Trump signs VA Mission Act » President Trump has signed a bill into law that will expand private healthcare access for veterans. At a signing ceremony at the White House on Wednesday, the president welcomed a group of veterans and caregivers.
TRUMP: All during the campaign I’d go out and say why can’t they just go see a doctor instead of standing in line for weeks and weeks and weeks. Now they can go see a doctor. It’s gonna be great.
The VA Mission Act of 2018 easily passed both chambers of Congress last month with bipartisan support.
The law will allow veterans who get approval from a VA provider to access medical professionals outside the VA system network. It will combine multiple existing private-care programs, including the “Choice” program, which was launched four years ago after veterans died waiting for appointments at VA facilities.
If confirmed, President Trump’s choice to lead the VA, Robert Wilkie, would oversee implementation of the new law.
OIG: Comey was insubordinate »
The Justice Department’s watchdog report says fired FBI Director James Comey was insubordinate. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg has details.
SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: The long-awaited inspector general’s report on the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server has not been released yet.
But ABC is reporting details of the draft report apparently leaked by the OIG’s office.
The inspector general reportedly found that James Comey “defied authority” as head of the FBI, no details yet on how.
The IG report will also chastise former Attorney General Loretta Lynch for mishandling the Clinton email probe.
The official version of the report—with more details—could be released as early as this week.
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.
President commutes sentence » President Trump on Wednesday announced that he is commuting the sentence of a woman serving a life sentence for drug offenses.
63-year-old Alice Marie Johnson has spent more than two decades behind bars for drug conspiracy and money laundering as a part of a cocaine trafficking operation. She was not eligible for parole.
The president’s announcement came one week after he met with reality TV star, Kim Kardashian West, who’s been an outspoken advocate for sentencing reform. Kardashian West championed Johnson’s clemency.
WEST: She hasn’t had one disciplinary infraction since she’s been in prison in 21 ½ years and I just really strongly believe that she is someone that has completely rehabilitated herself and will continue to do so outside of prison.
The White House said Johnson “has accepted responsibility for her past behavior” and has been a model prisoner.
Wednesday’s announcement follows his recent pardons of commentator Dinesh D’souza, and his posthumous pardon of former boxer Jack Johnson.
Kilauea volcano continues to flow » Lava continues to pour out of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, the red-hot flow has destroyed hundreds of homes in the past 48-hours.
Hawaii county Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno says they’re still comparing maps to get an exact figure—but the unpredictable lava is making that difficult.
MAGNO: It’s like a slow moving flood, you know, nothing stops it and the direction it goes. It just keeps continuing its march to the ocean.
The lava is flowing out of huge fissures around the volcano. The eruption has forced thousands to evacuate.
Meanwhile, officials in Guatemala say at least 75 people were killed in the Fuego volcano eruption Sunday, and some 200 remain missing.
Smoke began rising again from Fuego on Wednesday, frightening recovery crews working to extract bodies trapped in the rubble.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: Jim Henry on efforts to curb social security fraud and theft. And Cal Thomas on cake bakers and the rest of us. This is The World and Everything in It.