ethics

Trump Is Quickly Running Out of GOP Factions to Alienate
Republican strategist: ‘He’s basically crossing out all of his allies’

President Donald Trump’s ouster of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is seen by some as his first major slight to his conservative base. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is running out of Republican Party factions to offend and alienate after firing Steve Bannon, the White House chief strategist who was a bridge to the president’s conservative base.

Along with Friday’s blow to his base, a defensive and sometimes erratic Trump in the past few weeks alone has attacked once-supportive business leaders, GOP lawmakers and voters eager to distance themselves from far-right and white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. He’s also lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a key player in any effort to push forward his legislative agenda.

Trump Hits Lindsey Graham Over Alleged ‘Disgusting Lie’
Graham: President suggested ‘moral equivalency’ between KKK, Heyer

President Donald Trump speaks Tuesday about white supremacist groups and the violence in Virginia. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Updated at 9:11 a.m. Accusing Sen. Lindsey Graham of a “disgusting lie,” Donald Trump warned the South Carolina Republican voters will punish him for criticizing the president’s response to the racially tinged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Graham in a Wednesday statement said Trump, during an impromptu press conference Tuesday, “took a step backward by again suggesting there is moral equivalency between the white supremacist neo-Nazis and KKK members who attended the Charlottesville rally and people like Ms. [Heather] Heyer,” referring to the young woman killed in a car attack by a Nazi sympathizer.

Far-Right Protesters in Virginia Included ‘Very Fine’ People, Trump Says
Trump says ‘both sides’ to blame for Charlottesville unrest

President Donald Trump delivers remarks following a meeting on infrastructure at Trump Tower on Tuesday. He appeared to defend some of the white supremacist groups who help spawn deadly violence Saturday in Virginia. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended some of the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who were part of the deadly Charlottesville, Virginia, protests last weekend, saying there were “very fine people” on both sides of the racially charged unrest.

A defiant Trump, just a day after slamming the pro-white groups who organized the two-day protests of the planned removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, appeared to give some of their members cover. “There is blame on both sides,” he told reporters during what amounted to a brief impromptu press conference at Trump Tower in New York.

Trump Labels CEOs Who Left Advisory Panel as ‘Grandstanders’
President used same insult to describe fired FBI Director James Comey

President Donald Trump says he has many potential replacements for the CEOs who quit his American Manufacturing Council. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump labeled as “grandstanders” the corporate executives who left a White House advisory council after he opted against quickly disavowing white supremacist groups following the weekend’s race-based violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The president used a late-morning post Tuesday on his favorite social media site to lash out at the chief executives of Merck, Under Armor and Intel. All three a day earlier announced they were leaving the President’s American Manufacturing Council in protest after Trump did not immediately — and clearly — condemn the Klu Klux Klan, neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.

FBI Searched Office of Rep. Duncan Hunter’s Campaign Treasurer
Agents seized computer equipment and documents related to campaign finance probe

California Rep. Duncan Hunter, center, is the target of an ongoing ethics investigation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

FBI agents seized computer equipment, communication, financial and travel records from the office of Rep. Duncan Hunter’s campaign treasurer in February as part of an ongoing investigation into possible misuse by the California Republican of campaign money.

A warrant to search the Alexandria, Virginia, office of Election CFO, which provides fully-outsourced treasurer services to candidates, was unsealed in March, the Los Angeles Times reported. Hunter’s campaign treasurer Christopher Marston is the agency’s founder.

Ethics Committee Extending Conyers Review
OCE recommends panel investigate $50,000 paid to staffer on leave

The House Ethics Committee is looking into whether Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr. paid a longtime staffer part of her salary while not performing official duties. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Ethics Committee announced Wednesday it would extend its review of an inquiry into whether Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers Jr. paid a longtime aide more than $50,000 over a four-month period when the staffer might not have conducted official business.

A report from May by the Office of Congressional Ethics, with which the inquiry originated, detailed Conyers’ decision to place his then-chief of staff Cynthia Martin on leave without pay after she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor on March 30, 2016.

Wasserman Schultz Defends Keeping Fired IT Worker
‘I believe that I did the right thing, and I would do it again,’ Florida congresswoman says

Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she believes fired IT worker Imran Awan is getting additional scrutiny because he is Muslim. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz defended keeping a fired IT worker on her payroll despite the fact he was banned from the House network and fired by another member of Congress. 

Wasserman Schultz said it would have been easier to fire Imran Awan.

The Return of Michael Grimm?
Disgraced former New York congressman reportedly gauging interest for a primary challenge to Rep. Dan Donovan

Former Rep. Michael Grimm is weighing a primary challenge to his successor, Rep. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call via Getty Images)

It started out small: Rumors swirled in March that disgraced former Rep. Michael Grimm was considering a political comeback by running for Staten Island borough president.

But now he’s thinking bigger: Grimm wants to win back New York’s 11th District seat, according to local media reports.

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.

Lawyers Say Investigators Asked Witnesses About Schock’s Sexuality, Exploits
Ex-Illinois GOP congressman’s legal team says feds overstepped

Former Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock has been indicted on 24 charges regarding his personal finances and misuse of public funds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawyers for former Rep. Aaron Schock on Tuesday accused federal investigators of misconduct for asking witnesses about whom the Illinois Republican slept with and if he was gay.

Schock’s defense team filed a memo in court alleging the prosecutor and federal agents “have dug into every aspect of Mr. Schock’s life by any means necessary,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday.