Category Archives: Trump administration

Trump chief of staff calls meeting to insist no one is about to be fired

John Kelly assures colleagues their jobs are safe as Sarah Sanders plays down rumors national security adviser HR McMaster is next in line to be fired

Donald Trump’s chief of staff called a sudden meeting on Friday to assure colleagues that their jobs were safe amid reports of upheaval, plummeting morale and more imminent departures from White House.

Related: Minted: the rich guys in Trump’s cabinet who can’t resist public money

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Source: gad

Torture allegations dog Gina Haspel as she is poised to be first female CIA head

Trump’s nominee to run the agency is accused of having run a black site and authorised destruction of videotapes of waterboarding

Gina Haspel is set to become the first female director in the 70-year history of the CIA. But smashing that glass ceiling will depend on offering the US Senate a convincing explanation about her dark past.

More than a decade ago Haspel reportedly oversaw an infamous secret CIA prison in Thailand where a terrorism suspect, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was waterboarded, a process that simulates drowning. She is also said to have drafted orders to destroy video evidence of such torture, which prompted a lengthy justice department investigation that ended without charges.

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Trump’s presidency is unravelling. But he won’t fall without a push | Gary Younge

The administration is mired in incompetence and calamity. So why aren’t his enemies presenting a hopeful alternative?

Even by Donald Trump’s standards, Tuesday was extraordinary. First came the tweet that he had fired his secretary of state Rex Tillerson. Then a state department spokesman issued a statement claiming Tillerson was “unaware of the reason” for his dismissal, and had heard about it on Twitter. A few hours later the spokesman had been fired too. Meanwhile the lawyer of porn actor Stephanie Clifford (stage name: Stormy Daniels), who allegedly had an affair with Trump, warned the country to “buckle up” as Clifford sought to extract herself from her non-disclosure agreement so she could “publish any materials, such as text messages, photos and/or videos relating to the president that she may have in her possession”. Back in Washington, the Trump team announced it would be hiring John McEntee, Trump’s former personal assistant, as a senior adviser for campaign operations. The day before, McEntee had been escorted from the White House because he is under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security for serious financial crimes.

Related: Rex Tillerson was disastrous for the US. Mike Pompeo may be worse | Michael H Fuchs

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Source: gad

Kim Jong-un to meet Trump by May after North Korea invitation

South Korea’s national security adviser confirms historic talks after relaying offer from Pyongyang to White House

Donald Trump has accepted an invitation from the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, to hold an unprecedented summit meeting to discuss the future of the embattled regime’s nuclear and missile programme.

Related: ‘Shocking, incredible’: what the experts say about a Trump meeting with Kim

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Source: gad

Trump tariffs: president signs order on metal imports – as it happened

All the day’s economic and financial news, as Trump presses on with tariffs despite criticism and fears of a trade war

11.50pm GMT

And finally, the Guardian points out that Donald Trump shouldn’t be solely blamed for the problems in global trade.

In an ideal world, trade would be governed by the doctrines of Adam Smith and David Ricardo. International specialisation and comparative advantage would lead to more efficient production, stronger growth and higher living standards. Countries would unilaterally tear down the barriers to trade.

But this is not the way the world actually works. Trade is managed rather than free. Politicians – Mr Trump excepted – talk the language of Smith and Ricardo but act like Alexander Hamilton, whose life has found fame in the hit musical today but is also the original 18th-century architect of US protectionism. Not everybody gains from trade, and some gain a lot more than others. So if there is a trade war Mr Trump will be not the only one to blame. Those who trumpeted the benefits of globalisation said the benefits would be fairly shared. They have not been. They said there would be help for those who lost well-paying jobs. It never arrived.

Related: The Guardian view on Trump’s tariffs: more smoke than fire | Editorial

11.29pm GMT

Liam Fox, Britain’s secretary of state for trade, has also criticised Donald Trump’s steel tariffs.

Speaking on the BBC’s Question Time current affairs programme, Fox says the US is approaching the problems in the steel industry in the wrong way, by claiming it is a national security issue.

It is doubly absurd that we should be caught in an investigation in national security.

“The way that the United States is going about this is wrong”@LiamFox says it makes no sense for President Trump to impose heavy tariffs on steel and aluminium #bbcqt

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The departed: Trump's biggest resignations and firings – so far

Donald Trump has lost a record number of officials in his first year. Here are the major departures from the White House and beyond

If you’re having trouble keeping track of all the staffers leaving the Trump White House of late, you could certainly be forgiven. A recent analysis by the Brookings Institution found that Donald Trump’s team has had a record number of departures, with a turnover rate twice as high as that of the Reagan administration.

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Trump officials deny Cohn's departure leaves economic team in disarray

Donald Trump defended his controversial tariff plan, despite the departure of his top economic adviser Gary Cohn

Donald Trump stuck to his guns over his controversial trade policy on Wednesday, despite the departure of his economic adviser Gary Cohn the night before.

“From Bush 1 to present, our Country has lost more than 55,000 factories, 6,000,000 manufacturing jobs and accumulated Trade Deficits of more than 12 Trillion Dollars,” the president tweeted. “Last year we had a Trade Deficit of almost 800 Billion Dollars. Bad Policies & Leadership. Must WIN again! #MAGA”.

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Source: gad

Ben Carson accused of 'witch-hunt' by senior member of his department

Criticism comes after a week of controversy over Carson’s department spending on expensive office furniture

A second senior official in the Department of Housing and Urban Development has publicly criticised the secretary, Ben Carson, accusing him of leading a “witch-hunt” against some career bureaucrats in the department.

Marcus Smallwood told Carson in an email on Tuesday that Hud’s civil servants were working in fear after the demotion of his colleague Helen Foster and Carson’s rejection of her claims.

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Source: gad

Kellyanne Conway broke law during Alabama election, says watchdog

The White House aide violated federal law by advocating for Roy Moore, according to US Office of Special Counsel

The White House aide Kellyanne Conway violated federal law on at least two occasions last year by “advocating for and against candidates” from her official position as counselor to the US president, according to a federal watchdog.

The determination was made by the US Office of Special Counsel on Tuesday, and relates to comments Conway made during the Alabama special election between Roy Moore and Doug Jones to fill the seat vacated by the attorney general, Jeff Sessions. OSC is not related to the ongoing special counsel investigation by Robert Mueller into the Trump administration.

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Source: gad