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Senate confirms Trump pick Perry as energy secretary

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The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to confirm President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Energy, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who has promised to renew America’s nuclear weapons arsenal.

Perry’s rise to America’s top energy official came against opposition from Democrats worried about his ties to oil companies, his doubts about the science of climate change, and the fact that he once called for the department’s total elimination – a comment he has since said he regrets.

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The Senate voted 62 to 37 in support of Perry.

Perry, 66, was governor of Texas from 2000 to 2015, making him the longest-serving governor of the oil-producing state in its history.

As energy secretary, Perry would lead a vast scientific research operation credited with helping trigger a U.S. drilling boom and advancements in energy efficiency and renewables technology, and would oversee America’s nuclear arsenal.

His predecessor, Obama Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, was a nuclear physicist who led technical negotiations in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, while the previous head, Steven Chu, was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist.

The former Texas governor said during his confirmation hearing earlier this year that he regretted having previously called for the department’s elimination during his failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

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(Reporting By Valerie Volcovici and Timothy Gardner; Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Andrew Hay)


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‘Barr is a toady’: Jeffrey Toobin says talk of attorney general resigning is ‘just a big show’

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CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says he doesn't believe Attorney General William Barr when he claims he considered resigning from the Trump administration.

Sources close to Barr told ABC News that the attorney general had contemplated quitting because President Donald Trump's tweets make it difficult for him to do his job.

"Barr is a toady," Toobin explained during an appearance on CNN. "Barr is doing what he's told. He had this one statement, 'Oh, whoa is me, it's hard for me to do my job when the president tweets.'"

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Trump wants Ric Grenell to keep his ambassador job while also overseeing every intelligence agency: report

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump was reported to be planning to appoint U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell to serve as acting Director of National Intelligence — a position for which he has zero qualifications. The move raised immediate fears, given that Grenell is a hardline Trump loyalist.

But it doesn't stop there. Reports also suggest that the president intends for Grenell to keep serving as Ambassador to Germany at the same time as he is overseeing every U.S. intelligence agency.

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‘You lost me’: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez graciously defuses confrontational question

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In an appearance on ABC's popular daytime talk show "The View" Wednesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke about what she called a "disconnect" between centrist, establishment members of the Democratic Party and progressive lawmakers who have been viewed as agitators in the party.

Co-host Whoopi Goldberg said that while she had applauded Ocasio-Cortez's surprise victory in her 2018 primary against Wall Street-backed former Rep. Joe Crowley, she has since cooled on the lawmaker due to what she views as a dismissal of baby boomers' past activism. Ocasio-Cortez has pushed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to back a Green New Deal, called on her fellow Democrats to support Medicare for All, and criticized Democrats who take big-money donations from the financial, for-profit healthcare, and fossil fuel sectors.

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