Donald Trump’s choice for national security adviser has rejected the post days after Michael Flynn was forced to resign. Vice Admiral Robert S Harward visits Zaranj, Afghanistan on January 6, 2011. Shawn Coolman/US Marines via Reuters
Rachel Maddow connects the dots between a billionaire Russian oligarch and a bizarre Donald Trump deal. A Russian billionaire using Deutsche bank, a Bank in Cyprus to launder money by buying an over valued Donald Trump real estate in Florida. The vice chairman of the Cyprus bank is Wilbur Ross, the new secretary of commerce.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) on Thursday sought to refute Attorney General Jeff Sessions's claim that his contact with Russia was because he was a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "I've been on the Armed Services Com for 10 years. No call or meeting w/Russian ambassador. Ever," McCaskill tweeted.
Critics are charging that billionaire investor Carl Icahn has used his position as Donald Trump’s deregulatory czar to strong-arm the ethanol lobby into agreeing to a change that will save one of Icahn’s companies $200 million a year.If so, this would be the most obvious example yet of crony capitalism in the Trump era.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, under oath at his confirmation hearing, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he didn’t communicate with Russians during the 2016 campaign. But a new report by Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima, and Greg Miller for the Washington Post found that Sessions did speak with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.
HUNTING-FISHING — Today, on his first day on duty, Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (pronounced ZINK-ee) issued two secretarial orders. One withdraws a controversial order signed by an Obama administration official to phase out use of lead bullets and lead fishing tackle on federal wildlife refuges.
The White House has been accused of withholding information from Congress about whether Donald Trump or any of his campaign affiliates have ever received loans from a bank in Cyprus that is partly owned by a close ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin. A group of Democratic senators have been waiting for two weeks for Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor who has served as vice-chairman of the Bank of Cyprus since 2014, to answer a series of questions about possible links between the bank, Russian officials, and current and former Trump administration and campaign officials.
President Trump isn’t allowing Tillerson to shape policy, choose staff, or speak to the press. On Thursday, a pair of devastating articles in Politico and the Washington Post described how the former Exxon Mobil CEO has been cut out of the loop on major foreign policy shifts, slapped down by the White House on personnel choices, and given virtually no opportunities to make public appearances with President Trump.
Oklahoma has turned over thousands of pages of emails between former attorney general Scott Pruitt’s office and the energy industry, meeting a deadline set by a judge who ordered the documents’ release following more than two years of effort by an advocacy organization.
In the Washington of President Trump, Rex W. Tillerson has taken an understated approach that can be seen as brilliant, mystifying or a prescription for powerlessness. Mr. Tillerson has skipped every opportunity to define his views or give guidance to American diplomats abroad, limiting himself to terse, scripted statements, taking no questions from reporters and offering no public protest when the White House proposed cutting the State Department budget by 37 percent without first consulting him.