Politics
Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said the issue of crowd sizes at Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday in comparison to prior inaugurations is "not so important."

Her comments came just hours after President Trump made false claims about turnout and ordered his press secretary, Sean Spicer, to hold his first press conference to reiterate them. Spicer blasted the media, accusing news organizations of intentionally framing photographs to "minimize the [president's] enormous support" and claiming the Jan. 20 ceremony had the "largest audience ever."

Conway towed a similar line Sunday on ABC News' "This Week," arguing that the crowd "was historic based on the projections that were given and certainly based on the fact that we, for the first time, have a nonpolitician in the White House."

Aerial images from Friday’s inaugural at noon during President Trump’s swearing-in show fewer people on the National Mall than during President Obama’s 2009 inaugural at the same time.

After touting a historic crowd, Conway blamed the inclement weather for discouraging more attendees: "First of all, there was rain -- the downpour that was reported -- and I think it deterred many people from coming."

"But there were hundreds of thousands of people here," she told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. "And more importantly, 31 million people watched this inaugural [on TV] ... according to Nielsen. That is far above the 20.5 million that watched President Obama's second inauguration."

Nielsen ratings reported that 30,600,000 watched Trump's inauguration on television, more than the 20,552,000 who viewed President Obama getting inaugurated in 2013, but less than the 37,793,000 who watched Obama taking the oath of office in 2009. All of them fell short of the record 41,800,260 viewers of President Reagan's first inauguration in 1981.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(NEW YORK ) -- Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said she "didn't see the point" to the Women's March on Washington on Saturday.

"I frankly didn't see the point. I mean you have a day after [President Trump] is uplifting and unifying, and you have folks here being on a diatribe where I think they could have requested a dialogue. Nobody called me and said, 'Hey, could we have a dialogue?'" Conway told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" on Sunday.

Conway also addressed the celebrity presence at the march in Washington, D.C., which was one of hundreds such demonstrations Saturday around the U.S. and the world that drew over a million participants. She called out Madonna for using "profanity-laced" language.

"You have celebrities from the podium using profanity-laced insults. You have a very prominent singer who's worth hundreds of millions of dollars not going over to a woman's shelter here in D.C. to write a check, but instead saying that she thought of, quote, 'burning down the White House,'" Conway said.

Madonna made a surprise appearance at the Women's March on Washington and in her remarks said, "Yes, I'm angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House ... But I know that this won't change anything. We cannot fall into despair."

Conway said she "briefly" talked to Trump about the march, adding, "We certainly respect people's First Amendment rights."

She also noted that the Democratic Party's political leaders -- former President Barack Obama and 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton -- didn't make an appearance at any of the marches Saturday.

"The other thing I would just mention, George, is, guess who was conspicuous by their absence yesterday? President Obama, Secretary Clinton -- they were at the, they were up on the platform applauding and embracing President Trump" at the inauguration, she said.

The counselor to the president also addressed the first We the People petition to hit the new WhiteHouse.gov site, which calls for President Trump to released his tax returns. As of Sunday, over 200,000 people have signed the petition.

Asked by Stephanopoulos for a response from the White House, Conway replied, "The White House response is that he’s not going to release his tax returns."

"We litigated this all through the election. People didn’t care. They voted for him, and let me make this very clear: most Americans are, are very focused on what their tax returns will look like while President Trump is in office, not what his look like," she said.

In a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, seventy-four present of Americans say President Trump should release his tax returns; that includes 49 percent of his own supporters, as well as nearly all of Clinton’s (94 percent) and 83 percent of those who had another preference, or none. Forty-one percent, overall, say they “care a lot” about Trump releasing the records. The number who favor release of the documents is higher than it was in two related questions in ABC News/Washington Post polls during the election campaign. In May, 64 percent said he should release the returns, and in September, 63 percent said he was not justified in withholding them.

After Conway's comments that the president would not be releasing his tax returns, WikiLeaks encouraged people to leak the tax documents so it could release them.



Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Sen. John McCain praised President Donald Trump's cabinet picks and revealed he will vote in favor of Rex Tillerson, Trump's pick to lead the State Department, despite concerns about the nominee's relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I will be voting in favor of his nomination," McCain said of Tillerson in an interview Sunday with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on "This Week."

"Listen, this wasn't an easy call. But I also believe that when there's doubt the president, the incoming president, gets the benefit of the doubt, and that's the way I've treated every president that I've had the obligation to vote for or against as a member of the United States Senate."

McCain also praised some of Trump's other Cabinet picks, saying he has the "utmost confidence" in Trump's national security team, in particular.

"I have the utmost confidence in Gen. Mattis, Gen. Flynn, Gen. Kelly, Dan Coats. I couldn't have picked a better team," he said.

But, the Arizona senator did not have the same praise for the president himself.

Asked by Stephanopoulos if he has the "utmost confidence" in President Trump, McCain replied "I don't know because he has made so many comments that are contradictory."

"I think the fact that he's appointed and nominated these outstanding individuals is bound to be an encouraging sign," McCain added. "I trust them, and I believe in them, and I've worked with them over many years.


Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway shot back at former CIA Director John Brennan for his criticism of President Trump's speech to the intelligence agency, saying the former intelligence leader sounded “like a partisan political hack.”

"We really would prefer the intelligence community that’s going out the door to be much more respectful toward the president and his vision in moving forward," Conway said in an interview Sunday on ABC News’ “This Week,” calling Brennan's remarks "spectacularly disappointing."

The president on Saturday visited CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, where he assured 400 or so members of CIA senior leadership and staff in attendance that he backs them “1,000 percent.”

“I can only say that I am with you 1,000 percent, and the reason you're my first stop is, that as you know, I have a running war with the media,” President Trump said. “And they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you're the number one stop is exactly the opposite.”

Standing in front of the CIA Memorial Wall commemorating those in the agency who lost their lives in service, Trump’s speech also veered at times onto the topics of press reports on numbers in attendance at his inauguration and his electoral success, similar themes as in his campaign and post-election speeches.

Former CIA director John Brennan, who served under President Obama, later said through a spokesperson that the president should be “ashamed of himself” for the speech.

“Former CIA Director Brennan is deeply saddened and angered at Trump’s despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of the CIA’s Memorial Wall of Agency heroes. Brennan says that Trump should be ashamed of himself,” former CIA deputy chief of staff Nick Shapiro tweeted Saturday.

Conway said the president decided to go to the agency on the first full day of his presidency to build "good will."

"The intelligence community that we saw on their feet yesterday, welcoming President Trump for his rousing speech, is the one that we look forward to working with," she said.

Conway also told ABC News’ chief anchor George Stephanopoulos that Trump supports his press secretary after Sean Spicer slammed the media from the White House podium Saturday.

"The president supports his press secretary and his press operation, obviously. And I think that our press secretary, Sean Spicer, was making the point that accountability has to go both ways," Conway said.

In the president’s first full day in office, Spicer blasted the media in a statement accusing news organizations of falsely reporting the size of crowds at the Jan. 20 inauguration and intentionally framing photographs to "minimize the enormous support" of those in attendance.

Aerial images from Friday’s inaugural at noon during President Trump’s swearing-in show fewer people on the National Mall than during President Obama’s 2009 inaugural at the same time.

Conway did not say if it was Trump's idea for Spicer to make the statement to reporters.

Conway added that the question of how many people attended the inauguration is "not a very animating topic" for her.

"I think the crowd-size argument is not so important as what [Trump is] going to do this week as president of the United States," she said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Rachel Woolf/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said that he and a bipartisan group of senators will take steps to block President Trump from being able to singlehandedly weaken U.S. sanctions on Russia.

Schumer said Sunday on ABC News' "This Week" that the bill, to be introduced this coming week, is in response to the possibility that the Trump administration could offer to lift sanctions against Russia in exchange for Russia's reducing its nuclear arms.

The New York senator said such an exchange would be misguided.

"For us to repeal sanctions, given what Russia has done in Ukraine and threatened the Baltics, and now they have clearly tried to intervene in our election -- whether it had an effect or not -- that is something, that’s a danger that we have never faced to this extent in American history.

“We repeal sanctions, it tells Russia, 'Go ahead and interfere in our elections and do bad things;' it tells China; it tells Iran. That would be terrible,” Schumer said.

The Democratic senator added that Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, both of whom have been vocal critics of some of Trump’s rhetoric on Russia, support the bill.

Schumer also criticized Trump's speech to the CIA on Saturday and his inaugural address the previous day.

"President Trump ought to realize, he's not campaigning anymore. He's president. And instead of talking about how many people showed up at his inauguration, he ought to be talking about how many people are going to stay in the middle class and move into the middle class," Schumer told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.

The senator said another thing that bothered him about Trump's inaugural speech, "as much as sort of the narrowness of it and the darkness of America that he portrayed, was this -- I think he's trying to use populist rhetoric to cover up a right-wing agenda."

"If you look at this Cabinet, they are far from the populism that [Trump] talked about, people like [the nominee for health and human services secretary, Tom] Price, who want to end Medicare as we know it by privatizing it."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Twitter/@nbcsnl(NEW YORK) -- With Alec Baldwin's portrayal of Donald Trump missing from this week's episode of "Saturday Night Live," Beck Bennett's Vladimir Putin and Kate McKinnon's Kellyanne Conway were responsible for skewering all things Trump -- particularly the number of attendees at Friday's inauguration and Putin's alleged involvement in Trump's win.

The cold open began with the message, "And now a paid message from From the Russian Federation," featuring cast member Bennett's Putin speaking to the camera from an office in Moscow.

"Hello America," begins Bennett's Putin. "Yesterday, we all made Donald Trump the 45th president of the United States. Hooray, we did it! And today many of you are scared, and marching in the streets. You are worried your country is in the hands of this unpredictable man. But don't worry -- it's not. Relax, I've got this -- Puti, is going to make everything OK. I promise that we will take of America, it's the most expensive thing we've ever bought."

Putin on this weekend's inauguration. #SNL pic.twitter.com/rL8bFao3H7

— Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) January 22, 2017


Bennett's Putin then takes aim at the conflicting number of attendees at the inauguration. "I'm glad to see so many people showed up to your inauguration," he says as a photo of thousands of people is shown. "Oh, wait, that's the Women's March. Here is inauguration." A photo showing empty patches of space on the National Mall, taken during the inauguration, is then show.

The cold open also addressed Saturday's Women's March on Washington, and similar marches that occurred worldwide.

Bennett's Putin asks, "So why are American women protesting? In Russia, women have no reason to protest."

He then introduces a Russian woman, played my McKinnon: "Hello, I am Olya, Russian woman," she says. "I am so happy. Each day I wake up with big smile on my face like this. I sleep in bed, not in carcas of dog. My president is number one hottie for all time.

Bennett's Putin then gives her a fish, to which she responds, "Ah, my pension!"

She's gonna be a star! #SNL pic.twitter.com/AGDHcAfqyx

— Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) January 22, 2017


Later in the show, McKinnon's Kellyanne Conway makes her return in sketch in which she is being interviewed by CNN's Jake Tapper, played by Bennett. When he asks her, "What do you get out of this?," she breaks out into a musical-esque number in which she sings about her desire to be a celebrity.

"The name on everybody's lips is going to be Conway ... The lady raking in the chips is going to be Conway ... I am going to be a celebrity, that means somebody everyone knows."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- White House press secretary Sean Spicer slammed the media in a statement to the press on his first day on the job, accusing news organizations of falsely reporting that fewer people attended Donald Trump's inauguration than attended previous inaugurations, claiming that photographs were “intentionally framed” to make the crowds appear smaller.

Spicer was disputing reports -- based largely on photographic evidence -- that the crowd gathered at Trump's inauguration was not as large as the crowd for President Obama's inauguration in 2009.

He refused to take questions from reporters but displayed a photo that he said accurately portrayed the number of Americans on the National Mall Friday.

The photograph he showed was a non-aerial shot, taken from behind the podium, looking out at the crowds. Aerial photographs of the two inaugurations run Friday, taken from the same viewpoint but taken an hour apart on the respective days, showed a distinct difference in the number of people in attendance.

The Washington, D.C., Metro system was less inundated Friday morning than it was during Obama's first inauguration. As of 11 a.m. ET, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said it had recorded 193,000 trips, compared with the 513,000 trips taken up to that time on Jan. 20, 2009. Some 317,000 trips were taken by 11 a.m. ET on Obama’s second inauguration on Jan. 21, 2013, the government agency said.

Spicer called the media "irresponsible" and said attempts to downplay the significance of the inauguration were "shameful and wrong."

He said new security measures slowed access to the National Mall.

"This was also the first time that fencing and magnetometers went as far back on the Mall, preventing hundreds of thousands of people from being able to access the Mall as quickly as they had in inaugurations past," he said.

According to law enforcement officials ABC News spoke with during the inauguration, the checkpoints and magnetometers were cleared of all lines before the inauguration ceremony began, and by the time the event started, there were no lines.

"The security perimeter for this inauguration was extended due to lessons learned and world events. Security fencing was placed around the National Mall this inauguration. There were seven access points where bag checks only were conducted," a U.S. Secret Service spokesperson said.

Those checkpoints on the National Mall -- the non-ticketed area -- had no magnetometers and were manned by TSA, Park Police and U.S. Secret Service personnel, who checked bags.

For the ticketed section this year, additional magnetometers were added to screen more people in less time, law enforcement officials said.

There were no significant problems with the flow of people through security checkpoints for this event according to officials, and attendees were cleared in time for the event.

In 2009, several thousand ticketed attendees were trapped in the 3rd Street tunnel -- the so-called "purple tunnel of doom" -- unable to get cleared through security in time to see the swearing-in.

The National Park Service, which operates and maintains the National Mall, does not release official crowd estimates. District of Columbia officials have said that 1.8 million people attended Obama's 2009 inauguration and close to 1 million attended his second in 2013.

Before Friday's festivities, federal and District of Columbia officials estimated 700,000 to 900,000 people would attend Trump's inauguration. The D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency said it was planning for 800,000 to 900,000 people to attend the inauguration.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump in his first official visit to a federal agency since the inauguration went to CIA headquarters in Virginia Saturday where he assured the 400 or so CIA staff in attendance that he supports them "a thousand percent.”

"Very, very few people could do the job you people do, and I want to just let you know, I am so behind you," Trump said. "I know maybe sometimes you haven't gotten the backing that you've wanted, and you're going to get so much backing.”

Trump was accompanied to the meeting by his nominee to head the agency, Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo; his national security adviser, Gen. Mike Flynn; and Vice President Mike Pence.

“I believe that this group is going to be one of the most important groups in this country toward making us safe, toward making us winners again, toward ending all of the problems,” Trump said to the assembled group.

The president’s visit comes in the wake of a recent war of words between Trump and intelligence officials over the intelligence community's conclusion that Russia used hacking to interfere with the U.S. presidential election and to help elect Trump.

However, Trump said Saturday that any notion of disagreements between him and the intelligence community was due to false portrayals by the media.

“I can only say that I am with you a thousand percent, and the reason you're my first stop is, that as you know, I have a running war with the media,” Trump said. “And they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community.”

While still president-elect, Trump went so far as to publicly suggest in a tweet last weekend that John Brennan, then-head of the CIA, was involved in leaking an unverified dossier alleging that Russia holds compromising information on Trump. He has also forcefully denounced the unverified allegations in the dossier as false.

Trump’s tweet about Brennan came after the then-CIA chief said in Fox News interview on Jan. 15 that Trump “does not fully” understand the threat of Russia and cautioned Trump to be “very disciplined” in what he posts to his Twitter. Later that day, in response to Brennan's interview, Trump pointed the finger at Brennan, asking on Twitter: "Was this the leaker of Fake News?"

Trump later acknowledged in a Fox News interview on Jan. 18 that he accepted Brennan’s assertion that he was not responsible for the leak of the unverified dossier.

But, the new president's harsh views of the intelligence community go further back.

When on Dec. 9 the Washington Post reported that the CIA said the Russians had directed computer hacking during the U.S. election to help Trump win, the Trump transition team released a statement slamming the spy agency -- "these are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction." Trump's nominee for CIA director, Mike Pompeo, however, expressed a different view during his recent Senate confirmation hearing, telling the Senate Intelligence Committee it was "pretty clear" Russia was behind the hacks.

"It's pretty clear about what took place, about Russian involvement in efforts to hack information and have an impact on American democracy," Rep. Mike Pompeo said last week. "It is something that America needs to take seriously."

And, Trump himself acknowledged in a press conference Jan. 11 that Russia was probably behind the election hacking. "As far as hacking, I think it was Russia," Trump said.

Trump praised Pompeo on Saturday, “I met him and I said, ‘He is so good.’ Number one in his class at West Point. I know a lot about West Point, and I'm a person that very strongly believes in academics.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Bob Levey/Telemundo via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former President George H.W. Bush will remain in the intensive care unit of a Texas hospital for the next few days while his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, could be discharged Sunday, family spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement.

George H.W. Bush has been hospitalized at Houston Methodist Hospital since Jan. 14. He was transferred to the intensive care unit Wednesday for "an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia," McGrath said in a statement at the time.

The 92-year-old former president underwent a procedure “to protect and clear his airway that required sedation,” the statement said.

Although he's in stable condition, George H.W. Bush will remain in the ICU "for observation for a few more days," according to McGrath.

"President Bush is breathing well without any mechanical assistance, his spirits are high, and he is looking forward to getting back to a regular schedule," McGrath said. "In fact, he called his office last night at 6:30 p.m. to check in on his staff."

Barbara Bush, 91, entered the same medical center last Wednesday as a precaution after suffering fatigue and coughing. She was being treated for bronchitis, according to McGrath.

The former first lady had not been feeling well for a couple of weeks but is resting comfortably, the family's spokesman said.

"Following another good night’s rest, President and Mrs. Bush have both continued to improve over the past 24 hours," McGrath said. "Mrs. Bush could possibly be discharged from Houston Methodist Hospital tomorrow."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Trump administration's interior design changes to the Oval Office came into view for the first time Friday when the newly inaugurated president invited the press in as he signed his first executive order.

Gone are the deep red curtains that hung in the office during the Obama presidency, replaced by bright gold curtains reminiscent of Trump’s apartment inside Trump Tower.

Also gone is a rug from the Obama era that featured quotes from leaders including Martin Luther King Jr. and four former presidents.

The rug seen in the Oval Office on Friday appears to match the rug designed by Laura Bush during her husband’s administration. George W. Bush was said to have requested a design that expressed his spirit of optimism, and the rug features a sunburst with gold and yellow tones.

The design changes that came on Trump's first day as president will likely be followed by further alterations and upgrades to the Oval Office as Trump settles in. One of Trump’s most significant change to the Oval Office so far could be his decision to bring a bust of Winston Churchill back into the office. Obama drew scrutiny from Great Britain’s nationalist UKIP Party when he replaced the bust of Churchill with a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. during his administration.

The controversy over Obama’s decision reached its peak last April when Obama visited the U.K. and penned an op-ed urging Britain to reject Brexit, a referendum that the country's voters ultimately approved, signaling their wish to exit the European Union.

Obama’s op-ed drew a response from Boris Johnson, now U.K. Foreign Minister, in which he suggested Obama removed the bust because it "is a symbol of the part-Kenyan president's ancestral dislike of the British Empire."

Obama responded in a press conference that he believed featuring the Martin Luther King Jr. bust in the Oval Office was important “as the first African American president” and that he had moved the Churchill bust to a room nearby where he saw it daily.

Trump met with Nigel Farage, the former leader of UKIP, just days after winning the presidency last November. Farage tweeted after their meeting at Trump Tower that the two had discussed the bust of Churchill.

Especially pleased at @realDonaldTrump's very positive reaction to idea that Sir Winston Churchill's bust should be put back in Oval Office.

— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) November 12, 2016

The bust of Martin Luther King Jr. has stayed so far in Trump’s Oval Office. Trump spokesman Sean Spicer tweeted on Friday a photo of the bust taken by White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.

Thanks to White House Chief of Staff for this wonderful picture of the MLK bust in the oval pic.twitter.com/Lzgj6RljvI

— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) January 21, 2017

Trump also kept in the Oval Office the Resolute Desk that has been used by presidents for decades, including Obama’s entire administration. Trump sat behind the desk Friday -- with his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, Vice President Mike Pence and others by his side -- as he signed an executive order targeting "Obamacare" and signed commissions for the newly confirmed Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

The changes to the Oval Office are one part of the transition of the White House from one first family to the next. The incoming president and first lady also have free reign to redecorate their private residence on the second and third floors of the White House.

Any changes to historic rooms like the Lincoln Bedroom and Queen's Bedroom must be approved by the Committee for the Preservation of the White House.

"One of the most wonderful things about the White House is that it's a living museum, steeped in history but it's constantly evolving," Anita McBride said, former chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush, told "Good Morning America."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump, has been approved to work in the Trump administration as an unpaid adviser, the Justice Department announced on Saturday. The early morning memo said that Kushner's appointment would not violate federal anti-nepotism laws, despite concerns about ethical gray areas.

“We conclude that section 3110 [of the U.S. Code] does not bar this appointment,” according to the 14-page memo from the Justice Department. "We believe that the President’s special hiring authority in 3 U.S.C. § 105(a) permits him to make appointments to the White House Office that the anti-nepotism statute might otherwise forbid."

Public officials cannot appoint, employ or advocate for family members for roles in their administrations. The laws, however, apply specifically to government agencies, like the Department of Homeland Security or the Treasury. Kushner’s role as an adviser within the White House would not fall into this category.

According to Josh Chafetz, a professor at Cornell Law School and an expert in constitutional law and legislative procedure, the White House is not regulated in the same way as other administrative agencies.

“The bigger issue for the administration is not so much about the technical bounds of these nepotism laws, but it just looks bad,” Chafetz said. “I don’t think there’s anything legal that can be done in terms of the appointment. It just looks like there’s a pattern of cronyism that has emerged, especially in conjunction with the cabinet appointments.”

The anti-nepotism laws were originally passed in response to President John F. Kennedy’s appointment of his brother Robert as attorney general. They later prevented President Jimmy Carter from hiring his son as a White House intern during his administration.

For presidential advisers without explicit roles, there are no legal restrictions. When family members serve specific roles, however, it becomes more complicated.

Hillary Clinton, for example, famously went to D.C. Circuit Court in 1993 for her appointment to President Bill Clinton’s Task Force on National Health Care Reform. The court ruled that the White House and the Executive Office of the President were not subject to the anti-nepotism laws because they were not technically agencies.

Kushner, who has an estimated net worth of $1.8 billion, will forgo a salary in his new role. He is subject, however, to conflict of interest laws that do not apply to the president. Kushner owns the New York Observer as well as investment fund Kushner Companies, and has promised to resign and cut ties with his business empire. He will "divest substantial assets" by selling them or placing them into trusts held by family members, and "abide by federal rules requiring impartiality," according to a statement released by Jamie Gorelick, his attorney and partner at law firm WilmerHale.

The president has previously expressed interest in having his son-in-law work on issues involving the Middle East, praising him as a "tremendous asset." Already working within his new role, Kushner was photographed in the oval office Friday night as Trump signed the first executive order of his presidency.

"He has been incredibly successful, in both business and now politics," the president said of Kushner in a release earlier this month announcing the new role. "He will be an invaluable member of my team."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

US Department of the Interior(WASHINGTON) -- The Interior Department reactivated its official Twitter accounts after coming under fire for retweeting posts on Friday that could be seen as critical to President Donald Trump.

The department’s National Park Service apologized for the retweets in a post Saturday.

"We regret the mistaken RTS," the National Park Service said.

We regret the mistaken RTs from our account yesterday and look forward to continuing to share the beauty and history of our parks with you pic.twitter.com/mctNNvlrmv

— NationalParkService (@NatlParkService) January 21, 2017

A spokesman for the National Park Service told the Washington Post in an email that the retweeting was “inconsistent with the agency’s approach to engaging the public through social media.”

“The Department of Interior’s communications team determined that it was important to stand down Twitter activity across the Department temporarily, except in the case of public safety,” Thomas Crosson, the spokesman, said in an email.

The first retweet linked to an Esquire article pointing out that the official White House website had removed policy pages on climate change, civil rights and health care. The second retweet was a side-by-side photo comparison of the size of Trump's inauguration crowd compared to Obama's inauguration crowd in 2009 that had been originally tweeted by a New York Times reporter. The National Park Service does not release official crowd estimates for permitted events.

Both retweets were removed from the National Park Service's Twitter account and the agency announced to employees that they were temporarily suspended for the most part from posting to the main Twitter account.

According to the Washington Post, an email was sent out Friday that directed all bureaus and the department to shut down Twitter platforms "immediately upon further notice."

The email urging the shutdown was sent by an Interior Department career official, not a new White House staffer or someone from the Trump transition team, according to an Interior Department official.

"Out of an abundance of caution, while we investigated the situation involving these tweets, the Department's communications team determined that it was important to stand down Twitter activity across the Department temporarily, except in the case of public safety," the statement from an Interior Department official said.

The statement confirmed that the various Twitter accounts for its 10 bureaus will resume as normal.

"Now that social media guidance has been clarified, the Department and its bureaus should resume Twitter engagement as normal this weekend," the statement read. "With the exception of social media posts on the Secretary's policy priorities, which will be outlined upon confirmation."

ABC News was not able to independently confirm the email.

Trump's nominee for interior secretary, Rep. Ryan Zinke, will testify in his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(WASHINGTON) --  The day after his swearing-in, President Donald Trump will participate in an age-old inaugural tradition.

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are attending an interfaith prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral - a tradition that dates back to George Washington.

A statement released from the presidential inaugural committee announced that over two dozen religious leaders from different faiths will be joining the services.

"The interfaith ceremony will be in keeping with the uniting and uplifting inaugural events," the statement read.

The group of 26 leaders includes Dr. Alveda King, a niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, and Cleveland Pastor Darrell Scott, who led the National Diversity Coalition for Trump's campaign and was later named a vice chair of Trump's transition team.

Following the service, Trump is expected to visit the CIA's headquarters in Virginia along with his nominee for CIA director, Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo.

“The president wants to meet with the workforce and communicate he values their service,” a government official told pool reporters.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

CRISTINA ALDEHUELA/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  Washington is preparing for its second big day in a row as upwards of 200,000 people are expected to gather in the capital for the Women's March.

The rally and ensuing march come the day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

The inauguration drew hundreds of thousands of attendees on Friday in spite of wet weather forecasts, and today's drier forecast should stop any such problems for those who are traveling to Washington for the event today.

 A number of high-profile speakers are expected to address those at the rally, including Gloria Steinem, Planned Parenthood's president Cecile Roberts, and director Michael Moore.

The march and rally in Washington is one of a series of similar marches that are scheduled in major cities across the country.

D.C. police will be out in full force, as they were on Friday where there were some protests that broke out during the inauguration, which became violent at times. More than 200 people were arrested for various reasons on Friday.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In the first Democratic Address after President Trump's inauguration, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) talked about his party recommitting to working families.

“First, we are going to recommit ourselves to a set of principles that have always been at the core of our party, what my friend Sen. Ted Kennedy called 'economic justice,'" Schumer said. "Sticking up for working families; economic fairness for the American worker; opportunity and prosperity for the middle class and those trying to reach it."

He mentioned the Democratic Party would work with Republicans if the GOP pursued "policies that help Americans and are consistent with our values." But Schumer said Democrats would "fight them tooth and nail" on proposals cutting Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, or cutting back on laws that "[keep] Wall Street in check."

"When they try to rush through a Cabinet full of billionaires and bankers without proper vetting, when they try to rip affordable health care away from tens of millions of Americans and have no plan to help these folks, then Democrats will fight them with every fiber of our being -- as we’re doing right now," he said. "And what we will always do is hold the President accountable."

President Trump did not issue a weekly address. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the first presidential address will take place next week.

Read the full Democratic address:
 
Yesterday, our country took part in a tradition that is a cornerstone of our democratic system of government, the peaceful and orderly transfer of power. The ceremony also offered Americans a chance to hear their new President articulate his vision for the country.
                            
Today, in a conversation with you, the American people, I want to share the Democratic Party’s vision, and how we will work to advance it in this New Year and the new Congress.
 
First, we are going to recommit ourselves to a set of principles that have always been at the core of our party, what my friend Senator Ted Kennedy called “economic justice.” Sticking up for working families; economic fairness for the American worker; opportunity and prosperity for the middle class and those trying to reach it.
 
Those principles will be our North Star. We will follow them; we will fight for them. And, Second, we shall fulfill our solemn Constitutional duty to hold the other branches of our government accountable. It is not our job to be a rubber stamp. It is our job to do what’s best for the American people. That’s why we were elected.
 
So to the extent that the President and Republicans in Congress pursue policies that help Americans and are consistent with our values – on issues like infrastructure, trade, and closing the carried interest loophole, for instance –  we stand ready and willing to work with them.
 
But if they propose policies that will hurt Americans, cut their Medicare, or Medicaid, or Social Security; if they roll back consumer protections or our laws that keep Wall Street in check…
 
If they want to wind back protections for clean air and clean water… Then Democrats are going to fight them tooth and nail. When they try to rush through a Cabinet full of billionaires and bankers without proper vetting…When they try to rip affordable health care away from tens of millions of Americans and have no plan to help these folks…Then Democrats will fight them with every fiber of our being -- as we’re doing right now. And what we will always do is hold the President accountable.
 
Accountable to the working people, to whom he promised so much, and accountable to the people of all colors and creeds and sexual orientations in this country, for whom he is President.
                         
And perhaps most importantly, accountable to the law. Democrats will make this year’s Congress an “Accountability Congress.” The President ran against the establishment of both parties. He promised to change the way America operates: to oppose elites, drain the swamp, and pay attention to working families.
                               
But since the election, he seems to have forgotten that. His cabinet is stacked with billionaires, corporate executives, titans of Wall Street, and those deeply embedded in Washington’s corridors of power. Too many support the same, hard-right, doctrinaire positions that many in the Republican Party have held for years – policies that the American people have repeatedly rejected.
 
We are already working to hold him accountable for that. We Democrats can’t control what the President or Republicans in Congress do. We can only control what we do.
 
And what we’re going to do is keep the faith; hold true to our values and our principles and fight for them…and always, always, hold the President and his party accountable.
 
It is an immense responsibility, but we will meet it with energy and passion -- and a commitment to continue having a conversation with you, the American people, every step of the way.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



God Bless America & Our Home Louisiana

970 KSYL On Air Now
Leo LaPorte
Leo LaPorte
1:00pm - 4:00pm
Leo Laports The Tech Guy
He's Back!

Week Nights 8 to 11

KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3

Kim Komando

Click For Kim Komando's Daily Tip!!

Kdixie.com

The Best Of The 60's & 70's

Now On Air At 100.3 HD2

Or Click The Logo Above

To Listen.

 

State Wire
North Rapides Business & Industry Alliance

Weekends

 

All Weekend Long

It's a

Political Free Zone!

Good Food Project

Resources
LinkedUpRadio Envisionwise Web Services