Gary D. Cohn, President Trump’s top economic adviser, said on Tuesday that he would resign, becoming the latest in a series of high-profile departures from the Trump administration.

White House officials insisted that there was no single factor behind the departure of Mr. Cohn, who heads the National Economic Council. But his decision to leave came as he seemed poised to lose an internal struggle over Mr. Trump’s plan to impose large tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Mr. Cohn had warned last week that he might resign if Mr. Trump followed through with the tariffs, which Mr. Cohn had lobbied against internally.


Trump’s ominous moods manifested themselves last week in his zigzagging positions on gun control; his shock trade war that jolted markets and was opposed by Republican leaders and many in his own administration; and his roiling feud of playground insults with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.


Trump also praised China’s President Xi Jinping for recently consolidating power and extending his potential tenure, musing he wouldn’t mind making such a maneuver himself.

“He’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great,” Trump said. “And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day.”


Kushner Companies received a $325 million loan from Citigroup after Kushner met with the bank’s chief executive. A $184 million loan came from Apollo Global Management after Kushner met with the private equity firm’s founder in the White House several times.

Kushner resigned from his role at Kushner Companies when he joined the Trump administration last January, but he retains significant financial interests in the business.



Washington Post reported earlier this week that several White House officials worried Kushner’s inexperience in politics and his complicated business holdings would make him subject to manipulation from foreign governments. Officials from at least four countries have reportedly discussed ways to influence him, although it’s unclear if they’ve acted on such plans.

Kushner also had his top-secret security clearance downgraded on Friday.

Immigration Service Removes “Nation of Immigrants” From Mission Statement

The old mission statement:

USCIS secures America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system.

The new mission statement:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation’s lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values.

Chinese New Year Heralds New Restrictions For Christians
Under the new regulations even established sites for religious activities must be ‘in harmony with the needs of urban planning’. This means that even state-controlled churches are subject to review. The rules give local government officials the power to decide whether churches should be recognised by the state and to forbid the use of venues as places of worship.

The first indications that the clampdown is spreading to officially recognised churches came last December, when the authorities demolished a 20-year-old Catholic church in Shanxi, even though it held authorised legal permits.

Since June last year, officials have required government-run Three-Self Churches to display the national flag and sing the national anthem at their services.

China has become a country of key concern for Release International. Persecution has grown under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, as the Communist Party tightens its control over the church.

Cross removals

China’s leaders are worried about the rapid spread of Christianity in their country. The revival of the Protestant church in Zhejiang has led to a wave of 1500 crosses being pulled down from church roofs and some churches being demolished. The authorities say this is to ‘contain the overheated growth of Christianity’. And the cross removals are now being extended to other provinces.

Christians who have launched legal protests over the cross removals have been beaten up and arrested. Some Christian leaders have been sentenced to ten years imprisonment for mounting a legal challenge.

Many human rights lawyers, including Christians, have also been arrested. They have been denied visits by their families or legal representation.