President Trump on Thursday renewed his widely condemned claim that people protesting white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., last month shared equal blame for the violence with the neo-Nazi groups who rallied there against the town's removal of a Confederate statue.
There are some "pretty bad dudes on the other side also," Trump told reporters on Air Force One, referring to anti-fascist demonstrators who faced-off with white supremacists.
Trump's revival of the controversy was all the more surprising given his context: He was describing his meeting at the White House on Wednesday with Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the Senate's only black Republican, who confronted the president about his post-Charlottesville remarks.
President Trump told Florida hurricane victims his administration is “there for you 100%” as officials moved urgently to safeguard the state’s vulnerable elderly and restore power to millions of homes and businesses still without electricity.
The president and First Lady Melania Trump arrived aboard Air Force One in Fort Myers on the peninsula’s southwestern Gulf coast, then traveled by helicopter to Naples, 40 miles away. It was Trump’s third disaster-zone visit in less than three weeks.
In a Naples mobile home park, not far from where then-Hurricane Irma made its second landfall in Florida, Trump shook hands with residents, quizzed people about how they were faring and joined volunteers serving lunch.
In the last day,President Trump has alienated many conservatives — including some of his most prominent supporters — by working with Democrats and sowing confusion about where he stands on illegal immigration.
Throughout the campaign, Trump energized his base with promises that he would build a massive wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and that Mexico would pay for it.
This month, he delighted his most ardent backers by announcing that he was canceling the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which was created by President Obama and gives legal residence to 800,000 young people — known as "Dreamers" — who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
President Trump called Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Thursday to offer condolences for last week's magnitude 8.1 earthquake, which toppled hundreds of buildings and killed dozens of people in southern Mexico.
Speaking to reporters on Air Force One after surveying damage from Hurricane Irma in Florida, Trump said he had just "had a good talk" with the Mexican leader.
Trump said it had been "impossible to reach" Peña Nieto for days because the Mexican president was in a remote part of the country with a bad phone connection.
Spoke to President of Mexico to give condolences on terrible earthquake. Unable to reach for 3 days b/c of his cell phone reception at site.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson added his voice Thursday to Trump administration skepticism of the nuclear disarmament deal with Iran, a month ahead of a congressional deadline for the White House to certify Tehran's compliance.
The administration separately extended waivers on economic sanctions against Iran, in keeping with another deadline. That means key sanctions that were lifted in exchange for Iran's agreement to give up its nuclear program remain suspended.
Iran has met its obligations so far under the 2015 accord, according to the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations watchdog agency assigned to monitor the deal.
President Trump confirmed Thursday that his deal with Democrats could clear the way for legislation to protect "Dreamers" before funding for a border wall is approved.
"DACA now and the wall very soon, but the wall will happen," Trump said, speaking to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House as he returned from seeing hurricane damage in Florida.
Trump's description largely tracks with how House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) described the outcome of their Wednesday night dinner with the president, saying they had reached an agreement that included more funding for border security but not money for Trump's promised border wall.
A U.S. citizen who allegedly fought for Islamic State has surrendered to American-backed forces in Syria and is in U.S. custody, according to the Pentagon, a rare case of an American captured on the battlefield.
U.S. officials declined to publicly identity the American or say where he surrendered or under what circumstances, but they described him as a "known enemy combatant."
“The U.S. citizen is being legally detained by Department of Defense personnel as a known enemy combatant,” Maj. Earl Brown, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East.
As President Trump is castigated by some conservatives over his negotiations with congressional Democrats on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the president has at least one supporter on the far-right: former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
On Thursday, Arpaio, who last month received a presidential pardon from Trump, said he supports the president on whatever he chooses to do on the Obama Administration program that shields from deportation nearly 800,000 young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
“Whatever final policy he supports, I’ll also support. He’s very intelligent. He cuts deals,” Arpaio, speaking by telephone from his home in the Phoenix suburbs, said.
An inspector general is looking into Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin’s request for a U.S. military plane for his European honeymoon in August, triggering new questions about his use of government aircraft following a controversial trip with his wife to Kentucky during the solar eclipse.
The Treasury Department’s inspector general is “looking at all requests for and use of government aircraft by the secretary” as part of an inquiry that began after Mnuchin’s Kentucky trip last month, Rich Delmar, counsel to the inspector general, said Thursday.
Mnuchin requested a military jet for the couple’s honeymoon in Scotland, France and Italy because he is a member of the National Security Council and needed access to secure communications during the trip, according to a Treasury statement.
The next day, at Pelosi’s behest, the president tweeted reassurance to “Dreamers” — immigrants brought to America illegally as children — that they needn’t worry about deportation during the six months Congress works to resolve their ambiguous state.