White House Press secretary Sean Spicer speaks to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Latest: Verma sworn in to run Medicare, Medicaid

March 14, 2017 - 3:59 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

3:55 p.m.

The federal agency that oversees health insurance programs for tens of millions of American consumers has a new leader.

Vice President Mike Pence has sworn in Seema Verma as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the Department of Health and Human Services. The $1 trillion agency oversees health insurance programs for everyone from nursing home residents to newborns.

Verma is taking over the agency as a Republican health care bill moving through the House that's backed by President Donald Trump has reopened the debate over the government's role in health care.

Verma is an Indiana health care consultant and protege of Pence, who is a former Indiana governor.

The Senate confirmed her nomination Monday by a vote of 55-43, largely along party lines.


3:05 p.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump is "extremely confident" that the Justice Department will produce evidence backing up his claim that his predecessor wiretapped his New York skyscraper during the election.

The comments from spokesman Sean Spicer come one day after the Justice Department asked lawmakers for more time to produce that evidence. The House intelligence committee gave the department until March 20, the first day of its hearings on Russia's interference in the 2016 election and possible contacts between Trump advisers and Russians.

Spicer says the president is confident that information yet to be released will "vindicate him."

Earlier this month, Trump accused President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower during the campaign. Obama has denied the explosive allegations and there has been no evidence backing up Trump's claims.


1:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump is sitting down for lunch with Saudi Arabia's second-in-line to the throne at the White House.

Trump shook hands with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the State Dining Room before joining several White House and Saudi officials for lunch.

The Saudi royal is the highest-level visit to Washington since November's presidential election. The prince is leading the kingdom's economic overhaul to become less dependent on oil.

Trump is expected to spend the rest of the day focused on the Republican health care overhaul. He'll be speaking by phone with Health Secretary Tom Price, Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish and two Republican lawmakers: House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.


1 p.m.

President Trump is meeting with the Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman.

The pair met in the Oval Office Tuesday before a scheduled lunch.

The prince is Saudi Arabia's second-in-line to the throne and his trip marks the highest-level visit to Washington by a Saudi royal since November's presidential election.

The prince is currently spearheading an economic overhaul aimed at helping the country become less dependent on oil as well as investments in U.S. technology firms.

He is also his country's minister of defense.

The president had originally been scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday, but that visit has been pushed back to Friday because of the snow.

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