Latest Trump News: Today in Trump, Mar. 3 –

Report: Mike Pence used private email for government affairs as Indiana governor –
March 3, 2017
Trump pushes military buildup aboard Navy’s pricey aircraft carrier – Videos –
March 3, 2017
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Latest Trump News: Today in Trump, Mar. 3 –

Today in the Trump Administration

Trump to pitch school vouchers at Orlando Catholic school

In an effort to highlight his push for school vouchers, President Trump will visit St. Andrew Catholic School in Orlando on Friday to participate in what the White House is calling a “listening session.”

The visit follows up on the president’s nod to education reform in his address to Congress Tuesday, when he labeled education “the civil rights issue of our time.” 

His visit and tour are scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

What you missed yesterday

Sessions recusal 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from investigations involving the Trump campaign, he announced at a Thursday afternoon press conference after consulting with Justice Department lawyers about his role in investigations into Russian contacts by Trump campaign associates.


Former Obama officials refute report on Trump associates and Russia

Former Obama administration officials are taking issue with a New York Times report published Wednesday night which suggested that Obama aides had disseminated information about Trump campaign associates and Russian officials across the government in order to leave a “clear trail for the intelligence and government investigators” to follow and to ensure that no meddling occurred in other elections — in the U.S. or overseas. 

That contention struck at least two officials from the Obama administration as overstated.

“To the extent there was an effort, it was organic on the part of [intelligence] professionals to document and retain,” one official told CBS News. “I was not aware of a strategic White House driven effort to do so.” 

Who is Sergey Kislyak?

Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, has now come up in several communications with President Trump’s associates, officials say, as administration officials look into contact between his team and Russia.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, for instance, has come under fire after it became known Thursday night that he had two contacts with Kislyak during the presidential campaign, Justice Department officials confirmed to CBS News, following an initial report by The Washington Post. Sessions didn’t disclose his two conversations with Kisylak during his Senate confirmation process and it’s unclear what they discussed in their private conversation.

“Well, I have not met with any Russians at any time to discuss any political campaign,” Sessions said Thursday. “And those remarks are unbelievable to me and are false. And I don’t have anything else to say about that.”

New warship “poster child for how you don’t build a ship,” says ex-Navy secretary

Mr. Trump went aboard the Navy’s newest carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, to promote his plans for a military buildup.

“We will give our military the tools you need to prevent war,” Mr. Trump said. “… And if required, to fight war … and only do one thing — you know what that is? Win, Win! We’re going to start winning again.”

But as the most expensive ship ever built — which will begin its sea trials next month — the Ford stands for something else as well.

“The Ford is a poster child for how you don’t build a ship,” says Ray Mabus. He was former Secretary of the Navy during the Obama administration.

Trump in Newport News 

At a speech aboard the U.S.S. Gerald Ford, Donald Trump explained how additional defense spending would help the military. 

“I asked Congress to eliminate the defense sequester,” he said, as well as to support his request for additional defense funding,” he said.

“By eliminating the sequester and the uncertainty it creates, we will make it easier for the navy to plan for the future and thus control costs and get the best deal for the taxpayer,” he continued. “Which of course is very important, right?”   

The soon-to-be-commissioned Navy warship that cost almost $13 billion and faced delays in its construction. Mr. Trump has proposed adding $54 billion to the Pentagon’s budget this year, an increase of approximately 10 percent.  

Trump weighs in on Sessions

Donald Trump says he still has confidence in Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as lawmakers call on Sessions to recuse himself from probes into Russian contacts by Trump campaign associates.

Asked directly about whether he still had confidence in Sessions, Mr. Trump replied, “Total.” The president was on the U.S.S. Gerald Ford in Newport News, Virginia and was meeting with Navy and ship officials in what the White House called an operations briefing.

Perry, Carson confirmed by the Senate for Energy and Housing

Two of President Donald Trump’s former rivals for the GOP White House nomination won Senate confirmation Thursday to join his administration.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson was confirmed as secretary of the Department of House and Urban Development on a vote of 58-41. A few hours later, the Senate backed former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to be energy secretary, 62-37.

Carson and Perry are the 17th and 18th of Trump’s 22 Cabinet and Cabinet-level nominations to win Senate approval.

Report: DHS has only identified $20 million to fund border wall construction

The Department of Homeland Security has identified only $20 million in funding that could be shifted to President Trump’s plan to build a wall along the southern border, significantly less than the more than $21 billion price tag, according to Reuters.

The money was included in a document obtained by Reuters and prepared by DHS to distribute to congressional staff last week. It would only be enough to cover a handful of contracts for wall prototypes, the report said, but not enough to start building a physical wall.

In order to move forward, Congress would need to approve new funding to pay for the wall, but there’s been little movement on such action on Capitol Hill. Last month, Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said in an interview with MSNBC’s Greta Van Susteren that congressional leaders were considering legislation to fund the border wall, drawing on taxpayer dollars despite promises that Mexico would finance the project.

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