Must-watch videos of the week
- US Rep.-elect Conor Lamb, a Pennsylvania Democrat, said people were simply exhausted by the approach his Republican opponent and President Donald Trump took against him during the campaign.
- The pop star's latest video, for her song "Delicate," is being criticized for the similarity it bears to a perfume ad.
- Video just released by the National Transportation Safety Board shows the rotor blades of two police helicopters collide in 2012.
- Comedians poked fun at Trump after he used a tweet to announce the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
- UFO vs.
- US Navy?
- A military video from 2015 that shows unidentified aircraft has been made public, following the Pentagon's acknowledgment last year that it had shelved an initiative devoted to identifying unknown objects in the sky.
The mood inside the White House is the worst it's ever been, with staffers calling it 'the most toxic working environment on the planet'
- The White House is being called "the most toxic working environment on the planet" by some staffers as rumors of another wave of firings have circulated, Axios reported Wednesday.
- Following the abrupt firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, officials were reportedly vague in providing details on the fate of senior White House officials that have drawn ire from President Donald Trump, including White House chief of staff John Kelly, national security adviser H.R. McMaster, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
- In addition to the firing of John McEntee, Trump's longtime personal assistant, on Wednesday, an aide to first lady Melania Trump was reportedly escorted out.
- Kelly, who was also reportedly on Trump's radar, enacted stricter measures for security clearances following a scandal involving a former aide, Rob Porter.
Trump's new tagline: 'You were fired! A few hours ago'
- But President Trump's time in the White House has revealed a less assertive and assured executive than appeared in the carefully curated, stage-managed world of the "The Apprentice." Personnel, from high-level Cabinet members to low-profile staffers, have come and gone at a stunning pace.
- Likewise, it's much easier to tweet the news of your secretary of state's dismissal, then call him to chat it over more than three hours later, than sit him down in the Oval Office.
- The decision to sack Rex Tillerson on Tuesday morning, without telling him face-to-face, is -- as of this hour -- the most glaring example of Trump's sudden-onset diffidence.
- Steve Goldstein, the erstwhile undersecretary of public affairs at the State Department, contradicted a White House account of the firing on Tuesday morning.
- By Tuesday afternoon, some 10 months after Comey was canned, word had spread that more changes were in offing.
On Capitol Hill, a day of chaos follows Tillerson firing
- Even in Washington, which has become acclimated to a rigorous pace of news dominated with presidential tweets, staff shake-ups and quickly evolving storylines, President Donald Trump's announcing his decision Tuesday took members of Congress (as it did Tillerson) by surprise.
- The Senate -- already swamped with a banking bill, sex trafficking legislation and an upcoming federal spending deal -- learned Tuesday that it would now have to devote significant floor time not only to confirming Tillerson's replacement, who Trump named as CIA Director Mike Pompeo, but also to confirming a new CIA director to replace Pompeo.
- Still, lawmakers said, the firing had come at a pivotal time for US foreign policy, just as Trump had announced last week that he would meet with North Korea's leader and as the President had just announced new tariffs on imported aluminum and steel.
Tillerson ouster shows Trump is unleashed
- Washington (CNN) - President Donald Trump's firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the latest move in an audacious power play designed to build a governing team in his own image and to purge restraints that have tempered his brazen, impulsive instincts.
- In the short term, Trump's desire to move Mike Pompeo from the CIA to the State Department could actually provide more coherence and stability to US foreign policy after months of chaos, given his ideological synergy with the President.
- That will be especially important with the approaching epochal summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. It could also reinforce the President's determination to do away with the Iran nuclear deal, given that both Trump and Pompeo have been strident critics of the Obama-era agreement.
Trump may have fired Rex Tillerson because they couldn't agree on North Korea
- One day after Trump accepted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's invitation to meet, Tillerson was woken up in his hotel room by a phone call from White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, sources said in the report.
- Though the mixed messages may not have been the last straw for Tillerson's tenure, his dovish approach in dealing with North Korea had reportedly derailed Trump's track to enact "maximum pressure" on the regime.
- Tillerson, who opposed a "regime change" and an "accelerated reunification of the peninsula," advocated for diplomatic avenues to mitigate the verbal volleys between the White House and North Korea.
- CIA director Mike Pompeo, Trump's proposed replacement for Tillerson, has retained stronger ties to the White House than his predecessor, particularly on North Korean relations.
- Pompeo's strategy on North Korea appears to be on the same wavelength and has better mimicked the Trump administration than Tillerson's.
Inside Rex Tillerson's final days as secretary of state
- Washington (CNN) - Hours before President Donald Trump agreed to meet with Kim Jong Un, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters the US was "a long way" from direct talks with North Korea.
- The suddenness of Tuesday morning's announcement caught most of Washington by surprise, but the move had been anticipated for months as the discord between the President and his secretary of state swelled and repeatedly broke into public view.
- But when it finally did, Tillerson and his team were left stunned by the White House announcement, insisting Tuesday morning -- just hours after returning from a trip to Africa -- that they had no indication that the long-rumored "Rexit" was imminent.
- The timing of the announcement also came as a surprise to White House aides, even those who had been informed days earlier of the imminent shake-up, two sources familiar with the plans said.
Tillerson fails to thank Trump after firing
- Washington (CNN) - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson thanked the American people, his State Department staff and the nation's extensive network of diplomats in an at times emotional farewell statement on Tuesday.
- One person he did not thank: President Donald Trump, the man who nominated him for the job but abruptly told the world of his ouster in a tweet on Tuesday morning.
- The only mention of Trump came at the top of the statement when Tillerson mentioned that the President had called him at "a little after noontime from Air Force One" to talk about his ouster.
- That call came hours after Trump told the world he was replacing the former oil tycoon with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
- The President plans to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to succeed Tillerson, and picked Gina Haspel, the current CIA deputy director, to take over from Pompeo.
Dow drops 200 points as White House chaos continues
- The Dow Jones industrial average dropped nearly 200 points, or 0.62%, Tuesday as Wall Street processed President Donald Trump's blocking of Broadcom's proposed takeover of a US competitor and a surprise change of the US' top diplomat.
- Trump unexpectedly ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, announcing the change in an early morning tweet.
- Tillerson will be replaced with CIA Director Mike Pompeo in a highly unusual shakeup that appears to have left investors confused about the state of the West Wing.
- GE took a major hit, ending the day as the worst performer of all Dow components.
- Shares slumped 4.4% after JPMorgan cut its price target for the industrial giant.
- Earlier in the day, stocks seemed to largely shrug off an inflation reading that showed consumer prices rose 2.2% versus a year ago in February, in line with Wall Street expectations.
5 high-profile departures in 2 weeks for Trump's White House
- Washington (CNN) - President Donald Trump has tried to quell talk of chaos in his administration for days, but the last two weeks inside the West Wing have been anything but calm.
- Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy Steve Goldstein said Tillerson, who had been on a week-long tour of African nations until Tuesday morning, did not speak to Trump before his ouster and is unaware of the reasons behind the firing.
- Gary Cohn, Trump's top economic adviser, resigned from the White House last week after he voiced his fierce disagreement with the President's decision to levy steel and aluminum tariffs.
- John McEntee, Trump's longtime personal aide and bodyman, was fired and escorted from the White House on Monday, three sources with knowledge of the situation told CNN on Tuesday.