There are people in Washington DC working against President Donald Trump, the former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci has said. He said there were “elements” within the White House trying to eject Mr Trump, and he had “named some names”.
Mr Scaramucci spoke to ABC News for the first time since being sacked last month – after just 10 days in office.
It followed a phone recording in which he strongly attacked then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. He also directed profanity-laced insults at Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. Mr Scaramucci said he had thought the interview was off the record, and he had “paid the consequences for that conversation”.
“What happens in Washington… is the president is not a representative of the political establishment class, so for whatever reason the people have made a decision that they want to eject him,” he told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News on Sunday. “I think there are elements inside of Washington, also inclusive in the White House, that are not necessarily abetting the president’s interests or his agenda.”
The Legislature is back in Augusta on Wednesday for what’s set to be the last official day of the 2017 session.
They’re mostly back to vote on overriding 27 vetoes from Gov. Paul LePage, including bills that would set long-term solar policy, increase Maine’s tobacco-buying age to 21 and prohibit handheld cellphone use while driving.
The New York Times reports that President Trump is being pressured by a billionaire financier and a chemical executive to escalate the U.S. war in Afghanistan in a bid to exploit the country’s mineral wealth. The Times reports Trump discussed Afghanistan’s vast deposits of metals and rare earth elements with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and is reportedly considering sending an envoy to Afghanistan to meet with mining officials. A 2010 U.S. estimate found Afghanistan has mineral deposits worth nearly $1 trillion.
The U.S. Treasury Department has fined ExxonMobil $2 million for violating U.S. sanctions against Russia three years ago, when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson served as the oil company’s CEO. The Treasury said ExxonMobil showed “reckless disregard” for U.S. law in 2014 when it signed contracts with Russian oil magnate Igor Sechin to develop offshore reserves in the Arctic. The move violated sanctions placed on Russia after it invaded Ukraine and annexed the Crimean peninsula. Tillerson said at the time his company opposed Russia sanctions, calling them “ineffective.” At the State Department Thursday, spokesperson Heather Nauert was asked whether Tillerson had changed his views on Russian sanctions.
Heather Nauert: “This all predates his time here at the Department of State.”
Matthew Lee: “I understand that.”
Heather Nauert: “And so, I’m going to refrain from giving any comment on that at this time.”
Matthew Lee: “I understand this predates his time as secretary of state, but now he is in a position in which he is part of the team that is supposed to enforce sanctions, not violate them or allow others to violate them, so I think it’s relevant to know what he thinks about this decision today.”
Heather Nauert: “I think—I will say this. The secretary continues to abide by his ethical commitments, including that recusal from Exxon-related activities.”
Secretary of State Tillerson is known to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who awarded Tillerson the country’s Order of Friendship decoration in 2013. The Treasury Department’s $2 million fine against ExxonMobil was the maximum amount allowed by law. It represents just over two hours’ profit for the oil giant.
Let’s have a big hand for all of my fellow Amerikans who voted for Comrade Trump. Stupid is as stupid does, and evil is what evil does.
Meanwhile, proponents of a single-payer healthcare plan are organizing to urge Congress not only to stop the effort to repeal Obamacare, but to pass a bill that would guarantee Medicare for all. On Tuesday, former Vice President Al Gore became the latest prominent Democrat to speak in favor of single payer.
Al Gore: “The private sector has not shown any ability to provide a good, accessible, affordable healthcare for all. I believe, for example, we ought to have a single-payer healthcare plan.”
We’ll have more on the Republicans’ failed push on healthcare and the growing fight for single payer after headlines.
Single-payer healthcare is a healthcare system in which the state, financed by taxes, covers basic healthcare costs for all residents regardless of income, occupation, or health status. “Single-payer” describes the mechanism by which healthcare is paid for by a single public authority, not the type of delivery or for whom physicians work. In contrast, multi-payer healthcare uses a mixed public-private system.