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White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that a border wall with Mexico was necessary despite declines in illegal border crossings in recent months.

A his daily press briefing Monday, Spicer was asked by CNN’s Jim Acosta why Trump’s promised wall is necessary if, as the White House has repeatedly touted, illegal border crossings are down in the months since the President took office.

“Absolutely,” it was necessary, Spicer said.

“Just because you have a couple good months in a year, I think you want to make sure that you take prudent, long-term steps,” he added. “So the President is going to fulfill — and frankly, it’s a promise he made to the American people.”

“I think, if you’re coming in from our southern border, he has taken a lot of steps so far that has deterred border crossings,” Spicer continued. “But this is a permanent step that will extend beyond his presidency. Eight years from now the next president will have that wall in place to make sure that it doesn’t continue.”

Responding to Acosta again, Spicer said “that’s right,” Mexico would ultimately pay for the wall, despite the Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s outright refusal to even consider the possibility. Spicer acknowledged earlier Monday that American taxpayers would initially pay for the wall.

“He talked about this,” Spicer said of that pledge, referring to Trump. “That in order to get the ball rolling on border security and the wall, that he was going to have to use the current appropriations process, but he would make sure that that promise would be kept, as far as the payment of it.”

President Donald Trump on Monday joked that Nikki Haley could “easily be replaced” as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations if members of the organization’s security council don’t like her.

“Does everybody like Nikki? Because if you don’t like Nikki — otherwise she could easily be replaced,” Trump said at a working lunch with ambassadors on the U.N. Security Council, to laughter from Haley and others present. “No, we won’t do that, I promise.”

Trump went on to say the United Nations is “an underperformer but has tremendous potential,” according to a White House transcript of his remarks.

“I think that the United Nations has tremendous potential — tremendous potential — far greater than what I would say any other candidate in the last 30 years would have even thought to say,” he said. “I know it hasn’t lived up to the potential.”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said he “can’t guarantee” the government won’t shut down on Friday when it’s set to run out of money. But he said White House aides are “very confident” that Congress will pass a spending bill to keep the lights on.

“How confident are you that there will not be a shutdown?”ABC’s Jon Karl asked Spicer at his daily briefing. “Can you, from that podium, guarantee that there will not be a government shutdown?”

“I can’t guarantee — but I think that the work that Director Mulvaney and others have made in these negotiations has been very positive,” Spicer replied, referring to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. “They feel very confident that that won’t happen.”

“So he won’t insist that his priorities get funded on the border, the wall, increased security?” Karl asked. President Donald Trump has pushed for funding for his proposed border wall to be included in the spending bill.

“That’s not what I said,” Spicer said. “Look, they’re currently negotiating. We feel very confident that they understand the President’s priorities and that we’ll come to an agreement by the end of Friday.”

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is recalling the death and suffering of more than 1 million Armenians during the final years of the Ottoman Empire, without describing it as genocide.

Such a declaration would anger Turkey, whose cooperation Trump seeks in Syria.

Trump says in a statement that the World War I-era killing of Armenians represents one of the 20th century’s worst mass atrocities, and a “dark chapter” in history.

He adds that remembering will “prevent them from occurring again.”

The issue also confronted Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, and other presidents.

Obama promised as a candidate to describe the killing as genocide, if elected. But he repeatedly stopped short of doing so once in office.

Samantha Power, Obama’s U.N. ambassador, however, did describe it as genocide during a speech in late 2016.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

DALLAS (AP) — Dallas police said officers are responding Monday to reports of a person with a gun at an office building in the north of the city.

Police provided no other details, including whether any shots were fired or any injuries reported in 911 calls Monday morning.

Television footage showed a heavy police response, including a SWAT team, at the multi-story office building along an interstate. A broken window can be seen on one of the upper floors of the mirrored tower.

Dallas Fire-Rescue said they dispatched three rescue units to the scene. A Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman could not confirm whether there were any fatalities.

Hannah Greenhaw was among the workers evacuated safely from the offices near a multi-level highway interchange known as the High Five.

Greenhaw told KXAS-TV that people from an office across the hall came over to warn them to lock the doors because there had been reports of an active shooter. Everyone in her office hurried to a corner in the back and turned out the lights, she said.

Armed tactical police officers then arrived, entered her office and told the workers to put their hands up, according to Greenhaw. Officers helped evacuate everyone from the building, she said, with some people allowed to use elevators.

“There was a few of us who couldn’t actually walk down 10 flights of stairs,” Greenhaw said.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Former President Barack Obama wrapped up his first public appearance since leaving the White House having achieved a feat rare in public life in 2017: He didn’t mention President Donald Trump once.

During the President’s discussion with students and young adults at the University of Chicago, he outlined his top priority post-presidency, to “help in any way I can prepare the next generation of leadership to take up the baton and to take their own crack at changing the world.”

And though the bulk of his time on stage was ceded to the young people seated on either side of him, who spoke about their own public service and asked Obama questions, the former President did take time during one response to urge his audience to reach across familiar political boundaries, recalling his campaigning for president in Iowa.

“It’s retail politics,” he said. “You’re going door-to-door, you’re just talking to people. And we didn’t have a huge amount of money, particularly, initially, for TV ads, so it was just meeting people. And that does change people’s assumptions, when they get a chance to know somebody directly. So part of what we’re going to have to figure out is how do we create greater opportunities — now, that’s true between red parts of the state and blue parts of the state. It’s true even within the city of Chicago.”

It recalled Obama’s broad farewell address to the nation on Jan. 10, in which he urged the country to build a national “solidarity” and argued that, “for all our outward differences we, in fact, all share the same proud title, the most important office in the democracy: Citizen.”

The State Department on Monday announced the hiring of former “Fox and Friends” host Heather Nauert as the department’s official spokeswoman.

“Heather’s media experience and long interest in international affairs will be invaluable as she conveys the Administration’s foreign policy priorities,” the department said in a statement.

The “top-rated morning cable news show” Nauert anchored, as glowingly described by the State Department, is one of President Donald Trump’s favorites.

In 2011, before he launched his wild-card political career, Fox News announced plans to give Trump a regular branded segment on the show, called “Monday Mornings with Trump.”

Trump in January took a moment during a press conference that lasted more than an hour, during which he repeatedly lambasted the media, to praise the “very honorable people” at “Fox and Friends,” which he called “the most honest morning show.”

In February, Trump appeared to suggest he might not have won the election if he hadn’t called into the show.

“Remember those call-ins, right?” he said. “Maybe without those call-ins, someone else is sitting here.”

“I like that group of three people,” Trump said in March during an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.

And in April, he gave the show a shout-out on his favorite platform.

In his first public remarks since leaving office, former President Barack Obama said Monday that his primary goal post-presidency is inspiring and cultivating the next generation of leadership.

“So uh, what’s been going on while I’ve been gone?” Obama joked to a crowd at the University of Chicago. He sat on stage with a panel of students and young adults.

Obama opened by saying that his highest priority as a former President would be to work with the next generation of political and activist leadership.

“I’m spending a lot of time thinking about, ‘What is the most important thing I can do for my next job?'” Obama asked to laughter. “And what I’m convinced of, is that, although there are all kinds of issues that I care about, and all kinds of issues that I intend to work on, the single most important thing I can do is to help in any way I can prepare the next generation of leadership to take up the baton and to take their own crack at changing the world.”

Watch below via NBC:

President Donald Trump bragged on Friday about giving CBS’ “Face the Nation” its highest ratings since the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

“I have, seem to get very high ratings,” Trump said in an interview with the Associated Press.

He said that his appearance on the CBS talk show “had 5.2 million people.”

“It’s the highest for ‘Face the Nation’ or as I call it, ‘Deface the Nation.’ It’s the highest for “Deface the Nation” since the World Trade Center. Since the World Trade Center came down,” Trump claimed. “It’s a tremendous advantage.”

Trump previously used 9/11 as a prop to compare himself against when he claimed in October 2015 that he doubted the terrorist attacks would have taken place if he were President at the time.

“I would have been much different, I must tell you,” he said. “I doubt that those people would have been in the country.”

On Friday, Trump went on to brag that he’s learned to do something he “never thought” he could: stop hate-watching CNN.

“I don’t watch CNN anymore. I don’t watch MSNBC anymore. I don’t watch things, and I never thought I had that ability,” he said. “I always thought I’d watch.”

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