President Trump quietly signed legislation Wednesday that imposes new sanctions on Russia and limits his ability to remove them, according to two White House aides.
Trump signed the bill without cameras or an immediate press release. He had opposed imposing new sanctions on Moscow but had little choice after a nearly unanimous Congress approved the bill, guaranteeing they would override a veto.
The bill, which also imposes new sanctions on Iran and North Korea, prevents American companies from investing in many energy projects that are funded by Russian government interests.
Trump administration officials continue to push the Senate to take another run at healthcare legislation, but on Monday senior Republican senators pushed back, making clear that they're done with the topic for now.
"There's just too much animosity and we're too divided on healthcare," Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), the head of the Senate Finance Committee, said in an interview with Reuters.
"I think we ought to acknowledge that we can come back to healthcare afterward, but we need to move ahead on tax reform," Hatch said.
President Trump has called Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions "beleaguered" and even "VERY weak," but Sessions seemed to get good news from the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, on Monday.
Trump has "100% confidence" in all of his Cabinet secretaries, Sanders said in response to a question about Sessions' job status during the daily White House briefing.
Last week, when speculation about Sessions was rife, Sanders repeatedly declined opportunities to provide assurances that the attorney general enjoyed the president's full confidence. Trump himself said "time will tell" when he was asked last week about Sessions.
Reeling from the failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Trump now threatens to block federal funding that lawmakers and their staff rely on to help buy health insurance.
Trump's threats are not empty. The administration could simply stop the payments -- which are provided to Capitol Hill lawmakers and staff much the way many employers help pay employees' monthly insurance premiums -- by dashing off new federal regulation.
But the easy attack on lawmakers skims over what many say was a complicated, but fair-minded, compromise made during the Obamacare debates several years ago.
The Trump administration has hit Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with financial sanctions.
The move comes after Venezuela held a weekend election that will give Maduro's ruling party virtually unlimited power in the South American country.
The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control announced the sanctions against Maduro in a brief statement on Monday, a day after the Venezuelan vote to elect a constituent assembly that will rewrite the constitution. A longer explanation from the White House was also expected.
Anthony Scaramucci, the brash New Yorker who was announced little more than a week ago as President Trump's White House communications director, was ousted Monday before he had even officially taken the job.
President Trump swore in his new chief of staff, John F. Kelly, on Monday morning, formalizing a shake-up in his top ranks that was announced Friday evening with word of the resignation of Reince Priebus.
“We look forward to - if it’s possible - an even better job as chief of staff,” Trump said to Kelly, formerly the secretary of homeland security.
Hosts of Southern California’s “Morning Answer” radio show were wrapping up a two-hour live broadcast from a white tent just outside the West Wing last week and marveling at their access to Cabinet secretaries and prominent administration figures.
“If you’re a Trumpkin,” host Brian Whitman told his listeners on AM 870, “this is like fantasy camp.”
The White House’s daylong hospitality for Salem Radio Network, a nationwide chain of Christian and conservative stations, underscored President Trump’s continued courtship of — and increased dependence on — core supporters as he confronts a stalled agenda and increasingly perilous investigations into whether his campaign colluded with Russia and he subsequently sought to obstruct the inquiries.