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HC Wake-Up Call: President Trump Hosts First State Dinner, White House Doctor Will Not Withdraw From His VA Nomination & Famous ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’ Songwriter Has Died

Good morning, Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

President Trump Hosts First State Dinner

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump hosted their first state dinner, in honor of French President Emmanuel Macron, Tuesday evening, ABC News reports.

The president and first lady welcomed the guests of honor, Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron, on the steps of the White House North Portico, exchanging cheek kisses and posing for photos.

The state dinner, served in the formal State Dining Room, featured an extravagant menu with dishes created by White House Executive Chef Christeta Comerford planned to “showcase of the best of America’s cuisines and traditions, with nuances of French influences,” and wines meant to “complement the menu and embody the historic friendship between the United States and France,” ABC News reports.

During the dinner, Trump and Macron celebrated the friendship and alliance between the United States and France.

“May our friendship grow even deeper, may our kinship grow even stronger, and may our sacred liberty never die,” Trump said, calling the occasion a celebration “of the nearly two-and-a-half centuries of friendship between two countries.”

Macron expressed the same sentiments, and commented on the strong ties between the two countries, along with a joke at Great Britain’s expense.

“This White House so full of history, that the British burned down in 1815, and I say this in the most amicable way, and that James Monroe then had the brilliant idea of decorating in French furniture, a man of taste, in fact, he was a former ambassador to Paris,” Macron said.

Other guests on the 130-person guest list included: Apple CEO Tim Cook, who brought former Obama EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson as a guest; statesman Henry Kissinger; Chief Justice John Roberts; media mogul Rupert Murdoch; Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund; Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH group which owns Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Dior; and Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

According to ABC News, the state dinner was part of a larger itinerary of events on Tuesday to celebrate Macron. Macron and his wife were welcomed Tuesday morning at the White House with a traditional military arrival ceremony, including a 21-gun salute.

White House Doctor Will Not Withdraw From His VA Nomination

After President Trump said that his Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Nominee, White House Doctor Ronny Jackson, should step aside, Jackson has announced that he will not be withdrawing as the nominee for VA Secretary, The Huffington Post reports.

Trump had called Jackson “a fine man” and a “great doctor, great everything,” but did not want to put Jackson through such a damaging political process.

“I wouldn’t – if I were him, actually in many ways I’d love to be him, but the fact is I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it,” Trump said during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday.

“What does he need it for? To be abused by a bunch of politicians that aren’t thinking nicely about our country? I really don’t think personally he should do it, but it’s totally his. I would stand behind him. Totally his decision,” Trump added.

Hours later, White House Director for Legislative Affairs Marc Short told ABC News that Trump will be “defending” Jackson after Trump met with Jackson Tuesday afternoon.

However, Jackson is currently facing some scrutiny by the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee as it reviews what its calling “serious allegations” regarding Jackson. According to ABC News, it is alleged that Jackson created a hostile work environment and improperly gave out medication — specifically sleep aid Ambien — as a White House physician.

The Trump administration has said that the hostile work environment stemmed from tension between Jackson and another doctor in the White House Medical Unit, but once the issue was resolved, the environment and morale greatly improved, ABC News reports.

“Dr. Jackson’s record as a White House physician is impeccable,” a senior administration official said. “He has improved unit morale, received glowing reviews and promotions under Republican and Democrat presidents, and has been given a clean vet from the FBI. He has never even been the subject of an Inspector General review and he will certainly not be railroaded by a bitter ex-colleague who was removed from his job.”

Jackson has said that he will fights these allegations that surfaced prior to his Senate confirmation hearing, HuffPost reports.

Senate Veterans Affairs Committee leaders announced on Tuesday that they are postponing the scheduled Wednesday confirmation hearing as they continue to look into these allegations, ABC News reports.  

Bob Dorough, Famous “Schoolhouse Rock!” Songwriter, Dies at 94

If you’re like me and grew up watching “Schoolhouse Rock!” to learn about how a bill becomes law or what a conjunction’s function is, then today is a sad day. Bob Dorough, the beloved songwriter behind famous “Schoolhouse Rock!” hits “I’m Just a Bill,” “Conjunction Junction” and “The Shot Heard ’Round the World,” passed away at the age of 94, Newsday reports.

Originally a jazz musician, Dorough “set the multiplication tables to music” as the musical director for the educational program from 1973 to 1985.

Born in Arkansas and raised in Texas, Dorough first began to play music in his high school band, and later joined the Special Services Army Band Unit in 1943, where he served during World War II, Newsday reports.

After the war he earned his music degree from the University of North Texas, and moved to New York City to pursue a career in jazz music.

Dorough “stumbled into [the “Schoolhouse Rock!”] gig” in 1971 after he was approached by an advertising executive.

According to Newsday, Dorough still played his “Schoolhouse Rock!” hits in his live shows as recent as 2016.

During an interview, Dorough had said about the educational program: “We had a captive audience — every Saturday, kids were eating cereal and watching cartoons, and some of them found ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’ and got stuck on it,” he said. “If it were up to me, it would last forever, because there’s always kids.”

I am grateful for the musical contributions that Mr. Dorough made, as his song “I’m Just a Bill” made me become more interested in law and politics, and encouraged me to get a degree in political science.

He taught and inspired generations of young children with his music.

What to look out for…

So there’s rumors floating around about a possible all-female Marvel movie? I don’t know about you, but I would be so down for this!

Emily Veith was previously the Branded Content Copywriter at Her Campus, where she works to create fun and engaging native editorial and social content. Emily has also authored political articles for Restless Magazine and numerous inspirational and empowering pieces for Project Wednesday. When she isn't writing, she can be found flying off to her next adventure, attempting new recipes, listening to one of her infinite playlists on Spotify, or cuddling with her dogs. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @emilycveith.
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