White House

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.

The Palestinians threatened on Saturday to cease communication with the United States if the White House closes its diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C., lodging a potential thorn in President Trump's plans for Mideast peace.

The State Department says the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization must close under a little-known provision in U.S. law that forbids it from requesting Israelis be prosecuted for crimes against Palestinians. Trump may reverse the closure within 90 days if the Palestinians prove they are engaging in peace negotiations with the Israelis.

News that at least six current or former senior members of the Trump administration have used private email accounts as they conduct official business has prompted the White House to clarify its policy.

"All White House personnel have been instructed to use official email to conduct all government-related work," press secretary Sarah Sanders said. "They are further instructed that if they receive work-related communication on personal accounts, they should be forwarded to official email accounts."

The federal ethics agency may be opening the door for anonymous donors to pay legal fees for White House staffers.

It could happen just as special counsel Robert Mueller draws closer to the White House in his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with Trump campaign.

Several conservative and pro-Trump groups are said to be considering creating such funds to help White House staffers who may be interviewed by investigators, but who can't afford Washington's high-priced ethics lawyers.

The White House is showcasing products from each state as part of its "Made in America" week.

The list includes some iconic U.S. brands — for example, Gibson Guitars from Tennessee and Steinway pianos from New York. Vermont Maple syrup and California wine are on the list. American flag manufacturers are highlighted from two states (Utah and Virginia).

Some of the choices are less obvious, like wheel barrows from Pennsylvania and door hinges from Missouri.

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