Construction on the Dakota Access oil pipeline resumed early Thursday, less than 24 hours after the government granted a final easement allowing for completion of the disputed project.
Despite months of protests led by tribal groups and an expanded environmental review ordered in the final days of the Obama administration, the project is racing ahead at the urging of President Trump.
Four days after he was sworn into office, Trump, who has vowed to expand fossil fuel production and roll back environmental regulations, encouraged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to abandon the review ordered under Obama. On Tuesday, the Corps announced that it had done so. The next day, it granted the easement, which allows construction across Corps land and a dammed section of the Missouri River.
President Trump lashed out Thursday over claims that his pick for the Supreme Court criticized Trump's attacks on the judiciary.
Neil Gorsuch, Trump's high court nominee, told Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) that he was "disheartened" by the president's disparaging statements about the judiciary, the lawmaker told reporters after meeting Gorsuch on Capitol Hill a day earlier.
But Trump fired back, saying Blumenthal misrepresented Gorsuch's comments. The president also took aim at Blumenthal's credibility, bringing up a 7-year-old controversy over Blumenthal's military service.
Sen.Richard Blumenthal, who never fought in Vietnam when he said for years he had (major lie),now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?
On Thursday, President Trump sent a series of tweets castigating U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.). Throughout the campaign, Trump often used social media to hammer ... everyone? Well, at least, members of Congress.
While the conservative media covered Trump’s rant, in which he alluded to Blumenthal as a liar and McCain a loser, its coverage on Thursday focused largely on Congress, terrorism and polls.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer called Thursday for President Trump to withdraw the nomination of fast-food executive Andy Puzder to be Labor secretary, calling him "probably the most anti-worker" choice ever for the Cabinet position.
Democrats and workers rights groups have been sharply critical of Puzder, chief executive of the parent company of the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's chains, for his treatment of employees and opposition to a significant minimum wage increase among other views.
On top of that, Puzder admitted this week that he had employed a housekeeper for years who was in the U.S. illegally.
An ambitious California law intended to help create retirement security for low-income workers is in the crosshairs of the Trump-era Congress, which is moving to block the state and others from launching programs to automatically enroll millions of people in IRA-type savings plans.
The push is one of the most direct confrontations yet with California and other liberal states by a GOP-led Congress emboldened by President Trump’s election.
And it is intensifying the debate about whether conservatives who now control Washington will honor their pledge to respect states’ rights, even when states pursue policies out of step with the Republican agenda.
Of all his political gifts, President Trump’s knack for branding his ideas and his opponents with unforgettable slogans and monikers may be the one that inspires the most awe from allies and adversaries.
But the legal and political fight over Trump’s travel ban affecting seven Muslim-majority countries has demonstrated the potential downside to his flair for making his ideas stick in the public imagination. Even as his allies insist that he is not instituting a “Muslim ban,” Trump’s own attempts to sell the policy as just that may prove its undoing.
Unlike conventional politicians, who use careful language to leave themselves room to slip and slide away from their promises, Trump repeatedly employs the type of sizzling sales pitches he learned in real estate and media.
Labor secretary nominee Andy Puzder pledged that, if confirmed, he would divest his multimillion-dollar stake in CKE Restaurants Inc. — the fast food company he has headed since 2000 — and sell a wide array of other holdings, according to federal financial disclosure and ethics forms.
Puzder also promised not to participate in any matters as Labor secretary involving CKE, parent company of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s chains, unless he first received a waiver or authorization in conjunction with federal law.
The forms were filed with the Office of Government Ethics and obtained by The Times on Wednesday.
We got nearly 3,000 grades assessing Week 2 of his presidency (see above). As with Week 1, those responding were deeply split. The sign? Most graders gave him an A- or higher or an F. Very few readers have designated Trump's record as average (as in a C).
The lack of regard for facts, for science, for basic protections to our air and water should concern us all.
Laura Jernigan, Republican from California
I'm an adopted immigrant from a country with friendly relations with the United States, and for the first time, I am scared that I'll become unwelcome in the only country and community I've ever known.
Alexander Hagen, Democrat from Washington
Those who thought he was doing an A- or higher job more often identified themselves as independent than as a member of a party. Here's what one said:
The president is a leader and a manager — no matter what the opinion of others, he seems to have a conviction for how to make things better.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday granted the final easement needed for completion of the Dakota Access pipeline, clearing the way for construction to resume and stirring uncertainty about the historic protest that has tried to stop it.
“With this action, Dakota Access now has received all federal authorizations necessary to proceed expeditiously to complete construction of the pipeline,” Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, said late Wednesday.
The company has said the pipeline can be completed and operational within three months once construction resumes.
The Department of Defense is planning to lease space in Trump Tower, the 68-story New York building where President Trump has his home and business headquarters, and ethics experts are not happy about it.
"We shouldn’t be in a place where we have to put questions of conflict of interest against questions of national security," said Jordan Libowitz of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a Washington-based watchdog.
The leased space would be "necessary for the personnel and equipment who will support the POTUS at his residence in the building," Defense Department spokesman J.B. Bridle said in a statement released Tuesday.