cabinet

White House: Steve Bannon Is Out
President’s chief strategist increasingly a lightning rod for criticism

Steve Bannon is out as  chief strategist to President Donald Trump. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump has decided to part ways with White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. The former Breitbart executive infused his campaign and presidency with nationalist rhetoric and policies.

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

CBO Would Disclose Research Models, Data Under Lee Measure
Utah Republican latest to target Congress’ budget scorekeeper

Utah Sen. Mike Lee wants the CBO to ‘show how its models work.’ (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The hits keep coming for the Congressional Budget Office, as Republicans in Congress continue to lash out against the nonpartisan scorekeeper following its unflattering analysis of recent GOP health care proposals.

Republican lawmakers and White House officials in recent months have accused the CBO of partisan bias; called for slashing its budget; singled out individual employees; and suggested the agency is now obsolete.

Gillibrand Leads Democrats in Opposing Trump’s Nominees
Parties largely split along partisan lines on president’s pics

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, seen here with Gen. James Mattis in January prior to his confirmation as Defense secretary, has recorded the most votes opposing President Donald Trump’s nominees so far. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the last day before the August recess, the Senate confirmed 65 of President Donald Trump’s nominees with a single bipartisan voice vote.

That has been a marked difference from the way Democratic senators have approached Trump’s picks for his team. 

Some Notable Confirmations, Honors as Senate Wraps Up for Recess
Chamber approves Kay Bailey Hutchison, Mark Green, honors Bob Dole

The Senate on Thursday confirmed former Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to be U.S. ambassador to NATO. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate wrapped up its summer session Thursday after confirming a large bloc of executive nominees, including a former senator and former House member. It also approved awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to former Sen. Bob Dole, the 94-year-old Kansas Republican whose long service included stints at majority and minority leader and who has continued to advocate causes ranging from the rights of the disabled to veterans issues. 

Among the 69 nominees confirmed in multiple en bloc packages, by voice vote and by unanimous consent, was a former member of the club, Texas GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, President Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. ambassador to NATO. Her selection comes at a time when relations with NATO have frayed in light of Trump’s criticism of fellow NATO signatories and his icy relationship with top NATO leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

Report: Kelly Tells Sessions His Job is Safe
New White House COS called Sessions over the weekend to tell him he would not be fired

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ job security has been in question after President Donald Trump attacked him on Twitter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New White House Chief of Staff John Kelly called Jeff Sessions on Saturday to tell him his post as attorney general was safe, despite the fact Kelly and Sessions’ boss, President Donald Trump, has levied repeated public attacks against Sessions in recent weeks.

In one of his first moves in his new position, Kelly told Sessions that the White House remained supportive of the AG’s work, The Associated Press reported Thursday. And although Trump was offended when Sessions recused himself from the ongoing investigation into Russia’s meddling in U.S. elections, the president did not plan to fire Sessions or hope he would resign.

Opinion: Trump’s Ratings Hold Steady, but Is He Losing Key Groups He Needs to Stay on Top?
Military, law enforcement and GOP stalwarts now questioning the star

Leaders of groups President Donald Trump depends on — from the military to law enforcement to an increasing number of Republicans — are breaking ranks, Curtis writes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“You’re fired!” was the reality show refrain of the now president of the United States, Donald Trump. So when, on the campaign trail, candidate Trump said, “I alone can fix it,” with “it” meaning whatever was ailing the country and each one of its citizens, it was easy to for someone looking for answers to transfer his my-way-or-the-highway TV decisiveness to Oval Office success.

Could “The Apprentice” boss have bought into his own hype on the way to the White House, forgetting the behind-the-scenes writers and producers, and the reality of life after the director yells, “Cut”?

Priebus Was One of Shortest-Tenured Chiefs of Staff in History
President Donald Trump’s first chief of staff lasted only 189 days

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus lasted 189 days as President Donald Trump’s chief of staff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At 189 days, President Donald Trump’s first chief of staff had the shortest tenure of any who was not serving in an interim capacity or leaving with their president. The position was formally established in 1946.

The next shortest tenure among initial chiefs of staff belongs to President Bill Clinton’s childhood friend, Mack McLarty, who is generally remembered as having been out of his league. McLarty lasted nearly three times as long as Priebus.

Rare Warning to Trump From Hill GOP Leader
Firing Sessions could poison president’s agenda in Senate, Cornyn says

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, right, says firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions could jeopardize President Donald Trump’s ability to “get anything else done.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate majority’s No. 2 leader has given President Donald Trump one of the strongest pushbacks from any Republican in Congress this year: Firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions could bring to a halt GOP cooperation with the administration’s legislative agenda.

“Well, it’s the president’s prerogative, but he is then going to jeopardize, potentially, his ability to get anything else done here,” Majority Whip John Cornyn told reporters Wednesday. “And I don’t think that should be his desire or preference.”

House Democrats Want to Use Minibus to Target Trump Ethics
Rules Committee likely to nix attempts to force issue

Maryland Rep. John Sarbanes says Democrats will use the tools at their disposal to force action on President Donald Trump's ethics. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats this week are trying to hitch a slate of amendments to the appropriations minibus, all targeting the business, family members and scandals of President Donald Trump.

The amendments, offered in the Rules Committee, are part of the minority party’s larger effort to tie their Republican colleagues to Trump’s possible conflicts of interest stemming from his business holdings and the government’s probe of alleged collusion by Trump campaign officials with Russia to influence the 2016 elections.

Sessions on the Cusp of Martyrdom or Oblivion
If he’s fired, will former Senate GOP colleagues draw a line against Trump?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been the target of almost daily taunting from President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When Jeff Sessions was preparing last fall to begin a third decade in the Senate, his future as a rock-ribbed conservative legislative force looked limitless, but just three seasons later, he’s been pushed to the precipice of his career.

The almost daily taunting he’s taking from President Donald Trump points toward one of two probably quick endings to his brief run as attorney general, quitting or getting canned.