The Latest: Trump hopes Senate will fill more Cabinet posts

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times EST):

12:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump is hoping to have more members of his Cabinet on board this week, if the Republican-controlled Senate acts as expected.

Senators are to vote Monday evening on banker Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO’-chin), Trump’s pick to lead the Treasury Department, and Obama administrator holdover David Shulkin to be promoted to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Shulkin’s path has been fairly smooth so far. But that’s not been the case for Mnuchin.

Democrats complain that he failed to protect thousands of homeowners from unnecessary foreclosures when he headed OneWest Bank. Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee unanimously voted in favor of Mnuchin after committee Democrats boycotted the vote.

Trump is scheduled to meet with Mnuchin on Sunday afternoon at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.


11:05 a.m.

A top White House aide says it’s not up to him to say whether President Donald Trump retains confidence in national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Policy director Stephen Miller says the White House didn’t give him anything specific to say about Flynn during Miller’s appearances on the Sunday news shows. Miller calls it “an important matter” and “a sensitive matter” best answered by Trump, Vice President Mike Pence or chief of staff Reince Priebus.

At issue is whether Flynn discussed U.S. sanctions in calls with Russia’s ambassador while President Barack Obama was still in office. The conversations may have broken U.S. law aimed at barring private citizens from conducting diplomacy.

A Washington Post report last week contradicted Flynn’s previous denials, as well as those made by Vice President Mike Pence in a televised interview.


9:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump is praising the actions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers for the recent “enforcement surge” that officials say is targeting immigrants who are in the country illegally and have criminal records.

Trump tweets that “the crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!”

Advocacy groups contend the government has rounded large numbers of people as part of stepped-up enforcement. The agency calls the effort no different from enforcement actions carried out in the past.

Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the emphasis is on deporting those he calls “criminal aliens” and who “pose a threat to public safety.”

Miller says “we’re going to focus on public safety and saving American lives and we will not apologize.”


9:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s chief policy adviser says the White House is exploring “all of our options” after a federal appeals court handed the administration a legal setback on Trump’s executive order on immigration.

Stephen Miller tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the White House could pursue “additional executive actions”, as Trump suggested on Friday, as well as judicial appeals.

Miller says the goal is to pursue “every single possible action to keep our country safe from terrorism.”

He’s also criticizing judges for taking “power for themselves that belong squarely in the hands” of the president.

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