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Puzder Withdraws as Labor Nominee Amid GOP Doubts and More In Politics Today

by Countable | 2.15.17

It’s difficult to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in this country and to break through the clutter, so we’re here to make it easier. Here’s what we at Countable are reading today:

1. "Andrew Puzder withdraws from consideration as Labor Secretary"

"The fast food executive Andrew F. Puzder withdrew his nomination to be President Trump’s labor secretary on Wednesday amid growing doubts among Republican senators that he can be confirmed."

"The chief executive of the CKE Restaurants fast-food chain, owner of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., had come under intense fire from Democrats and liberal groups who accused him of mistreating his workers, opposing the minimum wage and supporting automation in the workplace. The attacks on his policy views were compounded by intense scrutiny of his personal life, including allegations that he abused his ex-wife in the 1980s."

Read more at the New York Times.

2. "Trump offers national security adviser post to Vice Admiral Harward: sources"

"The Trump administration has offered the job of White House national security adviser, vacated by former U.S. intelligence official Michael Flynn, to Vice Admiral Robert Harward, said two U.S. officials familiar with the matter on Wednesday."

"It was not immediately clear if Harward, a former deputy commander of U.S. Central Command who has Navy SEAL combat experience, had accepted the offer, according to sources. A White House spokesperson had no immediate comment. Flynn resigned on Monday after revelations that he had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to the United States before President Donald Trump took office."

Read more at Reuters.

3. "Trump calls on Netanyahu to ‘hold back’ on West Bank settlements"

"President Trump directly called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to curtail Jewish home building in the West Bank, as he predicted that he can help broker an end to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

"In his most extensive remarks as president about the chances for peace in the Middle East, Trump said he “could live with" either a separate Palestinian state or a unitary state as a peaceful outcome. “I want the one that both parties want,” he said.”

Read more at the Washington Post.

4. "House intel chairman dismisses call for expanded Russia probe"

"House Republicans are dismissing reports that Trump campaign staffers were in contact with Russia’s intelligence agency during the election and downplaying calling for a select committee to investigate the matter."

"House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, in a Wednesday morning interview with POLITICO, reacted angrily to calls for a new probe following a New York Times bombshell report about such communications. The California Republican vowed to continue his panel’s ongoing probe of Russia, but accused Democrats of politicizing the issue."

Read more at Politico.

5. "Tribe, Dakota Access developer face off at House hearing"

"Representatives from the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline and the tribe opposing it each told a House committee Wednesday that the government is responsible for the tense debate over the project. But the officials found time to point fingers as one another, as well."

"At a hearing on energy infrastructure improvements, an Energy Transfer Partners official said political appointees in the Obama administration were behind the push to slow down the process. He said it was a “political decision" to withhold an easement allowing construction at a controversial river crossing in North Dakota.”

Read more at The Hill.

— Erin Wright

(Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore* via Flickr / Creative Commons)*

Countable

Written by Countable

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(40)
  • GirlTripped
    02/16/2017
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    Yay for his withdrawal!!! What a shame this didn't happen for DeVos.

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  • Paul
    02/15/2017
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    One down! Now when will 45 resign?

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  • Joseph
    02/16/2017
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    Please take DeVos with you.

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  • Tammy
    02/16/2017
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    Finally something good has happened. Wish Trump would throw in the towel. He needs to be impeached. What he has done with the Russians is borderline TREASON. He can't be trusted. And to think he has the nuclear football...absolutely terrifying!!

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  • Lauren
    02/16/2017
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    And what about DeVos now? She can still resign.

    Like (5)
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  • Alexis
    02/16/2017
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    The Dakota Access pipeline is a simple issue. Short term economy versus global warming and cultural oppression. Simple as that.

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  • Anna
    02/16/2017
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    Yay! The regime will crumble! 45 for prison 2017!

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  • Simona
    02/16/2017
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    It never should have gotten this far! Who is vetting? Can anyone control this already blotted staff?

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  • George
    02/16/2017
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    Democrats are politicizing Russia's involvement in the US election?!?Hmmm...how could you not? That's got to be the stupidest argument I've heard in a while. Politicizing politics. How dare they lol.

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  • Loraki
    02/16/2017
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    For those of you who would appreciate a CONSERVATIVE POV: Trump Labor Secretary Andrew Puzder Withdraws by Charlie Spiering, 15 Feb 2017 “While I won’t be serving in the administration, I fully support the president and his highly qualified team,” Puzder said to reporters in a statement. Puzder, a fast food executive for CKE Restaurants, was opposed by many labor unions and Democrats because of his history of opposition to labor unions and raising the minimum wage. He also spoke forcefully against Obamacare, blaming it for killing full time jobs in the United States. http://observer.com/2017/01/unions-rip-trump-labor-pick-puzder-in-manhattan/ Four Republicans also withdrew their support for Puzder in response to a series of damaging stories. [Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Tim Scott of South Carolina, and Johnny Isakson of Georgia are withholding their backing for Puzder.] https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-02-13/four-republicans-withhold-support-for-andy-puzder-to-head-labor Tapes of Puzder’s wife accusing him of domestic abuse for The Oprah Winfrey Show surfaced, as part of a show taped in the 1990’s. NOTE: His wife later recanted those statements! http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/oprah-video-puzder-domestic-abuse-ex-wife-labor-secretary-nominee-976390 According to reports, Puzder also employed an undocumented immigrant but didn’t pay taxes for it. https://www.wsj.com/articles/puzder-paid-taxes-on-undocumented-employee-after-labor-secretary-nomination-1486498560 http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/02/15/trump-labor-secretary-andrew-puzder-withdraws/ Report: Fmr. Obama Officials Launched Secret Campaign To Take Down Flynn By Staff Writer 9, February 15, 2017 The Washington Free Beacon reported on Tuesday that sources in and out of the White House said that Michael Flynn’s sudden resignation from his position as national security advisor was the result of a months-long campaign set forth by the former members of the Obama administration to weaken President Donald Trump’s national security team in an effort to safeguard the Iran nuclear deal. http://freebeacon.com/national-security/former-obama-officials-loyalists-waged-campaign-oust-flynn/ According to the Free Beacon, the effort was led by a small group of Obama supporters, including former White House advisor Ben Rhodes, who provided the press with negative stories to undermine the credibility of Flynn, who is an avid opponent of the Iran Deal, in order to keep the Trump administration from disclosing the secret side deals the Obama administration made with Iran. Sources said that the efforts to set up such obstruction began months before Trump’s inauguration. American Military News spoke to Michael Krull, adjunct professor of politics at Georgetown University and executive at Resilient Corporation, about the matter. “Leaks from agencies comprising the US national security community are a serious issue and must be addressed immediately and effectively,” Krull told American Military News. “The National Security Council (NSC) is unlike most agencies of the US Government; it is a strange hybrid. It is the same in that it is staffed by career professionals and political appointees. It is dissimilar in that not all of the political appointees leave at the end of an administration, but continue in their roles. This provides important continuity to be sure, but it can also be a source of tension, competing loyalties and hidden agendas.” Krull told American Military News that the Obama administration’s long-standing issues with Flynn from his time at the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Obama played a role in the campaign to oust him from his new position in the Trump administration. “The Obama administration (CIA, NSC, etc.) had issues with Flynn, so he was relieved of his position at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 2014. That animosity did not go away,” Krull continued. “This reality, combined with standing up a new administrative structure within the NSC and the larger White House, did, in my view, color the events of the past few weeks. It seems to me that this is a problem not only in the NSC, but in other agencies as well, where former administration appointees have burrowed into career positions. The Trump administration will have to think through how best to deal with this and similar issues that will in all probability arise.” The Free Beacon first reported about the scheme back in January when Democrats actively worked to delay Mike Pompeo’s confirmation as CIA Director. Pompeo has been an outspoken critic about Iran and was one of the first to discover the Obama administration’s secret side deals made with the Islamic Republic in the nuclear deal. http://americanmilitarynews.com/2016/08/exclusive-video-interview-with-rep-pompeo-denied-from-visiting-iran-following-secret-nuclear-deal/ “It’s undeniable that the campaign to discredit Flynn was well underway before Inauguration Day, with a very troublesome and politicized series of leaks designed to undermine him,” one veteran national security adviser who has close ties to the White House team told the Free Beacon. “This pattern reminds me of the lead up to the Iran deal, and probably features the same cast of characters.” Before leaving office, the Obama administration hosted pro-Iranian figures at the White House through the final days before Trump took office. One of those figures was former Iranian government official and the head of the National Iranian American Council (NAIC). According to a source, it is members of the NIAC and other pro-Iranians that are celebrating Flynn’s resignation. http://freebeacon.com/national-security/former-iranian-official-pro-tehran-lobbyist-hosted-obama-white-house-dozens-times/ “It’s actually Ben Rhodes, NIAC, and the Iranian mullahs who are celebrating today,” another source, who is a veteran foreign policy insider who is close to Flynn and the White House, told the Free Beacon. “They know that the number one target is Iran … [and] they all knew their little sacred agreement with Iran was going to go off the books. So they got rid of Flynn before any of the [secret] agreements even surfaced.” http://americanmilitarynews.com/2017/02/report-fmr-obama-officials-launched-secret-campaign-to-take-down-flynn/?utm_campaign=DailyEmails&utm_source=AM_Email&utm_medium=email

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  • msemerson
    02/16/2017
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    Good bye!

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  • Bill39
    02/16/2017
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    Good. Who will be next? Could be worse.

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  • VSB
    02/16/2017
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    At least one unqualified person is withdrawing. He was such an inappropriate choice.

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  • R
    02/15/2017
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    Thank God!!!

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  • Marianne
    02/16/2017
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    Thanks for opposing the Labor nomination. Terrible choice: we need someone who will support Labor health and welfare. Now please vote against Pruitt!

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  • ShePersisted
    02/16/2017
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    Steve Bannon: the other most powerful person in the White House. Steve Bannon, like Andy Pudzer, has numerous well-documented examples of domestic violence in his past. You can read the police reports yourself, although I'm sure he'd rather you not. You see, Bannon was charged with Penal Code 136.1 PC, California's dissuading a witness law, which is defined as "Knowingly and maliciously attempts to prevent or dissuade any witness or victim from attending or giving testimony at any trial, proceeding, or inquiry authorized by law." Politico published a copy of a police report filed against him by his now ex-wife 20 years ago, detailing one alleged incident. In the report, Bannon’s then-wife claimed that he grabbed her neck, chased her into the house and smashed a phone she was trying to use to call 911. In January 1996, after the incident, he was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery, and dissuading a witness, though the case was dismissed - when his wife did not show up to testify against him at trial. According to sworn statements given by his then-wife, she never showed up to court because he threatened her and told her to take the twin babies and leave town. Steve's lawyer called her and told her when it was ok to come back. It seems strange to think that documents detailing Puzder “assaulting and battering” his then-wife during a horrifying May 22, 1986 incident, “striking her violently about the face, chest, back, shoulder and neck, without provocation or cause”, would cause Pudzer to withdraw from the nomination process. Clearly, such documentation has had no effect on Steve Bannon's success. Perhaps it's time we gave Steve Bannon another look?

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  • Martha
    02/16/2017
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    Yippee!

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  • C
    02/16/2017
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    Good riddance!

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  • Elizabeth
    02/16/2017
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    The fact that our nation, founded on liberties including the right to own & protect property, has a history of forcibly displacing our own indigenous people is a shame on us--an evil in whose shadow we live. That we STILL promote big business over the rights & wellbeing of our Native Americans/American Indians is appalling! We have recently seen yet another example of oil pipelines rupturing (PA, Oct, 2016): we know that the risks of oil leaking and polluting the reservation are real, and yet our government does not seem concerned. As a concerned US citizen, I encourage you to put pressure on our government to stand up against big business for our Native Americans.

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  • Bill39
    02/16/2017
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    Good. Who will be next? Could be worse.

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