Government appointments and nominations

In this Nov. 21, 2018 photo, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, framed by a photograph of lower Manhattan, addresses law enforcement officials at the Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York. Whitaker has been advised by ethics officials that he does not need to recuse himself from overseeing the special counsel’s Russia probe. That’s according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
December 20, 2018 - 4:03 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker chose not to recuse himself from the Russia investigation even though a top Justice Department ethics official advised him to step aside out of an "abundance of caution," a senior official said Thursday. Whitaker's past criticism of the...
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This undated photo provided by Time Warner shows William Barr. Barr, criticized an aspect of the special counsel’s Russia investigation in an unsolicited memo he sent to the Justice Department. The memo was summarized to The Associated Press by a person familiar with it. It could factor into Barr’s confirmation hearings and prompt questions about whether he can be unbiased in overseeing the investigation. The document, sent in June, expresses concern with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice. (Time Warner via AP)
December 20, 2018 - 12:52 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's pick for attorney general, William Barr, sent an unsolicited memo to the Justice Department this year criticizing a central prong of the special counsel's Russia investigation, attacking as "fatally misconceived" the idea the president could have...
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December 18, 2018 - 8:52 am
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's parliament confirmed three ministers to Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi's government on Tuesday but left other key posts, including ministers of Defense and Interior, vacant as an impasse over the appointments threatened to stretch into its third month. The confirmations came...
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FILE - In this photo provided by the Interior Department shows Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke arriving for his first day of work at the Interior Department in Washington, Thursday, March 2, 2017, aboard Tonto, an 17-year-old Irish sport horse. Zinke will be leaving the administration at year's end, Trump said Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018. (Interior Department via AP)
December 15, 2018 - 11:40 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, facing federal investigations into his travel, political activity and potential conflicts of interest, will be leaving the administration at year's end, President Donald Trump said Saturday. In his resignation letter, obtained by The Associated Press...
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FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2018 file photo, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke speaks after an order withdrawing federal protections for countless waterways and wetland was signed, at EPA headquarters in Washington. Trump says on Saturday, Dec. 15, Zinke leaving administration at end of year, successor to be announced next week.(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
December 15, 2018 - 9:24 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the departure of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (all times local): 5:25 p.m. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is blaming what he calls "vicious and politically motivated attacks" for his resignation from President Donald Trump's Cabinet. Zinke's departure, set for Jan. 2...
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Sri Lanka's disputed prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa folds his hands in prayer as he is blessed by a Buddhist monk after signing his resignation paper in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018. Rajapaksa resigned on Saturday, saying he wants to end a political impasse over his appointment. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
December 15, 2018 - 5:07 am
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's disputed prime minister announced Saturday that he would step aside, paving the way for his sacked predecessor to regain the position and apparently ending a political impasse that has paralyzed the government for nearly two months. Mahinda Rajapaksa's...
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FILE - In this March 22, 2018, file photo, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney speaks in the Brady press briefing room at the White House in Washington. President Donald Trump has named Mulvaney as his new chief of staff. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
December 14, 2018 - 10:30 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has picked budget director Mick Mulvaney to be his acting chief of staff, ending a chaotic search in which several top contenders took themselves out of the running for the job. "Mick has done an outstanding job while in the Administration," Trump tweeted...
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FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2016, file photo, a one-month dosage of hormonal birth control pills is displayed in Sacramento, Calif. A U.S. appeals court Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, blocked rules by the Trump administration allowing more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
December 13, 2018 - 6:02 pm
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A divided U.S. appeals court Thursday blocked rules by the Trump administration that allowed more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control. The ruling, however, may be short lived because the administration has adopted new rules on contraceptive...
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FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2014, file photo, rail cars are filled with coal and sprayed with a topper agent to suppress dust at Cloud Peak Energy's Antelope Mine north of Douglas, Wyo. Four states with climate change worries are asking a judge to stop the Trump administration from selling coal from public lands. Attorneys general from California, New Mexico, New York and Washington are due in a U.S. courtroom in Montana on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, to argue the sales put the climate at risk and shortchange taxpayers. (Ryan Dorgan/The Casper Star-Tribune via AP, File)
December 12, 2018 - 12:38 pm
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Four states that say burning coal will hurt their residents as it makes climate change worse are trying to stop the Trump administration in federal court from selling vast reserves of the fuel that are beneath public lands. Attorneys for California, New Mexico, New York and...
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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks during the lighting of the state Christmas Tree in the Capitol Rotunda, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, at the Capitol in Madison, Wis. The Senate and Assembly are set to send dozens of changes in state law to Walker's desk Tuesday. (Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)
December 11, 2018 - 2:00 pm
PEWAUKEE, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday he's considering at least one line-item veto of bills passed by Republican lawmakers in a lame-duck session that would cut into the powers of the Democrat who defeated him. Walker made the comments in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, after a...
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