Donald Trump

In his latest effort to boost the coal business — and in the process help a major supporter — President Trump has called on the Tennessee Valley Authority to, essentially, ignore the advice of its staff and keep a large coal-fired power plant operating.

The move has drawn extra scrutiny because that plant buys coal from a company headed by a large campaign donor to Trump, Murray Energy Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Robert Murray.

Coal Comeback? Coal At New Low After Two Years Under Trump

Feb 4, 2019
Kara Lofton, WVPB

It’s been two years since President Donald Trump took office and began rolling back environmental regulations on the coal industry.

At a November rally in Huntington, West Virginia, the president took credit for a coal comeback in front of a cheering crowd.

"We've ended the war on beautiful, clean coal and we're putting our coal miners back to work,” he said. “That you know better than anybody."


Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

The longest government shutdown in history ended after President Trump signed a bipartisan three-week stopgap funding measure late Friday. Several agencies had been partially shuttered for 35 days.

"I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government," Trump said earlier Friday in the White House Rose Garden, announcing the long-awaited bipartisan breakthrough.

Updated at 5:11 p.m. ET

Roger Stone, the longtime Republican political operator and confidant of President Trump, was arrested on Friday after being indicted on seven counts including obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements in connection with the Russian attack on the 2016 election.

Stone appeared at the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He did not enter a plea. He was released on $250,000 bond and with travel restrictions that confine him to South Florida, New York City and the Washington, D.C., area.

Updated at 5:08 p.m. ET

A federal judge in New York has ruled against the Trump administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ordered the administration to stop its plans to include the controversial question on forms for the upcoming national head count "without curing the legal defects" the judge identified in his 277-page opinion released on Tuesday.

Updated at 3:54 p.m. ET

President Trump defended his selection of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker on Friday as new questions arose about Whitaker's fitness for the post and whether his appointment is legal.

WFYI

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb's office has been ordered by a judge to turn over emails between then-Gov. Mike Pence, President-elect Donald Trump and Carrier Corp. about Trump's negotiations to prevent the company from moving most of its operations from Indianapolis to Mexico.

Monday's order by Marion Superior Court Judge Heather Welch gives Holcomb's office 30 days to disclose any communications sent between Nov. 14-29, 2016, about meetings between Pence, Trump and Carrier, which operates an Indianapolis furnace factory.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein remained in his job on Monday afternoon after a visit to the White House that sparked a flurry of reports suggesting he might resign or be fired.

A person close to Rosenstein said he was expecting to be fired after the New York Times story on Friday about his early tenure in office. The deputy attorney general oversees the special counsel's Russia investigation, which has made Rosenstein's job security part of the long-running political battle over the probe.

Becca Schimmel

The Trump administration’s decision to lower the cap on refugees admitted into the U.S. is calling into question the future of refugee resettlement in Bowling Green. The administration announced Monday it’s reducing the refugee cap to a record low of 30,000. The International Center of Kentucky was planning to resettle about 400 refugees this year, but now it may not be able to bring in even half of that.  

The Bowling Green-based agency is a volunteer group that relies on federal funds to resettle refugees. With less refugees coming to Bowling Green, the International Center will have to cut back on staff and resources.

Updated at 2:49 p.m. ET

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded guilty on Friday and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Manafort entered his guilty plea to two felony counts during an hourlong hearing in federal court in Washington, D.C. The plea took place three days before he was to face trial on charges related to his lobbying work for Ukraine and alleged witness tampering.

Ryland Barton

A federal appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit that alleges President Trump encouraged his supporters to assault protesters at a Louisville campaign rally in 2016.

The three plaintiffs claimed they were pushed, shoved and punched by audience members after Trump repeatedly shouted “get ‘em out of here” during his speech at the Kentucky International Convention Center.

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that Trump’s words were protected by the First Amendment and that he didn’t specifically encourage violence because he also said “don’t hurt ‘em.”

Abbey Oldham

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says the White House needs to use a lie detector test to find out who wrote an anonymous op-ed published in the New York Times this week.

The op-ed is purportedly written by a senior official in President Trump’s administration who claims to be a part of an internal resistance effort actively working to block the president’s most extreme policies and instincts.

Stephen George

The mining engineer from Lexington, Kentucky, President Donald Trump nominated to lead the federal Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement has withdrawn his nomination over issues with the vetting process.

Trump tapped Steven Gardner, CEO of Lexington consulting firm ECSI LLC, to lead the office last October. Gardner has more than four decades of experience working with and advocating for the mining industry.

But Gardner is withdrawing his nomination after a year of negotiations with the Office of Government Ethics over conditions of an ethical agreement, he told Bloomberg’s Stephen Lee on Thursday.

Kara Lofton, WVPB

When President Trump wants to talk coal, he comes to West Virginia. So it was not surprising that the president visited Charleston just hours after his administration unveiled a long-awaited overhaul of the Obama administration's signature climate change regulation, the Clean Power Plan.

“We’re cancelling Obama’s illegal, anti-coal-destroying regulations. The so-called Clean Power Plan,” Trump told the cheering crowd.

Earlier that day the Environmental Protection Agency released the new Affordable Clean Energy rule, or ACE, to replace the Clean Power Plan.


Kara Lofton, WVPB

In back-to-back events this week President Trump and his commerce secretary visited the Ohio Valley to tout administration policies aimed at propping up two of the region's traditional but faltering industries -- metals and mining.

The president used a Tuesday rally filled with West Virginia coal miners to unveil a new plan to ease pollution requirements on coal-burning power plants.

The next day, Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross presided over the ceremonial start-up of a production line at a Kentucky aluminum company that has increased production in response to Trump’s tariffs on imported metals.


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