As it struggles for ways to thwart North Korea's nuclear ambitions, the Trump administration Thursday slapped additional economic sanctions on Pyonyang's military, coal suppliers and financial interests.
The Department of Treasury said it was blacklisting six companies and three individuals for contributing to North Korea’s "development of weapons of mass destruction" and its continued violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The sanctions bar the companies and individuals from doing business with American citizens, and any assets they have in the United States or under U.S. control would be frozen.
President Trump is set to announce on Thursday whether the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, an international deal forged among 195 countries to, among other things, gradually reduce emissions that cause climate change.
Should the United States exit the agreement -- signed under the Obama administration -- it would join Syria, which is entering its sixth year of a civil war, and Nicaragua as the only countries not signed onto the climate accord.
Former FBI Director James B. Comey is set to testify June 8 before the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian activities during last year's election.
The committee said Thursday that Comey would testify in an open session, which would be followed by a closed session.
The committee's Republican chairman and senior Democrat have said members want to hear from Comey on his role in the development of the U.S. intelligence agencies' assessment that Russia interfered in last year's election.
John Dean is a connoisseur of coverups, a savant of scandal, so he can more than imagine what it’s like inside the Trump White House right now.
“It’s a nightmare,” he said, presiding in a high-backed leather wing chair off the lobby of the Beverly Hills Hotel. Not just for those in the headlines — political strategist Steve Bannon, jack-of-many-duties Jared Kushner — but for their unsung assistants and secretaries as well.
“They don’t know what their jeopardy is. They don’t know what they’re looking at. They don’t know if they’re a part of a conspiracy that might unfold. They don’t know whether to hire lawyers or not, how they’re going to pay for them if they do,” Dean said in a crisp law-counsel cadence. “It’s an unpleasant place.”
Michael Catanzaro, a former oil and gas lobbyist, can help shape the Trump administration's energy policies. Shahira Knight can weigh in on retirement matters even though she previously worked for Fidelity, a financial company specializing in retirement services.
The White House late Wednesday posted on its website ethics waivers granted to four ex-lobbyists and numerous others who have joined government. In all, the White House has granted 14 ethics waivers.
The disclosures come after a tussle between the Office of Government Ethics and White House lawyers. Other executive branch agencies and departments, such as Treasury, State and Defense, are expected to share similar information with OGE by Thursday. The Office of Management and Budget responded to the OGE's request for data last week by saying it had issued zero waivers.
Companies accelerated their hiring last month, adding a robust 253,000 net new jobs in a sign the labor market remains healthy and the economy is strengthening after a weak winter.
The private-sector job creation figures reported Thursday by payroll firm Automatic Data Processing far exceeded analyst expectations and was well above the downwardly revised 174,000 net new positions added in April.
“Job growth is rip-roaring,” declared Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, which assists ADP in preparing its report.
With an eye toward a potential peace deal, President Trump issued a wavier Thursday that delays moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem for at least six months, a decision in keeping with previous administrations.
During the presidential campaign, Trump had vowed to swiftly move the embassy from Tel Aviv, where it has always been located, to Jerusalem. Other candidates have made the same promise, but no president has ever followed through.
Israel considers Jerusalem its capital but the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem for their capital in a future state. No country keeps its embassy in Jerusalem because of the dispute.