Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke walked into a big gathering of the National Petroleum Council on Monday already facing at least two government probes for his management of the department’s workforce of 70,000 — but that didn’t stop him from bashing his employees.
Zinke told the gathering that he figured upon taking his post that nearly a third of the people at the department were disloyal. The comment may have shed light on the secretary's reasons for directing department officials to reassign approximately 50 top managers in June, as soon as the move may have been legally permissible.
Several of the managers interviewed by The Times said they were puzzled by the directives, which sent them to corners of the agency where they had no expertise. At least one has filed a whistle-blower lawsuit.
President Donald Trump says he'll visit hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico next Tuesday.
Trump announced the visit after the administration came under criticism for its response to the damage on the island that is home to more than 3 million U.S. citizens. The island has been coping with shortages of food, drinking water, electricity and various forms of communication after Hurricane Maria struck earlier this month.
Trump said Tuesday is the earliest he can visit without disrupting recovery operations.
It is no secret that the bulk of Ivanka Trump's merchandise comes from China. But just which Chinese companies manufacture and export her handbags, shoes and clothes is more secret than ever, according to an Associated Press investigation.
In the months since she took her White House role, public information about the companies importing Ivanka Trump goods to the U.S. has become harder to find. Information that once routinely appeared in private trade tracking data has vanished, leaving the identities of companies involved in 90% of shipments unknown. Even less is known about her manufacturers. Trump's brand, which is still owned by the first daughter and presidential advisor, declined to disclose the information.
The deepening secrecy means it's unclear who Trump's company is doing business with in China, even as she and her husband, Jared Kushner, have emerged as important conduits for top Chinese officials in Washington. The lack of disclosure makes it difficult to understand whether foreign governments could use business ties with her brand to try to influence the White House — and whether her company stands to profit from foreign government subsidies that can destroy American jobs. Such questions are especially pronounced in China, where state-owned and state-subsidized companies dominate large swaths of commercial activity.
Longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone says there is "not one shred of evidence" that he was involved with Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Stone is defending himself in a lengthy statement released ahead of a closed-door appearance before the House intelligence committee Tuesday. He has also released a series of supporting documents, including direct messages he exchanged with Guccifer 2.0, the unnamed hacker who has taken credit for breaking into Democratic National Committee email servers.
"While some may label me a dirty trickster, the members of this committee could not point to any tactic that is outside the accepted norms of what political strategists and consultants do today. I do not engage in any illegal activities on behalf of my clients or the causes in which I support," Stone said in the prepared statement. "There is one 'trick' that is not in my bag and that is treason."
America once again finds itself where it has been so often since the day Donald Trump descended an escalator to a podium at the tower named for him to announce his presidential candidacy: pulled into the vortex of partisanship as a master publicist plays notes of division and dispute.
President Trump’s continued stoking of debate over football players kneeling during the national anthem — and the way the subject has dominated public discussion — raised anew the question that surrounds many Trump controversies: Is this part of a plan? Does he believe he gains political advantage from playing off national divisions on topics as fraught as race relations and patriotism? Or does the resulting chaos deliver personal satisfaction to a president who often appears bored with the more humdrum aspects of his post?
Eight months into Trump’s presidency, there’s no answer. But regardless of his motivation, Trump’s impact on the national psyche has been profound.
The Treasury secretary requested a military plane for his European honeymoon. The head of Health and Human Services ran up a six-figure tab flying around the country on private jets. The chief of the Environmental Protection Agency dinged taxpayers for repeated excursions back home to Oklahoma.
In normal times, Washington’s scandal machinery would be kicking into high gear. Mounting outrage — some real, some calculated — would lead to months of hearings and calls for criminal investigations.
The abundant wealth of two of the fancy fliers, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and Health Secretary Tom Price, would only amplify the criticism.
A recent report by the Los Angeles Times that aides had warned President Trump not to personally attack North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, was a "false narrative," the president's spokeswoman said on Monday.
But Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, did not deny the facts of the story. The Times reported on Friday that some top aides, including national security advisor H.R. McMaster, told Trump before his debut speech at the United Nations General Assembly Sept. 19 that attacking Kim Jong Un personally could escalate tensions and shut off any chance for negotiations over North Korea's nuclear missile program.
Trump ignored them. Some of the most incendiary lines from his speech -- including calling Kim “Rocket Man” on “a suicide mission” and threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea -- were not in a speech draft that several senior officials reviewed and vetted the day before the president spoke.
It's never appropriate for a country to shoot down another country's aircraft when it's over international waters. Our goal is still the same. We continue to seek the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.