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn on Monday – a tradition that dates back to 1878 under the administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes.

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