Diane is a perfectionist. She enjoys searching the internet for the hottest events from around the world and writing an article about it. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. She likes traveling and history, especially ancient history. Being a very sociable person she has a blast having barbeque with family and friends.
Former CIA director Mike Pompeo has been confirmed as secretary of state after the Senate voted 57-42 to approve him as America’s top diplomat.
Mike Pompeo had been accused by Democrats of being a war hawk and harboring anti-Muslim and homophobic views.
He is the second secretary of state under Trump administration. Rex Tillerson, was fired last month by the president via Twitter amid a personality clash.
On April 26, Republican senators, who control the Senate, voted unanimously to confirm Mike Pompeo. Six Democrats joined them.
Some of those Democrats – including North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin – come from conservative-leaning states where President Donald Trump won in 2016, and are facing tough midterm elections in November.
The approval comes in time for Mike Pompeo to lead a US delegation to NATO foreign minister talks in Brussels this weekend.
Mike Pompeo is expected to depart for the trip only hours after being formally confirmed.
In a statement, President Trump applauded Mike Pompeo as someone who “will always put the interests of America first”.
The president said: “Having a patriot of Mike’s immense talent, energy, and intellect leading the Department of State will be an incredible asset for our country at this critical time in history.”
Former First Lady Barbara Bush has died at the age of 92.
Barbara Bush was the matriarchal figure of a political dynasty that included two presidents – her husband George H.W. Bush and son George W. Bush.
She was first lady from 1989 to 1993 and had been in failing health for some time and had declined further medical treatment.
George H.W. Bush, at 93, is the longest-lived US president. Their son, George W. Bush, was elected in 2000 and served two terms as the nation’s 43rd president.
George W. Bush said in a statement: “My dear mother has passed on at age 92. Laura, Barbara, Jenna, and I are sad, but our souls are settled because we know hers was. Barbara Bush was a fabulous First Lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions.”
The former president said his mother had “kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end”, adding: “I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes.”
Barbara Bush was also the mother of Jeb Bush, who served as governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007 and unsuccessfully ran for the White House in 2016.
As first lady, she went beyond the traditional role of a political spouse, founding the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy to help parents and children from disadvantaged communities to read and write.
Barbara Bush was a fierce advocate of civil rights and went against many of her husband’s Republican party supporters with her more liberal view on abortion rights.
In a statement from the White House, President Donald Trump said the former first lady would be long remembered for her devotion to country and family, “both of which she served unfailingly well”.
Barack and Michelle Obama also described Barbara Bush as “the rock of a family dedicated to public service” and as “an example of the humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American spirit”.
Former President Bill Clinton said Barbara Bush was “feisty in support of her family and friends, her country and her causes”.
Bill Clinton said he and his wife, Hillary, would “never forget the courtesy she and President Bush showed us”.
Barbara Bush was known for her snow-white hair and was dubbed “The Silver Fox” by her family.
George H.W. Bush, who served as the 41st US president, suffers from a form of Parkinson’s disease and uses a wheelchair.
It was recently announced that Barbara Bush had declined further medical treatment after a series of hospital visits, but the statement did not reveal the nature of her ailments.
The former first lady said she wanted to spend her last days in “comfort care” with her family.
Barbara Bush was born Barbara Pierce, the daughter of Marvin Pierce, publisher of McCall’s magazine. She grew up in Rye, New York.
She met George H.W. Bush in 1941 at a Christmas party in Connecticut and the couple celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in January this year.
They had six children including a daughter, Robin, who died of leukaemia aged three in 1953.
As well as George and Jeb, the other Bush children are Neil, Marvin and Dorothy.
Barbara Bush was one of only two women whose husband and son became US president, and the only one to have seen them both sworn in.
Abigail Adams was married to the second US president, John Adams, and was the mother of the sixth, John Quincy Adams, although she did not live to see their son elected.
Fox News host Sean Hannity has been revealed as the mystery third client of President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen.
A judge ruled that the president’s personal attorney must reveal the link to Sean Hannity.
April 16 hearing in NYC follows an FBI raid this month on Michael Cohen’s home and office, which Sean Hannity has called an anti-Trump “witch hunt”.
A vocal Trump advocate, Sean Hannity denied he was a client of Michael Cohen.
Sean Hannity, who is known for passionately defending Donald Trump on his Fox News show against what he describes as biased attacks by the media, had never previously divulged any legal ties to the president’s attorney.
FBI agents who raided Michael Cohen’s home and evidence were looking for evidence on various matters, including a $130,000 payment made to actress Stormy Daniels, who alleges she had an affair with Donald Trump and was paid “hush money”.
During April 16 hearing, the judge deny Michael Cohen’s attempts to prevent prosecutors from reviewing the materials seized in the FBI raids.
President Trump’s attorney says the computers, phones and documents should be protected under attorney-client privilege.
However, Judge Kimba Wood ruled his application for a preliminary injunction was premature.
She allowed prosecutors to proceed with the cataloguing of evidence seized in the raids while a system is set up to ensure that records protected by attorney-client privilege are not disclosed to investigators.
However, the judge will also consider appointing a “special master” to play a supervisory role in the process.
Just before hearing, Michael Cohen said in a statement that he had only provided advice to three clients in the past year.
One was Donald Trump. Another was a Republican fundraiser who admitted to paying a former Playboy model after she became pregnant during their affair.
The third client, Michael Cohen said, had refused to give him permission to be publicly named.
However, Judge Wood made one of the lawyers identify Sean Hannity.
There were gasps and some laughter in the courtroom after the announcement, and some journalists raced out of the courtroom to report the revelation.
Sean Hannity responded on Twitter: “In response to some wild speculation, let me make clear that I did not ask Michael Cohen to bring this proceeding on my behalf, I have no personal interest in this proceeding, and, in fact, asked that my de minimis discussions with Michael Cohen, which dealt almost exclusively about real estate, not be made a part of this proceeding.”
He later issued a statement of denial, saying: “Michael Cohen has never represented me in any matter.
“I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective.
“I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third party.”
After last week’s raid on Michael Cohen’s offices, Sean Hannity took to the airwaves to denounce the probe as a “declared war against the president of the United States”.
Also in the Manhattan federal court was Stormy Daniels, whose appearance triggered a scrum by photographers outside.
Michael Cohen has admitted making a payment to Stormy Daniel, who claims the money was to keep her quiet about an affair she says she had with Donald Trump in 2006.
The president’s attorney says he made the payment just before the 2016 election, but maintains Donald Trump did not know about it.
Michael Cohen is facing a criminal inquiry, which President Trump has strongly criticized.
According to legal analysts, the payoff to Stormy Daniels could amount to a campaign finance violation.
The White House has denied President Trump had an extramarital affair.
In a news conference on April 11, Paul Ryan said the decision was family-related.
He said: “You all know that I did not seek this job.
“I took it reluctantly.
“But I have given this job everything. I have no regrets whatsoever for having accepted this responsibility.”
Paul Ryan continued: “But the truth is it’s easy for it to take over everything in your life and you can’t just let that happen.”
He said he did not want to be known by his children as “only a weekend dad”.
The 48-year-old father-of-three said he would retire in January after finishing his congressional term.
According to Axios, which broke the story, Paul Ryan has found his job frustrating, partly because of President Donald Trump.
However, President Trump praised the speaker on Twitter as “a truly good man”.
The president tweeted: “Speaker Paul Ryan is a truly good man, and while he will not be seeking re-election, he will leave a legacy of achievement that nobody can question. We are with you Paul!”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Paul Ryan’s departure was an ominous sign for Republicans, months away from nationwide elections.
“Stay tuned for more retirements as Republicans increasingly realize that their midterm prospects are doomed,” the fundraising committee added.
According to analysts, Paul Ryan’s seat in Wisconsin’s first district could now fall into Democratic hands.
All 435 House lawmakers and 34 senators will face the voters this November, in what will amount to a referendum on Republican control of Congress and the White House.
The resignation of Paul Ryan – whose role as House speaker places him second-in-line to the president after VP Mike Pence – will spark speculation about whether he could one day mount a White House campaign.
In December Paul Ryan achieved his cherished goal of overhauling the US tax code, and according to Axios, regarded it as the capstone of his legislative career.
Republican congressman Steve Scalise and former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus are among those being touted as possible successors.
In a speech to supporters on the night of election, Viktor Orban said his victory gave Hungarians “the opportunity to defend themselves and to defend Hungary”.
Leaders of the second and third-placed parties have resigned in light of the result.
Polling stations were meant to close at 19:00 local time, but some stayed open hours later due to long queues. Voter turnout reached a near-record 69% – an outcome some believed would favor Viktor Orban’s opponents.
However, with almost all votes counted, the nationalist Jobbik party is in second place with 20% of the vote. The Socialists are in third with 12%, and the LMP, Hungary’s main Green Party, is in fourth with 7%.
Jobbik’s chairman Gabor Vona resigned on the night of election, telling a news conference: “Jobbik’s goal, to win the elections and force a change in government, was not achieved. FIDESZ won. It won again.”
Socialist Party President Gyula Molnar also resigned, saying: “We regard ourselves as responsible for what happened [and] we have acknowledged the decision of voters.”
President Trump has asked the Department of Defense for a detailed list of military and other facilities that could perform that function.
He has sent several tweets over the past week railing against illegal immigration and accusing Democrats of allowing “open borders, drugs and crime”.
The president declared on Twitter that Republicans should “go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws [on illegal migrants] NOW”.
He also threatened Mexico, saying the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was at risk unless it stopped the movement of migrants over the border.
He tweeted: “Mexico is doing very little, if not NOTHING, at stopping people from flowing into Mexico through their Southern Border, and then into the U.S. They laugh at our dumb immigration laws. They must stop the big drug and people flows, or I will stop their cash cow, NAFTA. NEED WALL!”
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has condemned what he called “threatening or disrespectful attitudes” from President Trump.
President Trump has called sending troops to the Mexico border a “big step”, but both his predecessors also dispatched the National Guard there.
President Barack Obama sent some 1,200 soldiers to guard the boundary, while President George W. Bush deployed about 6,000 troops to help Border Patrol in what was called Operation Jump Start. Both deployments lasted for around a year.
Images broadcast on local TV stations showed employees leaving with their hands raised. Other footage showed evacuees forming a queue before being individually frisked by police.
One person with a bullet wound was found at the front of the company headquarters, Ed Barberini said. Minutes later officers found a woman who appeared to have shot herself, he said.
Two further victims were later discovered at an adjacent business.
An employee at a nearby fast food restaurant told Fox station KTVU he had treated a young woman who suffered a bullet wound to the leg.
The man said he had fashioned a makeshift tourniquet from a bungee cord as they waited for first responders.
Several YouTube employees tweeted about the attack as it was taking place.
The three victims were taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Officials said the 32-year-old woman’s condition was serious and the 27-year-old’s condition was fair.
A fourth person was also taken to hospital with an ankle injury sustained while trying to escape, Ed Barberini said.
Some 1,700 people work at the YouTube HQ. The company is owned by Google and is the area’s biggest employer.
Nasim Aghdam appeared often on YouTube and in one of her videos criticized the platform for discriminating against and filtering her posts.
YouTube terminated Nasim Aghdam’s account following the shooting. Her Instagram and Facebook accounts have also been removed.
On her personal website she accused YouTube of taking steps to prevent her videos from getting views.
“There is no equal growth opportunity on YouTube or any other video sharing site. Your channel will grow if they want to!” she wrote.
There had been earlier media reports that the man shot was her boyfriend, but police later said: “At this time there is no evidence that the shooter knew the victims of this shooting or that individuals were specifically targeted.”
President Donald Trump said he had been briefed about the incident. He wrote on Twitter: “Was just briefed on the shooting at YouTube’s HQ in San Bruno, California. Our thoughts and prayers are with everybody involved. Thank you to our phenomenal Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders that are currently on the scene.”
Pope Francis’ Easter message from the Vatican has urged for an end to the “carnage” in Syria.
The pontiff also asked God to heal the wounds in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and urged dialogue on the Korean peninsula.
He said the power of the Christian message gave hope to the deprived.
Tens of thousands of people were in St Peter’s Square to hear the Pope speak from the balcony of the basilica.
He said: “Today we implore fruits of peace upon the entire world, beginning with the beloved and long suffering land of Syria whose people are worn down by an apparently endless war.
“This Easter may the light of the risen Christ illuminate the consciences of all political and military leaders, so that a swift end may be brought to the carnage in course; that humanitarian law may be respected; and that provisions be made to facilitate access to the aid so urgently needed.”
Russia has decided to expel 60 American diplomats and to close the St Petersburg consulate in a tit-for-tat response to US action over Sergei Skripal poisoning case in the UK.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said other countries that expelled Russians could expect a “symmetrical” response.
The move comes amid a row over the nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK.
The White House said Russia’s move to expel its diplomats had been “not unanticipated”.
It said in a statement that the move marked “a further deterioration in the United States-Russia relationship”.
Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench in the city of Salisbury on March 4, and the UK government has blamed Russia for the attack and decided to expel 23 Russian diplomats.
Russia has vehemently denied any role in the attack. Sergei Skripal remains in a critical but stable condition. Yulia Skripal’s condition is said to be improving.
Following the attack, more than 20 countries have expelled Russian envoys in solidarity with the UK. Among them is the US, which earlier this week ordered 60 diplomats to leave and closed the Russian consulate general in Seattle.
Russia declared 58 US diplomats in Moscow and two in Yekaterinburg to be “personae non gratae”.
Sergei Lavrov said US ambassador Jon Huntsman had been informed of the “retaliatory measures”.
Later, a state department spokeswoman said the US reserved the right to take further action.
Sergei Lavrov also accused Britain of “forcing everyone to follow an anti-Russian course”.
He said Moscow was responding to “absolutely unacceptable actions that are taken against us under very harsh pressure from the United States and Britain under the pretext of the so-called Skripal case”.
Sergei Lavrov reiterated Russian calls for consular access to Yulia Skripal – a Russian citizen.
Russia, he said, was also seeking a meeting with leaders of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to “establish the truth”.
Following the incident in Salisbury, British PM Theresa May announced a series of sanctions, including the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats alleged to be intelligence agents.
Russia responded by expelling an equal number of UK diplomats and closing the country’s British Council.
Then – in what has been cited as the largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history – more than 20 governments expelled diplomats in their countries.
During the visit, Kim Jong-un assured his Chinese counterpart he was committed to giving up his nuclear weapons, Xinhua reported, but with conditions.
“The issue of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved, if South Korea and the United States respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace,” Kim Jong-un was reported saying.
According to observers, North Korea’s conditions include the removal of a US nuclear guarantee for South Korea.
North Korea’s KCNA news agency called the visit “a milestone” in improving bilateral ties.
Kim Jong-un’s arrival and departure were shrouded in secrecy. China said the visit was “unofficial” – so there was no announcement of it in advance, prompting speculation about who was on the train when it was spotted arriving.
Because of the unofficial status of the visit, some of the normal protocols for foreign visits were not observed. For example no North Korean country flags were hung around the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square.
Relations between North Korea and China, historically strong, had been deteriorating, with China backing US moves to tighten international sanctions in response to the North’s growing nuclear threat.
President Donald Trump has fired his National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster replacing him with Bush-era defense hawk and former UN ambassador John Bolton.
The president tweeted to thank General H.R. McMaster, saying he had done an “outstanding job & will always remain my friend”.
John Bolton, who has backed attacking North Korea and Iran, told Fox News his job would be to ensure the president has “the full range of options”.
The former UN ambassador becomes President Trump’s third national security chief in 14 months.
H.R. McMaster is the latest high-profile departure from the White House.
Last week, President Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by a tweet, replacing him with former CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
John Bolton’s appointment does not require US Senate confirmation. He will take the job on April 9.
The National Security Adviser is the key counselor to the president on national security and foreign policy issues, and acts as a conduit for policy proposals coming from various government departments, including defense and state.
John Bolton, 69, said he was looking forward to working with President Trump and his team “to make our country safer at home and stronger abroad”.
He has been a foreign policy hawk in Republican circles for decades, having served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
President George W. Bush appointed John Bolton as US envoy to the UN, during which time diplomats privately criticized his style as abrasive.
A strident neo-conservative, John Bolton helped build the case that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, which turned out to be wrong.
Known for his walrus moustache, John Bolton does not appear to have greatly moderated his views since his last spell in government.
John Bolton stands by the invasion of Iraq and has advocated in newspaper op-eds using military force against North Korea and Iran.
In a brief statement on March 22, General H.R. McMaster, 55, thanked President Trump for appointing him and said he was applying to retire from the US Army later this year.
The three-star general is leaving after just over a year as national security adviser.
The White House said President Trump and H.R. McMaster had “mutually agreed” that he would leave. He had been rumored for weeks to be on his way out.
His departure came a day after someone at the White House leaked to media that President Trump was advised this week in briefing documents not to congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin on his recent re-election, but did it anyway.
General H.R. McMaster replaced Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was fired after less than a month in the job for misleading the White House about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.
According to the Washington Post, citing officials it said were familiar with the matter, the call was made despite warnings from the president’s security advisers, who provided a briefing which included a section that read “DO NOT CONGRATULATE”.
During the call, President Trump did not mention the issue that has sparked growing Western tensions with Russia – the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the UK.
The UK government blamed the nerve agent attack on Moscow, which denies any involvement.
The Kremlin said the conversation between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin was “constructive and business-like”, adding that Russia hoped to “overcome problems” that had arisen between the two nations.
Senator John McCain criticized President Trump over the call, saying in a statement: “An American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections. And by doing so with Vladimir Putin, President Trump insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election to determine their country’s future, including the countless Russian patriots who have risked so much to protest and resist Putin’s regime.”
On March 20, EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker also wrote a letter of congratulations to Vladimir Putin, pledging to “always be a partner” in improving security co-operation with the Kremlin.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was among the first Western leaders to “warmly congratulate” the Russian leader on March 19 – a day after his re-election – stressing the need to continue dialogue “to address important bilateral and international challenges and find viable solutions”.
French President Emmanuel Macron wished Vladimir Putin success in “modernizing Russia”, but urged Moscow to shed light on the “unacceptable” attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal in the UK.
Instead, Xi Jinping consolidated his political power as the party voted to enshrine his name and political ideology in the party’s constitution – elevating his status to the level of its founder, Chairman Mao.
On paper, the congress is the most powerful legislative body in China – similar to the parliament in other nations. It was widely believed that it would approve what it was told to.
Xi Jinping became president in 2012, and quickly consolidated personal power while cementing China as the regional superpower.
He also fought corruption, punishing more than a million party members – which has helped his popularity among some.
However, at the same time, China has clamped down on many emerging freedoms, increasing its state surveillance and censorship programs. Critics also say Xi Jinping has used the anti-corruption purge to sideline political rivals.
China has welcomed the development, saying the Korean peninsula issue was “heading in the right direction” and calling for “political courage”.
However, North Korea has halted missile and nuclear tests during previous talks, only to resume them when it lost patience or felt it was not getting what it demanded.
The latest announcement came days after the South Korean delegation met Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang.
Speaking outside the White House after briefing President Trump, South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong said he had passed on a message that Kim Jong-un was “committed to denuclearization” and had “pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests”.
According to a statement sent to the Washington Post, North Korea’s UN ambassador said the “courageous decision” of Kim Jong-un would help secure “peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and the East Asia region”.
There is no indication yet of where the Trump-Kim talks might take place, but the Korean border’s demilitarized zone (DMZ) and Beijing are seen as likely options.
The White House has announced that President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser Gary Cohn is resigning.
His resignation is the latest in a series of high-profile departures from President Trump’s team.
There has been speculation that Gary Cohn, a supporter of free trade, was angered by President Trump’s plans to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports.
In a statement released by the White House, Gary Cohn said it had been “an honor to serve my country”.
He had helped President Trump push through his sweeping tax reforms late last year.
The 57-year-old former president of the Goldman Sachs bank and President Trump were never believed to be close.
Gary Cohn wasn’t specific about the reasons, saying in a statement it had been “an honor to serve my country and enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people, in particular the passage of historic tax reform”.
Once that mission had been achieved, a number of differences may have prompted the departure, including the possible looming trade tariff war and his differences on that issue with trade adviser Peter Navarro and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Gary Cohn had reportedly set up a meeting between President Trump and business executives who opposed the tariffs move. However, the president pulled out of that meeting and on March 6 reportedly asked Gary Cohn in the Oval Office to back the tariffs publicly. Gary Cohn did not answer, sources told Bloomberg.
In August 2017, Gary Cohn had also criticized President Trump over his reaction to a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, saying the administration “can and must do better”.
The president’s economic adviser was reported to have drafted a resignation letter after the event.
Gary Cohn’s exact departure date had yet to be determined.
In a statement, President Trump said: “Gary… did a superb job in driving our agenda, helping to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms and unleashing the American economy once again.
“He is a rare talent and I thank him for his dedicated service to the American people.”
Analysts were pointing to the resignation of Gary Cohn, a free market advocate, as one reason behind a drop in shares across Asia on March 7. The Nikkei closed 0.77% down and the Hang Seng 1.03%.
The dollar continued its retreat against the yen, down from 113 at the start of the year to 105.6 on March 7.
European stocks also opened lower, the FTSE 100 and pan-Europe STOXX 600 falling about 0.5% after opening.
According to a State Department report, Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was killed by a chemical attack in Malaysia on the orders of the North Korean government.
Kim Jong-nam died in February 2017 at Kuala Lumpur airport, where two women smeared his face with VX nerve agent.
The two women, who say they believed they were carrying out a prank for a TV show, are on trial for murder.
In response, the US said it would impose new sanctions on North Korea.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said: “This public display of contempt for universal norms against chemical weapons use further demonstrates the reckless nature of North Korea and underscores that we cannot afford to tolerate a North Korean WMD program of any kind.”
The US has consistently accused North Korea of being behind the attack on Kim Jong-un’s half-brother.
Hope Hicks’ departure will come as a major blow to President Trump, who said he would miss having her by his side. A former press secretary, Hope Hicks rose through the ranks to occupy the desk closest to the Oval Office.
She kept a low public profile but recently found herself part of a scandal when newspapers exposed that she was in a relationship with White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who had been accused of domestic violence against past partners.
When news of the allegations against Rob Porter broke last month, it was Hope Hicks who helped draft an initial White House statement defending him.
President Trump was reportedly not consulted and was unimpressed with Hope Hicks’ handling of the controversy.
Hope Hicks became head of the White House communications team in August 2017, after the abrupt firing of Anthony Scaramucci.
In a statement, President Trump said: “Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years. She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person.
“I will miss having her by my side but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, I totally understood. I am sure we will work together again in the future.”
Anthony Scaramucci, speaking on Fox News, said: “She’s one of the least malicious people I’ve ever met in my life. She’s dedicated, she’s charming, she’s thoughtful, at the end of the day she’s going to have an unbelievable career.”
Hope Hicks’ departure comes just after Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, had his White House security clearance downgraded.
According to US officials, VP Mike Pence was due to meet North Korean officials at the Winter Olympics last week, but the North Koreans canceled the meeting at the last moment.
VP Mike Pence was in South Korea for the opening of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
A spokesman said the vice-president was scheduled to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, among others.
It would have been the first official interaction between North Korea and the Trump administration.
North Korea has made no comment on the reports.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said when the “possibility arose” of a brief meeting with the North Korean delegation, Mike Pence “was ready to take this opportunity to drive home the necessity of North Korea abandoning its illicit ballistic missile and nuclear programs”.
Heather Nauert said in a statement: “At the last minute, DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] officials decided not to go forward with the meeting. We regret their failure to seize this opportunity.”
North Korea’s attendance at the Winter Olympics was seen as a major thaw in consistently tense relations on the Korean peninsula.
Mike Pence was criticized by some for not engaging diplomatically with the North Koreans while in South Korea.
He sat feet away from Kim Yo-jong – who is accused of human rights violations – at the Games but did not interact with her, saying: “I didn’t believe it was proper for the United States of America to give her any attention in that forum.”
Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, said North Korea had “dangled a meeting in hopes of the vice president softening his message, which would have ceded the world stage for their propaganda during the Olympics”.
“This administration will stand in the way of Kim’s desire to whitewash their murderous regime with nice photo ops at the Olympics. Perhaps that’s why they walked away from a meeting or perhaps they were never sincere about sitting down,” Nick Ayers said.
On leaving the Games, Mike Pence said the US and its allies remained firmly aligned on North Korea
“There is no daylight between the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan on the need to continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically until they abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile program.”
However, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has said he is considering accepting an invitation to visit Kim Jong-un in North Korea.
President Donald Trump has been widely criticized after investors in a luxury property development in India are being offered the chance to have “conversation and dinner” with his eldest son, Donald Jr.
Donald Trump Jr. is visiting India this week and will promote the Trump Towers development near Delhi.
Critics say the Trump family is cashing in on the president’s name.
However, Donald Trump Jr. has said he has been building relationships in India for years.
The full-page advertisement, which ran as the front cover of several Indian newspapers over the weekend, featured a picture of Donald Trump Jr. together with text: “Trump is here. Are you invited?” and “Trump has arrived. Have you?”
The 47-storey towers in Gurgaon, close to New Delhi, are being developed by the Trump Organization and local partners – with some apartments selling for more than $1 million.
The Trump Organization, formerly headed up by President Donald Trump, is an umbrella company for hundreds of investments in businesses including real estate. Donald Trump Jr. is now its executive director.
India is the Trump Organization’s biggest property market outside the US, and in 2016 the Trump family earned up to $3 million in royalties from ventures in India, according to a financial disclosure report.
The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) – a watchdog group – added the Indian promotion to a list of instances it believes show the Trump name being used for commercial gain.
In an interview last week, cited by The Guardian, Donald Trump Jr. said he had spent nearly a decade “cultivating relationships in India” and that the company was “now seeing the response of that effort”.
The president’s son said his itinerary was designed to steer clear of politics.
However, Donald Trump Jr. is listed as a keynote speaker at a global business conference, which will be attended by Indian politicians, including PM Narendra Modi and some of India’s business elite.
President Donald Trump handed over control of his business empire to Donald Jr. and Eric Trump before his inauguration last year.
However, the director of the US Office of Government Ethics said at the time that this did not go far enough to ensure there would be no conflict of interest between his politics and personal business.
Since taking office, critics have claimed President Trump is continuing to profit from his family’s business interests.
They have also accused the Trump family of playing up its connections with the White House in order to influence business deals.
In May 2017, the company owned by the family of Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, pulled out of a real estate presentation in China.
Kushner Companies had been scheduled to pitch opportunities to real estate investors in China, but Jared Kushner’s sister was widely criticized for using his name in a pitch.
In November 2017, President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, was criticized for speaking at a global entrepreneurs summit in Hyderabad, with some saying the summit had become more about Ivanka Trump and her namesake brand than the wider issue.