cabinet

Committee launches probe of Chao’s ties to family’s business
Seeks information about media reports that Chao appeared alongside her father in Chinese media interviews

A House committee seeks information from Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao about ties to her family's company by the end of September. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Monday said the committee was launching an investigation into whether Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao used her office to help the shipping company owned by her father and sisters.

In a letter to Chao, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Maryland, requested information and documents about media reports that Chao had appeared alongside her father in at least a dozen Chinese media interviews, sometimes behind the official seal of the Department of Transportation, in order to benefit Foremost Group, the family shipping company.

Democrats object to Trump’s threatening Iran over Saudi oil attack
U.S. is ‘locked and loaded’ if Tehran believed to be behind strikes, president warns

President Donald Trump leaves after chairing a U.N. Security Council meeting last September. He will be back there, along with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, next week. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images file photo)

The United States should not take orders about using military force against Iran even if Saudi Arabia’s government declares Tehran was behind an attack on its oil facilities, congressional Democrats are telling President Donald Trump.

Trump signaled on Sunday evening and again on Monday morning that he is standing by for Saudi officials to sort out just what happened and who launched what U.S. officials said appeared to be armed drone and cruise missile strikes on the Saudi facilities. The attacks are expected to pare Saudi production and drive up oil and gas prices — but Democrats are concerned the incident might compel Trump to launch retaliatory strikes on Iran, which they say would be contrary to American interests.

Still confused about Trump’s demands of Congress? Maybe it’s you
President ‘always lays it right out there,’ but Hill slow to ‘adjust,’ Eric Ueland says

President Donald Trump — here in January 2018 with Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming and John Thune of South Dakota and Vice President Mike Pence — has clear legislative goals despite confusion at times on the Hill as to what they are, legislative affairs director Eric Ueland says. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — If you’re a Republican lawmaker or congressional aide who struggles to understand what Donald Trump wants in legislation, take a long look in the mirror.

Because it’s you. Not him.

List to replace fired national security adviser John Bolton grows to 15
Trump says he makes ‘all the decisions’ so senior advisers ‘don’t have to work’

President Donald Trump walks from the South Lawn to Marine One on his way to Joint Base Andrews in July 2018. He took the executive helicopter to a GOP retreat in Baltimore on Thursday evening. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There are now 15 candidates to replace John Bolton as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, but the president says it will not be Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

There was talk around Washington that the former Kansas GOP congressman — rumored to be eyeing a Senate run in his home state next year — might do both jobs after increasingly becoming Trump’s go-to counselor on foreign affairs and national security. But the president put an end to such speculation Thursday evening.

Five candidates on list to replace ‘Mr. Tough Guy’ John Bolton, Trump says
President mocks former national security adviser day after he was fired or quit, depending on the source

President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he departs the Capitol in "The Beast" in March. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he is looking closely at five candidates to replace hawkish John Bolton — whom he mocked — a day after he abruptly fired Bolton from his role as national security adviser.

“We have a lot of good people who want that position. … We’ll have five people who want it very much,” Trump told reporters after an unrelated event at the White House. “We’ll be announcing somebody next week.”

With Congress back, Trump tells staff he doesn’t want another shutdown
Hill envoy details to-do list, which could face obstacles, including from White House

President Donald Trump has told his staff to avoid a government shutdown, but several obstacles remain to getting spending deals, as well as other legislative priorities. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House has an ambitious autumn and winter legislative agenda that includes avoiding another government shutdown and winning approval of a sweeping trade pact — but a key official says legislation aimed at preventing mass shootings is not certain to move this year.

Both chambers returned Monday from a rather bloody August recess in which more than 40 people died during mass shootings in four states. Members of both parties say they want to move some kind of bill aimed at curbing gun violence amid polling that shows large majorities of Republican and Democratic voters want Washington to act. But no plan that could pass the House and Senate — and get President Donald Trump’s signature — has emerged.

Trump says he’s preparing report on his personal finances
House Judiciary mentions president’s finances in announcing move toward impeachment articles

President Donald Trump greets Blake Marnell of San Diego, during a rally at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville, Pa., on May 20. He spoke to reporters Monday as he left the White House for another rally, this one in North Carolina. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump said Monday he soon will release a report detailing his personal finances and declared secret talks he launched with Taliban leaders are “dead.”

“As far as I’m concerned they’re dead,” he said on the White House’s South Lawn as he departed for a campaign rally in 2020 battleground North Carolina. “They thought they had to kill people to put themselves a little bit better negotiating position. And when they did, they killed 12 people. One happened to be a great American soldier. … You can’t do that with me.”

August is ‘quirky’: Trump’s top economic adviser brushes off disappointing jobs report
Data offers Americans ‘little comfort,’ Pelosi says, warning of president's ‘reckless agenda’

President Donald Trump speaks while flanked by Director of the National Economic Council Lawrence Kudlow during an event for American workers in the State Dining Room of the White House in October. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Lawrence Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, shrugged off a disappointing jobs report by saying August “is always a quirky month.”

Nonfarm payrolls added 130,000 jobs last month, about 20,000 less than most Wall Street estimates — a figure made further concerning because it was boosted by 25,000 temporary government hires in anticipation of the 2020 census. What’s more, total construction activity for July was $1.29 trillion, down 2.7 percent compared with July 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Friday. The decline was led by a 6.6 percent drop in residential construction.

White House pushes ban on Chinese-made buses, rail cars
Advocate for ban says state-backed Chinese companies can underbid domestic competition and drive them out of business

A MARC commuter train leaves a station in Brunswick, Md. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House wants China to stay out of the U.S. mass transit business, whether it’s bus transit or passenger rail.

In a statement of policy before the House and Senate get together in a conference committee to work out their differences in a wide-ranging Pentagon policy bill, the White House said it supports a Senate provision that would bar federal transit funds from being used to buy transit vehicles manufactured by state-owned or state-controlled enterprises, including those from China.

Another West Wing departure leaves Kushner taking point on Middle East peace
Official: Presidential son-in-law, ‘a few others’ will try to fill void left by Greenblatt’s exit

Jared Kushner, senior adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump, steps out of the vice president's office in the Senate Reception Room to take a phone call. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump announced White House Middle East peace envoy Jason Greenblatt is leaving the administration, essentially handing presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner the task of completing an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

“Jason has been a loyal and great friend and fantastic lawyer........His dedication to Israel and to seeking peace between Israel and the Palestinians won’t be forgotten. He will be missed,” Trump tweeted in announcing Greenblatt’s departure.