cabinet

‘Open Season’ on Immigrants as Discretion Fades
Will Trump’s new DHS pick follow ‘arrest-them-all’ playbook?

Immigrant families stand in line to get bus tickets in 2016 in McAllen, Texas. (John Moore/Getty Images file photo)

The recent arrest and detention of an undocumented 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy is the clearest evidence yet that President Donald Trump isn’t focused solely on “bad hombres,” immigrant advocates say.

Arrests of undocumented criminals are up under Trump, a testament to his promise to crack down on dangerous immigrants. But arrests of undocumented people without any convictions have also skyrocketed, raising questions about how the administration is using what it says are limited resources to keep the country safe.

As Crunch Time Approaches, More Rumbling About Trump Behavior
Many members taken aback by a chaotic 48 hours last week

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House on Sept. 27. A recent 48-hour period last week, which was chaotic even by Trump's standards, has lawmakers newly concerned about his mindset. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Several veteran Democratic lawmakers were flabbergasted last week by 48 hours that were among the wildest so far of Donald Trump’s presidency. And in private conversations, they say many of their Republican colleagues share similar concerns.

Trump appears to embrace a certain amount of chaos. After all, it generates media coverage — and the president is a voracious consumer of cable television and print news. But the 48 hours between last Tuesday and Thursday caused a spike in concerns among longtime Democratic members about Trump’s mindset and competence.

White House Lawyer Tries to Distance Trump From Flynn
Cobb notes twice-fired general was national security adviser for just ‘25 days’

President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office of the White House, January 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. Also pictured, from left, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Press Secretary Sean Spicer and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The White House tried to put distance between President Donald Trump and Michael Flynn, a former member of his inner circle who pleaded guilty Friday to a charge in the Justice Department’s Russia probe.

In a statement released after Trump’s first national security adviser entered his plea in an Alexandria, Virginia, courtroom, White House legal counsel Ty Cobb tried to paint Flynn has a short-timer in the president’s roster of aides and confidants — both on the campaign trail and after he joined Trump in the West Wing.

White House Won't Discuss Tillerson's Future Beyond Year's End
Trump 'seems to take step after step to undercut diplomacy,' Sen. Kaine says

Then-Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson arrives for his Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing earlier this year. The panel could soon be holding another such hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House that routinely labels as fake any news it does not like is studiously withholding such phraseology when it comes to media reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is a short-timer. 

White House officials have developed plans to replace the long-embattled Tillerson, who fell out of favor with the president months ago, with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, according to The New York Times. Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton would move into Pompeo’s position, the news outlet reported, citing senior administration officials.

Trump Executive Actions a ‘Disruptive’ Lot
Full effects of president’s unilateral moves still years away, experts say

President Donald Trump after signing an executive order Oct. 12 targeting the 2010 health care law. Experts and lawmakers say his executive actions are among the most “disruptive” of any president. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

The executive actions President Donald Trump has signed have the potential to be among the most “aggressive” and “disruptive” ever issued by a chief executive, according to lawmakers and experts.

Trump and his top aides often describe his use of executive orders, actions and memoranda as the president using his constitutional authorities to “put America first” and plot a policy course to benefit the country’s forgotten men and women. Both were major themes of his 2016 campaign.

House Freedom Caucus Has Mulvaney's Ear
Small group of conservative members wield outsized influence with Trump's OMB director

OMB director Mick Mulvaney is seen in the Longworth Building in May. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Though known members of the archconservative group represent only 9 percent of House Republicans, Freedom Caucus members make up nearly a quarter of the scheduled contacts of their former founding member, Mick Mulvaney, in his first six months as Office of Management and Budget director.

Despite the fact that no House Freedom Caucus members are in positions of committee or party leadership, they've got Mulvaney’s ear.

Capitol Ink | Musical Chair

Flake Fires Back at Trump to Dispute Tax Vote Prediction
Another defection would put GOP bill in jeopardy as president seeks first big win

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and President Donald Trump are trading barbs again, this time over the Senate GOP tax plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump and perhaps his top congressional Republican critic are sparring again, this time with Sen. Jeff Flake’s office disputing the commander in chief’s claim that the Arizona Republican plans to oppose the party’s tax overhaul plan.

Trump started the duo’s latest back-and-forth with a Sunday evening tweet predicting the retiring Flake — whom he mocked by referring to him as “Flake(y)” — will “be a NO on tax cuts because his political career anyway is ‘toast.’”

Sessions Defends His Reputation in First House Testimony
“I will not accept, and reject accusations I have ever lied”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions arrives to testify before a House Judiciary hearing Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions vigorously defended himself Tuesday against “false charges” that he was untruthful in previous testimony about his role in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and any connections to Russian operatives.

“I will not accept, and reject accusations I have ever lied,” Sessions told the House Judiciary Committee during an oversight hearing stretching for five-and-a-half hours. “That is a lie.”

HHS Pick at Odds With Trump’s Rhetoric on Drug Prices
Alex Azar previously led Eli Lilly’s U.S. operations

Alex Azar is President Donald Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary. (Screenshot/Veeva Systems/YouTube)

President Donald Trump’s tweet Monday announcing former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar as his choice to lead the Department of Health and Human Services boasted that Azar “will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!”

But Azar, who led drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co.’s United States operations from 2012 until earlier this year, has contributed significantly to the pharmaceutical industry political spending that the president has decried.