Trump News of the Week: Mueller, Sessions and Rosenstein

Worried that you missed an important political story this week? You’re not alone. Catch up on a very hectic week of news.

Worried that you missed an important political story this week? You’re not alone. Catch up on a very hectic week of news.

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Monday, June 12

• On Monday, President Trump held what our reporter described as a “highly unusual” cabinet meeting in front of the media. He declared himself one of the most productive presidents in American history and then basked in adulatory statements from each of the senior advisers at the table.

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•The Trump administration wants to ease regulations put in place after the 2008 financial crisis. In a report released late Monday, the Treasury Department offered its most detailed plans, which include stripping power from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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• The Trump administration faced new legal troubles: A second federal appeals court ruled against his revised travel ban. And the attorneys general of Maryland and Washington, D.C., filed a lawsuit claiming that Mr. Trump’s business dealings are unconstitutional.

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• President Trump began on Monday to nominate replacements for dozens of United States attorneys whom he fired shortly after taking office, sending eight names to the Senate for confirmation as chief federal prosecutors in their regions.

Tuesday, June 13

• Attorney General Jeff Sessions, above, started his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee with an emotional appeal, calling the suggestion that he colluded with Russians during the 2016 election an “appalling and detestable lie.” During the testimony, he repeatedly refused to discuss conversations with President Trump.

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• In response to talk that Mr. Trump was thining about firing Robert Mueller, the special counselor examining Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, the White House said that, while the president “has every right” to fire him, “he has no intention to do so.”

The speculation started on Monday when longtime friend of President Trump, Christopher Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax Media, said on Monday that Mr. Trump was considering removing Mr. Mueller.

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Also on Tuesday, administration officials told The Times that President Trump has given Defense Secretary Jim Mattis authority over troop levels in Afghanistan.

That opens the door for sending more Americans into a war that Mr. Mattis says the U.S. is “not winning.” He’s believed to favor sending several thousand more troops to strengthen Afghan forces as they fight the Taliban, the Islamic State and other militant groups.

Mr. Trump has already given Mr. Mattis similar authority for Iraq and Syria.

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• In May, Mr. Trump praised a House attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act as a “great plan.” On Tuesday, he called it “mean.”

Wednesday, June 14

• President Trump called for unity after a lone gunman attacked a congressional baseball team practice in Virginia, shooting four people, including a congressman. The latest example in a grim trend. Shaken lawmakers softened their partisan tone and some pressed to loosen restrictions on gun access.

The assailant, a 66-year-old Illinois man named James Hodgkinson, died after being shot at the scene. He was said to be distraught over President Trump’s election and had previously volunteered for Senator Bernie Sanders.

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• Nearly 200 Democratic members of Congress filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday accusing President Trump of violating the Constitution by profiting from business dealings with foreign governments.

It is the third such lawsuit against Mr. Trump on the issue since he became president, part of a coordinated effort by the president’s critics to force him to reveal his business entanglements and either sell off his holdings or put them in a blind trust.

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•The Senate voted nearly unanimously to let Congress strip the president of the power to unilaterally lift existing sanctions against Russia.

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Finally, Wednesday was President Trump’s 71st birthday. “Seventy-one candles on that cake,” Stephen Colbert quipped. “Although Trump later said it was ‘over a million candles. Most candles ever.’ ”

Thursday, June 15th

• President Trump signed an executive order expanding federally funded apprenticeship programs. The order would redirect over $100 million of federal job-training money to pay for the new apprenticeships, supplementing $90 million in funding for the existing program.

• He also taunted federal investigators for making up a “phony collusion with the Russians story” amid new reports that Robert Mueller, the special counsel, is looking into whether Mr. Trump tried to obstruct justice in the case.

Friday, June 16th

President Trump confirmed for the first time publicly that he is under investigation in the expanding inquiry into Russian influence in the election.

In an early morning tweet, the president declared that he was “being investigated” for his decision to fire James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director. And he appeared to accuse Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, of leading a “witch hunt.”

Members of the president’s transition team were ordered on Thursday to preserve documents and other materials related to the investigation, according to a memo obtained by The Times.

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• President Trump will not deport the so-called Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as small children, seemingly reversing a campaign pledge. But White House officials also cautioned on Friday morning that Mr. Trump had not made a decision about the long-term fate of the program and might yet follow through on a campaign pledge to take away work permits from the immigrants or deport them.