The Latest: Trump to name Acosta as new labor pick

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times EST):

12:41 p.m.

President Donald Trump is expected to name law school dean R. Alexander Acosta as his new choice for secretary of labor.

A White House official says the announcement will come the day after Trump’s original pick, Andrew Puzder, withdrew after it became clear he lacked enough Republican votes for Senate confirmation. The official isn’t authorized to comment on an announcement that has not been made and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Acosta has served on the National Labor Relations Board and as a federal prosecutor in Florida. Former President George W. Bush named him assistant attorney general for civil rights.

Puzder withdrew on the eve of his confirmation hearing because Republicans balked at an array of personal and professional issues. Puzder said he had employed — and belatedly paid taxes on — a housekeeper not authorized to work in the United States.

—This story has been corrected to reflect that the announcement has not been made.


12:30 p.m.

The Trump administration has asked the co-founder of a New York-based equity fund to lead a review of the intelligence community.

A senior White House official says Stephen Feinberg of Cerberus Capital Management has been asked to head a review of the various intelligence agencies and make recommendations on improvements.

The official was not authorized to discuss private personnel matters and spoke on condition of anonymity. The official says that Feinberg’s role is not official until he completes an ethics review.

President Donald Trump has been highly critical of the intelligence community amid leaks that led to revelations about associations and conversations with Russia by some senior members of his staff.

Trump on Tuesday tweeted, “The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by “intelligence” like candy. Very un-American!”


11:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump plans a news conference about midday Thursday to announce his nominee for labor secretary — “a star, great person,” in his words.

Trump’s first pick for the job, fast food chain executive Andy Puzder, withdrew from consideration after it was revealed he employed a housekeeper who wasn’t authorized to work in the U.S.

Trump has blamed Senate Democrats for stalling or complicating the confirmation process of several of his Cabinet nominees.


9:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is accusing Democrats of fabricating news reports about Russia because “they lost the election.”

The president tweeted Thursday, “The Democrats had to come up with a story as to why they lost the election, and so badly (306),” he wrote, citing the number of electoral votes he banked to win the general election.

He continues, “so they made up a story – RUSSIA. Fake news!”

Trump asked his national security adviser, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, to resign this week when it was revealed that Flynn had discussed sanctions with a Russian diplomat before Trump took office.

U.S. intelligence agencies have also said the Russian government tampered with the presidential election in an attempt to help Trump win.


7:05 a.m.

A former Donald Trump associate and campaign official is blaming the bumpy start of the billionaire’s presidency on mixed loyalties in the White House.

Roger Stone declined to name names in an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show Thursday, but he discussed “a division between those who are loyal to the president and those who are loyal to the Republican National Committee.”

When asked if he was referring to Reince Priebus (ryns PREE’-bus), who headed the RNC before joining Trump’s team and becoming chief of staff in the West Wing, Stone demurred, indicating he didn’t want to say who he was talking about.

Stone says, “The leaking that is coming out of the White House is a manifestation of the fact” that some of the people Trump hired “are not loyal.”

He adds, “I think it’s healthier to have people in the administration who share the president’s vision of where he wants to take the country.”


7:05 a.m.

President Donald Trump is warning “low-life leakers” of classified information that they will be caught.

In a pair of tweets Thursday, Trump says, “Leaking, and even illegal classified leaking, has been a big problem in Washington for years. Failing @nytimes (and others) must apologize!”

Trump writes, “the spotlight has finally been put on the low-life leakers! They will be caught!”

Trump’s national security adviser, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, resigned at Trump’s urging this week after a series of reports revealed Flynn held addressed the issue of sanctions with a Russian diplomat before Trump was in office.

On Wednesday, Trump said it was “really a sad thing that he was treated so badly.”

He tweeted Wednesday that “classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy. Very un-American!”


6:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is celebrating gains on Wall Street, hailing it as an era of “confidence and optimism.”

Trump tweeted early Thursday, “Stock market hits new high with longest winning streak in decades. Great level of confidence and optimism – even before tax plan rollout!”

The stock market has gotten a jolt since November, when Trump’s surprise White House victory raised hopes for tax cuts and other business-friendly policies from Washington.

Trump’s economic program is expected to include deep tax cuts, stimulus spending and deregulation.

His initiatives are intended to achieve his goal of doubling growth to around 4 percent, up from the 2 percent pace that prevailed since the Great Recession ended in 2009.


3:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump is blaming the media and “illegally leaked” intelligence information for bringing down his national security adviser Michael Flynn, one day after the White House said Trump had asked Flynn to resign because he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russia.

Flynn’s ouster has sparked a new swirl of controversy over Trump’s potential ties to Moscow. Flynn resigned Monday night — at Trump’s behest, the White House later said — after reports that the national security adviser had discussed sanctions with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. before the inauguration, despite previously denying those conversations to Pence and other top officials.

But in Trump’s first public comments on Flynn Wednesday, he appeared to side with his former aide, saying it was “really a sad thing that he was treated so badly.”


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