A few weeks ago, when President Trump signed a directive clearing several hurdles out of the way of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, the White House touted a new requirement -- that the pipeline be made with American-produced steel.
The requirement to use domestic steel posed a potential conflict between the administration's populist agenda and it's pro-business stance. Apparently, business won.
He was a chief critic of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Now it appears Vice President Mike Pence did the same.
While serving as governor of Indiana, Pence used a private email account to conduct public business, according to a report from the Indianapolis Star.
Based on emails obtained by the newspaper, Pence, who served as governor from 2013 until January, communicated via his personal AOL account with top advisors concerning, among other things, security gates at the governor’s residence and his state’s response to terror attacks around the globe. Moreover, Pence’s email was hacked last summer, the newspaper reported.
U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions has recused himself from any probe into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russians during last year’s election. Now what?
President Trump still voices confidence in him.
“Jeff Sessions is an honest man. He did not say anything wrong,” Trump tweeted Thursday following developments that Sessions met with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., on a handful of occasions in 2016. (In January, during his confirmation hearing, Sessions had denied any contacts with Russians last year.)
Here are some of today’s headlines on Sessions and other matters:
Sessions recusal is an unfortunate surrender(TownHall)
While Democrats and Republicans alike on Capitol Hill called for Sessions to recuse himself, some conservatives have asked: If Sessions didn’t do anything wrong, why bother to recuse himself?
“Liberals were joined by pandering Republicans seeking to curry favor by staking out the seemingly reasonable middle ground of a mere harangue that Sessions recuse himself from further investigations into the matter,” writes the conservative columnist Mark Davis.
As intelligence officials have made clear that Russians interfered in the 2016 election, Congressional Democrats have vowed to press ahead with investigations.
Even so, writes Davis, for now “there is no evidence that Sessions or anyone with the Trump campaign engaged in any sinister collusion to facilitate Russian mischief toward our election.”
His administration under fire over Russian contacts, President Trump shot back at Democrats on Friday by posting an old photo of Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) having a doughnut and coffee with Russian President Vladimir Putin, labeling the senator a "total hypocrite" and somewhat jokingly calling for an investigation.
Above the smiling photo-op, Trump wrote: "We should start an immediate investigation into @SenSchumer and his ties to Russia and Putin. A total hypocrite!"
Trump, who rarely passes up an opportunity to punch back when under attack, was responding to Democrats' calls for an investigation into Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions' failure to tell Congress under oath about two meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions has significant influence on President Trump's administration, having placed former staffers and associates in key positions. Sessions, who shares Trump's hard-line view on immigration enforcement, was the first senator to endorse Trump's candidacy.
Here's where Sessions' former staffers and close associates have landed, including at some of the most senior levels of the White House.
The Trump administration’s plan for putting hundreds of thousands of recent migrants in the country illegally onto a fast track for deportation is likely to trigger the next major legal battle over immigration enforcement.
Judges have put on hold the president’s temporary ban on travel to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries. That executive order, as originally proposed, could have affected tens of thousands of travelers and U.S. visa holders.
But the administration’s efforts to step up immigration enforcement and streamline deportation — outlined in memos from Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly — could affect far more people, including potentially most of the estimated 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States.
Shortly after Jeff Sessions swore his oath as attorney general, former staffers gathered in the Oval Office alongside him and President Trump for a photo. Missing, one noticed, was Stephen Miller, who’d left Sessions’ Senate office to join Trump’s campaign and is now the president’s chief policy advisor.
Trump enthusiastically summoned Miller to join them, saying that without this aide who’d worked at Sessions’ side for years, he wouldn’t have been elected president.
That a former aide is now in a powerful West Wing position demonstrates how Sessions has so stocked Trump’s administration with allies and loyalists that his influence is unlikely to be diminished, even as he finds himself under fire for failing to disclose meetings last year with a Russian official. Sessions said Thursday that he would recuse himself from the investigation of Russian interference in the presidential election.
“During the course of the confirmation proceedings on my nomination to be Attorney General, I advised the Senate Judiciary Committee that ‘[i]f a specific matter arose where I believed my impartiality might reasonably be questioned, I would consult with Department ethics officials regarding the most appropriate way to proceed.’
“During the course of the last several weeks, I have met with the relevant senior career Department officials to discuss whether I should recuse myself from any matters arising from the campaigns for President of the United States.