Trump administration

What was already expected to be a contentious second meeting for President Trump's Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, on Tuesday in Manchester, N.H., is likely to get a whole lot more contentious thanks to a column written by the panel's co-chair.

Although the chairman, Vice President Pence, said in that first meeting that the commission has "no preconceived notions or pre-ordained results," the panel's co-chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, seemed to contradict him in Breitbart News last week.

President Trump appears to be in the mood to make deals with Democrats — and Democrats see an opportunity to protect young immigrants.

On Wednesday, the president overruled leaders of his own party — and members of his own Cabinet — to back a plan pushed by Democrats to pair hurricane relief aid to a short-term hike in the debt ceiling along with a measure to keep the government funded until early December.

Several states are suing the Trump administration to block it from terminating the program protecting young immigrants known as DREAMers.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the Eastern District of New York, was brought by the attorneys general of 15 states and the District of Columbia. All are Democrats.

It follows the administration's announcement Tuesday that it would phase out the Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said DACA would end in March 2018 unless Congress takes action to salvage it.

Updated at 3:57 p.m. ET

The Trump administration Tuesday formally announced it will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — also called DACA — putting an expiration date on the legal protections granted to roughly 800,000 people known as "DREAMers," who entered the country illegally as children.

President Trump issued a statement, saying, "I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws."

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

The White House will announce its decision about DACA, an Obama-era immigration policy, on Tuesday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. President Trump had earlier said the announcement could come at some point over the weekend.

As a presidential candidate, Trump pledged to "immediately terminate" DACA, the program that former President Barack Obama began five years ago to protect immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

But once in the White House, Trump took a softer stance.

President Trump, with a well-known fondness for golf hats bearing slogans, toured post-Hurricane Houston on Tuesday wearing white headgear emblazoned with "USA." It had a U.S. flag on one side, and on the other side — maybe this was the giveaway — the numeral 45. Trump is the 45th president.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has differed with President Trump over a number of significant foreign policy issues — North Korea, Iran and Qatar, to name a few. But when Tillerson distanced himself from the president on the question of American values — telling Fox News Sunday that the president "speaks for himself" by blaming "both sides" for violence that took place during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. — questions grew over whether he would soon be out of office.

Richard Drew / AP Photo

The American economy has seen more volatility under the Trump administration than any other recent president. It remains to be seen what kind of long-term effects Trump’s presidency will have on the job market in Georgia, and the global economic landscape. We talk business with Marilyn Geewax, Senior Business Editor and Economics Correspondent for NPR.

If you Google interim White House communications director Hope Hicks, you'll find plenty of articles referencing her youth (she's 28), her time as a model and her work in corporate public relations for Ivanka Trump's brand.

But people who know her say if that's all you hear, you'll conjure an incomplete image of Hicks.

"They say, 'Well, Hope is so beautiful. She's a model, that's the only reason Donald Trump hired [her]' — it's not true at all," says Sam Nunberg, an adviser to President Trump from 2011 to mid-2015. "Anybody who underestimates her is making a big mistake."

If you picked up a print copy of The New York Times on Friday, you may have noticed something unusual about it — something missing. There were no front-page headlines about President Trump, no pictures of him — not even a little "key" to a story on an inside page.

The name Trump did appear in one story, a profile of John W. Nicholson Jr., the Army general commanding U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The president was necessarily mentioned in that story, but the story was not about the president.

Rebecca Hammel / U.S. Senate Photographic Studio

Is there hope for a diplomatic solution to the rising nuclear threat of North Korea? If you ask Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), diplomacy is the only hope.

 

Speaking on a panel for business leaders and non-governmental organizations in Buckhead today, Perdue agreed emphatically with one of the other speakers, retired Air Force general Richard E. Hawley, that the only viable path to a lasting de-escalation with North Korea is through diplomatic outreach and negotiation.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

 

Dependable sources of labor and a fresh look at international trade topped the wish list of farmers and other stakeholders when they met with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue Friday.

Perdue held a roundtable discussion in Tifton in his role as the head of President Trump’s Task Force on Rural Prosperity. It was the first such roundtable in the South.

“We’re here from the federal government and we’re here not to hurt you,” Perdue joked.

When President Trump commented last week on the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., a reporter asked him if he planned to visit the city.

Trump's reply veered far off the volatile topic of race relations: "I mean, I know a lot about Charlottesville. Charlottesville is a great place that's been very badly hurt over the last couple of days." There was crosstalk as Trump continued: "I own, I own actually one of the largest wineries in the United States. It's in Charlottesville."

Transgender members of the U.S. military would be subject to removal at Defense Secretary James Mattis' discretion — and the service would bar transgender people from enlisting, under new White House guidelines for the Pentagon. President Trump announced the ban via a tweet last month.

Rough details of the guidelines were confirmed by NPR's Tom Bowman after the White House plan for the Pentagon was reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Senate investigators met this week with the co-founder of the political research firm behind the explosive dossier of unsubstantiated and salacious material about President Trump's alleged ties with Russia.

Glenn Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter who later helped found the private investigation firm Fusion GPS, sat down with Senate Judiciary Committee staff behind closed doors on Tuesday, congressional aides told NPR.

When White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was pushed out of his job last week, it underscored the growing clout of President Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general.

And when Trump announced he was increasing U.S. troops in Afghanistan on Monday, after suggesting for years that he wouldn't, administration officials were quick to note that he was heeding the advice of "the generals."

President Trump returns Tuesday night to the same Phoenix convention center where he spoke during the campaign last year, laying out a 10-point plan to fight illegal immigration.

He's also visiting a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility in Yuma, Ariz., a few miles from the Southwest border.

Now seven months into his presidency, Trump has pushed for dramatic changes to the nation's immigration system. But he's also been stymied by Congress and by the courts.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton says he's "under no illusions" that President Trump will heed a late-hour plea to postpone a campaign rally planned in his city for Tuesday night.

"We don't want to cancel the presidential visit overall, but a delay would be the appropriate action by the White House," Stanton said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

Trump Address On Afghanistan, Annotated

Aug 21, 2017

President Trump addressed the nation Monday night on U.S. engagement and "the path forward" in Afghanistan and South Asia. Senior U.S. officials told NPR's Tom Bowman ahead of the speech that the president is expected to deploy about 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, though Trump did not give specifics during the speech. The decision follows months of deliberation within the Trump administration, involving top military commanders, political advisers and even enlisted veterans of the nearly 16-year war.

Updated August 22.

A group of alumni from one of the country's most influential evangelical Christian universities is condemning their school's president for his continued alignment with President Trump.

Before any hard battle, it's common to seek a little spiritual guidance.

In preparation for the coming fight this fall to overhaul the entire federal tax code, a group of House Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee traveled this week to Rancho del Cielo — the ranch of former President Ronald Reagan, outside Santa Barbara, Calif.

The ranch is where Reagan signed one of his major tax cuts into law, and the GOP is working this month to capture some of that Reagan-era magic to deliver a modern tax bill of its own.

There is a telling photo that has gotten some attention in social media after Steve Bannon's exit as President Trump's chief strategist. (You can see it above.)

It shows President Trump behind the desk in the Oval Office, surrounded by his top advisers: Seated are Vice President Pence and national security adviser Mike Flynn; standing, from left to right, are chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon and press secretary Sean Spicer.

That was Jan. 28, eight days after Trump was inaugurated.

Today, only Pence remains.

Updated at 7:40 pm ET

Steve Bannon has lost his job as chief White House strategist.

The White House described the departure as a mutual agreement between Bannon and chief of staff John Kelly.

"We are grateful for his service and wish him the best," said press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

A lot of people are counting on special counsel Robert Mueller.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Hope Hicks, one of President Trump's rarely seen but longest-serving aides, has been named interim White House communications director, filling the position left vacant by Anthony Scaramucci after his 10-day tenure.

Hicks will work alongside press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders until a permanent replacement is found, the White House said. She has been serving as director of strategic communications.

"We will make an announcement on a permanent communications director at the appropriate time," a White House official said.

At the intersection where protections against unreasonable search and seizure meet the rights to free speech and association, there is now a web hosting company called DreamHost.

The California-based company is resisting a Department of Justice warrant that demands it hand over all files related to DisruptJ20.org, a website created by one of its customers to plan and announce actions intended to interrupt President Trump's inauguration.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Trump administration has begun the process of rolling back tough fuel standards for America's car and light truck fleet.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department have opened the public comment period on the rewriting of standards for greenhouse gas emissions for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-2025.

Stephen Miller stood at the lectern in the White House press briefing room wearing his trademark skinny suit and tie and engaged in the kind of verbal combat he has been perfecting since high school.

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