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.
President Trump said on Monday that he will take action to limit the sale of so-called “bump stocks” rather than wait to see if Congress does so.
Congress should act, he said, but he added, “I don’t care if Congress does it. I’m writing it out myself, OK?”
Trump’s comments about the devices that can turn legal semi-automatic long guns into virtual machine guns came in remarks to a group of governors gathered at the White House. He had said that their top priority would be to discuss school security in the wake of the deadly school shootings in Parkland, Fla.
Until the recent downturn, the soaring U.S. stock market had been one of President Trump’s favorite topics.
He’s tweeted more than 60 times since his election about new highs and frequently touted the gains in public comments.
“The stock market is smashing one record after another, and has added more than $7 trillion in new wealth since my election,” he boasted last month to corporate and political leaders in Davos, Switzerland.
President Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto won’t be meeting any time soon, an administration official said Saturday, after the two disagreed sharply over Trump’s continued talk about Mexico paying for a border wall.
“The two leaders agreed now was not the immediate right time for a visit, but that they would have their teams continue to talk and work together,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak by name about the decision.
In a rare interview, President Trump called into Fox News on Saturday night to rail against Democrats, repeat his suggestion that teachers should be armed to prevent school shootings and to compliment his interviewer on her ratings.
"I did look at your ratings over the last couple of weeks, and you're doing fantastically,” the president told Jeanine Pirro, a Fox News host, as their friendly interview drew to a close.
Trump spent more time blasting his political opponents, accusing Democrats of trying to protect the violent gang MS-13 and abandoning a program that had protected some immigrants from deportation. (In fact, Trump last year announced he was phasing out the program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, leaving the next steps up to the Republican-controlled Congress.)