President Trump on Monday blamed the Cuban government for a mysterious series of possible sonic attacks on U.S. diplomatic personnel assigned to Havana.
Until now, U.S. officials have said they believed Cuba neglected its duty to protect foreign diplomats. But the administration had not blamed the Cuban government for the attacks. Administration officials had said they did not know who was responsible and that Havana was cooperating in an investigation.
"I believe Cuba’s responsible," Trump said in response to a reporter's question at a news conference in the Rose Garden Monday. "It’s a very unusual attack, you know.”
President Trump said Monday he can understand why his former top advisor Steve Bannon called for "a season of war" on the GOP establishment.
"I’m not going to blame myself. I’ll be honest, they are not getting the job done," Trump told reporters in the White House before a scheduled lunch with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Vice President Mike Pence.
"I can understand where Steve Bannon is coming from," Trump said.
Every morning is filled with anxiety in this hardscrabble town so intertwined with the fortunes of its hulking coal power plant that a drawing of the facility is emblazoned on the community’s police force emblem.
Locals look out their windows to see if there are clouds drifting from its massive smokestacks, indicating the plant is still running. If they don’t see any, they wonder if plant owners have thrown in the towel for good.
“Everyone gets concerned when they wake up and don’t see smoke coming out,” said Rob Nymick, manager of the 1,700-resident borough that he says will be economically “crushed” if the plant goes dark.
President Trump will meet with the controversial president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, during an upcoming tour of Asia, the White House announced Monday.
Duterte has been accused of egregious human rights abuse in his declared war on drug traffickers, which activists and others have blamed for the slaying of thousands of people, many of them innocent.
Trump has never condemned Duterte. In April, in what White House officials described as a "warm" and "very friendly" telephone call, Trump told Duterte he was doing a "great job," according to the Philippine government's readout of the conversation.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell heads to lunch Monday with President Trump at the White House after the president kicked some of the most substantive issues before the administration over to Congress for it to decide on.
Congress has already been struggling, after its failure to repeal Obamacare, to make gains on the next GOP priority -- tax cuts.
But Trump just loaded up the legislative agenda with key issues needing decisions -- on immigration law changes to protect young immigrant "Dreamers" from deportation, the future of the nuclear nonproliferation deal with Iran, and what to do with the Affordable Care Act after Trump cut insurance subsidies that help low-income Americans. Congress is now puzzling over how to meet a year-end deadline to act on issues that have been difficult to resolve for decades.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered up a notable response Sunday to a leading GOP senator’s assertion that President Trump was trying to “publicly castrate” the secretary by undercutting his diplomacy.
“I checked – I’m fully intact,” Tillerson deadpanned, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The notion of Trump running roughshod over the nation’s top diplomat is apparently a sensitive one inside the White House, with Tillerson and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley making the news-talk show rounds Sunday to push back against reports of a deteriorating relationship between the two.
Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, warned Sunday that President Trump’s efforts to weaken the 2015 nuclear agreement will broadly harm U.S. international credibility.
In an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Zarif suggested that Washington might ending up suffering more adverse consequences than Iran as a result of Trump’s steps last week against the accord between Tehran and six world powers, including the United States.
“Nobody else will trust any U.S. administration to engage in any long-term negotiation because the length of any commitment, the duration of any commitment from now on with any U.S. administration would be the reminder of the term of that president," Zarif, a key architect of the deal, said. The interview was conducted Saturday in Tehran and aired Sunday.
In Virginia’s oddly timed elections for governor, held a year after presidential contests, history has repeated itself: The winning candidate lately has represented the opposite party as the newly elected president.
For the second time this week, President Trump spent the afternoon golfing with his sometimes critic, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.
The president and the South Carolina senator appeared to have moved beyond a frenemies stage of their relationship to develop a working rapport, particularly on health care, immigration and foreign policy issues -- all front and center this week on the White House agenda.
Other senators have said Trump and Graham now talk so frequently it's as if they are on speed-dial with one another. (Ironic, after Graham came to regret giving Trump his cell phone number way back when, which Trump then used to taunt the senator.)