Trump’s Pick to Be Ambassador to Singapore Withdraws Nomination
U.S. President Donald Trump's pick to be ambassador to Singapore has withdrawn her nomination, after confirmation proceedings for her stalled in the Senate.
Trump said he was "disappointed" that K.T. McFarland would not be his ambassador to Singapore and blamed Democrats for impeding her nomination.
"Unfortunately, some Democrats chose to play politics rather than move forward with a qualified nominee for a critically important post," he said in a statement.
McFarland's nomination faced opposition from Democrats and some Republicans over accusations she deceived the Senate in relation to the Russia investigation.
McFarland had served as deputy to Trump's former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and testified to the Senate that she was not aware of conversations that Flynn had with Russian officials.
However, court documents later revealed that Flynn had emailed McFarland about his contacts with the Russian envoy during the 2016 presidential transition.
Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russia.
Trump Approves Full Release of Classified Republican Memo
U.S. President Donald Trump has approved publication of a Republican memo that argues that top law enforcement officials abused their investigative authority for partisan ends during and after the 2016 presidential campaign. The House released the memo to the public shortly after on Friday.
A White House official confirmed to VOA that a message had been sent to the House Intelligence Committee that the president has no objection to declassification of the memo, which was written by the committee's chairman, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes.
Speaking to reporters at the White House Friday, Trump said what he had read in the memo was "terrible." During a photo opportunity with North Korean defectors, Trump said, "I think it's a disgrace what's going on in this country... A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves, and much worse than that."
The president authorized the release of the document despite the strong objections of top officials at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
When asked by a reporter whether release of the memo makes it more likely that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would be fired, Trump replied, "You figure that one out."
Release of the memo intensifies the battle between Trump and his Republican allies in Congress on one side, and Democrats and top FBI officials on the other about whether the probe into Russian interference in the presidential election was affected by political bias on the part of investigators.
Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have prepared their own memo, countering the Republican claims.