White House Communications Director Hope Hicks declined Tuesday to answer questions from the House Intelligence Committee about her work since President Trump was inaugurated.
That means Hicks wouldn’t talk about the drafting of a controversial statement about a meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son, and a Russian lawyer offering political dirt on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign.
The statement, issued last July when news of the June 2016 meeting came to light, falsely said the meeting was about adoption policies.
Adm. Mike Rogers, who leads the U.S. Cyber Command, said Tuesday that the United States hasn’t done enough to deter Russian meddling in national politics, even as he acknowledged that President Trump hasn’t directed cybersecurity officials to take more aggressive offensive actions against Moscow.
“I believe that President Putin has clearly come to the conclusion that, there’s little price to pay here and therefore I can continue this activity,” Rogers told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
His testimony was a reminder of the gap between the president, who has downplayed Russian interference, and his national security advisors, who have described it as an ongoing threat.
New Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell said Tuesday that the central bank will try to balance economic growth with the potential for “an overheated economy” now that “fiscal policy is becoming more stimulative” with tax cuts and increased federal spending.
President Trump is naming former digital advisor Brad Parscale as campaign manager of his 2020 reelection campaign.
A person familiar with the announcement confirms Parscale's selection on the condition of anonymity because the person was unauthorized to publicly discuss the news. The conservative Drudge Report website first reported his selection.
Trump has left little doubt about his intentions to seek reelection. He filed the paperwork to organize his reelection committee on the same day as his inauguration, held his first 2020 campaign rally on Feb. 18 in Florida, and has mused publicly about would-be Democratic challengers.
The United States’ top diplomat handling the Korean peninsula — a 30-year foreign-policy veteran — has abruptly resigned, citing personal reasons, the State Department said Tuesday.
Joseph Yun, special representative for North Korean policy and regarded a tireless negotiator, informed the State Department of his decision, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “reluctantly accepted” the resignation, department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
Nauert said that despite the loss of a key point man, and while there is still no U.S. ambassador to South Korea or confirmed assistant secretary of State for the region, “our diplomatic efforts regarding North Korea will continue based on our maximum pressure campaign to isolate” the government of leader Kim Jong Un.
The fractious House Intelligence Committee gathered behind closed doors on Tuesday to interview Hope Hicks, President Trump’s communications director and one of his closest and longest-serving aides.
One likely area of interest: Hicks was reportedly involved in drafting an inaccurate statement for reporters about a meeting between a Russian lawyer offering dirt on Hillary Clinton and top Trump advisors — son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and campaign chief Paul Manafort — during the 2016 campaign.
It’s unclear how much Hicks will be willing to divulge about her conversations involving the president. Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House strategist, would answer only preselected questions this month and claimed other inquiries would infringe upon executive privilege, referring to the president’s right to protect confidential discussions or material.
The top human rights official for the United Nations chose unusually tough language Monday to criticize what he sees as a sharp erosion in civil liberties in Poland and Hungary.
"Xenophobes and racists in Europe are casting off any sense of embarrassment,” said the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Hussein, singling out Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
While Hungary and Poland have drawn criticism for antidemocratic actions for some time, two recent statements from their leaders seemed to have provoked Hussein to speak out. Orban, in a speech on Feb. 6, said his country did not want its “color” to be diluted by immigrants. Morawiecki, commenting on a controversial Polish law that criminalizes some language about the Holocaust, spoke of Jewish “perpetrators” along with Nazis — “a disgraceful calumny,” Hussein said.