EXBR

New National Security Adviser: No Friend to Russia?
McMaster has warned against Russian military might, plans to disrupt Europe

Lt. Gen. Herbert Raymond “H.R.” McMaster, President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser. (Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army)

Lt. Gen. Herbert Raymond “H.R.” McMaster, President Donald Trump’s new pick as national security adviser, does not appear to be a friend of Russia. 

He’s warned that the Kremlin wants to disrupt the post-World War II security and political order in Europe. And he was behind the “Russia New Generation Warfare Study,” which was prompted by concerns over the country’s growing military might.

Robbing the Poor to Pay Paul Ryan’s Pals
Speaker may have powerful ally for assault on Medicaid

Speaker Paul D. Ryan Ryan has another shot at Medicaid with longtime ally Tom Price running the Department of Health and Human Services, Jonathan Allen writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan wants you to know that he cares about the poor. He wants you to know that his deeply held Catholic convictions drive him to seek opportunity for those in poverty, particularly people of color.

He speaks in the compassionate tones of someone who means to help not harm, and I believe that these are his real values, even if I often don’t agree with his policy prescriptions.

Rep. Reed Surprises Sit-In Participants
New York Republican has two-hour discussion at district office

Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., surprised constituents who were requesting a town hall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., surprised people staging a sit-in at a district office when he dropped by Thursday after a meeting with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in Washington.

Six people from Ithaca Catholic Workers began the sit-in on Tuesday to highlight that Reed not holding a town hall since May 2, 2016. Reed arrived around 10:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Trump Comes Out Swinging Against Familiar Foes
Ignoring stumbles, president says administration is a ‘fine-tuned machine’

President Donald Trump focused on familiar targets in his news conference on Thursday. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Thursday handed the Senate a new Labor secretary nominee who has previously been approved by the chamber three times — but he used the next 75 minutes to rouse his base and goad his critics. 

Trump walked into the East Room of the White House and announced that Alexander Acosta, a former assistant attorney general, will be his second pick to run the Labor Department after fast-food mogul Andrew Puzder withdrew his nomination on Wednesday.

Puzder Is First Trump Nominee Spiked by GOP
Votes just weren’t there for fast-food tycoon

Andrew Puzder, left was the first of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees to not get enough Republican votes for confirmation. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The withdrawal of Andrew Puzder’s nomination to be Labor secretary represents a milestone in the nascent Trump administration: the first time congressional Republicans played a significant part in spiking a Donald Trump Cabinet pick. 

The nomination of the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which runs the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s chains, had been plagued by scandal, including revelations he had employed an undocumented immigrant as a housekeeper and failed to pay taxes on her, as well as the fallout from a 1987 divorce that brought up allegations of domestic violence against him.

Puzder Backs Out of Labor Secretary Nomination
Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. head lacked confirmation votes

Andrew Puzder leaves a November meeting with Donald Trump in Bedminster Township, New Jersey. Trump later nominated Puzder to head the Labor Department though recent reports indicate that Puzder is expected to withdraw his nomination. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Andrew Puzder, President Donald Trump’s nominee for Labor secretary, backed out of the confirmation process Wednesday.

In a statement released by the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which runs the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s chains, Puzder said he decided to withdraw his nomination after “careful consideration and discussions with [his] family.”

Trump Accuses Agencies, Media of ‘Cover-up’ Via Russia Leaks
POTUS: ‘Russia connection non-sense’ aimed at protecting Hillary Clinton

The Trump administration is attempting to deflect blame for a growing scandal involving its ties to Moscow. (Wikicommons)

Donald Trump started Wednesday by continuing his efforts to deflect blame for an escalating scandal involving Russia, the 2016 election and his top associates, as the president seemed to suggest intelligence agencies and media outlets are in cahoots.

As cable news morning shows discussed the dismissal of his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, after just 25 days and New York Times and CNN reports of repeated contact between his campaign aides and Russian intelligence, Trump lashed out at the National Security Agency, FBI, CNN and MSNBC.

Trump Hill Backers Provide Cover After Flynn Departure
Republicans say there's no reason to question president's judgement

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., is interviewed by a television crew in the Cannon rotunda. He defended President Trump on Tuesday after his national security adviser resigned. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Some of President Donald Trump’s earliest and most vocal congressional supporters offered him political cover Tuesday, chalking up the first-month dismissal of his national security adviser as merely an inevitable early stumble.

GOP Rep. Chris Collins of New York, an early Trump supporter who was his transition team’s congressional liaison, was quick to protect the president’s flank after Michael Flynn resigned on Monday night. But few other Republican members flocked to television cameras on Trump’s behalf.

Flynn's Tenure as National Security Adviser Historically Brief
Michael Flynn's White House role lasted just 24 days

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn sits before a press conference in the White House last week. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

By RYAN KELLY and SEAN MCMINN CQ Roll Call

Michael Flynn’s resignation Monday after 24 days on the job set a new low for the tenure of a national security adviser. William H. Jackson, who served in the Eisenhower administration, previously had the shortest tenure at about three months.

NRA: Confirmation of Ryan Zinke a Sound Move
Gun rights group predicts an ‘end of an era of hostility’ towards hunters

Secretary of the Interior nominee Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., returns to his seat after greeting chairwoman Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, before the start of his confirmation hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Jan. 17, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The five million men and women of the National Rifle Association are eager to see Rep. Ryan Zinke confirmed as the 52nd secretary of the Interior. His confirmation will mark the end of an era of hostility toward hunters and sportsmen at the Interior Department.

As a native Montanan, Zinke has a deep appreciation for wildlife and conservation. In addition, he understands the importance of public land access for all hunters and outdoorsmen.