White House

Russia said Wednesday that it has received word that the U.S. has no plans for further sanctions after confusion over the issue involving U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who announced fresh sanctions only to be contradicted by the White House.

Russia's official TASS news agency quoted a source in the foreign ministry as confirming, "the United States has informed the Russian embassy that there will be no new sanctions for now."

Updated Saturday, March 10 at 2:32 p.m. ET

The White House appeared Friday to put conditions on a much anticipated meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying it would only happen once the rogue nation takes "concrete and verifiable action" to demonstrate its commitment to denuclearization.

"We've accepted the invitation to talk based on them following through on concrete actions on the promises they've made," Sanders said Friday.

Updated at 8:40 p.m. ET

President Trump's looming trade war has already claimed its first victim: White House economic adviser Gary Cohn.

Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive and free trade advocate, announced his plans to resign Tuesday, less than a week after Trump called for stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET

Shortly before noon Saturday, a man approached the north fence around the White House, removed a concealed handgun and fired several rounds, according to a Secret Service statement. None of those rounds appeared to have been aimed at the White House, the agency said.

The man then fatally shot himself in the head, the Secret Service said.

Updated at 8:05 p.m. ET

Chief of staff John Kelly on Friday called for an overhaul of White House security clearance standards, following criticism that a top aide was allowed to remain on the job despite allegations of domestic abuse.

The new rules come in the wake of Rob Porters' departure last week after reports that he had abused his two former wives. Porter was working as the White House staff secretary on an interim security clearance.

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET

The resignation of White House staff secretary Rob Porter after media reports of domestic abuse allegations against him — allegations he has denied — raises some key questions about government security clearances, and how they're obtained.

More than 3 million government employees hold some type of security clearance, most in the Department of Defense. That's more than half of all federal jobs. Another 1.2 million government contractors held clearances, as of 2015.

The stock market swung dramatically up and down on Wednesday, ending about where it started the day — after record losses earlier in the week. President Trump's top economic adviser says it's important to keep the volatility in context.

"The fact is that the fundamentals for the economy are very sound," Kevin Hassett says in an interview with NPR. "Wages are going up a lot. Even in the employment report that came out last week, we saw the highest rate of wage growth in about a decade."

The White House has abandoned its choice for the next ambassador to South Korea, reportedly because of differing views on the idea of using a pre-emptive strike against North Korea.

Victor Cha, who was widely reported to be the prime candidate for the post, is no longer under consideration, a National Security Council spokesman told NPR. No reason was given. Cha is a professor at Georgetown University who served as director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council during the George W. Bush administration.

Updated at 7:18 p.m. ET

President Trump said thank you Wednesday evening to Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice contestant turned White House aide, who is stepping down from her post.

"I wish you continued success," Trump posted on Twitter.

Amid allegations of improper contact with foreign women and breaking curfew, three members of the White House Communications Agency have been reassigned. The Washington Post describes the personnel as Army non-commissioned officers who were on a team to ensure secure communications on President Donald Trump's November trip to Asia.

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