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« Reply #225 on: March 02, 2017, 10:48:19 AM »

Ben Carson wins Senate confirmation as housing secretary
Published March 02, 2017 
FoxNews.com

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson was confirmed by the Senate Thursday to become housing secretary in the Trump administration.

Carson, a former Republican presidential candidate who battled Trump for the GOP nomination, was confirmed for the Cabinet position by a 58 to 41 vote.

In his role as head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, Carson will lead more than 8,300 employees and handle an annual budget of nearly $47 billion.

The vote comes more than a month after Carson earned the bipartisan backing of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, even gaining the support of two of the panel’s most liberal members -- Democrats Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Warren, however, switched her position and voted against Carson on Thursday. The vote change comes after she faced pressure from liberal activists and wrote a long Facebook post defending her support of Carson.

Answering critics who questioned his qualifications to run HUD, Carson said during his January nomination hearing that he would go on a “listening tour” so he could gain feedback on how to reform the massive and complex department.

During his Senate hearing, Carson said he wanted to focus on solutions to combat the lack of available low-income housing and to forge new partnerships between government and the private sector.

“There’s a lot of money in the private sector. There’s a lot of good will in the private sector,” said Carson.

As secretary, Carson committed to examining “those programs that are working so we can multiply them across the country.”

Underscoring the challenges he faces at HUD, the National Low Income Housing Coalition released a report on Thursday that found a shortage of 7.4 million affordable and available rental homes for extremely low-income households.

In addition, the report said 71 percent of extremely low-income households spend more than half of their income on housing.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/02/ben-carson-wins-senate-confirmation-as-housing-secretary.html
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« Reply #226 on: March 02, 2017, 12:33:32 PM »

Senate Confirms Rick Perry as Energy Secretary
Thursday, 02 Mar 2017

The Senate on Thursday voted to confirm President Donald Trump's pick to head the Department of Energy, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who has promised to renew America’s nuclear weapons arsenal.

Perry's rise to America’s top energy official came against opposition from Democrats worried about his ties to oil companies, his doubts about the science of climate change, and the fact that he once called for the department’s total elimination – a comment he has since said he regrets.

The Senate voted 62 to 37 in support of Perry.

Perry, 66, was governor of Texas from 2000 to 2015, making him the longest-serving governor of the oil-producing state in its history.
 
As energy secretary, Perry would lead a vast scientific research operation credited with helping trigger a U.S. drilling boom and advancements in energy efficiency and renewables technology, and would oversee America's nuclear arsenal.

His predecessor, Obama Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, was a nuclear physicist who led technical negotiations in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, while the previous head, Steven Chu, was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist.

The former Texas governor said during his confirmation hearing earlier this year that he regretted having previously called for the department's elimination during his failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/Senate-Cabinet-Energy-Perry/2017/03/02/id/776575/
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« Reply #227 on: March 10, 2017, 11:43:23 AM »

Sources: Huntsman tapped as ambassador to Russia
By Jeremy Diamond, Jeff Zeleny and Elise Labott, CNN
Thu March 9, 2017

Washington (CNN) — Former Utah governor and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman has accepted President Donald Trump's offer to serve as the next ambassador to Russia, several senior administration officials told CNN.

If confirmed, Huntsman would become one of the highest-profile US ambassadors, helming the diplomatic mission to a country that has seen its relationship with the US become increasingly strained in recent years. Huntsman would also take on the post amid ongoing questions about connections between Russians known to US intelligence and Trump campaign advisers -- and just months after Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

The post would be the third ambassadorship for Huntsman, who previously served as US ambassador to Singapore and China. Huntsman was the ambassador to China during President Barack Obama's administration.

Huntsman's selection comes two weeks after the Utah Republican was first floated as a contender for a top diplomatic post.

One senior administration official said Huntsman was tapped because he is a "brilliant guy," "tough" and understands what Trump wants.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/08/politics/jon-huntsman-russia-ambassador-trump/
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« Reply #228 on: May 03, 2017, 01:24:57 PM »

Bunch of zealots.  Better watch what you say at all times. 

Report: Second Army secretary nominee may drop out
By: Leo Shane III,  May 2, 2017

WASHINGTON — Army secretary nominee Mark Green could withdraw his name from consideration from the Pentagon post as early as this week, according to sources speaking to CNN. 

If true, the news represents the latest major setback for President Donald Trump’s efforts to staff his Defense Department.

Darren Morris, a political adviser to Green, denied the reports when contacted by Military Times, saying "there's no truth to the rumors at all."

He said on Tuesday that he doesn’t know where the rumors came from, but that it could be the same people who have previously attacked Green, adding that it could be wishful thinking on their part that he’d be withdrawing.

“[Green ] is in Washington right now meeting with senators preparing for his confirmation hearing,” Morris said.

The White House did not immediately respond to questions from Military Times.

Green would be the second nominee this year to step away from the Army Secretary post before a Senate confirmation hearing was scheduled. In February, billionaire veteran Vincent Viola dropped out of the process, citing numerous conflicts of interest with his family businesses.

And just weeks after Viola’s withdrawal, Trump’s pick for Navy Secretary — financier Philip Bilden — also dropped out of consideration, citing similar business conflicts.

Reports of Green's withdrawal comes amid scrutiny over his past comments on homosexuality and transgender rights connected to his work as a Tennessee state senator.

LGBT advocates called out Green for pushing for a Tennessee law to circumvent local government policies against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and for being a vocal critic of rules allowing transgender individuals to use public restrooms of their choosing.

He also once asserted that psychologists view transgender individual as diseased and has questioned whether evolution is a sound scientific theory.

On Tuesday, officials from the gay rights advocacy group OutServe-SLDN called Green’s nomination “a grenade in the tent” and said his “anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim, anti-women record in the Tennessee legislature stands in stark contrast to the American values of justice, fairness and tolerance we all hold dear.”

Morris, Green's political adviser, said a lot of the attacks are "misquoted or out of line," adding that Green believes anyone should be able to serve in the military regardless of their sexual orientation or religious beliefs.

At least 32 congressional democrats — including House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md. — have called for Green to withdraw from the process.

Also on Tuesday, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., told USA Today that "There’s a lot of controversy concerning (Green's) nomination," and that "there are some issues that clearly need to be cleared up.”

Green is best known as the special operations soldier who interviewed former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein after his capture by American forces in 2003. The 1986 West Point graduate has been a state lawmaker since 2012 and for the last seven years has served as founder and CEO of Align MD, an emergency department staffing company.

He’s an Army Ranger who holds a medical degree from Wright State University and a Master’s Certificate in information systems from University of Southern California. The Army retiree is also active in a pair of military focused charities — Soldiers and Families Embraced and Reboot for Recovery — as well as the middle Tennessee chapter of the Boy Scouts of America.

Green’s sudden departure would leave the Army without a permanent civilian head likely into the fall, given the slow pace of nominations coming from the White House. Robert Speer has served as acting secretary since January, when President Donald Trump dismissed former Army Secretary Eric Fanning.

A confirmation vote for Air Force Secretary nominee Heather Wilson has been stalled in the Senate for weeks. A replacement for Bilden to lead the Navy has not yet been announced.

In the meantime, Trump has outlined a bold and controversial build-up of military might in his budget proposals, but has left the detail work of those plans to the interim officials.

Ahead of the news about Green, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, repeated his concerns over the administration’s slow pace filling top Pentagon jobs, saying that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis “cannot do everything single handedly, and there are several crises in the world he has to manage.”

“I continue to be concerned that without Senate-confirmed decision makers, the Pentagon tends to march in the direction it’s been marching in, and that doesn’t solve our readiness problems,” he said.

McCain he has “great concerns about the team around Mattis” and “the snail’s pace (for nominees) we are now at is really very unfortunate.”

http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/mark-green-withdraws-army-secretary-nominee
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« Reply #229 on: May 03, 2017, 02:42:17 PM »

They are Zealots.

That said. You and I know that we have to watch what we say.

There are people who post on this board that say things that they would never say under their real name.
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« Reply #230 on: May 03, 2017, 06:15:16 PM »

They are Zealots.

That said. You and I know that we have to watch what we say.

There are people who post on this board that say things that they would never say under their real name.

Everyone know who da fuk I am so I don't care at all. 
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« Reply #231 on: May 03, 2017, 11:06:07 PM »

Everyone know who da fuk I am so I don't care at all. 
Come on dude. You wouldn't have changed your handle otherwise. Nor would you have left previously. Obviously you do care.
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« Reply #232 on: May 04, 2017, 10:51:39 AM »

Come on dude. You wouldn't have changed your handle otherwise. Nor would you have left previously. Obviously you do care.

Not now.  Arce was also gettting roped in to it
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« Reply #233 on: May 04, 2017, 11:42:54 AM »

Not now.  Arce was also gettting roped in to it

People change over time I guess.
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« Reply #234 on: May 04, 2017, 12:35:45 PM »

They are Zealots.

That said. You and I know that we have to watch what we say.

There are people who post on this board that say things that they would never say under their real name.

Truth.
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« Reply #235 on: August 02, 2017, 01:10:35 PM »

Senate Confirms 8 Defense Nominees, Including Navy Secretary
By Joe Crowe
02 Aug 2017 01:42 PM

The Senate confirmed eight nominees to Department of Defense positions late Tuesday. The confirmations included former Marine Corps pilot Richard Spencer as Secretary of the Navy, according to The Hill.

The seven other confirmations are:

Matthew Donovan as undersecretary of the Air Force.
Ryan McCarthy as undersecretary of the Army.
Ellen Lord as undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics.
Lucian Niemeyer as assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations, and the environment.
Robert Hood as assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs.
Robert Daigle as director of cost assessment and program evaluation.
Elaine McCusker as principal deputy undersecretary of defense, comptroller.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., praised the confirmation of the nominees in a website post:

"I was pleased to see the Senate confirm eight important Department of Defense civilian nominations. The Senate has been paralyzed by politics and partisanship, and it is unfortunate that it took so long to approve these qualified nominees for critical positions."

The senator wrote that he hoped the White House would "expeditiously" send the Senate more nominations for the Department of Defense.

Those eight bring President Donald Trump’s administration to a total of 15 Pentagon confirmations, The Hill reported.

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/senate-confirmations-department-of-defense-navy/2017/08/02/id/805371/
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« Reply #236 on: August 18, 2017, 01:04:41 PM »

Steve Bannon out at the White House
By Alex Pappas
Published August 18, 2017
Fox News

President Trump's controversial chief strategist Steve Bannon is leaving the White House, in another major staff shakeup announced at the close of another tumultuous week in Washington.

The White House confirmed in a brief statement that Bannon, a hardcore populist who often sparred with his West Wing colleagues, would make Friday his last day -- just over a year after he joined the Trump presidential campaign.

"White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. "We are grateful for his service and wish him the best."

One White House aide told Fox News the departure was a long time coming, and that Bannon actually submitted his resignation in writing two weeks ago.

Sources say Bannon has become increasingly isolated in the White House. Adding to the pressure, some critics also publicly attacked Bannon in the wake of last weekend's Charlottesville violence, in which a counter-protester was killed at a white nationalist rally. Trump came under intense criticism for his response to that violence, and some blamed Bannon for the tone -- though it's unclear how much influence he had in Trump's remarks.

Bannon formally joined Trump’s team last summer, when the former head of Breitbart News was tapped as chief executive of the campaign. After Trump won the presidential race, Bannon was appointed to a senior adviser role at the same time Reince Priebus was named chief of staff.

The Drudge Report first reported Bannon’s exit, saying he could return to Breitbart.

Earlier this week, Bannon gave a candid interview to a liberal magazine where he slammed some of his adversaries inside the administration.

Speaking to The American Prospect, Bannon contradicted the administration's statements on North Korea. He said despite threats to attack the regime, "There's no military solution [to North Korea's nuclear threats], forget it."

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Thursday rebuffed those remarks.

Bannon has long been a target of mainstream Republican ire – and until now had survived even as top Trump lieutenants like Sean Spicer and Priebus have resigned.

Trump briefly addressed the speculation about Bannon's future during a wide-ranging Q&A with reporters at Trump Tower on Tuesday afternoon.

“I like Mr. Bannon, he’s a friend of mine,” Trump said, while downplaying his impact in the 2016 campaign. “I like him. He’s a good man. He’s not a racist … but we’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon.”

The departure eased criticism of the administration only slightly.

The Democratic National Committee reacted to the news by saying there “is one less white supremacist in the White House, but that doesn't change the man sitting behind the Resolute desk.”
Some conservatives expressed worry in recent days about Bannon’s potential departure.

“Since the first day they joined the Trump campaign there have been two people we conservatives could rely upon to share our ideas and values and take our concerns and issues directly to Donald Trump: Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon,” conservative activist Richard Viguerie wrote to his email list this week.

During his time at the White House, Bannon clashed with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and National Economic Council Chairman Gary Cohn.

On Thursday, longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone wrote a column saying that while he liked Bannon, he thought it was time for him to go.

“I am one who had publicly defended Bannon from false charges of racism and anti-Semitism yet I have concluded he is a spent force, never being willing to spend his political capital to help his friends and in some cases helping empower the very globalists he claims to oppose,” Stone said.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/08/18/steve-bannon-out-at-white-house.html
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« Reply #237 on: August 25, 2017, 05:15:35 PM »

Don't like this one bit.  Gorka is great. 

Breaking: Sebastian Gorka Resigns From Trump Administration
AUGUST 25, 2017
By Mollie Hemingway

Sebastian Gorka is resigning his post as Deputy Assistant to President Trump, multiple sources familiar with the situation have told The Federalist.

In a blunt resignation letter, the national security and counterterrorism expert expressed dissatisfaction with the current state of the Trump administration. “[G]iven recent events, it is clear to me that forces that do not support the MAGA promise are – for now – ascendant within the White House,” Gorka wrote. “As a result, the best and most effective way I can support you, Mr. President, is from outside the People’s House.”

Gorka’s letter expressed unhappiness with the direction the Trump administration’s foreign policy has taken, as signaled by the president’s recent speech on Afghanistan:

“Regrettably, outside of yourself, the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will ‘Make America Great Again,’ have been internally countered, systematically removed, or undermined in recent months. This was made patently obvious as I read the text of your speech on Afghanistan this week…

“The fact that those who drafted and approved the speech removed any mention of Radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a crucial element of your presidential campaign has been lost…

“Just as worrying, when discussing our future actions in the region, the speech listed operational objectives without ever defining the strategic victory conditions we are fighting for. This omission should seriously disturb any national security professional, and any American who is unsatisfied with the last 16 years of disastrous policy decisions which have led to thousands of Americans killed and trillions of taxpayer dollars spent in ways that have not brought security or victory.”

During his time in the Trump administration, Gorka focused on issues such as countering the Muslim Brotherhood, the crisis in Qatar, supporting efforts to draft a new long-term national security strategy, and combatting China’s economic warfare. Before coming to the White House, Gorka was the Major General Matthew C. Horner Chair at Marine Corps University and also contributed to Breitbart News.

Gorka’s tenure at the White House was marked by unusually vociferous attacks against him and his family by left-leaning media organizations and the Democratic Party. This includes personal attacks against his wife, mother, and son.

A source close to the White House said of his decision, “This was more or less going to be a done deal when Bannon submitted his resignation. Not because he didn’t have a protector, but because there is no point in having your life ruined every day if you’re not going to get much accomplished.” The same source said that what did change after Bannon left was that anti-Bannon factions began erecting bureaucratic road blocks to undermine Gorka internally.

The Forward has written dozens of attack pieces against Gorka, including several attempting to align him with Nazism. Most recently that publication retracted a story about his son’s schoolwork. Gorka strenuously objected to allegations he had ties to Nazi groups in his family’s home country of Hungary, where he had previously been involved in national politics. Even detractors eventually acknowledged the Nazi accusations were unfair smears.

In his letter, Gorka made clear that he believes in the promise of the Trump presidency despite being concerned about its present direction.

“Your presidency will prove to be one of the most significant events in modern American politics. November the 8th was the result of decades during which the political and media elites felt that they knew better than the people who elect them into office. They do not, and the MAGA platform allowed their voices to be heard,” he wrote, adding, “Millions of people believe in, and have chosen, you and your vision of Making America Great Again. They will help eventually rebalance this temporary reality.”

http://thefederalist.com/2017/08/25/breaking-sebastian-gorka-resigns-from-trump-administration/
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« Reply #238 on: August 25, 2017, 06:30:20 PM »

Don't like this one bit.  Gorka is great.  

Breaking: Sebastian Gorka Resigns From Trump Administration
AUGUST 25, 2017
By Mollie Hemingway

Sebastian Gorka is resigning his post as Deputy Assistant to President Trump, multiple sources familiar with the situation have told The Federalist.

In a blunt resignation letter, the national security and counterterrorism expert expressed dissatisfaction with the current state of the Trump administration. “[G]iven recent events, it is clear to me that forces that do not support the MAGA promise are – for now – ascendant within the White House,” Gorka wrote. “As a result, the best and most effective way I can support you, Mr. President, is from outside the People’s House.”

Gorka’s letter expressed unhappiness with the direction the Trump administration’s foreign policy has taken, as signaled by the president’s recent speech on Afghanistan:

“Regrettably, outside of yourself, the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will ‘Make America Great Again,’ have been internally countered, systematically removed, or undermined in recent months. This was made patently obvious as I read the text of your speech on Afghanistan this week…

“The fact that those who drafted and approved the speech removed any mention of Radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a crucial element of your presidential campaign has been lost…

“Just as worrying, when discussing our future actions in the region, the speech listed operational objectives without ever defining the strategic victory conditions we are fighting for. This omission should seriously disturb any national security professional, and any American who is unsatisfied with the last 16 years of disastrous policy decisions which have led to thousands of Americans killed and trillions of taxpayer dollars spent in ways that have not brought security or victory.”

During his time in the Trump administration, Gorka focused on issues such as countering the Muslim Brotherhood, the crisis in Qatar, supporting efforts to draft a new long-term national security strategy, and combatting China’s economic warfare. Before coming to the White House, Gorka was the Major General Matthew C. Horner Chair at Marine Corps University and also contributed to Breitbart News.

Gorka’s tenure at the White House was marked by unusually vociferous attacks against him and his family by left-leaning media organizations and the Democratic Party. This includes personal attacks against his wife, mother, and son.

A source close to the White House said of his decision, “This was more or less going to be a done deal when Bannon submitted his resignation. Not because he didn’t have a protector, but because there is no point in having your life ruined every day if you’re not going to get much accomplished.” The same source said that what did change after Bannon left was that anti-Bannon factions began erecting bureaucratic road blocks to undermine Gorka internally.

The Forward has written dozens of attack pieces against Gorka, including several attempting to align him with Nazism. Most recently that publication retracted a story about his son’s schoolwork. Gorka strenuously objected to allegations he had ties to Nazi groups in his family’s home country of Hungary, where he had previously been involved in national politics. Even detractors eventually acknowledged the Nazi accusations were unfair smears.

In his letter, Gorka made clear that he believes in the promise of the Trump presidency despite being concerned about its present direction.

“Your presidency will prove to be one of the most significant events in modern American politics. November the 8th was the result of decades during which the political and media elites felt that they knew better than the people who elect them into office. They do not, and the MAGA platform allowed their voices to be heard,” he wrote, adding, “Millions of people believe in, and have chosen, you and your vision of Making America Great Again. They will help eventually rebalance this temporary reality.”

http://thefederalist.com/2017/08/25/breaking-sebastian-gorka-resigns-from-trump-administration/
Wow, so basically he got ticked off over Trump's speech? Thought it was good myself. I liked Gorka.

His other points seem to be valid but from that article the focus is on the speech mainly. Pretty dumb. Must be a huge isolationist.

A lot is definitely not getting done unfortunately due to the corrupted system/individuals.

If it was more about the hopelessness of the political situation it is more understandable but you have to have backbone as well unless he feels Trump is really turning over a new leaf and it is utterly pointless
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« Reply #239 on: August 25, 2017, 07:50:44 PM »

Wow, so basically he got ticked off over Trump's speech? Thought it was good myself. I liked Gorka.

His other points seem to be valid but from that article the focus is on the speech mainly. Pretty dumb. Must be a huge isolationist.

A lot is definitely not getting done unfortunately due to the corrupted system/individuals.

If it was more about the hopelessness of the political situation it is more understandable but you have to have backbone as well unless he feels Trump is really turning over a new leaf and it is utterly pointless

I heard it was Kelly who wanted him out. 
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« Reply #240 on: August 26, 2017, 04:56:30 AM »

I heard it was Kelly who wanted him out. 
That's not good. Gorka was one of the few very vocal defenders/go getters Trump had.
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« Reply #241 on: September 29, 2017, 02:25:00 PM »

Another instance of Trump holding someone accountable.  Very different from the last 8 years. 

Price resigns from HHS after facing fire for trave
l
His exit comes after POLITICO revealed his extensive use of private jets and military aircraft for government business.
By DAN DIAMOND, RACHANA PRADHAN and ADRIEL BETTELHEIM
09/29/2017

HHS Secretary Tom Price resigned Friday in the face of multiple federal inquiries and growing criticism of his use of private and government planes for travel, at a cost to taxpayers of more than $1 million since May.

The White House said the former seven-term Georgia congressman, 63, offered his resignation earlier in the day and that President Donald Trump had accepted it.

Price becomes the first Trump administration Cabinet secretary to step down. The White House said Trump asked Deputy Assistant Health Secretary Don Wright to serve as acting secretary of the agency, which has an annual budget $1.15 trillion and includes the Medicare and Medicaid programs, as well as the FDA, NIH and CDC.

As late as Thursday, Price said he believed he had the president’s support. But the tumult surrounding his travel became another distraction for an administration already reeling from the defeat of repeated Senate efforts to repeal Obamacare and facing criticism for its hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

In his resignation letter, Price expressed regret that "recent events" distracted from efforts to overhaul the health care system, reduce regulatory burdens and improve global health. "In order for you to move forward without further disruption, I am officially tendering my resignation as the Secretary of Health and Human Services effective 11:59 PM on Friday," Price wrote.

By signing up you agree to receive email newsletters or alerts from POLITICO. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Senate Democrats quickly served notice they were preparing for a potential confirmation fight over Price's successor, saying the next HHS secretary must not undermine Obamacare. Under Price, the department cut the law’s enrollment period in half and massively slashed advertising and outreach for the upcoming enrollment period starting in November.

“The mission of the Health and Human Services secretary should be to support Americans’ health care, not take it away,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “The next HHS secretary must follow the law when it comes to the Affordable Care Act instead of trying to sabotage it.”

"Tom Price’s replacement needs to be focused on implementing the law as written by Congress and keeping the president’s promise to bring down the high cost of prescription drugs,” Senate Finance ranking Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon said in a statement.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, a close ally, praised Price as a dedicated public servant who fought for others. "His vision and hard work were vital to the House’s success passing our health care legislation," Ryan said in a statement.

POLITICO revealed in a series of articles that Price flew at least 26 times on private aircraft at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars, a sharp break with his predecessors’ practice. Many of Price’s flights were between major cities that offered inexpensive alternatives on commercial airlines, including Nashville, Philadelphia and San Diego.

On some of those trips, Price, an orthopedic surgeon, mixed official business with personal affairs. He took a government-funded private jet in August to get to St. Simons Island, an exclusive Georgia resort where he and his wife own land, a day and a half before he addressed a medical conference he and his wife have long attended. In June, HHS chartered a private jet to fly Price to Nashville, where he owns a condominium and where his son resides. Price toured a medicine dispensary, spoke to a local health summit organized by a friend and had lunch with his son, an HHS official confirmed.

Price also used military aircraft for multi-national trips to Africa, Europe and Asia, at a cost of more than $500,000 to taxpayers. The White House said it had approved those trips but not the private jets within the United States.

Price tried to defuse the controversy by promising on Thursday to reimburse the government for the approximately $52,000 cost of his own seat on his domestic trips. But that wasn’t enough to tamp down the scandal, which had infuriated President Donald Trump and prompted a bipartisan inquiry from the House Oversight Committee and separate calls for accountability from lawmakers including Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley. The inspector general of Price’s own agency is reviewing if Price complied with federal travel regulations.

The issue of Cabinet members' travel was also extending beyond Price: POLITICO reported Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his aides took several flights on private or military aircraft, including a $12,000 charter plane to take him to events in his hometown in Montana and private flights in the Caribbean. Zinke dismissed the furor as a “little B.S.” during a Friday appearance at the Heritage Foundation.

Price’s wife, Betty, accompanied him on the military flights, while other members of the secretary’s delegation flew commercially to Europe.

HHS spokeswoman Charmaine Yoest said Price reimbursed the agency for his wife’s travel, but declined to elaborate.

White House officials have groused about Price’s frequent travels, with one senior White House official saying the HHS secretary was “nowhere to be found” as they mounted a last-ditch unsuccessful push to repeal Obamacare.

Congressional Democrats attacked Price for advocating spending cuts to the health agencies he oversaw and health care programs while spending taxpayer dollars on private jets. “There could not be a clearer statement of the Trump administration’s priorities,” Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) said. Key Democrats overseeing health issues in Congress had formally requested that HHS's inspector general review Price's travel practices.

In June, Price defended a proposed fiscal 2018 budget for HHS that included a $663,000 cut to the agency’s $4.9 million annual spending on travel, or roughly 15 percent. “The budgeting process is an exercise in reforming our federal programs to make sure they actually work — so they do their job and use tax dollars wisely,” Price told the Senate Finance Committee on June 8.

Ethical questions dogged Price even before questions about his travel arose. During his Senate confirmation hearing to helm HHS, Price faced pointed questions about his personal investments in health care companies during his time in Congress. Democrats called on government ethics officials to investigate Price’s health care stock trades, following reports that he got a sweetheart deal from a biotech company and invested in Zimmer Biomet, a medical device-maker, just days before writing legislation that would have eased regulations on the sector.

The Senate confirmed Price by a 52-47 margin in February after he maintained full Republican support.

Price carved out a reputation as a staunch fiscal conservative during his decade-plus tenure in the House of Representatives. He generally supported reducing government spending on health care while shifting more of the financial burden onto individuals. Like most conservatives, he's supported privatizing Medicare so that seniors would receive fixed dollar amounts to buy coverage and limiting federal Medicaid spending to give states a lump sum, or block grant, and more control over how they could use it.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/29/price-has-resigned-as-health-and-human-services-secretary-243315
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« Reply #242 on: October 11, 2017, 03:16:06 PM »

Trump To Nominate Former DHS Official To Secretary Position
ALEX PFEIFFER
White House Correspondent
10/11/2017

President Trump intends to nominate his current deputy chief of staff Kirstjen Nielsen to serve as secretary of Homeland Security, the White House announced Wednesday.

The DHS secretary position has been filled by acting secretary Elaine Duke ever since John Kelly left the post on July 31. Nielsen has experience working for the DHS. She served as senior legislative policy director for the Transportation and Security Administration under President George W. Bush and also served on his White House Homeland Security Council.

Before joining Kelly in the White House, she was his chief of staff at the DHS.

“Nielsen has extensive professional experience in the areas of homeland security policy and strategy, cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, and emergency management,” the White House said in a statement.

The Washington Post reported that “other contenders for the Cabinet post included Tom Bossert, Trump’s homeland security adviser, and Kevin McAleenan, the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”

DHS has been an important agency in the Trump administration as it has overseen a crackdown on illegal immigration.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/11/trump-to-nominate-former-dhs-official-to-secretary-position/
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« Reply #243 on: November 30, 2017, 04:02:25 PM »

Rex Tillerson expected to step down in January, plans discussed for Pompeo to take place
Brooke Singman By Brooke Singman   | Fox News

Another potential shakeup in the Trump administration; chief White House correspondent John Roberts reports.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to leave the Trump administration in January, sources tell Fox News, amid discussion of potentially tapping CIA Director Mike Pompeo as a replacement.

The discussions come amid reports of growing tension between President Trump and the nation’s top diplomat.

Fox News is told the most likely succession plan would involve moving Pompeo to the State Department and nominating Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton to lead the CIA.

The New York Timesalso reported that the White House has developed such a plan.

Asked for comment, Cotton’s communications director, Caroline Tabler, told Fox News on Thursday that the senator’s “focus is on serving Arkansans in the Senate.”

Another potential, albeit less-likely, scenario would move U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley to the State Department. Despite talk of National Security Council official Dina Powell potentially transitioning to Haley's post, Fox News has learned Powell will not be heading to the U.N.

However, the Trump administration publicly pushed back Thursday when asked about a possible Tillerson exit.

“As we’ve said many times before, as many of you love to write these types of stories, when the president loses confidence in someone, they will not serve in the capacity that they’re in,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said at the press briefing Thursday. “When the president loses confidence in somebody, they will no longer be here.”

Sanders pointed to the president’s on-the-record comments in the Oval Office Thursday during his meeting with Crown Prince of Bahrain Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa. Trump was asked by reporters whether Tillerson would leave his post.

“He’s here,” Trump said. “Rex is here.”

When asked to comment on the reports, Cotton told Fox News' "Special Report with Bret Baier" that he was "proud to be representing the people of Arkansas in the Senate."

When host Bret Baier asked Cotton if he would like to be CIA director, the senator repeated, "I'm very proud to be representing the people of Arkansas."

The secretary of state also was slated for multiple meetings at the White House Thursday, which he attended as planned.

State Department Press Secretary Heather Nauert also fielded questions about Tillerson’s future, and cited assurances from the White House.

“He remains the secretary of state and as long as he serves at the pleasure of the president, he will continue to do that job,” Nauert said. "He’s heard these kinds of stories before, and he’s just going about his business.”

Nauert told reporters that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly called Tillerson early Thursday when reports first broke, to assure him the “rumors are not true.”

“We have no comment,” a CIA spokesperson told Fox News on Thursday, when asked about the discussions.

Tillerson's exit has been long rumored. Just last month, NBC News reported that Tillerson considered resigning over the summer amid disagreements with the White House, and even reportedly called the president a “moron” after a meeting with Cabinet officials.

Tillerson pushed back on the report, insisting there had “never been a consideration in my mind” to resign.

Tillerson also raised eyebrows in August, following the president’s response to the attacks in Charlottesville, Va. In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” in August, host Chris Wallace pointedly asked Tillerson about the president’s values.

“The president speaks for himself, Chris,” Tillerson curtly replied.

The State Department did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on Thursday.

Trump, on the other hand, has largely been mum on his relationship with the former Exxon CEO and his performance as secretary of state -- while seemingly applying social media pressure on the diplomat to be tougher on the international stage.

Trump tweeted last month that Tillerson was “wasting his time” with the diplomatic campaign to push North Korea toward denuclearization.

TILLERSON BLASTS REPORT OF RIFT WITH TRUMP, AS PRESIDENT RIPS 'FAKE NEWS'

“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump tweeted. “Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!”

Pompeo is seemingly more in line with Trump on North Korea. In August, the CIA director praised Trump for his tough rhetoric toward the rogue regime and for “uniting the world” in trying to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.

“The president made clear to the North Korea regime how America will respond if actions are taken,” Pompeo said on “Fox News Sunday” in August.

Politico reported over the summer that Pompeo spent a considerable amount of time at the White House, even setting up a temporary office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across the street. The report suggested Pompeo made “almost-daily” White House appearances.

Fox News’ John Roberts and Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/11/30/rex-tillerson-expected-to-step-down-in-january-plans-discussed-for-pompeo-to-take-place.html
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« Reply #244 on: December 01, 2017, 04:54:15 PM »

Trump: Reports of Rex Tillerson Leaving Are ‘FAKE NEWS!’
by JOHN HAYWARD
1 Dec 2017

President Trump dismissed rumors of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s imminent departure on Friday afternoon, declaring them “FAKE NEWS!” (caps in the original.)
 
Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
The media has been speculating that I fired Rex Tillerson or that he would be leaving soon - FAKE NEWS! He’s not leaving and while we disagree on certain subjects, (I call the final shots) we work well together and America is highly respected again!https://instagram.com/p/BcLCXDYgQed/
10:08 AM - Dec 1, 2017
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The Instagram link in the president’s tweet says the same thing, except with a picture of Secretary of State Tillerson taking his oath of office:


Trump was responding to a New York Times report that claimed White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has prepared an elaborate plan for Tillerson’s departure, with CIA Director Mike Pompeo replacing Tillerson at State, and Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) taking over as CIA Director. The Times then set about attacking Cotton as unqualified for the CIA job.

Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake said on Friday morning that Tillerson’s job might be in jeopardy because he has not filled enough of the open positions at the State Department, leaving too much in the hands of career bureaucrats and foreign service officers who “we already know are very much at odds with whatever you could say you think Trump’s agenda is at this point, which is quite mercurial, as we know.”

“These rumors about Tillerson leaving early and Pompeo leaving CIA to come in, to take over the State Department, have been flying around Washington since the summer,” Lake observed. He said he nevertheless trusted the New York Times’ reporting on the existence of a plan to replace Tillerson, but speculated it might be just a means for Trump to send a message to Tillerson and his staff, rather than a serious action plan to sack him.

Secretary of State Tillerson himself called the report of his imminent departure “laughable” on Friday, even as the New York Times insisted its report about the plan to fire him is solid and speculated the plan might have been leaked by “senior administration officials” frustrated by Tillerson’s refusal to resign.

Other reports holding that Tillerson’s press aide R.C. Hammond will soon leave his post were mocked by Hammond, who told reporters in an email, “You are not so lucky. You still get to work with me.”

CNN speculates that Tillerson’s relationship with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has “soured in recent months” following a report that Tillerson referred to President Trump as a “moron” over the summer. As a retired Marine general, Kelly is said to view Tillerson’s comment as insubordination.

“Kelly, once Tillerson’s fiercest defender in the West Wing, has stopped defending him privately, leaving him more isolated from the West Wing than ever before, according to a top White House official,” CNN relates. However, the State Department says Kelly made a strong statement of support for Tillerson on Thursday afternoon.

“Chief of staff Kelly called our department this morning and said the rumors are not true. He remains the secretary of state. As long as he is serving at the pleasure of the President he will continue to do that job,” said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/12/01/trump-reports-rex-tillerson-leaving-fake-news/
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