‘Dumb,’ ‘lazy’: Trump responds to Tillerson
Washington — President Donald Trump responded Friday to criticism from his former secretary of state by calling Rex Tillerson “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell.”
During a rare public appearance in Houston Thursday evening, Tillerson weighed in on his time in the administration. He called Trump “undisciplined” and said the president “doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports, doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things.”
He also said Trump frequently asked him to do things that he had to explain were illegal or otherwise ill-advised.
Trump said in a tweet that Tillerson “didn’t have the mental capacity needed for the job” and that he “couldn’t get rid of him fast enough.”
He also praised
Trump chooses chief of the Army to be top military adviser
Washington — President Donald Trump will tap Gen. Mark Milley as his next top military adviser, choosing a battle-hardened commander who has served as chief of the Army for the last three years, U.S. officials said Friday.
If confirmed by the Senate, Milley would succeed Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the pinnacle of a military career. Dunford, a former commandant of the Marine Corps and commander of coalition troops in Afghanistan, is expected to serve out his term as Joint Chiefs chairman, which ends next Oct. 1.
Milley, who commanded troops during several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, has served as the Army’s top officer since August 2015. Several officials confirmed the decision on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced.
Trump is expected to announce his decision Saturday at the annual Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.
Trump administration expected to target Obama water rule
Washington — The Trump administration is expected to announce a major rollback of federal protections for streams and wetlands as soon as next week.
President Donald Trump commanded the Environmental Protection Agency last year to rewrite an Obama-era law determining what waterways fall under the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. White House talking points obtained by the Associated Press show the administration is proposing changes that environmental groups say could lift protection for about half of streams and wetlands in the lower 48.
The move would come after the administration already announced rollbacks for Obama-era protections of climate, air and wildlands.
Absentee vote changes may have invited ‘ballot harvesting’
Raleigh, N.C. — Changes made to absentee voting procedures five years ago in North Carolina may have emboldened workers to run the type of illegal “ballot-harvesting” operation alleged to have been used in a disputed congressional race, election experts and lawmakers said.
Some observers are concerned that the changes made it possible for more people to apply for absentee ballots. Then so-called harvesters could collect unsealed ballots and manipulate them or throw out ones from minority voters who might have otherwise gone to the polls.
“It could have exacerbated the problem,” Republican state Sen. Tommy Tucker said this week. He and other state legislators believe more absentee ballot restrictions may be necessary.