Cabinet appointments and nominations

President Donald Trump speaks at a hanger rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. In a surprise trip to Iraq, President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria where they have been helping battle Islamic State militants. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
December 26, 2018 - 4:41 pm
AL-ASAD AIRBASE, Iraq (AP) — In an unannounced trip to Iraq on Wednesday, President Donald Trump staunchly defended his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from neighboring Syria despite a drumbeat of criticism from military officials and allies who don't think the job fighting Islamic State militants...
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FILE - In this April 9, 2018, file photo, Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, right, listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House, in Washington. A U.S. administration official says that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will leave his post Jan. 1, 2019, as Trump is expected to name Shanahan as acting secretary. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
December 24, 2018 - 1:12 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — The departure of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in a week will thrust President Donald Trump's largely unknown choice for acting Pentagon chief into the military hot seat and shift attention to the search for a permanent replacement who will probably face sharp Capitol Hill...
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FILE - In this June 7, 2017 file photo, Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy for the global coalition against IS, speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq. McGurk has resigned in protest to President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, joining Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in an administration exodus of experienced national security officials. AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
December 22, 2018 - 7:50 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy to the global coalition fighting the Islamic State group, has resigned in protest over President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, joining Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in an administration exodus of experienced national...
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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 - 3:35 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 - 10:52 am
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 - 6:52 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 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 - 7:24 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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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 - 8:30 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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In this Dec. 7, 2018 photo, President Donald Trump speaks the 2018 Project Safe Neighborhoods National Conference in Kansas City, Mo. Trump’s growing legal peril has unnerved Republicans who believe the turmoil has left the president increasingly vulnerable as he gears up for what is sure to be a nasty fight for re-election. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
December 10, 2018 - 8:09 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's intensifying legal troubles are unnerving some of his fellow Republicans. Despite his brash stance, they believe the turmoil has left him increasingly vulnerable as he gears up for what is sure to be a nasty fight for re-election. Trump, ever confident of...
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FILE - In a Monday, Dec. 3, 2018 file photo, Nick Ayers, right, listens as Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch waits for the arrival of the casket for former President George H.W. Bush to lie in State at the Capitol on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump's top pick to replace John Kelly as chief of staff, Nick Ayers, is no longer expected to fill that role, according to a White House official. The official says that Trump and Ayers could not agree on Ayers' length of service. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via AP, Pool, File)
December 09, 2018 - 7:40 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump evaluated new candidates to serve as his next chief of staff Sunday after plans for an orderly succession for departing John Kelly fell through. The new hire was to be key to a West Wing reshuffling to shift focus toward the 2020 re-election campaign and the...
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