Donald Trump

Updated at 11:00 a.m. ET

The White House is defending President Trump's choice to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, even as questions swirl around the nominee, White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson.

"Dr. Jackson deserves a fair hearing and we are not going to write him off in any way before his hearing, and quite frankly neither should members of Congress," White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told Rachel Martin on NPR's Morning Edition Wednesday.

Most weekday mornings, after feeding the chickens, goat and cows, Nicolas Talbott drives through the rolling hills of Columbiana County in eastern Ohio to one of the schools where he is a substitute teacher. It was a busy winter — lots of teachers out with the flu. And while Talbott enjoys teaching, he hopes to move on soon, to a career in the U.S. Air Force working on global security.

"I want to serve my country, I want to serve the people in this country and I want to serve the Constitution of the United States," Talbott says, "no matter who is in office in our government."

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has announced that his country no longer needs nuclear or missile tests and that it would shut down its nuclear weapons test site.

"The nuclear test site has done its job," Kim said in a statement carried by North Korea's state media. The report also said the decision was made in a bid to pursue economic growth and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Updated at 11:24 p.m. ET

President Trump pointed his fingers at his own head and said then-national security adviser Michael Flynn had "serious judgment issues," according to a redacted, unclassified version of then-FBI Director James Comey's original memo about his fateful dinner with Trump.

That's one new detail included in copies of the memoranda sent by the Justice Department to Congress on Thursday evening in response to a request from the leaders of the Judiciary and intelligence committees.

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President Donald Trump has endorsed Marsha Blackburn in the Republican primary for a U.S. Senate seat from Tennessee.

President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has dropped a pair of defamation lawsuits he filed after BuzzFeed News published the infamous Russia dossier last year.

The embattled lawyer isn't conceding anything about the substance of what was detailed in the dossier, which is unverified, but says he has too much else on his plate to proceed now that he is dealing with a federal court case in New York.

"The decision to voluntarily discontinue these cases was a difficult one," said a lawyer for Cohen, David Schwartz.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., does not support a measure that would make it harder for President Trump to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, but that isn't stopping some Republicans from forcing the debate.

North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis said Wednesday that he will continue working on a bill to allow Mueller access to speedy judicial review if Trump tries to force him out of his job leading the Justice Department investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election — with or without McConnell's support.

Days after it was revealed that Fox News host Sean Hannity was a client of President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, The Atlantic reports that the political commentator has employed at least two other lawyers with links to the president and who are also frequent guests on his show.

Updated at 9 a.m. ET

CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a secret visit to North Korea earlier this month and met with leader Kim Jong Un — a meeting that "went very smoothly," President Trump said on Wednesday.

"A good relationship was formed," Trump said, adding that the direct contact with North Korea — a rare step for the U.S. — was intended to work out details of a possible Trump-Kim summit.

President Trump will not meet the federal deadline to file his 2017 tax return in April, the White House said.

"The president filed an extension for his 2017 tax return, as do many Americans with complex returns," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

Sanders said Trump will file his returns by Oct. 15, the deadline set by the IRS for taxpayers who ask for extensions.

Trump has bucked decades of tradition by not releasing his tax returns to the public.

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