President Trump’s scathing criticisms have been “kind of hurtful,” Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions said Thursday, even as he again signaled that he wants to stay on the job.
“He wants all of us to do our job, and that’s what I intend to do,” Sessions said in an interview with Tucker Carlson of Fox News.
Separately, Sessions told the Associated Press that "it hasn’t been my best week … for my relationship with the president.” He made the comment in El Salvador, during a visit to highlight joint efforts to take on the MS-13 gang.
President Trump and his aides love to complain about leaks from within the White House. But on Thursday, the infighting was out in the open.
The incoming communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, in a morning phone call broadcast on CNN, compared the West Wing to a fish that “stinks from the head down,” implying that White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is responsible for at least some of the leaks.
Later, Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to come to Priebus's defense and say whether Trump has full confidence in his chief of staff.
Senate Democrats on Thursday criticized the financial industry backgrounds of President Trump’s nominees for two key banking regulatory positions, arguing they would not protect the interests of average Americans.
Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and others sharply questioned Joseph Otting, the former chief executive of Pasadena’s OneWest Bank, and investment fund manager Randal Quarles during a confirmation hearing by the Senate Banking Committee.
Trump nominated Otting to be the comptroller of the currency, a powerful regulator of national banks. Quarles has been tapped to be the Federal Reserve’s vice chairman for supervision, who is in charge of the Fed’s oversight of the nation’s largest bank holding companies and other regulatory efforts.
A prominent Republican Senator issued a blunt warning to President Trump not to interfere with the Russia investigation, saying any effort to get rid of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III could be “the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters Thursday that “there will be holy hell to pay” if Trump fires Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, a favorite of conservatives who represented Alabama in the Senate for 20 years.
Graham's warning was the sternest yet from Senate Republicans to Trump about the potential consequences of firing either Sessions or Mueller.
The news site reports that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Wednesday called Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan with a warning that Murkowski’s vote “had put Alaska's future with the administration in jeopardy.”
Iran responded angrily Thursday to reports that the Trump administration would push for inspections of military facilities to ensure Tehran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal.
“Iran will not succumb to further pressure,” Hamid Reza Taraghi, a hard-line analyst who is close to Iran’s leadership, told The Times.
Taraghi did not say whether Iran would refuse inspectors access to military facilities but insisted the Islamic Republic was complying with the agreement, which required Iran to shelve its nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
The nation’s senior military officer said Thursday that there will be “no modifications” to Pentagon policies for now despite President Trump social media posts declaring a ban on transgender troops in uniform.
Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in a memo to commanders and senior enlisted leaders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines that the military will continue to "treat all of our personnel with respect."
Dunford said Pentagon policy on transgender troops would not change until the White House has issued Trump’s directive to Secretary of Defense James Mattis through formal channels — not on Twitter — and the secretary’s office issues guidance on implementation to the service chiefs. It’s unclear when that might happen.
When President Trump campaigned this spring at the Hermitage, the home of Andrew Jackson, one part of his predecessor’s approach got a special endorsement.
“It was during the Revolution that Jackson first confronted and defied an arrogant elite. Does that sound familiar?" Trump asked to laughs from his audience.
When Trump ally and National Rifle Assn. President Wayne LaPierre teed off six weeks later on America’s greatest domestic threats, he cited not homegrown terrorists but what he termed “the three most dangerous voices in America: academic elites, political elites, and media elites.”
White House staffers continued their angry campaign against leaks -- and each other -- as top advisor Kellyanne Conway used vivid language in a Fox interview Thursday to denounce colleagues who are "using the press to shiv each other in the ribs."
The comments came shortly after Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director, delivered his own attack on leakers -- all but blaming Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff -- in an interview on CNN.
If the Trump White House at times resembles a reality show, cable television has become the confessional booth where the players vent their anger at each other. That dynamic was on vivid display Thursday morning.
Kellyanne Conway: "Now, there are leaks, and then there are people using the press to shiv each other in the ribs. That’s different." (Fox)