White House spokesman Sean Spicer on the alleged involvement of British spies in Trump wiretapping.(Sign up for our free video newsletter here http://bit.ly/2n6VKPR)
White House officials scrambled to explain themselves Friday after an unusual press briefing a day earlier prompted a diplomatic flap with Britain, one of the United States' closest allies.
It began Thursday when Press Secretary Sean Spicer read a series of news stories from the White House briefing room in an attempt to defend President Trump's unsubstantiated claim that President Obama wiretapped him during the campaign. One was an allegation from a Fox News commentator, Andrew Napolitano, that Obama used British spies to snoop on Trump.
In the flurry of news on his tax returns, his troubled healthcare plan and his suspicion that his phones were bugged, it was easy to miss one of President Trump’s most startling comments Wednesday night on Fox News.
Trump was griping about the coverage he gets on every major television network except right-leaning Fox News, and he singled out NBC as a prime offender. After all the money that NBC made on his reality-TV franchise, Trump suggested, it owed him more favorable coverage of his presidency.
“I made a fortune for NBC with ‘The Apprentice,’” he told Fox anchor Tucker Carlson. “I had a top show where they were doing horribly, and I had one of the most successful reality shows of all time. And I was on for 14 seasons. And you see what happened when I’m not on. You saw what happened to the show was a disaster. I was very good to NBC, and they are despicable — they’re despicable in their coverage.”
The U.S. military conducted an airstrike on a building in northern Syria targeting Al Qaeda militants and is investigating reports that civilians were killed or injured in a nearby mosque.
U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, said in a statement late Thursday that the bombing raid hit a “meeting location” in Syria’s Idlib province and left “several terrorists” dead.
Col. John Thomas, spokesman for the command, said the airstrike destroyed a building about 50 feet from the mosque while aerial photos showed the mosque was still standing.
It’s a make-or-break moment in House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s crusade to pass the GOP’s Obamacare replacement amid growing opposition from critics in his own party who see a chance to topple not only the bill but perhaps his young speakership as well.
No other Republican has staked his political capital on passage of the House GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act as much as Ryan. He’s hawked the plan almost daily on television and radio, using a wonkish PowerPoint demonstration, and he’s worked furiously to drum up support in Congress and the White House.
“People say it’s like herding cats. It’s not herding cats. It’s herding ravenous tigers,” said Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), a conservative who has yet to give his support to the House bill.
Neel Kashkari, the only Federal Reserve policymaker to vote against an interest rate hike this week, said he balked because the economy’s not ready for it.
The president of the Fed’s Minneapolis regional bank, explained in an essay Friday that inflation still hasn’t hit the central bank’s 2% annual target, the job market has room to improve and financial market assumptions about stimulus policies from the Trump administration are premature.
“Financial markets are good at some things, but, in my view, notoriously bad at forecasting political outcomes,” said Kashkari, who knows politics after running unsuccessfully for California governor in 2014 and administering the federal government’s bank bailout fund during the 2008 financial crisis.
For all of President Trump's promises to strengthen America's economy, his first proposed budget would make significant cuts for research and development that analysts say in the long run most likely would hurt U.S. competitiveness and slow economic growth.
While Trump's 2018 budget blueprint released Thursday would sharply boost federal defense spending by $54 billion, that would be offset by slashing funding for the National Institutes of Health — a center of world-class medical research — and education and science programs at the Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and other organizations.
The budget proposes to streamline functions, eliminate ineffective programs and shift the financial burden to states and the private sector. But analysts say that shrinking federal support for things like basic research is unlikely to be made up by others, and could in fact further reduce the nation's research and development spending because universities and private companies often rely on and build upon the groundwork made by government scientists.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said his first visit to Asia was to "exchange views on a new approach" to curbing North Korea's nuclear program. (March 17, 2017)
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday that “all options” were available to deal with North Korea’s emerging nuclear threat, including a militarily strike if necessary to safeguard the region and American forces stationed here.
“Certainly we do not want for things to get to a military conflict,” Tillerson told reporters here. “We’ve been quite clear on that in our communications. But obviously if North Korea takes actions that threaten the South Korean forces or our own forces, then that will be met with an appropriate response.
“Let me very clear: The policy of strategic patience has ended,” he said, referring to the Obama administration's policy of trying to wait out the North Korean regime while pressing it with economic sanctions and covert actions.
Buried in President Trump's budget proposal released Thursday was an opening salvo against so-called sanctuary cities, local jurisdictions he promised to punish for refusing to cooperate with deportation officers.
Trump wants to slash $210 million in federal reimbursements to state and local jails that hold immigrants convicted of crimes while in the country illegally. The Trump administration called the program "poorly targeted," adding that two-thirds of the money goes to only a handful of states, including California and Illinois, “for the cost of incarcerating certain illegal criminal aliens."
The money, awarded by the Department of Justice, can make up a sizable portion of budgets for state and local police and sheriff’s departments.
When President Trump issued his first travel ban on citizens from several Muslim-majority countries, the stated premise was simple: Give the government 90 days to review its vetting procedures to reduce the chances that a terrorist could get a U.S. visa.
That was 48 days ago.
With the executive order blocked by the courts — and judges now halting a revised order that was supposed to take effect Thursday — the legal battle over the constitutionality of the ban stretches on. Trump has vowed to pursue it all the way to the Supreme Court.
Israel would be the only country to escape the Trump administration's proposed deep cuts in foreign aid, the State Department said Thursday.
The budget plan from the White House calls for slashing the State Department's $50 billion budget by about 28%, cuts that would mostly target climate change, democracy promotion and health programs, and numerous foreign aid projects.
Congress is highly unlikely to approve the White House proposal, however, so the impact is still unknown.