On the day after Thanksgiving in 2016, Ed Corrigan, then the vice president for policy promotion at the Heritage Foundation, was summoned to Trump Tower in New York to join the senior leadership team of the Trump transition. From inside the building where the climactic personnel decisions of “The Apprentice” were once taped, Corrigan oversaw the staffing of 10 different domestic agencies. Donald Trump, the former reality-TV star, was now the president-elect of the United States, and he had an administration to fill.
Representative Devin Nunes, the embattled California Republican who is chairman of the Intelligence Committee, announced on Thursday he would step aside from leading his committee’s investigation into Russia’s efforts to disrupt last year’s presidential election. Mr. Nunes, the Intelligence Committee chairman, said his decision came after “left-wing activist groups” filed accusations against him with the Office of Congressional Ethics.
An Oklahoma County District Court judge on Thursday ordered President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the EPA to turn over thousands of communications to a watchdog group. The order is the latest turn in a lawsuit against Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt brought by the Center for Media and Democracy earlier this month. CMD charges Pruitt violated the Oklahoma Open Records Act for declining to make public official documents the group has requested since 2015.
The withdrawal comes amid reports that several Republican senators were refusing to support Puzder, and it makes him the first Cabinet nominee in Donald Trump’s administration to go down in flames. Republicans revolted against Puzder, CEO of the fast-food conglomerate CKE Holdings, amid two particularly high-profile scandals — a revelation that he’d hired an undocumented immigrant and failed to pay employer taxes, and an ugly divorce in which his ex-wife accused him of assaulting her.
The 31-year-old top adviser to President Trump began building a conservative foundation as a teen in liberal Southern California. Miller is one of the leading advocates of the executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations, and he wrote some of Trump’s most strident campaign speeches. Starting as a teenager, with his frequent calls to the nationally syndicated “Larry Elder Show,” Miller made a name for himself in conservative media circles for his willingness to take controversial stands and act as a champion for those on the right who felt maligned by a culture of political correctness.
National security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials, current and former U.S. officials said.
Michael Anton, a senior national security official in the Trump administration wrote under a pseudonym last year that Islam is an inherently violent religion that is “incompatible with the modern West,” defended the World War II-era America First Committee, which included anti-Semites, as “unfairly maligned,” and called diversity “a source of weakness, tension and disunion.”
President-elect Donald J. Trump’s choice for White House budget director, Mick Mulvaney failed to pay more than $15,000 in payroll taxes for a household employee, he admitted in a statement to the Senate Budget Committee, the sort of tax compliance issue that has derailed cabinet nominees in the past.
The Obama administration has written 275 briefing papers for the incoming Trump administration: nearly 1,000 pages of classified material on North Korea’s nuclear program, the military campaign against the Islamic State, tensions in the South China Sea, and every other kind of threat the new team could face in its first weeks in office.
The former chief executive of Exxon Mobil found himself on the defensive over his reluctance to declare that some dictators were violators of human rights. On climate change, Mr. Tillerson said he did not view it as the imminent national security threat that some others did. On Iran he tried to strike a middle ground between Republicans who said the deal should be scrapped - including Vice President-elect Mike Pence - and those who simply call for tougher enforcement of its provisions.
Donald Trump’s intention to name his son-in-law Jared Kushner to a senior White House post violates ethical standards – and the smell test. There have been many governments through history with people like Kushner in power; they just haven't been democracies.
The federal Office of Government Ethics has accused Senate Republicans of speeding confirmation hearings for Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees. OGE director Walter Shaub Jr. told top Senate Democrats in a Saturday letter that the stacked hearing schedule has left his office unable to complete ethics reviews on several nominees, which he called a matter of “great concern.”
In a statement Thursday, United States Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) said he is "honored" to serve as the new chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Hoeven - a former North Dakota governor and vocal supporter of both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines - was elected to lead the committee on Tuesday.
President-elect Donald J. Trump has made deals involving two resorts in Indonesia and forged relationships with powerful political figures there. His projects have not begun construction, his partners aspire for high office, his advisor Carl Icahn is a shareholder and all this presents a conflict of interest for Mr. Trump.
Trump’s attorney general nominee rushes to the defense of civil forfeiture, a.k.a. policing for profit. States have been abusing the forfeiture law by foreclosing on properties without proper due process and law enforcement has been enriched by this process. Government has been taking property without even charging anyone with a crime.
Donald Trump picks another controversial figure to head the health department. Tom Price, a physician, has conservative opinions on healthcare and favors “patient choice and market-based solutions” and wants to reduce “excessive regulatory burdens” on doctors. But Mr. Price is criticized for opposing affordable care act, contraception and gay rights as well as medicare and medicaid as it stands!
The United States Senate has a rich, bipartisan tradition of vetting nominees to the President’s Cabinet. The Democrats are worried that many of the Trump's nominees are not being properly vetted. This is due to a report by NYTimes that says thate the vetting has been unusually slow and that the chamber could allow confirmations to move forward without vetting.
Tillerson – the chief executive of ExxonMobil – became a director of the oil company’s Russian subsidiary, Exxon Neftegas, in 1998. His name – RW Tillerson – appears next to other officers who are based at Houston, Texas; Moscow; and Sakhalin, in Russia’s far east.
President-elect Donald J. Trump on Thursday named David M. Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer aligned with the Israeli far right, as his nominee for ambassador to Israel, elevating a campaign adviser who has questioned the need for a two-state solution and has likened left-leaning Jews in America to the Jews who aided the Nazis in the Holocaust.
Trumps choice for Secretary of state in the face of allegations that Russia interfered with US elections and Mr. Tillerson's business dealing with Putin reek of "conflict of interest". Mr. Trump himself had promised to clarify his involvement with his businesses during his presidency which he did by tweeting that his sons will be running his business and they will not sign any new deals, backing out of a promised press conference on this topic.
Mr. Tillerson, was responsible for undermining US government and signing Oil deals with various regimes around the world. In Iraq he empowered the Kurds, in Africa he signed deals with repressive regimes, outing other oil companies and undermining democracies.
ICE contracted with Palantir, founded by Trump adviser Peter Thiel, to create an intelligence-sharing database used to track and deport immigrants. Working closely with a president-elect who has pledged to dramatically expand ICE, Thiel’s varied connections to the immigration agency place him in a position to potentially benefit financially from a deportation campaign that carries highly personal stakes for millions of Americans.
Donald Trump picks Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general, and key architect of the legal battle against President Obama’s climate change policies, while admitting that there is a connection between human activity and climate change. He had also met with Al Gore which instilled some hope for the environmentalist.
Donald Trump who had campaigned to change Washington and rid it of its lobbyist is demonstrating that he has no intention to do so by picking Donald McGahn as his chief ethics lawyer. McGahn's background includes as counsel and ethics advisor to former Rep Tom Delay (R-TX) who was indicted for conspiring to launder corporate cash into campaign contributions for Delay’s PAC.
If President-elect Donald J. Trump wanted a cabinet secretary who could help him dismantle and replace President Obama’s health care law, he could not have found anyone more prepared than Representative Tom Price, who has been studying how to accomplish that goal for more than six years.
Ross played a role in the president-elect’s tax-cut and infrastructure plans and has suggested that much of America is disgruntled because the economy has left middle-class workers behind. “Part of the reason why I’m supporting Trump is that I think we need a more radical, new approach to government at least in the US from what we’ve had before,” Ross told CNBC in June.
Donald Trump’s nominee for US attorney general has been accused of bringing criminal prosecutions against a pair of black officials in Alabama as retaliation for their roles in derailing his nomination to be a judge. The officials faced federal corruption charges in the southern district of Alabama, where Jeff Sessions was the top federal prosecutor, after their allegations of racism caused the US Senate to deny Sessions the judicial appointment in 1986.
Aghast, there are cries of nepotism with reference to a 1967 law that was belatedly targeted at President John F. Kennedy’s appointment of brother Bobby as Attorney General. The legislation might be called LBJ’s revenge as Lyndon Johnson hated Bobby Kennedy and this was, in the way of the famously vengeful LBJ, a way of getting even with the Kennedys, although by 1967 RFK was comfortably ensconced in the U.S. Senate representing New York.
A historian recalls a conversation with the Donald Trump adviser, which may provide a window into Bannon's views on what's next for the U.S. During the 1990s, two amateur historians, Neil Howe and the late William Strauss, developed a new theory of American history in two books. They identified an 80-year cycle in American history, punctuated by great crises that destroyed an old order and created a new one. Stephen Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News who has been appointed Trump’s chief strategist in the White House, is very familiar with Strauss and Howe’s theory of crisis, and has been thinking about how to use it to achieve particular goals for quite a while.
Donald Trump has named more conservative hardliners for key posts, with Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions nominated as attorney general. Mr Sessions, a former prosecutor, was turned down for a federal judgeship in 1986 because of alleged racist remarks. Congressman Mike Pompeo is nominated as CIA director and retired Lt Gen Michael Flynn made national security adviser.
Stephen Bannon, the CEO of far-right media outlet Breitbart News and Donald Trump’s newly named chief strategist, believes we are in the midst of a crisis — of both global economy and moral standing. Godlessness and libertarianism has “sapped the strength of the Judeo-Christian West to defend its ideals,” and the Muslim world is growing in numbers, Bannon told a conference at the Vatican in 2014. “Every day that we refuse to look at this as what it is, and the scale of it, and really the viciousness of it, will be a day where you will rue that we didn’t act.”
Though Flynn is not a lobbyist himself, his company, Flynn Intel Group, is registered with Congress as a lobbying organization, and has a registered lobbyist on its staff. A Flynn Intel Group client, Kamil Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish businessman with real estate, aerospace, and consulting interests, told The Intercept on Thursday that one of his companies, Inovo BV, paid Flynn’s company “tens of thousands of dollars” for analysis on world affairs. On election day, Flynn published an opinion piece for The Hill urging U.S. support for Turkey’s controversial strongman president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and pushing for the extradition of Erdogan’s political rival, Fethullah Gülen, who now resides in Pennsylvania. “From Turkey’s point of view, Washington is harboring Turkey’s Osama bin Laden,” Flynn wrote, on November 8.
Noam Chomsky warned years ago that the political climate in the US was ripe for the rise of an authoritarian figure. Chomsky shares his thoughts on this election, the state of the US political system and why Donald Trump is a threat to the world.
An architect of anti-immigration efforts who says he is advising President-elect Donald Trump said the new administration could push ahead rapidly on construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall without seeking immediate congressional approval. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is reportedly being considered for the post of attorney general, said in an interview that Trump’s policy advisers had also discussed drafting a proposal for his consideration to reinstate a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries.
President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist seems to think there are too many immigrants leading Silicon Valley. Steve Bannon, who previously served as Breitbart News Network’s executive chairman, hinted at some of his views on foreign workers at technology companies in the past.
Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) on Tuesday took aim at Donald Trump’s inclusion of lobbyists and industry executives on his transition team, blasting the president-elect for going back on a campaign promise to keep special interests out of Washington before he has even stepped foot in the White House.
Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner looks set to become a close White House adviser, but who is the quiet, camera-shy millionaire? He has not been given an official position within the Trump administration, but Mr Kushner has been named alongside three of Mr Trump's children in the transition team, and he is said to have the President-elect's ear.
Joshua Wright has been put in charge of transition efforts at the influential Federal Trade Commission after pulling off the rare revolving-door quadruple-play, moving from Google-supported academic work to government – as an FTC commissioner – back to the Google gravy train and now back to the government.
Well before victories for Brexit and Trump seemed possible, Bannon declared there was a “global tea party movement” and praised European far-right parties like Great Britain’s UKIP and France’s National Front. Bannon also suggested that a racist element in far-right parties “all gets kind of washed out,” that the West was facing a “crisis of capitalism” after losing its “Judeo-Christian foundation,” and he blasted “crony capitalists” in Washington for failing to prosecute bank executives over the financial crisis..
A super PAC run by close allies to President-elect Donald Trump is under FEC scrutiny for discrepancies in a filing it made during the presidential campaign, drawing renewed attention to a watchdog group's complaint alleging it funneled improper payments to Steve Bannon, Trump's campaign CEO and now his chief strategist.
President-elect Donald J. Trump’s transition operation plunged into disarray on Tuesday with the abrupt departure of Mike Rogers, who had handled national security matters, the second shake-up in less than a week on a team that has not yet begun to execute the daunting task of taking over the government.
President-elect Donald J. Trump, who campaigned against the corrupt power of special interests, is filling his transition team with some of the very sort of people who he has complained have too much clout in Washington: corporate consultants and lobbyists.
The transition team–the entity tasked with hiring staff, assembling Trump's cabinet and laying out the blue print for Trump's first 100 days– is like Trump's campaign itself: leaner than past operations and far more unconventional with an estimated 100 individuals working on it full time, according to CNN. Leading the team is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a former competitor. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a loyal foot soldier for Trump whose vision of border wall brand of immigration reform became a central theme in Trump's campaign, is also closely involved.
Donald Trump has selected one of the best-known climate skeptics to lead his U.S. EPA transition team, according to two sources close to the campaign.Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, is spearheading Trump’s transition plans for EPA, the sources said.
Colin Powell, a retired four-star general who served under three Republican presidents, slammed Donald Trump’s closest military adviser, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, as “right-wing nutty” and “a jerk” according to the former secretary of state’s personal emails seen by BuzzFeed News.
The Breitbart executive director turned GOP leader boasted at a party about his goal of destroying the conservative establishment. “Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Bannon was employing Lenin’s strategy for Tea Party populist goals. He included in that group the Republican and Democratic Parties, as well as the traditional conservative press.