Even though the election has been over for three months, Trump is still questioning the legitimacy of the federal government's interference with his campaign. He has denied any possible ties to the Russian government during his campaign, and has demanded that the Justice Department open hearings about criminal leaks of his party's information. Along with this, the President has also raised many questions this week with his new pick for Secretary of Treasury and his open support of the two-state solution in Israel. If you're worried about what happened in politics this week, Fresh U has you covered.
1. Trump Announces New Secretary of Treasury Pick
Trump plans to appoint Alexander Acosta for the Secretary of Treasury position. Acosta is Trump's first Latin American choice for the executive cabinet, and is the son of Cuban immigrants. He is currently the dean of the Florida International University School of Law and a former member of the National Labor Relations Board. Trump chose Acosta after Andrew Puzder withdrew his nomination for this important position in Trump's cabinet. The President has high hopes for Acosta, and believes that "he is going to be a tremendous secretary of labor."
2. Trump Denies Campaign Ties with Russia
In a news conference this past Thursday, Trump denied that any member of his staff made direct contact with Russian officials during the Presidential campaign. He explained that "Russia is a ruse" and that he had established no contact with this country over the years. He also stated that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn had left his staff because of caustic relations with Vice President Mike Pence. Earlier this week, Flynn resigned because of an alleged conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
3. GOP Proposes Radical New Healthcare Plan
Since Trump was sworn into office, House Republicans have been actively debating how to replace the Affordable Care Act. With their new proposal, Republicans plan to give consumers more tax credits to buy insurance, and cut funds on Medicaid. However, the new plan will pull away financial assistance from low-income families so that less people are covered nationwide. Lawmakers wish to return healthcare to the free-market basis that was in place before the Affordable Care Act.
4. Trump Demands that the Justice Department Investigate Criminal Leaks
This past Thursday, Trump announced that he had requested the Justice Department to open court hearings on the "criminal leaks" that had sabotaged his administration. The President has been frustrated about the released transcripts of his conversations with foreign leaders. So far, the Justice Department has not released any further comments about whether it had opened an investigation or not. Historically, it's highly unusual for a sitting President to demand investigations about the strategies of his political opponents.
5. Trump Plans to Issue New Travel Order
The President's administration will replace the old travel ban with a new executive order. Instead of fighting the case in court, Trump plans to issues a new travel ban that will eliminate all constitutional concerns. The Justice Department has stated that the panel's decision to block the travel ban was "riddled with errors."
6. Haley Announces that the U.S. Supports the Two-State Decision
On Thursday, February 16th, U.N. envoy Nikki Haley announced that the United States would "absolutely support a two-state solution" between Israel and Palestine. She made the comment after Trump announced that he was open to the possibility of a two-state solution. Haley also remarked that she would not support any U.N. resolutions like the ones that were approved last November. In the past, Haley has criticized the United Nations for being too harsh about Israel's plans regarding Palestine.
Overall, it will be interesting to witness what happens with Trump's new travel ban in the coming months. In addition to this, the President has stirred up more controversy in the international community with his recent support of the two-state solution in Israel. Trump's coming weeks will mark significant changes in healthcare and international relations for the United States.
Lead Image Credit: Stephen Melkisethian via Flickr Creative Commons