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Trump Toasts Governors at Formal Ball  02/27 05:36

   President Donald Trump has toasted the nation's governors, welcoming state 
leaders to a black-tie ball at the White House ahead of discussions about his 
plans to repeal and replace the so-called Obamacare law.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump has toasted the nation's 
governors, welcoming state leaders to a black-tie ball at the White House ahead 
of discussions about his plans to repeal and replace the so-called Obamacare 
law.

   Trump welcomed 46 governors and their spouses to the annual Governors' Ball 
Sunday evening at the White House, the first major social event of his 
administration. The president congratulated first lady Melania Trump on the 
elegant candle-lit event in the State Dining Room, telling the audience, "The 
room, they say, has never looked better, but who knows."

   During his toast, the president noted his Monday meeting with the governors 
at the White House, saying, "Perhaps health care will come up," a nod to the 
effort in Congress to repeal and replace the sweeping health care law installed 
under President Barack Obama.

   Trump saluted the nation's governors, joking that "it's such an easy job you 
have." Despite some of the turmoil at the start of his administration and legal 
challenges to his executive order temporarily banning travelers from seven 
predominantly Muslim countries, Trump told the governors he had already made 
strides.

   "I can say that after four weeks --- it's been a lot of fun --- but we've 
accomplished almost everything we've started out to accomplish. The borders are 
stricter, tighter," Trump said, praising the work of Homeland Security 
Secretary John Kelly. He added: "We're very happy with the way things are 
working but, again, we've made a lot of promises over the last two years and 
many of those promises already are kept so we're very honored by that."

   Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat and longtime ally of Trump's 
campaign rival, Hillary Clinton, led the governors in a toast of Trump. 
McAuliffe, the chairman of the National Governors Association, said they all 
shared the common goals of jobs, education, quality health care and 
infrastructure across the nation.

   "We want to work with you to build on those ideals," McAuliffe said.

   The governors, their guests and members of Trump's Cabinet sat at long 
tables topped with white floral centerpieces and candles in the State Dining 
Room, where Trump addressed the guests from a lectern near a portrait of 
Abraham Lincoln. The president wore a black tuxedo while the first lady was 
dressed in a long black evening gown.

   At the tables, Vice President Mike Pence was seated next to his successor, 
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, while chief of staff Reince Priebus sat next to 
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, his friend from his home state. The president's 
daughter Ivanka Trump was seated between Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and 
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.


(KA)

 
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