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Commerce pick Wilbur Ross questioned over bank's links to Trump and Russia

Wilbur RossDonald Trump’s nominee to head the commerce department is facing intense scrutiny over whether the US president or his affiliates have ever received loans from a bank in Cyprus that is partly owned by a close ally of Vladimir Putin.

Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor who has served as vice-chairman of the Bank of Cyprus since 2014, has received two letters from senators demanding answers about possible links between the bank and current and former Trump administration and campaign officials.

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Appeals court will not put Trump travel ban case on hold

Appeals court willl not postpone travel banA U.S. appeals court on Monday rejected a request from the U.S. Department of Justice to place on hold an appeal over President Donald Trump's travel ban from seven majority-Muslim countries.

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Trump budget to increase defense, slash EPA, other agencies

Trump budgetPresident Trump has signed off on top-line numbers in a budget outline that seeks to make good on his campaign promises to bolster military spending while making deep cuts to other federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency.

"This budget will be a public safety and national security budget, very much based on those two with plenty of other things but very strong," Trump said Monday. "And it will include a historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it."

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Nominee for Navy Secretary to withdraw

Nominee for Navy Sec.withdrawsPresident Donald Trump’s nominee for Navy secretary, investor Philip Bilden, is expected to withdraw from consideration, sources familiar with the decision told POLITICO, becoming the second Pentagon pick unable to untangle their financial investments in the vetting process.

Bilden’s withdrawal could come as early as today, the sources said.

Bilden, who built his career in Hong Kong with the investment firm HarbourVest, was a surprise pick for the Navy post but had had been Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ preferred candidate.

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Two progressive activists were behind Trump Russian flag prank at CPAC

PNAC members pranked into waving Russian flagA progressive group called Americans Take Action was reportedly behind the Russian flags emblazoned with the word "Trump" that appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) during the president's speech Friday.

CPAC workers quickly collecting the flags from attendees waving them in the audience.

According to a report by Talking Points Memo, two young progressive activists from D.C., Jason Charter and Ryan Clayton with the group Americans Take Action, purchased tickets to the conference and handed out the nearly 1,000 flags to attendees as a prank.

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Tom Perez wins DNC chairmanship

Tom PerezThe Democratic National Committee elected Tom Perez as its new chairman Saturday, voting for the former labor secretary over Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison in a 235-200 vote. Moments later, at Perez's request, Ellison was approved as his deputy chair.

Perez, who drew support from backers of Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama, argued that the party needs to focus on voting access and down-ballot battles.
Ellison's allies, who were aligned with Sen. Bernie Sanders' progressive wing, pitched him as the only candidate who could bridge the party's divisions.

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Law Professors File Ethics Complaint Against Kellyanne Conway Over ‘Lies’

Kellyanne ConwayPresident Donald Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway should face sanctions for “professional misconduct,” which include repeated lies and ethics breaches, according to a formal complaint filed by 15 law professors across the nation.

“We do not file this complaint lightly,” states the letter, which legal ethics professors from leading universities such as Yale, Georgetown, Fordham and Duke filed this week. “We believe that, at one time, Ms. Conway understood her ethical responsibilities as a lawyer and abided by them. But she is currently behaving in a way that brings shame upon the legal profession.”

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