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Trump administration still in turmoil, as labor secretary quits

world Updated: Feb 16, 2017 22:27 IST
Yashwant Raj
Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump (right) with his pick for labor secretary Andrew Puzder (left), who withdrew from consideration on Wednesday.(AFP file)

In continuing tumult in the Donald Trump administration, the nominee for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his nomination from consideration, and the US president was reported to be planning to ask a billionaire friend to conduct a broad review of US intelligence, which has seemed to be at odds with him.

Trump is also said to have offered the position of National Security Adviser, which fell vacant after Michael Flynn’s recent ouster, to Vice-Admiral Robert Harward, who according to some reports, has asked for time to consider.

Puzder, a food-chain owner, withdrew his nomination after facing opposition from some Republican senators, which seemed to have made his confirmation difficult. The problem: an undocumented immigrant he employed as housekeeper.

The New York Times reported on Thursday Trump was planning to ask Stephen A Feinberg, a co-founder of Cerberus Capital Management, a private investment firm, to conduct the review and stay on for a large role in the intelligence community.

Trump has blamed Flynn’s exit on leaks from the intelligence community and has railed against it in a string of tweets, calling it “illegal classified leaking” and blaming “low-life leakers”.

The New York Times reported there was considerable disquiet in the intelligence community over this development; even Trump’s nominee for the position of Director or National Intelligence Dan Coats was upset.