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U.S. Labor Dept nominee Puzder withdraws, in blow to Trump
15 Feb 2017 at 5:15pm
By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a blow to President Donald Trump as he tries to assemble his administration, his nominee for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his name from consideration on Wednesday amid concerns that he could not garner enough Senate votes to be confirmed. Puzder's decision to withdraw is yet another setback this week for a White House still grappling with fallout from Monday night's abrupt resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, after less than a month in the job. Puzder, the chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants Inc, which franchises fast-food chains including Hardee's and Carl's Jr, has been at the center of a swirl of controversies, complaints and potential conflicts.
Trump offers national security adviser post to Vice Admiral Harward: sources
15 Feb 2017 at 2:23pm
The Trump administration has offered the job of White House national security adviser, vacated by former U.S. intelligence official Michael Flynn, to Vice Admiral Robert Harward, said two U.S. officials familiar with the matter on Wednesday. It was not immediately clear if Harward, a former deputy commander of U.S. Central Command who has Navy SEAL combat experience, had accepted the offer, according to sources.
Senate Republicans push for answers on Trump team's Russia ties
15 Feb 2017 at 2:28pm
By Steve Holland and Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senior Republicans issued their boldest challenge yet to U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday, promising to get to the bottom of the relationship between his aides and Russia, and calling for ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn to testify before Congress. Trump, facing a deepening crisis less than a month into his presidency, sought to focus the attention on what he called criminal intelligence leaks, calling Flynn a "wonderful man" who had been unfairly treated by the media. Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and other senators in Trump's party pushed for more information as the White House becomes engulfed by questions about contacts between Trump's team and Russia.
Pence's mission in Europe: clarify Trump's foreign policy vision
15 Feb 2017 at 3:35pm
By Roberta Rampton and Noah Barkin WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence heads to Europe this week to meet with allies seeking clarity on the Trump administration's foreign policy strategy and its stance toward Russia after the resignation of the top White House national security aide. Pence, who has hewn more closely to Republican orthodoxy than his boss President Donald Trump, will attend the Munich Security Conference this weekend and will visit Brussels.
Watchdog blames Trump for spike in anti-Muslim hate groups
15 Feb 2017 at 3:36pm
The number of hate groups in the United States rose for a second consecutive year (from 892 in 2015 to 917 in 2016), according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which cited Donald Trump?s presidential campaign as one reason for the spike in activity among the radical right. The most dramatic change documented in the civil rights watchdog?s annual ?Year in Hate and Extremism? report, published Wednesday, was the near-tripling of anti-Muslim hate groups ? from 34 to 101.
Trump breaks with old Middle East policy ? and campaign positions
15 Feb 2017 at 3:30pm
President Trump on Wednesday dropped the decades-old U.S. position that Middle East peace requires the creation of a viable Palestinian state. He also watered down campaign-trail pledges to move America?s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and dismantle the Iran nuclear deal.
Andy Puzder abruptly withdraws as labor secretary nominee
15 Feb 2017 at 3:01pm
Andy Puzder departs after a meeting with President-elect Trump in November. Andy Puzder, President Trump?s embattled nominee for secretary of labor, has withdrawn his name from consideration. ?After careful consideration and discussions with my family, I am withdrawing my nomination for Secretary of Labor,? Puzder said in a statement on Wednesday.
Trump blames ?unfair? media for decision to oust Flynn
15 Feb 2017 at 1:36pm
President Trump on Wednesday denounced ?criminal? leaks of classified secrets and what he called the ?very, very unfair? news media?s treatment of ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn, a day after the White House said the mercurial retired general had to go because he misled colleagues and lost his unpredictable boss?s trust. ?I think it?s very, very unfair what?s happened to General Flynn, the way he was treated and the documents and papers that were illegally ? I stress that, illegally ? leaked,? Trump said at a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The president praised Flynn as ?a wonderful man? targeted by ?the fake media,? and he condemned leaks of information showing that the former Army general misled top officials including Vice President Mike Pence about potentially improper contacts with a top Russian diplomat.
Trump touts Jewish friends, family members after Israeli reporter asks about ...
15 Feb 2017 at 1:14pm
?We are going to have peace in this country,? said the president in a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump then turned to highlight his daughter Ivanka Trump, who converted to Judaism when she married Jared Kushner, now a White House adviser. ?I think one of the reasons I won the election is we have a very, very divided nation ? very divided.
Senators express concern over Trump campaign's contact with Russia
15 Feb 2017 at 5:45pm
Senators from both sides of the aisle are expressing concern over reports that Donald Trump's campaign had contact with potential Russian operatives -- arguing this is further proof why thorough investigations are necessary. "It just calls out for the most thorough and deepest investigation that can be had," said Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J. White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked by ABC News' Jonathan Karl during Tuesday's press briefing if Trump's campaign, including former national security adviser Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, had any contact with Russia.
Russian spy ship 30 miles from US Navy sub base
15 Feb 2017 at 2:23pm
A Russian spy ship is now 30 miles south of New London, Connecticut, where a U.S. Navy submarine base is located. The Viktor Leonov, a Russian intelligence gathering ship, had been making its way north along the East Coast of the United States since early this week. U.S. officials have said that the spy ship was likely headed to a location near Connecticut in international waters where it could be close to the U.S. Navy submarine base in New London.
Questions swirl after it emerges Trump told weeks ago that Flynn misled over ...
14 Feb 2017 at 9:16pm
Questions continue to swirl in the wake of Michael Flynn's resignation as national security adviser, including which White House officials knew -- and when -- about Flynn's calls with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the Trump administration transition. According to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, President Trump was informed of the Justice Department's findings in a briefing from his White House counsel on Jan. 26. Flynn wrote in his resignation letter that he "inadvertently briefed the Vice President-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador," but questions about the legality of the calls remain at large.
Former ambassadors say Trump pick for Israel is unqualified
15 Feb 2017 at 6:33pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? Five former U.S. ambassadors to Israel said Wednesday that the man President Donald Trump has selected for the post is unqualified and are urging senators to carefully consider his nomination.
IRS impostor scam robs elderly Americans of life savings
15 Feb 2017 at 6:31pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? It's the top complaint to a U.S. Senate hotline for seniors: fraudsters posing as IRS agents, threatening arrests and demanding money.
Puzder withdraws nomination to be Trump's labor secretary
15 Feb 2017 at 6:19pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Donald Trump's nominee for labor secretary abruptly withdrew his nomination Wednesday after Senate Republicans balked at supporting him, in part over taxes he belatedly paid on a former housekeeper not authorized to work in the United States.
Education Secretary DeVos pledges support for magnet schools
15 Feb 2017 at 6:10pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Wednesday pledged support for magnet schools in a bid to repair ties with proponents of public education in the wake of a bruising confirmation battle, but also slammed her critics for rejecting innovation and change.
US has many options for investigating Russian ties
15 Feb 2017 at 6:10pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? When it comes to investigating Trump administration ties to Russia, the U.S. government has options.
Business Roundtable softening stance on political transparency?
14 Feb 2017 at 5:00am
Document suggests a shift in attitude by lobbying powerhouse.
White House spotlight: Tracking Donald Trump
13 Feb 2017 at 11:33am
The Center for Public Integrity's continuing coverage of the president's promise to 'drain the swamp'
Big Oil?s grip on California
13 Feb 2017 at 5:00am
In America?s greenest state, the industry has spent $122 million in the past six years to shape regulation and legislation.