Poll: 54 percent of voters say North Korean summit was successful

A little more than half of voters said the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump was "very" or "somewhat" successful, but they are divided on whether it favors the United States, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.

Fifteen percent of those polled said the summit between Trump and Kim was “very successful,” and 39 percent said the summit was “somewhat successful.” Fourteen percent said the summit was “not too successful,” while 10 percent said it was “not successful at all.”

Voters, however, appear to been less sure when it comes to the details of the negotiations at the summit and whether it could have positive outcomes for the U.S. Thirteen percent believe the agreement “strongly favors” the U.S., 21 percent believe it “somewhat favors” the U.S. Thirteen percent say the deal “somewhat favors” North Korea, and 11 Continue reading “Poll: 54 percent of voters say North Korean summit was successful”

Trump says he wants American people to ‘sit up at attention’ like North Koreans

President Donald Trump said Friday that he wants the American people to “sit up at attention” the way North Koreans do for dictator Kim Jong Un, who has been accused of ruling his nation with extreme brutality.

The comment came during an interview with Fox News on the White House’s North Lawn, and came days after Trump met with Kim in Singapore as part of an effort to reach a denuclearization deal with Pyongyang. When asked about whether Kim would be visiting the White House any time soon, Trump responded “it could happen.” He then went on to praise the dictator for being a strong leader.

“He’s the head of a country and I mean he is the strong head,” Trump said to Fox. “Don’t let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”

When Continue reading “Trump says he wants American people to ‘sit up at attention’ like North Koreans”

Sarah Huckabee Sanders knocks report she plans to exit the White House

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday refuted a CBS News report that she plans to leave the White House, saying she loves her job and that "I’ll pray for clarity and discernment on what my future looks like."

CBS reported Wednesday that Sanders and principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah are considering an exit, “according to sources inside the White House and close to the administration.”

Sanders was asked about the report during the press briefing, saying she currently has no such plans.

“In terms of personnel announcements, I don’t have any to make,” Sanders said during the briefing. “I can tell you that I show up here every day, I love my job. I’m glad to work for the president. Each and every day I’ll pray for clarity and discernment on what my future looks like.”

She also denied the story in a tweet Wednesday Continue reading “Sarah Huckabee Sanders knocks report she plans to exit the White House”

Sessions defends removing asylum protections for domestic violence victims

Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended his decision to overturn asylum protections for domestic violence and gang violence victims, saying the Trump administration will return to the “classical” and “legitimate” definition of asylum.

“We are really returning to the classical understanding of what asylum is,” Sessions told The Hill. “Asylum is not a claim that you have suffered a specific act of private violence or any other crime. It is really a systemic problem in which a group of people, based on ethnicity or race or nationality or other such factors, are oppressed in a given country.”

Sessions’ asylum decision this week reverses a push by the Obama administration to provide asylum to women with credible claims of domestic violence.

“The asylum statute does not provide redress for all misfortune,” Sessions wrote in his ruling. “It applies when persecution arises on account of membership in a protected group and the Continue reading “Sessions defends removing asylum protections for domestic violence victims”

Sessions backs Supreme Court decision in favor of Christian baker

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday backed a recent Supreme Court decision in favor of a Christian baker who refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex couple, saying that “there are plenty of other people to bake that cake.”

Speaking at the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center’s annual Leadership Mission in Washington, Sessions characterized an increasingly hostile environment for people with religious convictions. He then commended the Supreme Court’s decision to support Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado.

“There is no need for the power of government — no need for the state’s power — to be arrayed against an individual who is honestly attempting to live out — to freely exercise — his sincere religious beliefs,” Sessions told the gathering of the Advocacy Center, the public-policy arm of the largest Orthodox Jewish organization in the country. “And there are plenty of other people to Continue reading “Sessions backs Supreme Court decision in favor of Christian baker”

Trump: First lady is ‘great’ but cannot fly for a month

President Trump said Friday morning that first lady Melania Trump wanted to attend the G-7 summit taking place this weekend in Quebec, but the "doctors say" she cannot fly for a month due to a recent operation.

"She had a big operation," he added. "That was close to a four hour operation."

The first lady received treatment last month for what was described as “a benign kidney condition.” She has kept a low public profile in the days following her release from the hospital and made her first public appearance during a FEMA briefing Wednesday to discuss hurricane preparedness.

Her public absence has sparked a number of reports about the reason for her relative seclusion. The president weighed in on the matter earlier this week, writing on twitter that the media was treating her unfairly.

“The Fake News Media has been so unfair, and vicious, to my wife Continue reading “Trump: First lady is ‘great’ but cannot fly for a month”

Trump says he’s considering pardon for Muhammad Ali

President Donald Trump on Friday said he’s considering a posthumous pardon for boxing champ Muhammad Ali, who was convicted in 1967 of refusing military service in the Vietnam War.

"The power to pardon is a beautiful thing," Trump told reporters as he prepared to leave for the G-7 meeting in Canada. "You got to get it right. You’ve got to get the right people. I am looking at Muhammad Ali."

Ali’s lawyer Ronald Tweel, however, issued a statement Friday morning in response to Trump’s pardon interest, saying the offer isn’t needed.

"We appreciate President Trump’s sentiment, but a pardon is unnecessary," Tweel wrote. "The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Muhammad Ali in a unanimous decision in 1971. There is no conviction from which a pardon is needed."

Trump has significantly ramped up the use of his power to offer legal reprieves, announcing last week a Continue reading “Trump says he’s considering pardon for Muhammad Ali”

Cruz takes a jab at Bill Clinton’s book tour

Sen. Ted Cruz on Thursday poked at Bill Clinton by saying the former president’s current media tour “is going well" — a mocking comment that drew laughs during his remarks at the annual Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority luncheon.

The gibe referenced Clinton’s ongoing book tour for his fictional thriller co-written with author James Patterson. During multiple media appearances, Clinton found himself on the defensive from questions about the #MeToo movement and the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Cruz’s address at the conservative event touted what the Texas Republican characterized as the GOP’s “victories” over the past year and a half, including cutting taxes, moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

Cruz described the overall repeal of Obamacare as the “biggest unfinished promise Republicans have,” though repealing the individual mandate was a great start, he said.

“That was one of Continue reading “Cruz takes a jab at Bill Clinton’s book tour”

Cruz takes a jab at Bill Clinton’s book tour

Sen. Ted Cruz on Thursday poked at Bill Clinton by saying the former president’s current media tour “is going well" — a mocking comment that drew laughs during his remarks at the annual Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority luncheon.

The gibe referenced Clinton’s ongoing book tour for his fictional thriller co-written with author James Patterson. During multiple media appearances, Clinton found himself on the defensive from questions about the #MeToo movement and the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Cruz’s address at the conservative event touted what the Texas Republican characterized as the GOP’s “victories” over the past year and a half, including cutting taxes, moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

Cruz described the overall repeal of Obamacare as the “biggest unfinished promise Republicans have,” though repealing the individual mandate was a great start, he said.

“That was one of Continue reading “Cruz takes a jab at Bill Clinton’s book tour”

Trump commutes life sentence for Alice Marie Johnson

President Trump on Wednesday commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old woman serving life in prison in 1996 for a non-violent drug offense, after reality TV star Kim Kardashian West visited the White House on Johnson’s behalf last week.

Johnson’s case was thrust into the national spotlight after Kardashian West began tweeting about her story. Kardashian West met with Trump last week and other officials to discuss prison reform and Johnson’s case specifically.

"Ms. Johnson has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades. Despite receiving a life sentence, Alice worked hard to rehabilitate herself in prison, and act as a mentor to her fellow inmates," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement about the commutation.

Trump last week announced a pardon for controversial conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, and also expressed interest in commuting the Continue reading “Trump commutes life sentence for Alice Marie Johnson”

Trump denies rumors about Melania’s absence from public eye

President Donald Trump on Wednesday denied a series of rumors about Melania Trump, saying the first lady is not close to death, did not have a face lift, is not divorcing him, and is not the victim of spousal abuse.

The first lady has been largely absent from the public eye since undergoing a procedure last month at Walter Reed Medical Center to treat what her office described as “a benign kidney condition.”

Her especially low profile stoked a number of reports about the reason for her relative seclusion.

“The Fake News Media has been so unfair, and vicious, to my wife and our great First Lady, Melania. During her recovery from surgery they reported everything from near death, to facelift, to left the W.H. (and me) for N.Y. or Virginia, to abuse. All Fake, she is doing really well!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

He continued Continue reading “Trump denies rumors about Melania’s absence from public eye”

Kellyanne Conway appears to accidentally call Trump ‘commander in cheese’

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway appeared to suffer a verbal glitch on Wednesday when she apparently referred to President Donald Trump as the “commander in cheese.”

Conway, when asked about the recent dust-up over the president disinviting the Philadelphia Eagles to the White House, said, “The problem with the President of the United States, and the commander of cheese — chief — expressing that opinion is what?”

The slip of the tongue was captured by several people on Twitter, who posted the brief clip of Conway.

In 2017, Conway also said she misspoke when she cited a nonexistent “Bowling Green massacre” when explaining Trump’s travel ban.

Napolitano: DACA needs to be fixed by Congress, not the courts

Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Tuesday challenged Congress to “do the right thing” and resolve the dispute over the Dreamers program that has left thousands of immigrants in limbo.

Napolitano, who now serves as the president of the University of California, said it "took me about 17 minutes" to decide to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration last year after the White House announced plans to end the protections that allowed immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay in the country.

Ultimately, she said, a resolution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program needs to be determined by Congress, and not the courts, which have temporarily blocked Trump’s decision to end DACA.

Bipartisan concern for the Dreamers gets wrapped up in the "toxicity of dealing with immigration as a whole,” Napolitano added, speaking alongside former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer during the Continue reading “Napolitano: DACA needs to be fixed by Congress, not the courts”

Dem senator: Recall ambassador to Germany if political statements continue

A Democratic senator said Monday that U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell should be recalled if he cannot "refrain from political statements," after he took aim at the political and media establishment in an interview published this weekend.

"[Ambassadors] should not meddle in local or regional politics by backing political parties, candidates or causes," Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) said in a statement. "If Ambassador Grenell is unwilling to refrain from political statements, he should be recalled immediately. The United States does not accept foreign meddling in our elections, and we shouldn’t have an ambassador attempting to intrude in another country’s political affairs.”

The statement comes after Grenell said in an interview with Breitbart London Sunday that he wants to "empower other conservatives" to rise up against "elites."

The comments caught the attention of leaders in Europe and the U.S. On Sunday afternoon, Sen. Chris Continue reading “Dem senator: Recall ambassador to Germany if political statements continue”

Starbucks’ Howard Schultz to step down

Howard Schultz will leave his role as executive chairman of Starbucks, effective June 26, he said in a statement Monday.

Schultz joined the Seattle-based company in 1982 and is credited with transforming it into an international brand with more than 28,000 locations. The announcement of his departure promptly sparked speculation that Schultz, who has openly criticized the Trump administration at times, is considering a 2020 presidential bid.

"I’ll be thinking about a range of options for myself, from philanthropy to public service, but I’m a long way from knowing what the future holds," Schultz said in the memo.

Two days after President Donald Trump issued an executive order last year barring people from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. and halting refugee admissions, Schultz announced the company’s plan to hire 10,000 refugees over five years in 75 countries.

He also criticized the Republican tax plan before it was Continue reading “Starbucks’ Howard Schultz to step down”