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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 202)

Pelosi, Schumer say Trump ‘is flailing’ after cease-fire deal

Westlake Legal Group split Pelosi, Schumer say Trump 'is flailing' after cease-fire deal Morgan Phillips fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox news fnc/politics fnc article 0b914111-ac8b-55f5-9916-c5a89c21049e

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D.-Calif.,  aren’t buying the Turkish cease-fire announcement from Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pelosi and Schumer released a statement Thursday saying President Trump is “flailing” in light of his decision to reverse sanctions against Turkey in exchange for a “sham” cease-fire. They asserted this would undermine American credibility and send a “dangerous message” to both allies and adversaries that America’s word is not to be trusted.

Pence and Pompeo announced Thursday that they had negotiated a brief cease-fire with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose nation has stormed into northeast Syria following a decision by President Trump to withdraw U.S. troops from the region. Critics say the president has left Kurds in the region, who had worked with the U.S. to battle Islamic Sytate forces there, vulnerable to the Turkish incursion.

During the cease-fire period, Kurdish-led forces are to pull out of a roughly 20-mile safe zone along the Syrian-Turkish border. Under the terms of the deal, Turkey’s military operation in Syria targeting Kurdish U.S. allies will dissipate should the Kurds comply with the evacuation.

“President Erdogan has given up nothing, and President Trump has given him everything.  The Turks have stated that ‘this is not a cease-fire,’ and made clear that they ‘will pause the operation for 120 hours in order for the terrorists to leave’ – referring to the courageous Kurdish fighters who have suffered nearly 11,000 casualties in our fight to defeat ISIS,” Pelosi and Schumer wrote.

Turkey views the U.S.-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, as an extension of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK, which has waged an insurgency against Turkey for 35 years. Turkey launched an attack in northern Syria because it wants Kurdish soldiers out of the border safe zone. Turkey also wants to resettle Syrian refugees living in Turkey in the safe zone.

TURKEY-SYRIA CEASE-FIRE: SENIOR US MILITARY SOURCE ‘HIGHLY SKEPTICAL’ OF DEAL

“This agreement also does nothing to stop thousands of ISIS prisoners from escaping and shows the president’s complete lack of strategy to defeat ISIS. To say that Turkey and Syria will guard the prisoners is outrageous and puts our homeland security at risk,” the statement continued.

On Sunday the Kurds announced that hundreds of ISIS  supporters had escaped a camp as Turkish forces approached. The detainees apparently attacked the camp’s guards and fled, the Kurdish-led administration said. President Trump reportedly told Democrats in a meeting Wednesday that fewer than 100 ISIS prisoners had escaped as a result of the U.S. pullback and they were the “least dangerous” ones.

RUSSIAN MILITARY PATROLLING SYRIA-TURKEY BORDER AS US TROOPS OFFICIALLY WITHDRAW

“The only beneficiaries of the President’s policies are our adversaries: ISIS, Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin and Iran.  Today’s decision further makes the argument that President Trump doesn’t see Putin as the danger he is to our country,” Pelosi and Schumer continued. News broke Tuesday that Russian military units had deployed to patrol the Turkey-Syria border, sparking fears that Moscow is moving to fill a security vacuum left by the U.S. withdrawal.

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“Next week, the House will pass a strong, bipartisan sanctions package to work to reverse the humanitarian disaster that President Trump unleashed in Syria.  Our service members, our allies and our partners all suffering from the Syrian conflict deserve smart, strong and sane leadership from Washington,” the Dem lawmakers’ statement concluded. The sanctions package will follow a bipartisan 354-60 House vote Wednesday to condemn the president’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria and demand a clear strategy to defeat ISIS.

Westlake Legal Group split Pelosi, Schumer say Trump 'is flailing' after cease-fire deal Morgan Phillips fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox news fnc/politics fnc article 0b914111-ac8b-55f5-9916-c5a89c21049e   Westlake Legal Group split Pelosi, Schumer say Trump 'is flailing' after cease-fire deal Morgan Phillips fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox news fnc/politics fnc article 0b914111-ac8b-55f5-9916-c5a89c21049e

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Rick Perry resigns as Donald Trump’s energy secretary amid Ukraine scrutiny

ALVARADO, Texas – U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the former Texas governor who has faced scrutiny over President Donald Trump’s interactions with Ukraine, has resigned.  

Perry reportedly informed the president on Thursday as the two flew together on Air Force One to Texas, where Trump is holding several events, including a political rally in Dallas. The president confirmed the news while traveling in the state. 

“We already have his replacement. Rick has done a fantastic job. But it was time,” Trump told reporters, adding that Perry will stay on until the end of the year. 

A member of Trump’s original Cabinet, Perry has come under scrutiny amid the ongoing impeachment inquiry into whether Trump abused his office by pressuring Ukraine to help to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, one of his top political rivals. 

Perry was subpoenaed last week in the inquiry. House Democrats have demanded he turn over documents related to Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump pushed for an investigation of Biden and Biden’s son Hunter, who once had business interests in Ukraine.

Perry had led the U.S. delegation to Zelensky’s inauguration in May.

House Democrats had also asked for information related to media reports about Perry’s changes to the management structure at a Ukrainian energy firm in a way that could have benefited officials working with Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.  

Westlake Legal Group  Rick Perry resigns as Donald Trump's energy secretary amid Ukraine scrutiny

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‘He lied.’ Ohio voters struggle after Trump promised jobs

Westlake Legal Group cSAp4ADXGfHcUjt2qchbXuhd1iGTrIAZ0UfbuaVHDcQ 'He lied.' Ohio voters struggle after Trump promised jobs r/politics

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Gordon Sondland’s Testimony About The Trump-Ukraine Scandal Defies Belief

Westlake Legal Group 5da8cb5c2100007a1134a48f Gordon Sondland’s Testimony About The Trump-Ukraine Scandal Defies Belief

Ambassador Gordon Sondland told House impeachment investigators on Thursday that he didn’t know President Donald Trump’s interest in Ukraine had anything to do with 2020 rival Joe Biden. Sondland’s explanation is hard to believe.

In his opening statement, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union said he only recently learned that Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani may have tried to get Ukrainian officials to probe the former vice president’s dealings in the country.

But it would have been almost impossible for someone working at the highest levels of diplomacy, who claimed Ukraine was an important part of his portfolio, to ignore the signs ― or the headlines.

Even before Trump’s now-infamous July 25 phone call in which he requested that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky launch an investigation into Biden, there was a deluge of press coverage about his son Hunter Biden’s work at gas company Burisma Holdings, and Trump’s interest in it. If that weren’t enough, Giuliani and other Trump associates had spent months openly pushing conspiracy theories involving Biden and Ukraine.

In Sondland’s account of events, Trump held a meeting with him, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and then-special representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker on May 23 in which it became clear that Giuliani would be the president’s point person on Ukraine.

“I did not understand, until much later, that Mr. Giuliani’s agenda might have also included an effort to prompt the Ukrainians to investigate Vice President Biden or his son or to involve Ukrainians, directly or indirectly, in the President’s 2020 reelection campaign,” Sondland stated.

But it shouldn’t have been hard for Sondland to guess Trump and Giuliani’s interest in Ukraine: Giuliani openly told The New York Times on May 9 that he was traveling to Kyiv to push for an investigation into Biden and Burisma. Giuliani was then forced to cancel his trip amid a public backlash and allegations he was seeking to influence the 2020 election. He blamed the cancellation on “enemies of the president” he claimed were in the current Ukrainian administration.

Days before Giuliani canceled his trip, it was also front-page news in The New York Times that Trump and his associates were focused on the Bidens’ history in Ukraine as they looked at Joe Biden as a potential opponent in 2020. The May 2 report specifically highlighted Giuliani’s role in the effort, pointing out that he had met with both current and former top prosecutors in Ukraine to ask about the Burisma investigation.

“Mr. Giuliani has spearheaded the effort among conservatives to publicize and encourage the new investigation in Ukraine,” the Times reported.

Allegations that Biden had sought to quash an investigation into Burisma had been swirling around conservative media for months after John Solomon, an opinion columnist for The Hill, promoted a series of dubious and poorly fact-checked claims from a former Ukrainian prosecutor. His piece on Biden was shared over 37,000 times and prompted far-right outlets such as The Gateway Pundit to run with the story in multiple follow-up articles.

Solomon, now a contributor for Fox News, was also a frequent guest of Trump favorites on the network such as Sean Hannity. Trump even tweeted out, “John Solomon: As Russia Collusion fades, Ukrainian plot to help Clinton emerges,” following one of Hannity’s shows in March — the title of a column claiming a conspiracy between Democrats and Ukrainian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The scrutiny of the Bidens in Ukraine and Giuliani’s role in pushing for an investigation intensified in the months after The New York Times story, with The Washington PostThe New Yorker, The Washington Times, BuzzFeed and others all publishing substantial reports on the subject.

Beyond the media coverage, Trump’s most vocal supporters and advisers had made Biden and Ukraine a frequent talking point. Trump 2020 communications director Tim Murtaugh, senior adviser Katrina Pierson and rapid response director Andrew Clark all tweeted about the accusations against Biden, as did various other conservative figures and far-right activists.

Despite the wealth of information on Ukraine, the Bidens, and Guiliani’s rabid pursuit of conspiracy theories related to them, Sondland supposedly missed this entire part of the Trump administration’s efforts. He even told Congress that although Giuliani directly mentioned Burisma to him in August, the company’s name didn’t stand out as worth noticing.

His carefully worded statement also neglected to mention exactly when he finally did come to understand that Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine included pushing for an investigation. If you believe his account, it’s a wonder he ever learned about it at all.

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Energy Secretary Rick Perry To Resign

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-632085384_slide-59b430a82ec54b8b30d3cd15ffc4f60068557c3e-s1100-c15 Energy Secretary Rick Perry To Resign

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry takes a seat before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on his nomination to be energy secretary on Jan. 19, 2017. Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Energy Secretary Rick Perry To Resign

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry takes a seat before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on his nomination to be energy secretary on Jan. 19, 2017.

Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry plans to leave his position at the end of the year, President Trump confirmed to reporters Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas. Trump praised Perry and said he already has a replacement in mind.

“Rick has done a fantastic job,” Trump said. ” But it was time.”

Trump said that Perry’s resignation didn’t come as a surprise and that he has considered leaving for six months because “he’s got some very big plans.”

Perry, 69, is one of Trump’s original Cabinet members and recently has emerged as a central figure in the impeachment inquiry of Trump.

Perry was part of what was dubbed “the three amigos” — in addition to Gordon Sondland, ambassador to the European Union, and Kurt Volker, former envoy to Ukraine — charged with managing the U.S.-Ukraine relationship after the White House removed the core of its Ukraine policy team last spring.

Trump reportedly blamed Perry earlier this month for that now-famous call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which Trump pressed Zelenskiy to investigate his potential political rival former Vice President Joe Biden and Biden’s son.

Perry says he wanted Trump and Zelenskiy to talk strengthening energy business ties between the two countries. Regarding the Biden issue, Perry told the Christian Broadcasting Network, “As God as my witness, not once was a Biden name — not the former vice president, not his son — ever mentioned.”

Perry’s name first emerged in the appendix of the whistleblower complaint that launched the impeachment inquiry. He was tapped to attend Zelenskiy’s inauguration last May.

Democrats issued Perry a subpoena on Oct. 10, seeking documents and communications connected to that trip and a series of other events related to the inquiry.

While Perry’s name is making headlines now because of the Ukraine scandal, he had a long political career before becoming energy secretary.

For just over 14 years, he was governor of Texas, the longest-serving governor of the state. He was elected lieutenant governor in 1998 and succeeded George W. Bush when he resigned to become president.

Perry twice ran for president and on the campaign trail vowed to eliminate the agency he would come to lead — although, he famously forgot the name of the Department of Energy during a 2011 debate.

Perry changed his mind about that right around the time Trump nominated him to be secretary of energy. At his confirmation hearing, Perry said he regretted ever suggesting that idea.

Trump tapped him for the job despite wilting criticism Perry delivered as an opponent during the 2016 primary campaign. At a 2015 event, Perry said Trump “offers a barking carnival act that can be best described as Trumpism: a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued.”

As head of the Department of Energy, Perry was criticized for efforts to help the struggling coal industry. His plan to provide new subsidies to coal and nuclear power plants was rejected by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Last year, a photographer said he lost his job after leaking photos of a private 2017 meeting between Perry and coal executive and Trump donor Robert “Bob” Murray. The photos show Perry hugging Murray and the coal boss handing Perry an “action plan” to help the coal companies.

Perry has repeatedly questioned the science behind climate change. Still, his home state of Texas is the largest wind energy producer in the country. For the first half of this year, more electricity was generated in the state by wind than coal, according to member station KUT.

As energy secretary, Perry’s oversight extended well beyond the country’s energy supply. The Department of Energy also oversees 17 national laboratories and is charged with keeping the country’s nuclear weapons safe.

During his tenure, Perry pushed to restart licensing of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage project in Nevada. He also tried to attract more young people to the nuclear energy business, vowing to “make nuclear cool again.” Under Perry’s leadership, the agency held a series of events called the Millennial Nuclear Caucus.

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Even With A New Agreement, Brexit Is Not A Done Deal. Here’s Why

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1176356004_custom-80017ac059a7860b445f9a9e8ea00a9015f4cd0c-s1100-c15 Even With A New Agreement, Brexit Is Not A Done Deal. Here's Why

(Left to right) Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier at the start of an EU summit on Thursday in Brussels, Belgium. EU and British negotiators came to an agreement on the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU known as Brexit. Thierry Monasse/Getty Images hide caption

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Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Even With A New Agreement, Brexit Is Not A Done Deal. Here's Why

(Left to right) Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier at the start of an EU summit on Thursday in Brussels, Belgium. EU and British negotiators came to an agreement on the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU known as Brexit.

Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

The European Union and the United Kingdom reached a new Brexit agreement on Thursday, and while it appeared to mark a big breakthrough in the years-long process, the saga doesn’t end here.

The withdrawal deal still needs approval in both the U.K. and European Parliaments. Although EU leaders unanimously endorsed it in Brussels on Thursday, it faces stiff opposition in Britain’s legislature, which has voted down three previous Brexit deals.

The U.K. is scheduled to leave the EU on Oct. 31.

Here are some of the sticking points in the latest withdrawal deal and what could happen next.

What are some details of the agreement?

After Britain leaves the EU, Northern Ireland would still legally be inside the U.K.’s customs area, but would begin collecting duties for the EU on products arriving from Great Britain that could eventually be destined for Ireland. That arrangement prevents the need for a customs border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. But it effectively creates one in the Irish Sea, which opponents of the deal say amounts to a separation of Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K.

The Northern Ireland Assembly — which hasn’t met in more than two years — would vote every four years on whether to continue this arrangement.

So, is Brexit a done deal?

No, the deal has to be ratified by the British Parliament on Saturday. The opposition Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party are expected to reject it. Prime Minister Boris Johnson can count on the support of his Conservative Party, but it doesn’t have a majority in Parliament. It has relied on the 10 votes of the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland. That group is opposed to the new Brexit deal. “The proposals are not … beneficial to the economic well-being of Northern Ireland and they undermine the integrity of the Union” of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the DUP said in a statement. Johnson was “too eager by far to get a deal at any cost,” Nigel Dodds, the DUP’s deputy leader, told reporters.

What is the Democratic Unionist Party’s problem with the deal?

The DUP is worried that if Northern Ireland is linked with Ireland on EU trade, customs and even some regulations, that could drive a wedge between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K. The party is adamant that Northern Ireland should remain part of the U.K. and never join the Irish Republic to its south.

Why is avoiding a customs border on the island of Ireland so important?

Both Ireland and the U.K. are members of the EU, and the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic is open and seamless. It is no longer the symbol of division and violence it once was during the conflict between Protestants and Catholics in the last century. Customs checks along the Irish border would emphasize the partition of the island, and there are fears that the good will developed since the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement would be lost and that there could even be violent attacks on customs posts.

Has the fear of Britain leaving the EU without a deal now receded?

A no-deal Brexit now seems much less likely. There is considerable political will to get this deal approved. If it fails in Parliament, Johnson is required to seek another extension from Brussels to enable more negotiations. Yet British government ministers and EU politicians say they hope the deal will pass and there will be no need for a further delay beyond Oct. 31.

What’s next?

All eyes will turn to the British Parliament on Saturday to see if Johnson can push this deal through. People will march through the streets of London to call for a second referendum to give voters a “final say” on Johnson’s withdrawal agreement, with an option to stay in the EU. If British lawmakers approve Johnson’s deal, the U.K. will legally leave the EU at the end of this month, but will enter a transition period in which all the current rules remain the same to avoid disruption as the U.K. and EU negotiate a new relationship. The transition period would run to the end of December 2020.

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Union Says G.M. Strike Will Go On Until Workers Vote on Deal

Westlake Legal Group 17motors4-facebookJumbo Union Says G.M. Strike Will Go On Until Workers Vote on Deal Wages and Salaries United Automobile Workers Temporary Employment Strikes Organized Labor General Motors Factories and Manufacturing Automobiles

DETROIT — Leaders of union locals voted Thursday to approve a tentative contract agreement with General Motors, but said a strike against the automaker would continue until workers voted to ratify the deal.

After a lengthy meeting in Detroit, the group said voting by the 49,000 members of the United Automobile Workers at G.M. plants would begin on Saturday and be completed within a week.

The walkout, now a month old, is the longest against General Motors in half a century.

According to a summary posted online by the union, the four-year deal includes wage increases and a formula for allowing temporary workers to become full-time employees. It would also keep production going at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which G.M. had said it would close.

The tentative agreement does not reverse plans for three plants that have been idled, including one in Lordstown, Ohio, though it provides retirement incentives for workers displaced there.

Brian Rothenberg, the union’s spokesman, said after Thursday’s meeting that the U.A.W.’s negotiating team “did everything they could” to save jobs.

“This was a strike not just by U.A.W. workers,” he said. “It became a strike for American workers and the middle class.” Workers walked off the job, he added, to secure fair wages and “a fair share of the profits.”

In the last three years, G.M. has reported earnings of $35 billion in North America. Analysts estimate the strike cost G.M. $2 billion in operating profit.

In announcing the accord on Wednesday, the U.A.W. said it had “achieved major wins.” But ratification is not a foregone conclusion. In the union’s last negotiations with G.M., in 2015, approval of a tentative agreement was delayed for a month and the terms had to be reworked.

A rejection of the proposed contract would be a rebuke for the U.A.W. president, Gary Jones, and his negotiating team.

“If the rank-and-file vote down an agreement their leaders send them, they also are voting down the leaders,” said Erik Gordon, a business professor at the University of Michigan who follows the auto industry. “Workers may ask whether it was worth being out of work a month to get a deal that could be close to what they would have gotten with no strike and no loss of pay.”

G.M. issued a statement urging the union “to move as quickly as possible through the ratification process, so we can resume operations.”

If the contract is ratified, each full-fledged U.A.W. worker will receive a signing bonus of $11,000, a 3 percent wage increase in the second and fourth years of the contract, and a 4 percent lump sum in the first and third years. Temporary workers get a signing bonus of $4,500, the same wage increases as full-time workers, and the possibility of becoming permanent employees within three years.

Under the proposed terms, all U.A.W. workers at G.M. have a path to reach the top wage of $32 an hour within four years.

The deal also eliminates a $12,000 cap on annual profit-sharing payouts, which could have a significant upside if G.M. continues to be as profitable as it has been in recent years.

Health care benefits are unchanged, with workers paying about 3 percent of the cost.

There were signs of dissent Thursday from union members outside the Renaissance Center office complex, where G.M. has its headquarters and where the union meeting took place. As the roughly 200 union officials arrived, they were greeted by about 30 workers from the Lordstown plant in red T-shirts shouting, “Vote no!”

“It’s no deal for us,” said one of the protesters, Todd Piroch, a Lordstown worker who has been transferred to a plant in Bowling Green, Ky. He said he was going to vote against the contract, but said he wasn’t sure workers elsewhere would do so. “We’re just angry,” he said.

G.M. has promised to invest $7.7 billion in its manufacturing operations in the United States over the next four years, and a further $1.3 billion in ventures with partners, saying those moves would create or preserve 9,000 jobs. But the deal includes no specific promises to expand domestic production or to move manufacturing to the United States from Mexico, both of which were goals of the union going into the negotiations.

Mr. Rothenberg, the union spokesman, said the U.A.W. would make the details of G.M.’s investment plans public soon. In previous years, the union has presented a breakdown of plant-by-plant investments.

One of the union’s main objectives was getting G.M. to reopen the car factory in Lordstown, a goal that President Trump endorsed. But there is no indication that the matter was ever on the table in the contract talks. G.M. stopped production at that plant, and others in Baltimore and in Warren, Mich., as part of a cost-cutting effort that eliminated 2,800 factory jobs and thousands of white-collar positions.

In a statement on Thursday, General Motors said it was looking into building a battery factory near Lordstown that would employ about 1,000 workers. The plant would be built with a partner and would be unionized, but under a separate contract.

An electric-truck company that hopes to purchase the Lordstown plant from G.M. would employ about 400 production workers, the automaker said.

The company has not indicated that displaced workers from its Lordstown plant would be given preference in hiring at either operation.

G.M. reaffirmed a plan announced in May to invest $700 million in three existing plants in Ohio — in Parma, Toledo and the Dayton area — with an expected net gain of 450 jobs.

“G.M. is committed to future investment and job growth in Ohio,” the company said.

If the G.M. contract is ratified, the U.A.W. will turn its focus to Ford Motor or Fiat Chrysler. Contracts with those manufacturers expired on Sept. 14, but workers continued reporting to assembly lines while the union negotiated with G.M.

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Boeing C.E.O., Already Set for House Hearing, Is Likely to Face Senate, Too

Westlake Legal Group 17boeing1-facebookJumbo Boeing C.E.O., Already Set for House Hearing, Is Likely to Face Senate, Too Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Muilenburg, Dennis A Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Airlines and Airplanes

The Senate Commerce Committee is completing preparations for a hearing about Boeing this month, and members expect to use it to interview the company’s chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg, about the crashes and grounding of the 737 Max, according to four people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Muilenburg is already scheduled to appear before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Oct. 30. The Senate hearing is expected to take place on Oct. 29 or after the House hearing on Oct. 30, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the hearing was not yet confirmed.

The occasion will be the first time that Boeing executives address Congress about the two crashes, as frustration with the company mounts on Capitol Hill and throughout the aviation industry. John Hamilton, the chief engineer of Boeing’s commercial airplanes division, is also expected to testify at the House hearing, and may also appear at the Senate hearing.

The hearings come on the heels of the removal of Mr. Muilenburg’s title as chairman of the Boeing board last week. They are expected to cover everything from the design, certification and marketing of the 737 Max to what happened on the flights that crashed.

The Max has been grounded since Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed in March, five months after the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 in Indonesia. In both crashes, a new automated system on the Max malfunctioned, sending the planes into unrecoverable nose dives.

Last week, a multiagency task force released a damning report that faulted both Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration for their work on the plane. It argued that Boeing had not been forthcoming enough about the new system, known as MCAS, and that the F.A.A. had been unequipped to effectively review the plane.

This month, it was revealed that a Boeing engineer who worked on the Max filed an internal ethics complaint alleging that the company, in order to minimize costs, rejected a proposed safety system that he felt could have reduced the risks that contributed to the crashes.

As a result of the prolonged grounding, airlines around the world have canceled thousands of flights and lost hundreds of millions of dollars. Boeing has announced that the grounding will cost the company at least $8 billion.

Airline executives have grown increasingly frustrated with Boeing.

“The relationship at the moment is rocky,” Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, said in an interview last week. “Our view is that Boeing has not addressed this as seriously as was warranted.”

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have also called for Boeing to be more forthcoming with information about what led to the crashes and what it is doing to fix the Max. In an interview last month, Representative Peter A. DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon, expressed his frustration with the company.

“We’ve got massive amounts of documents from Boeing,” he said. “But they have otherwise been not particularly cooperative.”

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Boeing C.E.O., Already Set for House Hearing, Is Likely to Face Senate, Too

Westlake Legal Group 17boeing1-facebookJumbo Boeing C.E.O., Already Set for House Hearing, Is Likely to Face Senate, Too Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Muilenburg, Dennis A Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Airlines and Airplanes

The Senate Commerce Committee is completing preparations for a hearing about Boeing this month, and members expect to use it to interview the company’s chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg, about the crashes and grounding of the 737 Max, according to four people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Muilenburg is already scheduled to appear before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Oct. 30. The Senate hearing is expected to take place on Oct. 29 or after the House hearing on Oct. 30, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the hearing was not yet confirmed.

The occasion will be the first time that Boeing executives address Congress about the two crashes, as frustration with the company mounts on Capitol Hill and throughout the aviation industry. John Hamilton, the chief engineer of Boeing’s commercial airplanes division, is also expected to testify at the House hearing, and may also appear at the Senate hearing.

The hearings come on the heels of the removal of Mr. Muilenburg’s title as chairman of the Boeing board last week. They are expected to cover everything from the design, certification and marketing of the 737 Max to what happened on the flights that crashed.

The Max has been grounded since Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed in March, five months after the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 in Indonesia. In both crashes, a new automated system on the Max malfunctioned, sending the planes into unrecoverable nose dives.

Last week, a multiagency task force released a damning report that faulted both Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration for their work on the plane. It argued that Boeing had not been forthcoming enough about the new system, known as MCAS, and that the F.A.A. had been unequipped to effectively review the plane.

This month, it was revealed that a Boeing engineer who worked on the Max filed an internal ethics complaint alleging that the company, in order to minimize costs, rejected a proposed safety system that he felt could have reduced the risks that contributed to the crashes.

As a result of the prolonged grounding, airlines around the world have canceled thousands of flights and lost hundreds of millions of dollars. Boeing has announced that the grounding will cost the company at least $8 billion.

Airline executives have grown increasingly frustrated with Boeing.

“The relationship at the moment is rocky,” Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, said in an interview last week. “Our view is that Boeing has not addressed this as seriously as was warranted.”

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have also called for Boeing to be more forthcoming with information about what led to the crashes and what it is doing to fix the Max. In an interview last month, Representative Peter A. DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon, expressed his frustration with the company.

“We’ve got massive amounts of documents from Boeing,” he said. “But they have otherwise been not particularly cooperative.”

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Mick Mulvaney walks back his admission of quid pro quo in Trump’s Ukraine call.

Hours after saying Thursday that President Donald Trump withheld foreign aid in order to get Ukraine’s help in the U.S. election, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney walked back his remarks.

He released a lengthy statement wrongly blaming the press for putting a spin on his comments.

“Once again, the media has decided to misconstrue my comments to advance a biased and political witch hunt against President Trump,” he said. “Let me be clear, there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election.”

But the remarks Mulvaney made at a news conference earlier in the day were not vague. 

“We do that all the time with foreign policy,” Mulvaney said when ABC News reporter Jon Karl noted that it would constitute a quid pro quo if the U.S. was withholding funding from Ukraine unless it agreed to do an investigation into the Democrats’ server.

Westlake Legal Group 5da8e5eb210000a615ad3228 Mick Mulvaney walks back his admission of quid pro quo in Trump’s Ukraine call.

Leah Millis / Reuters Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney answers questions from reporters at the White House on Thursday.

“Get over it,” Mulvaney added later. “There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy. … That is going to happen. Elections have consequences.”

Mulvaney’s statement, which followed reports that the White House was shocked by his comments at the news conference, contradicts that.

“The president never told me to withhold any money until the Ukrainians did anything related to the server,” he said. “The only reasons we were holding the money was because of concern about lack of support from other nations and concerns over corruption.”

But in his earlier remarks, Mulvaney said Trump told him he was concerned about corruption related to the Democratic National Committee’s server, the key element of a debunked conspiracy theory that Trump and others close to him have pushed. The baseless claim is that the DNC server has gone missing in a cover-up and that Crowdstrike, a private cybersecurity company hired to investigate Russia’s hack of the DNC’s servers, is now framing Russia for election interference.

In reality, the DNC’s so-called “server” is actually a system of 140 individual servers, none of which are missing. 

This article has been updated with details on the news conference and the server conspiracy theory.

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