President Donald Trump defended as "well meaning" the head-scratching effort by military brass to prevent the commander-in-chief from seeing the name of his Republican rival on the Navy warship that bears his name.

Trump reiterated his signature insult that he "was not a fan" of McCain, inexplicably reigniting his feud with the war hero who died of brain cancer this year.

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(Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

"Fox & Friends" weekend co-host Pete Hegseth has been working behind the scenes to convince President Donald Trump to pardon U.S. service members accused or convicted of war crimes, according to a recent report in the Daily Beast.

The New York Times reported Saturday that Trump is taking steps to officially pardon service members accused of committing war crimes whose cases have garnered significant media attention by Memorial Day. This comes after Hegseth, an Iraq War veteran, spent months encouraging Trump in private to issue the controversial pardons.

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Otto Frederick Warmbier (C), a University of Virginia student who was detained in North Korea since early January, is taken to North Korea's top court in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this photo released by Kyodo March 16, 2016 (Reuters/Kyodo/File photo)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said the United States did not pay any money to North Korea as it sought the release of Otto Warmbier, a day after a report said Trump had approved a $2 million bill from Pyongyang for the American student's care.

"No money was paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier, not two Million Dollars, not anything else," Trump wrote in a tweet.

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Otto Warmbier, the University of Virginia student who was released from North Korea in June 2017 after 17 months imprisonment for alleged crimes against the regime, died less than a week after returning home to the United States brain-damaged and in a coma.

Now, the Washington Post reports that North Korea demanded the U.S. government fork over roughly $2 million to cover the cost of medical care for Warmbier — and despite furious allegations that the Pyongyang tortured Warmbier to death, the United States reportedly agreed at the time to pay up.

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Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sits for an interview with Reuters in New York, New York, U.S. April 24, 2019. (Reuters/Carlo Allegri)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif does not believe U.S. President Donald Trump wants war with Iran, but he told Reuters on Wednesday that Trump could be lured into a conflict.

"I don't think he wants war," Zarif said in an interview at the Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York. "But that doesn't exclude him being basically lured into one."

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Zarif's remarks.

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A rainbow flag is placed in the ground for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month during the Picnic in the Park at Nussbaumer Park, June 27, 2015, in Fairbanks, Alaska. (U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Ashley Nicole Taylor)

Two weeks in, five defying states.

Nevada, Washington, Oregon and New Mexico have joined California in defying the Trump administration ban on transgender military, which went into effect April 12.

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