1213 posts
An anti-U.S. protest in Tehran, Iran.
An anti-U.S. protest in Tehran, Iran. (AFP / Getty Images)

The Trump administration is ratcheting up sanctions on Iran following the president’s withdrawal from the 2015 international accord that curbed Tehran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons.

The Treasury Department on Thursday blacklisted two individuals and five companies in the Middle East, Africa and Europe that it said were financing the Iran-backed Hezbollah militant group based in Lebanon.

The sanctions mean any assets that the persons or companies might have in the United States or in U.S. institutions will be frozen, and Americans cannot do business with the targets.

  • White House
  • North Korea
President Trump with his new national security advisor, John Bolton, at the White House last month.
President Trump with his new national security advisor, John Bolton, at the White House last month. (Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump distanced himself Thursday from a controversial remark made by his national security advisor, John Bolton, that figured in North Korea’s threat to cancel the summit meeting planned for June, and said preparations for the meeting were continuing.

Trump also implied that China’s President Xi Jinping may be trying to influence the North Koreans to take a harder line with the U.S., perhaps in response to U.S. pressure on trade. 

Bolton recently suggested that North Korea should follow the model of Libya, which over a decade ago abandoned its effort to build nuclear weapons. The example was sure to anger North Korean officials, who know that Libya’s leader, Moammar Kadafi, lost his job and his life a few years after he gave up his nuclear program.

  • White House
  • Russia
(Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)

President Trump claimed again in a tweet on Thursday that his campaign was “spied on” by the FBI, drawing a comparison with the Watergate break-in.

The latest tweet builds on a claim Trump made previously, without evidence, that President Obama had ordered his phones tapped.

In this case, Trump is quoting a former federal prosecutor and columnist for the conservative magazine National Review, Andrew McCarthy, whose appearance on “Fox & Friends” on Thursday morning follows a lengthy New York Times report about the Russia investigation.

  • White House
(Associated Press)

In an apparent swipe at President Trump, his fired secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, warned Wednesday that “going wobbly” on truth endangers American democracy.

Tillerson, a former Texas oil executive who Trump dismissed in March via Twitter, delivered the commencement address at the Virginia Military Institute.

"If we do not as Americans confront the crisis of ethics and integrity in our society among our leaders in both public and private sector, and regrettably at times in the nonprofit sector,” Tillerson told the graduates, “then American democracy as we know it is entering its twilight years."

The Senate on Wednesday narrowly advanced a Democratic-led attempt to retain net neutrality regulations, the first step in a long shot bid to keep the online traffic rules on the federal books before their repeal takes effect in June.

(Alex Wong / Getty Images)

The Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday recommended that the full Senate confirm President Trump's nominee to lead the CIA. 

The panel voted 10-5 in favor of Gina Haspel in a closed session. 

Haspel had already picked up Democratic support and appears on a path to confirmation. The full Senate is expected to vote on her nomination as early as this week. 

Sen. Mark Warner, left, is the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Sen. Mark Warner, left, is the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. (Shawn Thew / European Pressphoto Agency)

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, announced Tuesday that he’ll support Gina Haspel’s nomination as CIA director, a decision that will likely assure her confirmation.

Haspel has been a controversial choice, largely because she once ran a secret prison in Thailand where terrorism suspects were waterboarded after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. 

Warner said deciding how to vote on Haspel was a “difficult decision,” but he appreciated her recent letter that included more definitive criticism of the CIA’s interrogation program, which was ended years ago. 


Two Federal Reserve nominees on Tuesday slammed Wells Fargo & Co., for its consumer abuses and indicated that they would have to see significant improvements before voting to lift a cap on the San Francisco bank’s growth.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, denied assertions Tuesday that deadly violence on the Gaza Strip border with Israel was motivated by the controversial transfer of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem.

Israeli forces opened fire on angry stone-throwing Palestinian protesters on Monday, killing more than 50 and wounding hundreds. The violence occurred as the U.S. held an elaborate ceremony in Jerusalem inaugurating the embassy, with a high-level American delegation in attendance.

The Palestinians said they were demonstrating against the embassy and the dire conditions they are living under in Gaza, which is controlled by the militant group Hamas.