US Politics in Trump era Public date: 17.01.2020 00:45:43

11 Jan 2020

On the day U.S. forces killed Soleimani, they launched another secret operation targeting a senior Iranian official in Yemen

On the day the U.S. military killed a top Iranian commander in Baghdad, U.S. forces carried out another top secret mission against a senior Iranian military official in Yemen, according to U.S. officials. The unsuccessful operation may indicate that the Trump administration’s killing of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani last week was part of a broader operation than previously explained, raising questions about whether the mission was designed to cripple the leadership of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or solely to prevent an imminent attack on Americans as originally stated.
On the day the U.S. military killed a top Iranian commander in Baghdad, U.S. forces carried out another top secret...
6 Jan 2020

Iraq’s PM Adel Abdul Mahdi says ‘urgent measures’ should be taken to remove foreign forces

Following the killing of a senior Iranian commander, Iran announced it is suspending all its commitments under the nuclear agreement it struck with world powers in 2015, although it will continue to cooperate with the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog.
Following the killing of a senior Iranian commander, Iran announced it is suspending all its commitments under the...
23 Dec 2019

White House official directed hold on Ukraine aid shortly after Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky

An official from the White House budget office directed the Defense Department to “hold off” on sending military aid to Ukraine less than two hours after President Trump’s controversial phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to internal emails.
An official from the White House budget office directed the Defense Department to “hold off” on sending military aid...
19 Dec 2019

Judge allows 309,000 voters to be purged from Georgia rolls

This week, a federal judge allowed the secretary of state’s office to remove about 4 percent of registered voters from the rolls, a move officials said was aimed at those who have recently died or left Georgia. But there were also more than 120,000 people included in that cull simply because they hadn’t voted since 2012 or responded to mailings from the state, according to a lawsuit filed to halt the purge.
This week, a federal judge allowed the secretary of state’s office to remove about 4 percent of registered voters from...
16 Dec 2019

Senate GOP defends Trump, despite oath to be impartial impeachment jurors

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler accused Senate Republicans of violating their oath to be impartial jurors in an impeachment trial, as GOP senators defended their right to work for President Trump’s acquittal. Senators take an oath to “do impartial justice” at the start of any impeachment trial — but several Republican senators argued that impartiality doesn’t cover politics.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler accused Senate Republicans of violating their oath to be impartial...
11 Dec 2019

A stunning indictment of the U.S. health-care system, in one chart

One quarter of American adults say they or a family member has put off treatment for a serious medical condition because of cost, according to data released this week by Gallup. That number is the highest it’s been in nearly three decades of Gallup polling. The report also shows a growing income gap in cost-related delays.
One quarter of American adults say they or a family member has put off treatment for a serious medical condition because...
6 Dec 2019

Trump impeachment hearings live updates

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that President Trump’s wrongdoing strikes at the heart of the Constitution and asked House committee chairs to proceed with articles of impeachment, saying lawmakers have “no choice but to act.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that President Trump’s wrongdoing strikes at the heart of the...
22 Nov 2019

Secret Service spent quarter of a million dollars at Trump’s properties in first five months of his term, records show

The U.S. Secret Service paid more than $250,000 to President Trump’s private businesses in just the first five months of his presidency - paying Trump’s company an average of nearly $2,000 per day, according to Secret Service records.
The U.S. Secret Service paid more than $250,000 to President Trump’s private businesses in just the first five months...
19 Nov 2019

Trump administration says Israel’s West Bank settlements do not violate international law

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared Monday that Israeli settlements in the West Bank do not violate international law.Pompeo said the Trump administration, as it did with recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, had simply “recognized the reality on the ground.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared Monday that Israeli settlements in the West Bank do not violate international...
16 Nov 2019

Trump attacks Marie Yovanovitch as she calls his conduct ‘intimidating’

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch told lawmakers Friday that when she read how President Trump had talked about her to his Ukrainian counterpart in a July phone call — saying ominously that “she’s going to go through some things” — the color drained from her face.“It sounded like a threat,” she said.Even as Yovanovitch testified, the president continued to go after her, writing on Twitter, “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.”
Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch told lawmakers Friday that when she read how President Trump had...
14 Nov 2019

New testimony ties Trump more directly to Ukraine pressure campaign

A top diplomat on Wednesday tied President Trump more directly to the effort to pressure Ukraine to probe his political opponents, describing a phone call in which Trump sought information about the status of the investigations he had asked Ukraine to launch one day earlier.
A top diplomat on Wednesday tied President Trump more directly to the effort to pressure Ukraine to probe his political...
13 Nov 2019

U.S. drone imagery shows possible atrocities by Turkish-backed forces in Syria

Footage captured by U.S. surveillance aircraft over northern Syria has documented several incidents that military officials say may constitute war crimes on the part of Turkish-backed forces there, a U.S. official said.If verified, the imagery could provide credibility to allegations that the offensive Turkey launched over Western objections last month has resulted in repeated abuses against Syrian Kurds who have been an important U.S. partner against the Islamic State.
Footage captured by U.S. surveillance aircraft over northern Syria has documented several incidents that military...
12 Nov 2019

Sonny Perdue has emerged as President Trump’s key evangelist in bruising trade wars

Struggling dairy farmers who flocked to an expo in Wisconsin last month hoped to hear some encouragement from one of their own — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, a Georgia agri-businessman whose dad had run a small farm.But some came away angry after Perdue — speaking in a state that lost nearly two dairy farms a day last year — remarked that small farms would not likely survive as the “big get bigger and small go out.”
Struggling dairy farmers who flocked to an expo in Wisconsin last month hoped to hear some encouragement from one of...
9 Nov 2019

House GOP looks to protect Trump by raising doubts about motives of his deputies

House Republicans’ latest plan to shield President Trump from impeachment is to focus on at least three deputies — U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, and possibly acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney — who they say could have acted on their own to influence Ukraine policy.
House Republicans’ latest plan to shield President Trump from impeachment is to focus on at least three deputies —...
5 Nov 2019

President Trump says United States will officially withdraw from Paris climate agreement

The Trump administration notified the international community Monday that it plans to officially withdraw from the Paris climate accord next fall, a move that will leave the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases as the only nation to abandon the global effort to combat climate change.
The Trump administration notified the international community Monday that it plans to officially withdraw from the Paris...
29 Oct 2019

Does Trump trust Putin more than Pelosi? Baghdadi death shows politicization of national security.

When President Trump announced on Sunday morning that Islamic State founder and leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died during a U.S. military operation in Syria, he thanked the Russians for their help while explaining that he kept Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the dark because he was afraid of leaks.
When President Trump announced on Sunday morning that Islamic State founder and leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died during...
26 Oct 2019

The U.S. deficit hit $984 billion in 2019, soaring during Trump era

The U.S. government’s budget deficit ballooned to nearly $1 trillion in 2019, the Treasury Department announced Friday, as the United States’ fiscal imbalance widened for a fourth consecutive year despite a sustained run of economic growth. The deficit grew $205 billion, or 26 percent, in the past year. The country’s worsening fiscal picture runs in sharp contrast to President Trump’s campaign promise to eliminate the federal debt within eight years.
The U.S. government’s budget deficit ballooned to nearly $1 trillion in 2019, the Treasury Department announced...
23 Oct 2019

William B. Taylor, acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, testifies in impeachment probe

The senior U.S. diplomat in Ukraine told lawmakers Tuesday that President Trump made the release of military aid contingent on public declarations from Ukraine that it would investigate the Bidens and the 2016 election, contradicting Trump’s denial that he used the money as leverage for political gain.
The senior U.S. diplomat in Ukraine told lawmakers Tuesday that President Trump made the release of military aid...
17 Oct 2019

Mulvaney emerges as a key facilitator of the campaign to pressure Ukraine

Current and former officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters, said Mulvaney contributed substantially to the unfolding political crisis, both through his connection to key events related to the attempt to pressure Kiev and through his general approach to the chief of staff job, which was driven by a perceived reluctance to displease the president.
Current and former officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters, said Mulvaney...
17 Oct 2019

U.S. retail sales fall unexpectedly, signaling a new crack in a weakening economy

U.S. consumers unexpectedly pulled back on retail spending for the first time in seven months, reviving fears that a weakening economy could finally be taking its toll on American shoppers just before the pivotal holiday season.
U.S. consumers unexpectedly pulled back on retail spending for the first time in seven months, reviving fears that a...
16 Oct 2019

Turkey-Syria offensive: Russian forces move to separate Turkish and Syrian armies

Russia announced Tuesday that its units were patrolling between Turkish and Syrian military forces near the northern Syrian town of Manbij, in a sign that Moscow, a key ally of the Syrian government, was moving to fill a security vacuum after U.S. troops withdrew from the area.
Russia announced Tuesday that its units were patrolling between Turkish and Syrian military forces near the...
14 Oct 2019

Trump orders withdrawal of U.S. forces from northern Syria, days after Pentagon downplays possibility

U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters announced late Sunday that the Syrian Army would deploy along the Turkish border to “liberate the areas that the Turkish army has entered with its mercenaries.”The agreement with forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, followed a Syrian government announcement that its troops were heading toward a confrontation with Turkey.
U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters announced late Sunday that the Syrian Army would deploy along the Turkish border to...
9 Oct 2019

U.S. manufacturing falls into deep recession as Trump’s trade war drags on

U.S. manufacturing fell deeper into a contraction last month, erasing hope of a quick turnaround for the industry and handing a blow to President Trump’s promises that he would revive blue-collar jobs and companies.
U.S. manufacturing fell deeper into a contraction last month, erasing hope of a quick turnaround for the industry and...
4 Oct 2019

Volker: Giuliani was warned that claims of Bidens’ misconduct were not credible, ex-envoy tells lawmakers

The former U.S. special envoy for Ukraine told House investigators on Thursday that he warned President Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani that Giuliani was receiving untrustworthy information from Ukrainian political figures about former vice president Joe Biden and his son, according to two people familiar with his testimony.
The former U.S. special envoy for Ukraine told House investigators on Thursday that he warned President Trump’s...
3 Oct 2019

Trump under pressure to address ethanol and trade pain in Iowa and other farm states

The trade war has cost farmers potential Chinese orders for the corn-based fuel as well as for a byproduct that is used as animal feed. Now, the refinery exemptions are compounding the financial pain — and threatening political consequences for the president, who won this state and its six electoral votes in 2016.
The trade war has cost farmers potential Chinese orders for the corn-based fuel as well as for a byproduct that is used...
2 Oct 2019

Appeals court upholds Trump administration’s cancelling of net neutrality rules

A federal appeals court on Tuesday affirmed the Trump administration acted lawfully when it scrapped the U.S. government’s net neutrality rules in 2017, dealing a blow to tech giants and consumer advocates who argued that the repeal would create a stratified Internet of fast and slow lanes.
A federal appeals court on Tuesday affirmed the Trump administration acted lawfully when it scrapped the U.S....
2 Oct 2019

Barr personally asked foreign officials to aid inquiry into CIA, FBI activities in 2016

Attorney General William P. Barr has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials seeking their help in a Justice Department inquiry that President Trump hopes will discredit U.S. intelligence agencies’ examination of possible connections between Russia and members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the matter.
Attorney General William P. Barr has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials seeking their...
2 Oct 2019

U.S. manufacturing falls into deep recession as Trump’s trade war drags on

U.S. manufacturing fell deeper into a contraction last month, erasing hope of a quick turnaround for the industry and handing a blow to President Trump’s promises that he would revive blue-collar jobs and companies. September marked the worst month for U.S. manufacturing in more than a decade, since June 2009.
U.S. manufacturing fell deeper into a contraction last month, erasing hope of a quick turnaround for the industry and...
18 Sep 2019

Trump administration to revoke California’s power to set stricter auto emissions standards

The Trump administration plans to revoke California’s right to set stricter air pollution standards for cars and light trucks , according to two senior administration officials, as part of a larger effort to weaken an Obama-era climate policy aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s auto fleet.
The Trump administration plans to revoke California’s right to set stricter air pollution standards for cars and light...
17 Sep 2019

Who are the Houthis and how closely linked are they to Iran?

The relationship between Iran and the Houthis is not simple and has long been clouded by accusations and denials and amplified by rumors and propaganda from all sides. Iranian backing of the Houthis appears to have increased over time. But experts on Iran’s network of proxies say the Houthis are among the least dependent on Tehran for financial and military support and decision-making.
The relationship between Iran and the Houthis is not simple and has long been clouded by accusations and denials and...
16 Sep 2019

Democratic candidates demand Kavanaugh impeachment after new allegation in Times piece

Democrats called Sunday for a new investigation of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh in response to a New York Times piece that said Kavanaugh was seen sexually harassing a female student while at Yale.Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former housing and urban development secretary Julián Castro, Democratic presidential candidates, pushed for Kavanaugh’s impeachment.
Democrats called Sunday for a new investigation of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh in response to a New York...
16 Sep 2019

Iran denies role in crippling attacks on Saudi oil facilities; Trump says U.S. ‘locked and loaded’

President Trump said Sunday the United States was prepared to respond to the devastating attacks on two oil installations in Saudi Arabia that cut the state oil company’s production output by half, while Iran rejected U.S. accusations that it was responsible. Trump did not name Iran, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had on Saturday, nor specify whether he was contemplating a military response.
President Trump said Sunday the United States was prepared to respond to the devastating attacks on two oil...
11 Sep 2019

John Bolton fired: Trump fires national security adviser, saying he ‘disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions’

President Trump announced Tuesday that he had fired his national security adviser, John Bolton, saying in tweets that he “disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions.” Trump’s harshly worded tweet made clear that long-simmering frustration with Bolton had boiled over. Bolton immediately took issue with Trump’s assertion that he was fired, saying that he had offered his resignation.
President Trump announced Tuesday that he had fired his national security adviser, John Bolton, saying in tweets that he...
11 Sep 2019

Six in 10 Americans expect a recession and higher prices as Trump’s approval rating slips amid concern over his trade policies

President Trump is ending a tumultuous summer with his approval rating slipping back from a July high as Americans express widespread concern about the trade war with China and a majority of voters now expect a recession within the next year, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
President Trump is ending a tumultuous summer with his approval rating slipping back from a July high as Americans...
10 Sep 2019

UVA Medical Center has sued former patients for over $106 million in medical debts

Heather Waldron and John Hawley are losing their four-bedroom house in the hills above Blacksburg, Va. A teenage daughter, one of their five children, sold her clothes for spending money. They worried about paying the electric bill. Financial disaster, they say, contributed to their divorce, finalized in April. Their money problems began when the University of Virginia Health System pursued the couple with a lawsuit and a lien on their home to recoup $164,000 in charges for Waldron’s emergency surgery in 2017
Heather Waldron and John Hawley are losing their four-bedroom house in the hills above Blacksburg, Va. A teenage...
24 Aug 2019

Fed Chair Powell vows to ‘sustain the expansion’ but not in the way Trump wants

President Trump escalated his unprecedented attacks against America’s central bank Friday, calling Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell an “enemy” of the United States that is as bad as China, a tweet that triggered a stock market slide and came minutes after Powell vowed to keep the economy growing.
President Trump escalated his unprecedented attacks against America’s central bank Friday, calling Federal Reserve...
24 Aug 2019

U.S.-China trade war intensifies as Trump calls on American companies to cut ties with China

The trade war between the U.S. and China worsened Friday as Beijing imposed retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in American goods and President Trump took the extraordinary step of calling on U.S. companies stop doing business with China. The new tariffs, which included reinstated levies on auto products, delivered a strategically timed blow as recession warning signs cast doubt on the strength of the U.S. economy.
The trade war between the U.S. and China worsened Friday as Beijing imposed retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in...
22 Aug 2019

U.S. deficit to expand by more than $800 billion over 10 years than previously expected, CBO says

America’s federal deficit will expand by about $800 billion more than previously expected over 10 years due primarily to two legislative packages approved this year, pushing the nation further into levels of debt unseen since the end of World War II, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. The CBO also said that the impact of higher trade barriers, primarily President Trump’s trade war, could hurt economic growth amid widespread fears of a recession.
America’s federal deficit will expand by about $800 billion more than previously expected over 10 years due primarily...
21 Aug 2019

Trump confirms he’s considering a payroll tax cut amid mounting economic concerns

President Trump on Tuesday confirmed that he is considering whether to push for a temporary payroll tax cut amid mounting concerns about an economic slowdown. Trump’s comments pulled back the curtain on a freewheeling policy process within the White House. Senior administration officials are both trying to assess the real weaknesses in the economy while also determining whether they should take any steps to intervene before the 2020 elections.
President Trump on Tuesday confirmed that he is considering whether to push for a temporary payroll tax cut amid...
20 Aug 2019

Alaska shows why budget-cutting conservatives are destined to fail

National conservative leaders are pushing for President Trump to take an ax to federal spending if he is reelected. This year’s ongoing Alaska budget crisis shows how politically unpopular that would be. Alaska has been spending beyond its means for years. The state levies no statewide personal income or sales tax and instead relies mainly on revenue from oil production to finance its state government.
National conservative leaders are pushing for President Trump to take an ax to federal spending if he is reelected. This...
15 Aug 2019

Recession watch: What is an ‘inverted yield curve’ and why does it matter?

Stock markets tanked Wednesday after the bond market sounded a loud warning that the U.S. economy might be headed toward a recession. Investors are spooked by a scenario known as the “inverted yield curve,” which occurs when the interest rates on short-term bonds are higher than the interest rates paid by long-term bonds. What it means is that people are so worried about the near-term future that they are piling into safer long-term investments.
Stock markets tanked Wednesday after the bond market sounded a loud warning that the U.S. economy might be headed toward...
11 Aug 2019

Jeffrey Epstein dead after ‘apparent suicide’ in New York

Jeffrey Epstein, the politically connected financier charged recently with sexually abusing dozens of young girls in the early 2000s, died Saturday after apparently hanging himself in a Manhattan cell, officials said, sparking outrage among victims who hoped to one day confront him in court and triggering multiple investigations into what happened.
Jeffrey Epstein, the politically connected financier charged recently with sexually abusing dozens of young girls in the...
10 Aug 2019

‘She was shaking’: Court filings describe system Jeffrey Epstein allegedly used to procure girls

He demanded sex three times a day. A parade of powerful figures visited his private estates, which were adorned with pictures of naked girls and stocked with sex toys. And the schedules of teenagers on call to give him massages at his Palm Beach, Fla., mansion were documented in phone messages from his assistants.
He demanded sex three times a day. A parade of powerful figures visited his private estates, which were adorned with...
2 Aug 2019

Trump says he will impose new tariffs on $300 billion of imports from China starting next month, ending brief cease-fire in trade war

President Trump unexpectedly announced on Thursday that he will impose new tariffs on $300 billion worth of imports from China, effectively taxing every product that Americans buy from China. The president acted one day after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer wrapped up two days of talks in Shanghai aimed at a comprehensive trade deal.
President Trump unexpectedly announced on Thursday that he will impose new tariffs on $300 billion worth of imports...
1 Aug 2019

U.S. imposes sanctions on Iran’s Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday in a dramatic step bound to further escalate tensions with Tehran. A senior administration official said Zarif had acted more as a “propaganda minister” than a diplomat, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Zarif was “complicit” in Iran’s support of terrorists, torture and other malign activity around the world.
The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday in a dramatic...
30 Jul 2019

With the economy on the line, the Fed prepares to take its biggest gamble in years

The Federal Reserve this week is all but certain to cut interest rates despite unemployment being at historic lows, a highly unusual action that is shaping up to be the biggest gamble of Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell’s brief tenure as leader of the world’s most powerful economic institution. Some economists, Fed officials and people on Main Street say the Fed’s action will benefit the stock market more than the real economy. And they argue cutting rates would introduce risks that could worsen the next downturn.
The Federal Reserve this week is all but certain to cut interest rates despite unemployment being at historic lows, a...
29 Jul 2019

Kushner owns lots of Baltimore-area apartments. Some are infested with mice.

In a now-viral tweetstorm on Saturday, President Trump characterized Rep. Elijah E. Cummings’s Baltimore-based congressional district as a “rodent infested mess” where “no human” would want to live. His criticism rang with a particular irony in Baltimore County, where presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner owns more than a dozen apartment complexes that have been cited for hundreds of code violations and, critics say, provide substandard housing to lower-income tenants.
In a now-viral tweetstorm on Saturday, President Trump characterized Rep. Elijah E. Cummings’s Baltimore-based...
26 Jul 2019

Inside Liberty University’s ‘culture of fear’: How Jerry Falwell Jr. silences students and professors who reject his pro-Trump politics.

By 2016, Liberty’s efforts to limit free expression were already well-established. (“The big victory was finding a way to tame the faculty,” Falwell told the New York Times last year for a story about privileging Liberty’s financial growth over its academics.) But the school’s methods became even more aggressive after Falwell endorsed Donald Trump early that year, according to multiple current and former faculty members.
By 2016, Liberty’s efforts to limit free expression were already well-established. (“The big victory was finding a...
24 Jul 2019

Trump tweets American farmers ‘starting to do great again’ – except they are not.

President Trump began his Tuesday with a congratulatory tweet to new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a shout-out to the military and a rosy assessment of U.S. agriculture: “Farmers are starting to do great again, after 15 years of a downward spiral. The 16 Billion Dollar China ‘replacement’ money didn’t exactly hurt!”
President Trump began his Tuesday with a congratulatory tweet to new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a shout-out...
23 Jul 2019

EPA’s watchdog is scrutinizing ethics practices of agency’s former air policy chief

A key architect of the Trump administration’s efforts to weaken federal climate rules is under scrutiny by a federal watchdog for his dealings with industry players who lobbied the government to ease carbon pollution limits. It is the third inquiry into whether Bill Wehrum, who headed the Environmental Protection Agency’s air policy division from November 2017 until last month, violated federal ethics rules.
A key architect of the Trump administration’s efforts to weaken federal climate rules is under scrutiny by a federal...
16 Jul 2019

Mulvaney builds an ‘an empire for the right wing’ as Trump’s chief of staff

Mick Mulvaney’s battles with Alexander Acosta began almost immediately. Weeks after he was named acting White House chief of staff, Mulvaney summoned the labor secretary for a tense January encounter that became known inside the West Wing as “the woodshed meeting.” Mulvaney told Acosta in blunt terms that the White House believed he was dragging his feet on regulation rollbacks desired by business interests and that he was on thin ice as a result, according to advisers and a person close to the White House. Soon after, Acosta proposed a spate of business-friendly rules on overtime pay and other policies
Mick Mulvaney’s battles with Alexander Acosta began almost immediately. Weeks after he was named acting White House...
16 Jul 2019

Trump rejects criticism that his weekend tweet about four minority lawmakers was racist, says they ‘hate our country’

President Trump said Monday that he is not concerned by criticism that his tweets suggesting four minority congresswomen return to their home countries were racist, asserting that they hate the United States and are free to leave. His comments at a White House event came as Democratic leaders in the House prepared a resolution condemning tweets over the weekend in which Trump said the liberal lawmakers critical of him should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
President Trump said Monday that he is not concerned by criticism that his tweets suggesting four minority congresswomen...
10 Jul 2019

Treasury could breach debt ceiling in first half of September, much sooner than previously thought

The U.S. government could run out of money to pay all of its bills by early September if Congress doesn’t rush to raise the debt ceiling, a think tank said Monday, a time frame that could force lawmakers to act much sooner than planned. The Bipartisan Policy Center said that the Treasury Department could breach the borrowing limit in two months because the government has brought in far less tax revenue this year than was projected.
The U.S. government could run out of money to pay all of its bills by early September if Congress doesn’t rush to...
3 Jul 2019

Joaquin Castro stealthily captures photo and video at border detention center

When the delegation of congressional democrats arrived in Texas Monday to tour border facilities holding migrants, they were told in briefing packets and by Customs and Border Protection staff that photos and videos were prohibited — to protect the privacy and safety of those inside.
When the delegation of congressional democrats arrived in Texas Monday to tour border facilities holding migrants, they...
2 Jul 2019

Iranians describe hardships as Trump expands sanctions

Iran’s news media was filled with upbeat economic reports last week. Several tankers of oil had been exported to China, and the economy minister said tax collections were up 30 percent. Farm-raised shrimp production had expanded by 400 percent. “Summer is here!” one article exulted, and online vacation rentals in the country’s tourist spots were a potential growth market. But on the streets of Iran’s cities, as the United States’ “maximum pressure” sanctions took hold, the view was decidedly less sunny.
Iran’s news media was filled with upbeat economic reports last week. Several tankers of oil had been exported to...
28 Jun 2019

Tillerson: Jared Kushner left him in the dark on conversations with foreign leaders

In newly disclosed testimony, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson said President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, operated independently with powerful leaders around the world without coordination with the State Department, leaving Tillerson out of the loop and in the dark on emerging U.S. policies and simmering geopolitical crises.
In newly disclosed testimony, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson said President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared...
28 Jun 2019

VA ordered fake appointments to cut waiting list, whistleblower says

The Department of Veterans Affairs moved to fire a whistleblowing psychologist, Aghevli, one day before her House testimony. Aghevli has made disclosures that she said led department officials to dismiss her, despite her Gold VA Pins for excellent customer service. Aghevli’s allegations are serious. They include phony-wait-list assertions of the type that have bedeviled VA since it was consumed by a scandal that broke in 2014. She also accused department officials of lying to Congress.
The Department of Veterans Affairs moved to fire a whistleblowing psychologist, Aghevli, one day before her House...
26 Jun 2019

Former captives contrast conditions with U.S. treatment of child migrants

The federal government told a panel of Ninth Circuit appellate judges last week that U.S. border detention facilities are “safe and sanitary,” as required by law, even though migrant children are denied soap, toothbrushes and dark places to sleep. Judge William A. Fletcher called the position of Sarah Fabian, a senior attorney from the Office of Immigration Litigation, “inconceivable.”
The federal government told a panel of Ninth Circuit appellate judges last week that U.S. border detention facilities...
25 Jun 2019

Despite new law, Trump administration has not given Puerto Rico emergency food stamp aid

The Trump administration has not yet given Puerto Rico $600 million in food stamp aid more than two weeks after the president signed the emergency funding into law, according to federal and territory officials
The Trump administration has not yet given Puerto Rico $600 million in food stamp aid more than two weeks after the...
20 Jun 2019

Trump administration threatens furloughs, layoffs at OPM if Congress doesn’t let it kill agency

The Trump administration is threatening to furlough — and possibly lay off — 150 employees at the federal personnel agency if Congress blocks its plan to eliminate the department. The Office of Personnel Management is preparing to send the career employees home without pay starting on Oct. 1, according to an internal briefing document obtained by The Washington Post. The employees could formally be laid off after 30 days, administration officials confirmed.
The Trump administration is threatening to furlough — and possibly lay off — 150 employees at the federal personnel...
19 Jun 2019

Trump vows mass immigration arrests, removals of ‘millions of illegal aliens’ starting next week

President Trump said in a tweet Monday night that U.S. immigration agents are planning to make mass arrests starting “next week,” an apparent reference to a plan in preparation for months that aims to round up thousands of migrant parents and children in a blitz operation across major U.S. cities.
President Trump said in a tweet Monday night that U.S. immigration agents are planning to make mass arrests starting...
18 Jun 2019

Iran threatens to increase enriched-uranium stockpile beyond limits set by nuclear deal in 10 days

Iran said Monday it would boost its stockpile of enriched uranium to exceed limits set by a 2015 nuclear pact with world powers, in what appeared to be the latest salvo in an escalating standoff with the United States. Some European diplomats saw that 10-day deadline less as a firm plan to violate enrichment limits and more as an urgent call to Europe from Iran to deliver fresh concessions.
Iran said Monday it would boost its stockpile of enriched uranium to exceed limits set by a 2015 nuclear pact with world...
17 Jun 2019

How Donald Trump silenced the people who could expose his business failures

How did Donald Trump, a self-serving promoter who lost billions of dollars for his investors, convince the world that he is a financial genius? It wasn’t just by fabricating tales of his success. It was also by bullying and silencing people who could have stopped those deceits — particularly reporters and Wall Street analysts — forcing all but a very few into a conspiracy of silence.
How did Donald Trump, a self-serving promoter who lost billions of dollars for his investors, convince the world that he...
11 Jun 2019

Homeland Security watchdog retires early after his office was forced to retract ‘feel-good’ audits of disaster response

John V. Kelly, the acting inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, announced his retirement Monday following revelations that he directed his staff to whitewash audits of the agency’s performance after federal disasters.
John V. Kelly, the acting inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, announced his retirement Monday...
9 Jun 2019

Pompeo pledges not to wait for Britain’s elections to ‘push back’ against Corbyn and anti-Semitism

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo weighed in on British politics during a closed-door meeting with Jewish leaders, saying he would not wait for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to become prime minister of Britain to “push back” against him or any future actions he might take against Britain’s Jews.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo weighed in on British politics during a closed-door meeting with Jewish leaders, saying...
9 Jun 2019

White House blocked intelligence agency’s written testimony calling climate change ‘possibly catastrophic’

White House officials barred a State Department intelligence agency from submitting written testimony this week to the House Intelligence Committee warning that human-caused climate change is “possibly catastrophic.” The move came after State officials refused to excise the document’s references to federal scientific findings on climate change.
White House officials barred a State Department intelligence agency from submitting written testimony this week to the...
7 Jun 2019

Trump family members promote themselves, and businesses, on European trip

As parties go, it’s hard to top a state dinner with the queen of England, but President Trump’s sons — Donald Jr. and Eric — tried to keep the revelry going during an impromptu pub crawl in Doonbeg, Ireland, where they bought rounds of Guinness for the locals and reveled in the adoration of a village where the Trump family owns property.
As parties go, it’s hard to top a state dinner with the queen of England, but President Trump’s sons — Donald Jr....
6 Jun 2019

Trump administration cancels English classes, soccer, legal aid for unaccompanied child migrants in U.S. shelters

The Trump administration is canceling English classes, recreational programs and legal aid for unaccompanied minors staying in federal migrant shelters nationwide, saying the immigration influx at the southern border has created critical budget pressures.
The Trump administration is canceling English classes, recreational programs and legal aid for unaccompanied minors...
4 Jun 2019

Pompeo delivers unfiltered view of Trump’s Mideast peace plan at off-the-record meeting

“I get why people think this is going to be a deal that only the Israelis could love. I understand the perception of that,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says in his most unvarnished comments on the plan to date.
“I get why people think this is going to be a deal that only the Israelis could love. I understand the perception of...
4 Jun 2019

The average millennial has a net worth of $8,000. That’s far less than previous generations.

Millennials are doing far worse financially than generations before them, with student loans, rising rents and higher health-care costs pushing the average net worth below $8,000, a new study shows. The net worth of Americans aged 18 to 35 has dropped 34 percent since 1996, according to research released Thursday by Deloitte, the accounting and professional services giant.
Millennials are doing far worse financially than generations before them, with student loans, rising rents and higher...
1 Jun 2019

New documents on the census confirm: Trump’s raison d’etre is white power

The Trump administration has devised a fundamentally racist policy: adding a question to the 2020 Census that will suppress participation by nonwhite people and, therefore, artificially increase white (and Republican) power in a new round of gerrymandering. To do this, administration officials falsely told the public, the lower courts and the Supreme Court that the disadvantage to nonwhite Americans was statistically questionable and that the Justice Department needed the change to enforce the Voting Rights Act.
The Trump administration has devised a fundamentally racist policy: adding a question to the 2020 Census that will...
1 Jun 2019

Trump’s Mexico tariffs: Republican lawmakers alarmed as president issues 5 percent levy on Mexican imports

President Trump forged ahead Friday with plans to impose import penalties on Mexico, one of the United States’ largest trading partners, brushing aside apoplectic lawmakers, business groups and investors who feared the White House was expanding trade wars without any plan for eventual escape.
President Trump forged ahead Friday with plans to impose import penalties on Mexico, one of the United States’ largest...
30 May 2019

Mueller statement on Russia investigation: Special counsel says accusing Trump of a crime ‘not an option’ under DOJ guidelines – The Washington Post

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III reiterated Wednesday that his office could not clear President Trump of obstructing justice, asserting in his first public remarks about his investigation that federal prosecutors cannot accuse the commander in chief of a crime, while suggesting Congress still may do so.
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III reiterated Wednesday that his office could not clear President Trump of...
29 May 2019

David Whitley, the Texas elections official who questioned the citizenship of almost 100,000 people, resigns

Texas’s acting secretary of state, David Whitley (R), resigned Monday just months after leading the botched voter purge of nearly 100,000 suspected noncitizens that erroneously also targeted U.S. citizens, efforts that drew rebukes from a federal judge and numerous voter rights groups.
Texas’s acting secretary of state, David Whitley (R), resigned Monday just months after leading the botched voter...
29 May 2019

Trump administration authorized nuclear energy companies to share technological information with Saudi Arabia

The Trump administration has kept secret seven authorizations it has issued since November 2017 allowing U.S. nuclear energy companies to share sensitive technological information with Saudi Arabia, even though the kingdom has not yet agreed to anti-proliferation terms required to construct a pair of U.S.-designed civilian nuclear power plants.
The Trump administration has kept secret seven authorizations it has issued since November 2017 allowing U.S. nuclear...
25 May 2019

Trump approves sending more forces to the Middle East amid tensions with Iran

The Trump administration, facing rising tensions with Iran, plans to reinforce its military presence in the Middle East by sending another few thousand forces to the region to step up missile defense and surveillance, according to U.S. officials.
The Trump administration, facing rising tensions with Iran, plans to reinforce its military presence in the Middle East...
24 May 2019

Chicago bank CEO Stephen Calk accused of bribing Manafort for administration job

Stephen Calk, a former economic adviser to President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was indicted Thursday for allegedly approving $16 million in loans to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in exchange for his help seeking a top post in the administration.
Stephen Calk, a former economic adviser to President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was indicted Thursday for...
24 May 2019

Facing U.S. sanctions, Iran abandons restraint but seeks to avoid war

Iran has made a dramatic shift in how it confronts the United States, abandoning a policy of restraint in recent weeks for a series of offensive actions aimed at pushing the White House to rethink its efforts at isolating Tehran, say diplomats and analysts. With the Trump administration tightening economic sanctions and intensifying military pressure, Iran is now seeking to highlight the costs it could also impose on the United States — for instance, by disrupting the world’s oil supply — without taking actions likely to trigger an all-out war.
Iran has made a dramatic shift in how it confronts the United States, abandoning a policy of restraint in recent weeks...
24 May 2019

Putin out-prepared Trump in key meeting, Rex Tillerson told House panel

Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Russian President Vladimir Putin out-prepared President Trump during a key meeting in Germany, putting the U.S. leader at a disadvantage during their first series of tête-à-têtes. The U.S. side anticipated a shorter meeting for exchanging courtesies, but it ballooned into a globe-spanning two-hour-plus session involving deliberations on a variety of geopolitical issues, said committee aides, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Tillerson’s seven-hour closed meeting with the committee.
Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Russian President...
23 May 2019

President cancels meeting with Pelosi and Schumer on infrastructure, holds impromptu presser

President Trump abruptly ended a meeting with Democratic leaders on Wednesday, saying he was unable to work with them on legislation following comments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that he was “engaged in a coverup.”
President Trump abruptly ended a meeting with Democratic leaders on Wednesday, saying he was unable to work with them on...
18 May 2019

Trump risks credibility with policy that veers between threats and inaction

Trump has said that there is no inconsistency in his administration’s messaging but that the image of incoherence can be useful. “At least Iran doesn’t know what to think, which at this point may very well be a good thing!” he tweeted Friday. But as he moves more deeply into the second half of his term with major foreign policy issues unresolved, Trump’s credibility has suffered, and his options have narrowed.
Trump has said that there is no inconsistency in his administration’s messaging but that the image of incoherence can...
16 May 2019

As U.S. pulls some workers from Iraq, allies challenge claim of rising threat from Iran

The State Department on Wednesday ordered all “non-emergency U.S. government employees” to leave Iraq amid soaring tensions with Iran, which backs proxy forces there.  It said in a statement that the announcement affects both the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Baghdad, and a consulate in the northern city of Irbil.
The State Department on Wednesday ordered all “non-emergency U.S. government employees” to leave Iraq amid...
14 May 2019

Pompeo crashes Brussels meeting of E.U. diplomats for Iran talks

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Brussels on Monday for an unplanned visit with European foreign ministers who fear that the United States and Iran are inching toward war. The last-minute decision, announced as he boarded a plane from the United States, set up a confrontation between Pompeo and European diplomats who have been scrambling to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Brussels on Monday for an unplanned visit with European foreign ministers who...

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14 May 2019

Two Saudi oil tankers, Norwegian ship apparently attacked near the Persian Gulf amid rising Iran tensions

Two Saudi Arabian oil tankers and a Norwegian ship were damaged over the weekend near the Persian Gulf in what Saudi Arabia claimed Monday was an “act of sabotage,” further heightening regional tensions with Iran.
Two Saudi Arabian oil tankers and a Norwegian ship were damaged over the weekend near the Persian Gulf in what Saudi...
7 May 2019

Trump pardons Michael Behenna, who was convicted of murdering an Iraqi prisoner

President Trump has pardoned Michael Behenna, a former Army lieutenant who served five years in prison for the murder of an Iraqi prisoner in 2008. Behenna, who was an Army Ranger in the 101st Airborne Division, was convicted of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone and sentenced to 25 years after killing Ali Mansur, a detainee and suspected al-Qaeda member. Behenna, who stripped Mansur naked, interrogated him without authorization and then shot him twice, has claimed repeatedly that he was acting in self-defense.
President Trump has pardoned Michael Behenna, a former Army lieutenant who served five years in prison for the murder of...
4 May 2019

Trump says he and Putin discussed outcome of Mueller probe as part of hour-long phone conversation

President Trump said he spoke with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin by phone for more than an hour Friday about topics including special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation but that he did not confront Putin about Russian interference in the 2016 election.
President Trump said he spoke with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin by phone for more than an hour Friday about topics...
2 May 2019

Mueller complained that Barr’s letter did not capture ‘context’ of Trump probe

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III wrote a letter in late March complaining to Attorney General William P. Barr that a four-page memo to Congress describing the principal conclusions of the investigation into President Trump “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of Mueller’s work, according to a copy of the letter reviewed Tuesday by The Washington Post.
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III wrote a letter in late March complaining to Attorney General William P. Barr that...
2 May 2019

Trump scrambles to salvage NAFTA rewrite, courting Democrats and trying to tamp down GOP fury

President Trump and senior White House officials are working to salvage political support for a revised trade pact with Mexico and Canada, stunned by bipartisan blowback that appeared likely to scuttle a key initiative. Several Democrats said Trump put on a charm offensive Tuesday during a White House meeting, soliciting their feedback on what he would need to do to win their support for an updated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
President Trump and senior White House officials are working to salvage political support for a revised trade pact with...
30 Apr 2019

Why Vermont’s single-payer effort failed and what Democrats can learn from it

Vermont’s foray into publicly financed health care — in a state that in many ways offered the optimal conditions — demonstrates the extraordinary difficulty of trying to convert progressives’ dream of a more just, efficient health system into reality.
Vermont’s foray into publicly financed health care — in a state that in many ways offered the optimal conditions —...
19 Apr 2019

Trump proposal would evict undocumented immigrants from public housing

The Trump administration is proposing to tighten regulations to prevent undocumented immigrants from accessing federally subsidized housing, a move that low-income housing advocates fear will keep immigrants who are legally entitled to such benefits from receiving housing help.
The Trump administration is proposing to tighten regulations to prevent undocumented immigrants from accessing federally...
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