Ex-chief of staff defense of ousted aide irks Trump

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday lashed out against former White House chief of staff John Kelly for being disloyal after the former adviser came to the defense of a former national security aide who offered key testimony in the impeachment inquiry.

The president’s comments targeting Kelly came after Kelly defended Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who was among administration officials who raised concerns about Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s president. That call spurred the president’s impeachment trial, which ended in acquittal last week.

Kelly, speaking at a public forum on Wednesday in Morristown, N.J, said that Vindman did exactly as he was trained in raising concerns to his superiors after hearing “questionable” comments from Trump, according to a report by The Atlantic magazine.

Vindman was ousted last week from his position as a Ukraine specialist detailed to the White House National Security Council.

Longtime aide to Trump returning to White House

WASHINGTON — Hope Hicks, one of President Donald Trump’s most trusted and longest-serving aides, is returning to the White House as the president works to surround himself with loyalists as his reelection campaign moves into high gear.

Hicks, a former White House communications director who was one of Trump’s original 2016 campaign staffers, is expected to serve as counselor to the president, working with presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity before the announcement had been made public.

She left the White House in 2018 and moved to California to work as a top executive at the Fox Corp., though she and Trump remained in touch.

Hicks’ move comes just one week after Trump was acquitted by the U.S. Senate on impeachment charges. Since then, he has been on a tear to clear his administration of those he sees as insufficiently loyal, including ousting staffers at the National Security Council and U.S. State Department and pulling the nomination of a top Treasury Department pick who had overseen cases involving Trump’s former aides as a U.S. attorney.

Sandy Hook families can see shooter’s computer files

WATERBURY, Conn. — Families of those killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting will have access to the shooter’s computer as part of their lawsuit against gun-maker Remington.

A state Superior Court judge in Waterbury, Conn., signed off on a stipulated agreement Thursday between the families and Remington that will allow a forensic computer expert to examine Adam Lanzas’ computer and present digital images of his findings to both sides.

The families are looking for evidence of Lanza’s exposure to advertisements for weapons.

Remington, based in Madison, N.C., is accused of violating the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act by marketing its Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle to civilians.

Lanza used the gun, which was owned by his mother, in a rampage that started with his killing her and ended when he killed 20 first-graders and six educators inside the school in the Newtown, Conn.

The Associated Press

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