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White House

Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET

President Trump's nominee to take over the CIA faces a rocky confirmation hearing in the Senate and a narrow political path to secure the job.

Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel is a career intelligence officer widely respected within the agency but tied up inextricably with one of the ugliest chapters in its history.

President Donald Trump signs a proclamation on steel and aluminum imports.
Joyce N. Boghosian / White House

Last week President Donald Trump announced he will levy tariffs on steel and aluminum imports of 25 percent and 10 percent respectively. And it’s already having an impact on Connecticut companies.

In the boardroom on The Apprentice, the stakes seemed high. A quick decision from Donald Trump could end with winning, losing and embarrassment on network TV.

But in the Cabinet Room at the White House, people's lives and livelihoods are at stake.

In recent weeks, as President Trump led televised listening sessions about school safety and immigration in the Cabinet Room, former Apprentice producer Bill Pruitt watched with a feeling of familiarity or, as he puts it, "a minor form of PTSD."

Updated at 4:05 p.m. ET

Congress has the power to challenge President Trump on new tariffs, but it's unlikely lawmakers will act, even though nearly all congressional Republicans oppose the president's trade policy because they believe it will harm the U.S. economy.

"It's a conundrum, really, because you do not want 100 senators and our counterparts in the House doing basically any trade initiative. That's why we give that (power) to the executive," said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan.

President Trump's proclivity for putting his name on buildings, steaks, ties and certificates is well-known. But former adult film actress Stormy Daniels says he failed to put his name on their contract.

Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford, filed a civil suit against President Trump on Tuesday alleging the nondisclosure agreement she signed just days before the 2016 election is invalid because it's missing Trump's signature.

President Trump insists his isn't a White House in chaos, but it's hard to deny the near constant churn of key aides, including Tuesday's announced departure of economic adviser Gary Cohn. A full 43 percent of top-level positions in the Trump White House have seen turnover. That is not normal.

In fact, the Trump White House has had more turnover among senior aides in the first 13 1/2 months of Trump's term than his four most recent predecessors had after two years.

President Trump's promise to impose hefty tariffs on U.S. imports of steel and aluminum sent markets around the globe into a tailspin and prompted anger and threats of retaliation from major U.S. trading partners, raising the specter of a full-fledged trade war.

Updated at 5:14 p.m. ET

President Trump promised steel and aluminum executives Thursday that he will levy tariffs on imports of their products in coming weeks. He said the imported steel will face tariffs of 25 percent, while aluminum will face tariffs of 10 percent.

"We're going to build our steel industry back and we're going to build our aluminum industry back," Trump told reporters.

Updated at 7:08 p.m. ET

White House communications director Hope Hicks, President Trump's longest-serving aide, is resigning and will depart in the next few weeks, the White House says.

In a White House that has set records for staff turnover (and it isn't even close), the departure of Hicks still came as a shock.

Updated at 6:17 p.m. ET

President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has lost the top-level security clearance he has been using on an interim basis to do his work inside the White House, according to reports on Tuesday.

Instead, Kushner will begin using a lower level of access to classified information along with other White House staffers who had temporary clearances.

After nearly a month of pronouncements, melodrama, headlines and strife, Round One of memo mania is finally complete.

House Intelligence Committee Republicans went first with their Feb. 2 salvo that alleged "biased" FBI and Justice Department officials had abused their surveillance powers by withholding information from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Then, on Saturday, committee Democrats released a rebuttal giving their perspective on the story — or at least part of it.

Updated at 5:28 p.m. ET

Rick Gates, the business partner of Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, pleaded guilty on Friday to two charges and will begin cooperating with federal prosecutors investigating the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Gates appeared in federal court on Friday afternoon. He told Judge Amy Berman Jackson he was making the plea of his own free will.

In trying to clarify his Wednesday comments about arming teachers and other school personnel, President Trump, a day later, aligned himself even more closely with the National Rifle Association on the issue of teachers with guns and beefing up school security.

So much so, they seemed, at times, to be reading from the same script.

Here's how the day started — with NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC (emphasis ours):

Updated at 8:32 p.m. ET

A federal grand jury unveiled new charges on Thursday against Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates, accusing them of a broader range of financial crimes.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

Following the deadly school shooting in Florida on Feb. 14, President Trump is directing the Department of Justice to develop regulations to ban bump stocks.

"Just a few moments ago I signed a memorandum directing the AG to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. I expect that these critical regulations will be finalized, Jeff, very soon," Trump said, referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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