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WASHINGTON (United States) (AFP) – Survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing and openly gay NBA player Jason Collins have been invited to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, the White House said Monday.

A statement named Collins and Boston survivors Carlos Arredondo and Jeff Bauman among the first round of invitees to watch Tuesday’s address in First Lady Michelle Obama’s box.

Arredondo and Bauman were at the center of one of the defining images from last April’s bomb attack, Arredondo, wearing a white Cowboy hat, helping rush the badly injured Bauman away for treatment.

Arredondo, 53, and Bauman, 27, who lost both legs in the attack, have since become close friends.

Collins meanwhile received an invite after a year which saw him make worldwide headlines when he became the first openly gay man in a major American team sport.

Other invitees announced by the White House included Gary Bird, a fire chief who oversaw search and rescue efforts following the devastating Oklahoma tornado which claimed 25 lives and destroyed 1,000 homes and businesses in the town of Moore last May.

AFP Photo/Jason Kempin

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WFormer President Trump, right, and former Attorney General William Barr

Reprinted with permission from Press Run

Stunning new abuse-of-power revelations remind us of the Trump administration's complete disregard for democratic principles. We now know that over a span of years it took extraordinary legal measures, including gag orders and secret tribunals, in pursuit of email records from reporters at CNN and the Washington Post. Team Trump also unleashed the courts on Democratic members of Congress and their families trying to obtain private phone records, as well as secretly targeting a key White House attorney, who possibly fell under suspicion for not being sufficiently loyal to Trump.

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