Jim Mattis, the four-star Marine general turned defense secretary, resigned on Thursday in protest of President Trump’s decision to withdraw 2,000 American troops from Syria, where they have been fighting the Islamic State.Mr. Trump announced the resignation in two tweets Thursday evening, and said Mr. Mattis will leave at the end of February.
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross told federal ethics officials last November that he had gotten rid of all assets that he promised to divest. But he admitted that was not true in a new filing released Monday afternoon.
The new national security adviser has been quietly taking advice from a few associates. Some have business interests that overlap with the National Security Council. Nearly two months into Mr. Bolton’s tenure, some people familiar with the N.S.C. say the influence of his associates can be seen in the agency’s effort to crack down on leaks, as well as an exodus of agency staff and a roster of candidates now under consideration to take their place, and have taken to calling the associates a “shadow N.S.C.”
A company that once had financial ties to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was one of two firms selected Thursday by the Education Department to help the agency collect overdue student loans. The deal could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Donald Trump’s commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, is doing business with Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law through a shipping venture in Russia. Leaked documents and public filings show that Ross holds a stake in a shipping company, Navigator, through a chain of offshore investments. Navigator operates a lucrative partnership with Sibur, a Russian gas company part-owned by Kirill Shamalov, the husband of Putin’s daughter Katerina Tikhonova.
Since taking office in February, Mr. Trump’s E.P.A. chief has held back-to-back meetings, briefing sessions and speaking engagements almost daily with top corporate executives and lobbyists from all the major economic sectors that he regulates — and almost no meetings with environmental groups or consumer or public health advocates, according to a 320-page accounting of his daily schedule from February through May, the most detailed look yet at what Mr. Pruitt has been up to since he took over the agency.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Justice Department’s criminal division on Thursday, despite concerns from Democrats. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said Thursday that he was concerned that Benczkowski, a former Republican Judiciary Committee staffer, joining the criminal division could compromise the wall between Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who served on the committee while in the Senate and has recused himself from the Mueller investigation.
The billionaire Koch Brothers, and conservative “think tanks” that support them, have spent hundreds of millions trying to convince ordinary Americans that cutting corporate tax rates and repealing the estate tax is a good idea, using the language of “freedom from big government.” But if President Trump’s current tax plan sees the light of day, corporations will get a $2.4 trillion tax break, and the wealthiest two-tenths of one percent of Americans will get a $328 billion tax giveaway, just from one of his plan’s provisions—repealing the estate tax. Getting rid of the estate tax would also give Donald Trump’s own family a $4 billion tax handout, and the Koch Brothers, some $34 billion.
Let's not be naive. If I told you that a firm with ties to a sometimes adversarial foreign power was trying to overpay a Trump administration official for their now struggling business, you might say, "Gee, that seems like a conflict the White House doesn't need right now." But here we are.
The oil industry's most powerful lobbying group met on March 23 with President Trump's interior secretary at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. It also happened to be the same day the administration killed a rule that oil companies opposed. The location of the meeting is raising eyebrows and ethical questions. The Trump International Hotel, situated just blocks from the White House, is ground zero for companies and foreign leaders who may be trying to cozy up to the president by using his properties, critics and ethics experts fear.
The reporters at the Intercept are compiling an ongoing list of Donald Trump appointees, and have found that many of their disclosures are incomplete and riddled with conflict of interest.
As cash has flooded Washington from a variety of groups, even the anti-establishment activists and operatives who sided with President Trump have been enriched. Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, reported earning more than $1 million in income tied to conservative-oriented work, with at least $500,000 of that from entities linked to the conservative megadonor Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, including the Breitbart News Network and Cambridge Analytica, a data mining firm partly owned by Mr. Mercer that worked for the Trump campaign.
Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser who was forced out of the job in February, failed to list payments from Russia-linked entities on the first of two financial disclosure forms released Saturday by the Trump administration. The first form, which he signed in February, does not directly mention a paid speech he gave in Moscow, as well as other payments from companies linked to Russia. The second, an amended version, lists the names of the companies that made the payments under a section for any nongovernment compensation that exceeds $5,000 “in a year.” That list appears to include all of the work that Mr. Flynn, a retired three-star Army general, has done since leaving the military in 2014, without providing compensation figures for any of it.
Critics are charging that billionaire investor Carl Icahn has used his position as Donald Trump’s deregulatory czar to strong-arm the ethanol lobby into agreeing to a change that will save one of Icahn’s companies $200 million a year.If so, this would be the most obvious example yet of crony capitalism in the Trump era.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, under oath at his confirmation hearing, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he didn’t communicate with Russians during the 2016 campaign. But a new report by Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima, and Greg Miller for the Washington Post found that Sessions did speak with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.