‘Dumb,’ ‘lazy’: Trump re­sponds to Tiller­son

The Detroit News - - Trump Administration -

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

Mike Pom­peo.

Tiller­son’s

re­place­ment,

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.

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