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Trump could play ‘constructive’ role for Republicans

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Trump could play 'constructive' role for Republicans

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that former President Donald Trump could play a “constructive” role for Republicans after his acquittal for allegedly inciting the Capitol riot.

“I don’t rule out the prospect that [Trump] may well be supporting good candidates,” McConnell (R-Ky.) told the Wall Street Journal when asked what role he saw for Trump in GOP politics.

“I’m not assuming that, to the extent the former president wants to continue to be involved, he won’t be a constructive part of the process.”

McConnell tore into Trump on Saturday, despite voting for acquittal, and said he was “practically and morally responsible” for the violence on Jan. 6. But McConnell voted to acquit Trump on constitutional grounds and has sought to avoid Republican in-fighting.

McConnell told the Journal that he cares most about supporting electable Republicans in 2022 as he hopes to reclaim the Senate, which is currently divided 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking ties in favor of Democrats.

 “I personally don’t care what kind of Republican they are, what kind of lane they consider themselves in,” he said. “What I care about is electability.”

Trump said Saturday after his acquittal: “Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun. In the months ahead I have much to share with you.”

On Monday, Trump aide Dan Scavino tweeted a video of hundreds of Trump fans rallying along a road in Florida to support Trump on Presidents’ Day. Because he was acquitted by the Senate, he’s eligible to run again for president in 2024.

Trump recently met with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) who had also accused Trump of being responsible for the riot that killed five. Trump told McCarthy he would work to help Republicans flip the House, where Democrats have a thin majority.

But Senate races could become a power struggle between pro- and anti-Trump wings of the party.

Trump has publicly called for a primary challenge against No. 2 Senate Republican John Thune of South Dakota, who is up for re-election in 2022. Thune was not among the seven Senate Republicans who voted to convict Trump.

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who did vote to convict Trump, is up for re-election, and there are open seats currently held by pro-conviction Republicans in North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

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Texas man shoots wife, then himself inside doctor’s office

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Texas man shoots wife, then himself inside doctor's office

A man shot and injured his wife inside a west Houston doctor’s office on Monday before turning the gun on himself, a report said.

Andrew Wang, 64, was at the medical office next to the Woman’s Hospital of Texas when he carried out the violence just before 3 p.m., Click2Houston.com reported, citing police.

“I’m going to kill you, I want you to die,” Wang was overheard saying before firing two shots at his wife, then himself, according to police.

Wang was declared dead on scene. Police found a gun at the office.

His wife was hospitalized with gunshot wounds to her chest and forearm, the report said. As of Tuesday morning, she was in stable condition.

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Investigators retrieve ‘black box’ data from Tiger Woods’ SUV

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Investigators retrieve 'black box' data from Tiger Woods' SUV

Investigators working to determine the cause of Tiger Woods’ rollover crash have obtained data stored in the “black box” of the luxury SUV he was driving, a report said.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant to gather the information, which could show the vehicle’s speed before the collision and whether its brakes were applied, authorities told USA Today.

“We’re trying to determine if a crime was committed,” Sheriff’s Deputy John Schloegl told the news outlet.

“If somebody is involved in a traffic collision, we’ve got to reconstruct the traffic collision. If there was any reckless driving, if somebody was on their cell phone or something like that. If there was no crime, we close out the case, and it was a regular traffic collision.”

Woods was driving a 2021 Genesis GV80 alone when he veered across the median on Hawthorne Boulevard in Rancho Palos Verdes, went off the road and struck a tree.

The legendary golfer broke several bones in his lower right leg and is still recovering in the hospital.

A forensic car expert had told USA Today that it appeared Woods was not paying attention in the moments before the devastating crash.

“To me, this is like a classic case of falling asleep behind the wheel, because the road curves and his vehicle goes straight,” Jonathan Cherney, a consultant who serves as an expert witness in court cases, told the news outlet.

Felix Lee, an accident reconstruction expert, told the outlet: “My feeling is that speed wasn’t that much of an issue. It was just some kind of inattention that caused the curb strike.”

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Brazilian COVID-19 variant found in Oregon

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Brazilian COVID-19 variant found in Oregon

SALEM, Ore. — A coronavirus variant that was first detected in Brazil has emerged in Oregon, the first known case of the new variant on the contiguous U.S. West Coast, medical authorities said Tuesday.

The sample was sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the end of January by medical officials in Douglas County, Oregon. They said they received the results back on Monday night, which showed the P.1 variant.

“The P.1 variant … appears to be related to business travel outside the United States to and from Brazil,” the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team said in a statement Tuesday.

The variant, which was first found in Manaus, Brazil, appears to be more contagious than other COVID-19 strains. It can potentially be contracted by someone who was already infected or who has been vaccinated.

There have been 10 additional cases of the P.1 variant reported in the U.S., with five in Florida, two in Minnesota and one each in Oklahoma, Alaska and Maryland, the CDC says.

Health officials in Douglas County, located in western Oregon, said they are awaiting results of other samples that were sent to the CDC for genome sequence DNA testing for emerging COVID-19 variants.

The Oregon Health Authority said the unidentified person who contracted the Brazilian variant has been working closely with the local health department and has been self-isolating.

Health officials on Tuesday also reported 13 new coronavirus-related deaths in the state, raising the known death toll to 2,225. There were 269 new confirmed and presumptive cases in the state, for a total of 156,037, authorities said.

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