Driver detained at White House checkpoint after claiming to have bomb

Published: Sunday, March 19, 2017 @ 4:47 AM
Updated: Sunday, March 19, 2017 @ 7:50 PM

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 10: The White House, 1800, Washington DC, District of Columbia. United States of America, 19th century. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
DEA / ARCHIVIO J. LANGE/De Agostini/Getty Images
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 10: The White House, 1800, Washington DC, District of Columbia. United States of America, 19th century. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)(DEA / ARCHIVIO J. LANGE/De Agostini/Getty Images)

A driver was detained Saturday night after he reportedly told officials at a White House checkpoint that he had a bomb in his car.

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Sean Patrick Keoughan, 29, said “this is a test” as he was taken to the ground by security, according to NBC News. He was identified Sunday by police. 

According to CNN, the Keoughan's claim just after 11 p.m. prompted an upgrade in White House security, the Secret Service said. Officials, who closed nearby streets, did not say whether he actually had a bomb, CNN reported.

The incident occurred just hours after another person allegedly jumped "over a bicycle rack in front of the White House" and a week after a White House fence-jumper reportedly evaded security officials for 15 minutes, CNN reported.

Keoughan was arrested and charged with false bomb threats and unauthorized use of a vehicle, according to NBC News.

Trump calls efforts to remove Confederate monuments 'so foolish'

Published: Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 9:48 AM

WATCH: Protesters Topple Confederate Statue In North Carolina

President Donald Trump on Thursday again criticized recent decisions to remove Confederate monuments across the country, calling the moves “so foolish” and the monuments irreplaceable.

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“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” Trump wrote in the first of a series of tweets. “You can’t change history, but you can learn from it.”

He echoed comments he made at a fiery news conference in New York earlier this week, in which he wondered whether monuments remembering former presidents George Washington or Thomas Jefferson would be next to fall.

>> Related: Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in Charlottesville 

“The beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!” the president wrote.

His comments came amid continued criticism from across the political spectrum over his insistence that “both sides” were to blame for deadly, racially-charged violence that took place over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

>> Related: Heather Heyer's parents preach love, action after daughter's death: 'You just magnified her'

Police said 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed Saturday during a counterprotest of a rally organized by white supremacists. The rally was aimed at protesting the removal of a Confederate statue from the city’s Emancipation Park.

Authorities arrested James Alex Fields Jr., 20, on charges including second-degree murder and malicious wounding in connection with Heyer’s death. Police said he slammed a car into two stopped vehicles and rammed counterprotesters. Fields, from Ohio, participated in the rally and was described by a former high school teacher as a fan of Adolf Hitler.

Watch - President Trump Says "Blame on Both Sides, I Wait for Facts"

3 more executives leave Trump's manufacturing council in aftermath of Charlottesville

Published: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 @ 5:48 PM
Updated: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 @ 5:48 PM

President Donald Trump speaks in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
President Donald Trump speaks in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday told reporters that the CEOs who have resigned from the White House manufacturing council in the days since the president blamed “many sides” for violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, have done so “out of embarrassment” on the same day that a pair of executives announced their exits from the group.

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“They’re not taking their job seriously as it pertains to this country,” Trump said during a fiery news conference at Trump Tower.

He claimed that four business leaders who announced their resignations on Monday and Tuesday were trying to avoid pressure from him to make their products in the U.S.

>> Related: Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in Charlottesville

“I’ve been lecturing them about … (how) you have to bring it back to this country,” Trump said.

A fifth business leader, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, announced his departure from the council and the departure of AFL-CIO Deputy Chief of Staff Thea Lee shortly after Trump made his comments.

Earlier Tuesday, Scott Paul, president of the nonprofit American Alliance for Manufacturing, announced his exit, “because it’s the right thing for me to do.”

>> Related: Intel CEO is 3rd executive to resign from Trump's Manufacturing Council 

Trumka said in a statement that he and Lee were resigning and placed the blame squarely on the president’s rhetoric.

"We cannot sit on a council for a president who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism," the statement said in part. "President Trump's remarks today repudiate his forced remarks yesterday about the KKK and neo-Nazis. We must resign on behalf of America's working people, who reject all notions of legitimacy of these bigoted groups."

Trump earlier Tuesday called the CEOs leaving the manufacturing council “grandstanders” and boasted that he had “many to take their place.”

Paul was the fourth business leader to announce his resignation, after the departures of Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier.

>> Related: Merck CEO quits Trump manufacturing council after Charlottesville

Frazier, who was the first to resign, wrote in a statement that he felt “a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”

Krzanich said he was resigning "to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing."

Plank said on Monday night that Under Armour "engages in innovation and sports, not politics.”

The resignations came after critics questioned Trump’s decision not to call out white supremacists in a statement condemning the violence that erupted Saturday. Police said Heather Heyer, 32, died after she was struck by a vehicle when a man, identified by police as 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer James Alex Fields Jr., slammed a car into protesters and two other vehicles.

In a second statement made on Monday, Trump condemned "the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups," who incite violence based on race.

>> Related: Trump condemns KKK, white supremacists days after deadly Charlottesville attack

Tesla CEO Elon Musk resigned from the manufacturing council in June, and two other advisory groups to the president, after the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger resigned for the same reason from the President's Strategic and Policy Forum, which Trump established to advise him on how government policy impacts economic growth and job creation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

What You Need To Know: Manufacturing Council

Trump thanks Putin for expelling U.S. diplomats

Published: Friday, August 11, 2017 @ 4:16 PM

President Donald Trump walks to Marine One before departing from the White House on August 4, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Trump is traveling to Bedminster, N.J. for his summer break. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
President Donald Trump walks to Marine One before departing from the White House on August 4, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Trump is traveling to Bedminster, N.J. for his summer break. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Thursday said that he is “very thankful” that Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to expel hundreds of U.S. diplomats, telling reporters in New Jersey that the decision will help the U.S. cut down on salaries.

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“I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll, and as far as I’m concerned, I’m very thankful that he let go a large number of people because now we will have a smaller payroll,” Trump said, according to The Washington Post. “There’s no real reason for them to go back. … We’re going to save a lot of money.”

The comments were Trump’s first addressing Putin’s decision last month to expel 755 diplomats and technical personnel from the U.S. Embassy and consulates in Russia, according to The Post.

Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 included a 29 percent cut of State Department funding, NPR reported.

But White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in an email to The New York Times on Friday that the president was making a joke.

“He was being sarcastic,” she told the newspaper.

Still, some lawmakers questioned Trump’s decision to praise Putin.

“After weeks of silence regarding Vladimir Putin's outrageous expulsion of hundreds of U.S. embassy personnel, President Trump once again let Russia off the hook and instead insulted America’s diplomats,” Rep. Eliot Engel, D-New York, the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement.

“No doubt, the President's staff will eventually try to clean up after the parade by claiming it was a joke, but there's nothing funny about this,” he said.

According to Politico, “many, if not most, of the positions cut will likely be those of locally hired Russian staffers. The local staff who are let go will likely get severance payments, but cost savings are possible in the long run.”

Unidentified sources told the news site that most of the U.S. diplomats made to leave Russia will be moved to different posts.

Putin’s decision to kick American diplomats out of the country came in retaliation for sanctions placed on Russia by the U.S. Trump signed the bill, which passed with strong bipartisan support and required congressional approval to lift the restrictions, although he criticized it as being “seriously flawed.”

Vladimir Putin - Fast Facts

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Trump improvised 'fire and fury' warning to North Korea: reports

Published: Wednesday, August 09, 2017 @ 4:27 PM

Trump Warns North Korea Of “Fire And Fury”

Officials were surprised Tuesday when President Donald Trump declared that the U.S. would respond with “fire and fury” to continued threats by North Korea hours after a report said the country had the ability to miniaturize nuclear weapons, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

The comment, which heightened tension between the U.S. and North Korea and prompted Pyongyang to threaten action on Guam, was not discussed specifically with his advisers beforehand, The New York Times reported, citing unidentified sources with direct knowledge of the situation.

“He had talked over possible responses in a general way,” the newspaper reported.

The Washington Post reported that U.S. officials determined last month that North Korea has produced a nuclear warhead small enough to fit inside its missiles.

>> Related: North Korea has reportedly miniaturized nuclear weapons: 5 things to know

“The (intelligence community) assesses North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, to include delivery by ICBM-class missiles,” an excerpt of an unrelated analysis from the Defense Intelligence Agency said, according to the Post.

Hours after the report was posted online, Trump told journalists in New Jersey that any threats against the United States would be met with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

"President Trump's comment was unplanned and spontaneous,” a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

Another unnamed official told the news wire that the comment was “all Trump.”

>> Related: Why is North Korea threatening Guam?

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appeared to try to minimize the president’s comments on Wednesday, telling reporters that North Korea does not present an imminent threat.

"Americans should sleep well at night," Tillerson said. "Nothing that I have seen, and nothing that I know of, would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours."

>> Related: North Korea, Trump exchange threats: Live updates

In a separate, forceful statement released Wednesday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said that North Korea “should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people." 

"While our State Department is making every effort to resolve this global threat through diplomatic means, it must be noted that the combined allied militaries now possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth,” Mattis said.