The White House appears to be shifting its explanation about the departure of former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, now saying he was offered “the opportunity to resign” after previously saying that he “resigned from his position.”The changing narrative comes as Shulkin has refused to go quietly, saying he was fired and accusing the White House of politically knifing him.“I came to Washington with the commitment to make our system work better for veterans. That’s the commitment that I went to work every day. I continue to feel strongly about that. There was no reason why I would resign,” Shulkin said in an interview on CNN on Monday, adding that he was fired as a result of President Donald Trump’s tweet last week announcing his replacement. The dispute raises the stakes in an obscure, but potentially consequential debate over Trump’s ability to appoint Shulkin’s replacement. Trump bypassed Shulkin’s deputy when naming his interim successor, which potentially ran afoul of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998. That law gives the president broad authority to temporarily fill a vacancy at a federal agency with an acting official only if the current office holder “dies, resigns, or is otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the office.”On Friday, White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement, “Secretary Shulkin resigned from his position as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.”But on Monday, White House director of strategic communications Mercedes Schlapp said during an interview on Fox News that White House chief of staff John Kelly gave Shulkin an “opportunity to resign” from the job.“General Kelly called Secretary Shulkin and gave him the opportunity to resign. Obviously the key here is is that the president has made a decision,” Schlapp said. “He wanted a change in the Department of Veterans Affairs. He felt it was time.”Schlapp was then pressed by Fox News reporter Abby Huntsman, who said, “So he didn't resign. So we can clear that up. It was more of a decision made by the president. He knew a change needed to be made, and he made that change.”Schlapp replied, “It was as I said, Gen. Kelly offered him the opportunity to resign. At this point, the president said it was time to move on in terms of Veterans Affairs. He thanks Secretary Shulkin for his service.”A White House spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment about the apparent discrepancy. Shulkin and the White House had been at odds for months over whether to move toward wider privatization of veterans’ health care — a move Shulkin opposed. He also got in hot water over a VA inspector general report that accused Shulkin and his wife of improperly accepting Wimbledon tickets and using staff to arrange sightseeing visits during a business trip to Denmark and England last summer.Shulkin has since made a series of media appearances, saying the White House did not allow him to defend himself and treated him unfairly. He also is now stating that he did not and would not have resigned.The back-and-forth stemmed from a Saturday POLITICO story detailing the potential complications of Trump’s decision to appoint Defense Department official Robert Wilkie as the acting leader of the department, bypassing Shulkin’s deputy, who also has a rocky relationship with the White House.Some legal experts note that the Vacancies Act does not explicitly grant the president authority to hand-pick replacements in the case of firings.That could make Trump’s decision to appoint Wilkie, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, as acting VA secretary a potential test of the president’s authorities under the act. And it could lead to potential legal challenges if Wilkie stays on as acting secretary for an extended period of time while the Senate considers Trump’s nominee to permanently hold the position, White House physician Ronny Jackson.Louis Nelson contributed to this report.
K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: ‘America’s Never Been Great’: Student Records Her Teacher’s Anti-Trump Rant….
K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: ‘America’s Never Been Great’: Student Records Her Teacher’s Anti-Trump Rant. “Huntsman said the incident happened at the same high school where another teacher requested students write letters to their lawmakers demanding gun control.”
Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway claimed Monday that she has a “great relationship” with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s family members and close advisers, disputing an assertion from the author of a forthcoming book that she is the “number one leaker” in the White House.“I have a great working relationship and a great relationship with Jared and Ivanka, had dinner with them recently at their house,” Conway said Monday morning, telling Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” that she had discussed the issue briefly on Sunday with President Donald Trump. “He knows, and he has said publicly and privately who the leakers and the liars are and have been. Very happy that there’s a lot less leaking in the White House now than there was.”In an interview Sunday morning with CNN’s “State of the Union,” author Ronald Kessler said Conway is the top source of leaks inside the Trump administration, recalling an on the record interview with her in which she “said the most mean, cutting and obviously untrue things about Reince” Priebus, the former White House chief of staff who was fired last summer. In that same interview, Kessler said, Conway “also lit into Jared and Ivanka, saying that they leak against Steve Bannon.”Conway offered her retort Monday morning as the White House Easter egg roll played out behind her, suggesting that her name is used often in headlines and TV chyrons to gin up interest in a story. She said the general theme of Kessler’s book – that Trump will ultimately be remembered successfully as a Reaganesque president – is obvious to “those of us who have the privilege of having access to him, working here every single day.”She also seemingly reveled in her continued role with the Trump administration while others have departed, telling Fox News reporter Abby Huntsman that those who have “survived a lot of people and continue to be here” inspire “a lot of jealously and backbiting.” Without naming names, she attacked administration leakers and suggested those who have been the loudest in their complaints about the media have also been among the most prolific sources for political reporters. Conway also warned that she will someday have her own story to tell."Leakers get great press. And one day, Abby I will have my say. So that will be very, very fascinating. I will have my say,” she said. “You know, we learned a long time ago around here, the people who say ‘enemy of the people, opposition party, fake news, biased media,’ they can talk to the media all day long because nobody would suspect them.”
In a tit-for-tat move, Moscow expelled 60 U.S. diplomats and ordered the consulate in St. Petersburg closed.
Russia’s foreign minister says Moscow will expel the same number of diplomats from the nations that have expelled Russian diplomats over the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in Britain.Sergey Lavrov said U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman has been summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Thursday, where he was given notice that Russia is responding quid pro quo to the U.S. decision to order 60 Russian diplomats out.Lavrov said Moscow will also retaliate to the U.S. decision to shut the Russian consulate in Seattle by closing the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg.Lavrov said the same approach will be applied to other nations that expelled Russian diplomats this week.Two dozen countries, including the U.S., many EU nations and NATO, have ordered more than 150 Russian diplomats out this week in a show of solidarity with Britain.
This is why it's called tit-for-tat. The Kremlin had vowed to retaliate against the "provocative gesture", denying it had any role in the attack; and now it has. Just days after Trump announced he - together with much of the Western world - would expel 60 Russian diplomats from the US, and close the Russian consulate in Seattle, moments ago the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman has been summoned to the Foreign Ministry. Huntsman was given notice that Russia is responding quid pro quo to the U.S. decision to order 60 Russian diplomats out. Lavrov said Moscow will also retaliate to the U.S. decision to shut the Russian consulate in Seattle by closing the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg. Earlier this week, Haaretz reports that the Russian Embassy in the United States tweeted a poll quickly after the U.S. announcement asking which U.S. consulate they should close in retaliation. Forty-seven percent of the responders said the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg should be closed. However, that is just the response to Washington. In total, dozens more Russian diplomats were expelled from numerous other nations: You will find more infographics at Statista And Lavrov said the same approach will be applied to other nations that expelled Russian diplomats this week.
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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Universal Forest, Louisiana-Pacific, Crane, Dollar General and Huntsman
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Universal Forest, Louisiana-Pacific, Crane, Dollar General and Huntsman
U.S. chemical production edges down in February despite a pick up in activity in the manufacturing sector.
Quality stocks are not only better picks in a rising rate environment but often provide hedge against market volatility.
As the chemical industry's upturn is expected to continue, it will be a prudent idea to zero in on these stocks with compelling growth prospects.
Huntsman's (HUN) latest move is expected to generate more than 25% EBITDA margins and double-digit growth.
Strong Q4 results, efforts to expand specialty businesses and focus on free cash flow generation have contributed to the rally in Huntsman's (HUN) shares.
Посольство России в США в своем «Твиттере» приглашает туристов посетить матчи чемпионатов мира по футболу, используя фотографию встречи посла США в РФ Джона Хантстмана в казанском аэропорту.