Sen. Elizabeth Warren's new reform bill would ban members of Congress from owning individual stocks
- Warren's proposal also arrives about two weeks after Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., was indicted and arrested by federal law enforcement officials on insider trading charges related to an Australian biotech company of which he was a board member.
- In pursuit of ending "both the appearance and the potential for financial conflicts of interest," Warren's bill would prohibit federal lawmakers, judges, Cabinet secretaries and other senior congressional staff from owning individual stocks while in office.
- A source familiar with the legislation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said it would establish so-called Federal Employee Investment Accounts for senior officials to maintain their stock and securities investments.
- Warren's new push to sever corporate power from the federal government follows another proposal she outlined less than a week earlier called The Accountable Capitalism Act. That bill would establish a system of federal charters requiring company directors to consider the broader impact of their actions beyond solely their own shareholders.
Microsoft takes down six phishing domains linked to Russian election hackers
- The domains were registered by Russia’s GRU intelligence agency, which is also alleged to have stolen and leaked emails from the Clinton campaign in 2016.
- The domains appear to be aimed at spoofing government targets, including addresses like “senate.group” and “adfs-senate.email.” Others mimic the domains of the International Republican Institute and the Hudson Institute, which are conservative think tanks that have been critical of President Trump.
- Presumably, the group was intending to use the superficial similarity of the domains to aid in a phishing attack, sending malware-laced emails to targets masquerading as colleagues.
- President Trump has consistently cast doubt on Russia’s involvement in the DNC hacks, despite an intelligence community assessment in December 2016 that attributed the attacks to agents of the Russian government.
- At the Helsinki summit in July, Trump declined to confront Russian president Vladimir Putin on the hacking campaign, simultaneously accepting and rejecting the idea that Russia was involved in the DNC hack.
Trump is trying to make John Brennan the face of his attacks on the Russia probe
- In John Brennan, the blunt former CIA director, Trump believes he has found an unsympathetic foil — one with whom he can spar publicly as he seeks to bolster his public-relations campaign against special counsel Robert Mueller and a team of federal investigators.
- In a decision he later spelled out on Twitter, the president began attacking Brennan not just as a critic but also as a face of the institutional government corruption he believes is driving the Mueller probe, according to two Republicans close to the White House who are familiar with Trump's thinking.
- White House officials are also preparing paperwork to revoke the security clearances of more than a half-dozen current and former national security professionals who have criticized the president or had a role in beginning the federal probe of potential collusion between Trump's campaign and agents of the Russian government.
U.S. to release 11 million barrels of oil as Iran sanctions kick in
- The U.S. plans to release 11 million barrels of oil from its 660-million-barrel emergency stockpile, just as American sanctions on Iranian oil exports kick in.
- The sour, high-sulfur crude will hit the market in October and November, according to a notice of sale from the Energy Department.
- That timing may reflect the White House’s concern over a tight oil market amid the renewal of U.S. sanctions on Iran, according to analysts at ClearView Energy Partners LLC.
- Analysts have also speculated about whether President Donald Trump will announce an emergency release from the crude stockpile to lower U.S. pump prices in the run-up to November’s mid-term elections.
- Yet an 11-million-barrel sale over two months likely won’t do much to offset the impact of sanctions, which the administration estimates will remove 700,000 to 1 million barrels a day of Iranian crude from the global market by early November.
Dollar heads lower a day after Trump rips Fed and calls China and EU currency manipulators
- President Donald Trump is getting his wish, at least for a day: The U.S. dollar is losing ground Tuesday a day after he said he's disappointed with the Federal Reserve's intention to keep hiking interest rates.
- Since he's been in office, Trump has expressed his preference for a weaker currency, believing it makes U.S. exports more attractive on a global stage while he's trying to lower the national trading deficit.
- The Reuters interview was Trump's second effort this summer to nudge Powell and his fellow central bankers, the first coming in a July interview with CNBC when he also used the expression "not thrilled" to describe his opinion of Fed actions.
- Since Trump was elected, the central bank has hiked its benchmark interest rate target five times and is expected to approve two more quarter-point increases before year's end.
The dollar is falling after Trump slammed the Fed again
- Trump said in an interview with Reuters on Monday that he was "not thrilled" by Fed chairman Jerome Powell's decision to raise interest rates and would continue to criticize the Fed if interest rate hikes continued.
- Trump has attacked the Fed for raising rates in the past.
- The latest remarks have hurt the dollar as investors' expectations of future rate hikes have now been dampened.
- The greenback is down 0.27% against the euro to 0.8680 at the time of writing (8.30 a.m. BST/3.30 a.m. ET), while the dollar is down 0.21% against the pound to 0.7798.
- The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, is down 0.19% to 95.55.
- Neil Wilson, the chief market analyst at Capital.com, said in an email on Tuesday morning: "Trump's not thrilled with the Fed raising rates.
US President Says Windmills Are Bird Killers as He Tries to Revive Coal Industry
- President Donald Trump criticized windmills as a source of energy at a New York fundraiser last week, saying they “kill so many birds,” amid escalating efforts by the Trump administration to revive the fading coal industry.
- The proposal will allow states to determine emissions standards for coal-fired power plants, a move that, if implemented, could result in the release of over 12 times the carbon dioxide in the next decade compared to the amount projected under Obama’s policy, reported The Washington Post.
- The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release the new proposal—the latest reversal of policies adopted by the Obama administration to reduce the effects of climate change—within the next week.
- According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the proposal will decrease carbon dioxide emissions by around 0.7 to 1.5 percent by 2030, a figure significantly lower than under the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which could have seen emissions slashed by around 19 percent.
Trump teases revoking a former CIA analyst's security clearance after his heated debate on CNN
- President Donald Trump hinted that he may revoke another US intelligence official's security clearance on Monday, after a viral video showed the official getting into a heated argument with a commentator on CNN.
- The official is Philip Mudd, a former CIA analyst and FBI national security branch deputy director.
- His argument with Republican strategist Paris Dennard on CNN Friday night made the rounds on social media throughout the weekend and into Monday.
- Trump was referring to the Friday debate between Dennard, a former White House official for President George W.
- Trump and the White House have, without evidence, accused former US intelligence officials who are critical of Trump of taking advantage of their security clearances for monetary gain.
- Following Trump's tweet, two other CNN analysts and former US officials rallied to Mudd's defense on Monday evening.
Omarosa says Trump's most 'egregious' tweets forced White House aides to scrap hours of work 'and we would have to go with his stuff'
- Omarosa Manigault Newman, the firebrand communications director of the White House's public liaison office who was fired in December, said President Donald Trump's prolific use of Twitter sometimes forced aides to scrap their meticulously-crafted plans, according to a Wall Street Journal report published on Monday.
- But what Trump sees as a platform to speak directly with the public, some White House officials viewed as a liability.
- Trump has previously wrestled with aides over his phone use, which extend beyond his frequent musings on Twitter, according to news reports.
- In the past, aides were reportedly unaware that Trump gave out his personal cell phone number to foreign leaders and made official calls without informing them.
- Trump's presidential campaign filed arbitration proceedings in light of her book, claiming she breached a nondisclosure agreement for her role in the White House and on the campaign.
Trump has options if he wants to exert control over the Russia investigation, but it won't help him
- President Donald Trump said in an interview with Reuters that he could take control over the ongoing Russia investigation if he chooses.
- Constitutional law experts say Trump has some options if he wants to exert control over the Russia investigation.
- Rebecca Brown, a Supreme Court and constitutional law expert at USC, said that while Trump has the authority to give orders to the Justice Department, there are conditions attached.
- Trump has ratcheted up his attacks on the Russia probe in the last few months, and has tweeted about the investigation dozens of times since June.
- Erman says, because Trump has made clear his position about the probe — that he is innocent of any wrongdoing and that the investigation is, as the president calls it, a "witch hunt," the idea of Trump exerting control over it would not likely be well-received.