Sessions recuses himself from Russia inquiry
A lot has happened overnight and into this morning. Attorney-General Jeff Sessions allegedly had contact with Russia's ambassador the United States, Sergey Kislyak, twice, during the presidential election campaign season, The Washington Post reported Wednesday, citing Justice Department officials. Mr. Sessions, who was an early supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, did not disclose these discussions at his confirmation hearing in January when he was asked what he would do if "anyone affiliated" had been in contact with officials of the Russian government. Thursday morning, several congressional Republicans called on Mr. Sessions to recuse himself from the investigations into alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election. Leading Democrats separately demanded the resignation of Mr. Sessions. Mr. Sessions recused himself from the inquiries around Russia's interference in the election while speaking at a press conference Thursday afternoon. The Attorney-General said he'd done nothing wrong in testifying to Congress and said it was "totally false" to suggest he had met with Russian ambassadors about Mr. Trump's election campaign. The New York Times also reported Wednesday night that in the Obama administration's last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election – and about possible contacts between associates of Mr. Trump and Russians – across the government. Can't keep up with the stories about Trump's administration and Russia? That's okay, we have a guide right here.
U.S. Senate confirms Ben Carson as housing secretary
The U.S. Senate voted Thursday to confirm retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mr. Carson, who ran for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination and later endorsed Mr. Trump, is the only African-American in Mr. Trump's cabinet. Mr Carson told lawmakers he was "fit to lead HUD," an agency whose mission includes helping those not economically well-off get housing. He has at times criticized the work of the HUD.
Trump's immigration ban hinders recruitment by U.S. hospitals, universities
Mr. Trump's push to institute a temporary immigration ban has introduced "unprecedented uncertainty" into the recruitment efforts of U.S. hospitals and universities, which say the administration is damaging the country's appeal as a destination for international talent. Educators say students from a variety of countries are expressing concerns about their ability to complete degrees or medical training in the U.S. and are seeking alternatives in places such as Canada and Germany.
Trump may praise Canada's immigration model, but he would never adopt it
Even though Mr. Trump praised Canada's immigration system in his speech to Congress Tuesday night, adoption of that model may not be that simple. As John Ibbitson explains, not only would Mr. Trump have to transform U.S. immigration, but also his own thinking. To read more of his thoughts, check out his column here.