The Trump administration is brushing off fresh criticism from the mayor of San Juan over the federal government’s recovery effort in hurricane-battered Puerto Rico.
William “Brock” Long, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on Sunday dismissed the latest pleas for urgent assistance from the mayor, Carmen Yulin Cruz, as “political noise.”
“We filtered out the mayor a long time ago,” Long said on ABC’s “This Week” when asked about a pair of early morning tweets from Cruz, in which she said she had unsuccessfully sought help from FEMA after the power failed at a major hospital.
Power collapses in San Juan hospital with 2 patients being transferred out. Have requested support from @FEMA_Brock. NOTHING! @POTUS
President Trump took a swipe at Harvey Weinstein on Saturday evening, saying he was “not at all surprised” by revelations that the Hollywood movie mogul has repeatedly paid to settle charges of sexual harassment.
The timing of Trump’s remarks to White House reporters, in an exchange as he left for a Republican fundraiser in North Carolina, was notable: They came on the anniversary of the preelection release of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape from 2005, in which he bragged in vulgar terms about assaulting women by grabbing them by the genitals.
Trump shrugged off a question about the timing of his Weinstein remarks: “That’s locker room talk,” he said, according to a press pool report, echoing the defense he made at the time to multiple women's allegations that he had harassed them sexually.
President Trump on Saturday sent new tweets hinting at military action against North Korea, keeping alive tensions with the isolated nation and distancing himself further from his top aides who favor diplomacy.
"Only one thing will work" in dealing with nuclear-armed North Korea, the president wrote -- without further clarification.
"Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid," he said. It was not clear what money he was talking about.
With Republican having failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, at least for now, President Trump on Saturday confirmed he'd once again opened the door to a deal with Democrats. They remain wary, at best.
“I called Chuck Schumer yesterday to see if the Dems want to do a great HealthCare Bill,” Trump tweeted on Saturday morning, speaking of the Senate Democratic leader and fellow New Yorker. “ObamaCare is badly broken, big premiums. Who knows!”
The president's message, just before he headed for his Virginia golf club, reflected his continued frustration with his own party’s failures to keep its seven-year-old vow to repeal President Obama's signature domestic achievement. He has flirted with the idea of a deal with Democrats before, only to return to Republicans' position that the law has to be scrapped.
A Canadian citizen inspired by Islamic State to create “the next 9/11” and two other men plotted to attack Times Square and the New York City subway system with bombs and a shooting rampage during the Muslim holiday of Ramadan last year, according to federal charges unsealed Friday.
Abdulrahman El-Bahnasawy, 19, of Mississauga, Canada, bought bomb-making materials and studied maps of the subway system, but the planned attacks were thwarted by an undercover FBI agent who was posing online as an Islamic State sympathizer, the charges said.
El-Bahnasawy was arrested in May 2016 and has already pleaded guilty.
On the same day his administration stopped accepting applications from so-called Dreamers for protection from deportation, President Trump on Friday welcomed Latino American leaders to the White House to honor their cultural heritage in observance of Hispanic Heritage Month.
In rambling remarks, Trump said the United States remains "a beacon" to people of other nations and lauded young attendees for the contributions they would make to the nation -- notes at odds with his restrictive immigration talk and policies, including the phase-out of the Deferred Action for Childhoood Arrivals program.
Trump did not mention his decision, which took effect at midnight, to shut down DACA. Since 2012, the Obama-era program has given temporary legal status, for two years at a time, to some 800,000 people brought to the country illegally as children.
The Las Vegas massacre has breached Republicans' solid opposition to additional gun restrictions, prompting party leaders as well as the National Rifle Assn. to say they will consider placing limits on so-called bump stocks, devices that can turn assault rifles into virtual machine guns.
The White House signaled a willingness Thursday to consider a ban, and the NRA, which has powerful sway among Republicans, said it could back a limit on bump stocks — but as a federal regulation, not a law.
“The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semiautomatic rifles to function like fully automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations,” the group said.
A sweeping new statement by the Justice Department calls religious freedom a “fundamental right of paramount importance,” placing the Trump administration squarely on the side of religious conservatives in America’s culture wars.
The statement by Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, with a long legal analysis by the department’s lawyers, is intended to be guidance to the rest of the federal government on how to decide conflicts involving declarations of religious belief – for example, the recent case involving a baker who refused to make a cake for a gay couple's wedding. The Justice Department already has intervened in that case on the side of the baker.
The statement released Friday makes clear that, in Sessions’ view, the benefit of the doubt should go to the person declaring a religious belief over those claiming illegal discrimination.