Speaking to reporters at the White House, Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett said it was too early in the process to comment on the potential nominations.
Hassett stressed that both Herman Cain and Stephen Moore are currently in the “intent to nominate” phase of the process, which means they are subject to vetting and paperwork within the administration ahead of a formal nomination.
“That’s exactly how it works for every single nominee, is that there’s an intent to nominate and then people fill out their forms, and then they decide, you know, whether they want to move forward after they look at what they have to recuse themselves from and so on and then the nomination officially goes to the Senate,” Hassett said.
Since the President announced his intent to nominate Moore and Cain, concerns have arisen about challenges for both of their confirmations. Moore, an economic commentator and former CNN contributor, owes $75,000 in taxes and penalties to the United States government. And Cain, a businessman and former Federal Reserve regional board member, faced sexual harassment allegations that effectively ended his 2012 presidential campaign.
Hassett said that potential candidates should be given privacy and time to work potential conflicts out with the Office of Government Ethics and provide as much information as possible to ensure that the Senate can have a “fact-based debate” once the formal nominations are submitted.
“I think the President has a lot of confidence in both (Moore and Cain),” Hassett said when asked by CNN whether he was concerned about the impact allegations against Cain could have on his confirmation process.
He continued, “And that point, I think, is the right time to debate everything about that we’ve learned about the past. And part of the process identifies those things, as well.”
Trump, who has openly expressed his frustration with Fed chair Jerome Powell — a former investment banker Trump selected in 2017 — over interest rate hikes, announced last week he intends to nominate Cain for a seat on the board of the world’s most powerful central bank. In March, he also said he would nominate Moore, a former 2016 campaign adviser, to a seat.
Chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Sunday offered a stronger defense of the picks.
Kudlow called criticism that the possible nominations of the two longtime Trump supporters would politicize the Federal Reserve “very unfair.”
“Let’s take Herman Cain. Besides being a very successful entrepreneurial businessman, he was a board member of the Kansas City Federal Reserve and actually was the chairman of the board of the Kansas City Federal Reserve. His time there spans, I think, about a decade. He’s intimately acquainted with Federal Reserve operations and policy issues, so I think these criticisms are very unfair,” Kudlow told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
But asked about the sexual harassment allegations against Cain, Kudlow also pointed to the vetting process, signaling the nominations are not yet a done deal.
“We are going through a vetting process in the White House. I’m sure the Senate Banking Committee will do likewise. There’s big disputes here. Mr. Cain disagrees with this point of view (of one of the accusers). I’m not going to litigate that here,” he said.
Cain suspended his bid for the Republican nomination for president in 2011 after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment when he was head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s and one woman claimed she had a 13-year affair with Cain.
Pressed again, Kudlow said, “Whether it’s Supreme Court justices or many other things, we’ve seen a lot of charges here. They don’t necessarily pan out.”
He then said that Trump “has every right in the world to nominate people who share his economic philosophy.”
Cain said in a Facebook video posted Friday that he’s steeling himself for a tough selection process after sexual harassment allegations rocked his 2012 presidential bid.
The former business executive said on Facebook Watch’s “The Herman Cain Show” he was eager to air things out in the open.
“You better believe that the people who hate me, who do not like conservatism, Republicans, are already digging up all of the negative stuff that’s in stories from eight years ago,” Cain said.
“So be it. Let them go back and dig up eight-year-old stuff. I will be able to explain it this time where they wouldn’t let me explain it the last time,” Cain said. “They were too busy believing the accusers. I’m not mad, y’all. I’m just not going to let the accusers run my life. Or determine my career.”
Zhang is appearing at a detention hearing in a Florida federal court, and prosecutors are outlining their case as to why Zhang is a flight risk after allgedly attempting to enter Mar-a-Lago.
“She lies to everyone she encounters,” and has no ties to the US, prosecutor Rolando Garcia said.
“Her ties are all in China,” he later added.
Prosecutors say they found multiple electronic devices in her hotel room, including a signal detector that can seek out detect hidden cameras, another cell phone, nine USB drives and five SIM cards. There were also several credit cards in her name.
Zhang arrived in Newark on a flight from Shanghai on March 28, Garcia said. The incident occurred on March 30.
Zhang was discovered to have a thumb drive with malware, as well as a laptop, an external hard drive and four cell phones. She was charged with two counts — making false statements to federal authorities and a misdemeanor offense of entering a restricted area without authorization.
She has not been charged with any offenses that nod to international spying. However, the FBI has been investigating the Zhang incident as part of a Chinese espionage effort.

Mar-a-Lago security

Trump has described the Zhang case as a “fluke situation,” but the case so far has highlighted the possibility of security flaws Trump’s private club.
Zhang talked her way into the club, carrying a large number of electronic devices including malware on a thumbdrive. At first, she told a special agent at Mar-a-Lago she wanted to visit the pool at the beach club. The Mar-a-Lago beach club manager then noted her last name matched that of a club member, and the club waved her in, believing her to be the club member’s daughter, and “due to a potential language barrier issue,” authorities wrote in her criminal complaint.
A golf cart shuttle driver then took her to the club’s main reception area, where Zhang claimed she was to attend a “United Nations Chinese American Association” event, and then told a Secret Service agent a “United Nations Friendship Event” on the premises — neither of which existed.
Later, Zhang told authorities who were questioning her that her Chinese friend “Charles” had sent her from Shanghai to speak with the President’s family about Chinese and American foreign economic relations, according to the complaint
The case comes as Democrats in Congress press for more information about security at Mar-a-Lago and, separately, for an FBI investigation into Florida businesswoman Li “Cindy” Yang’s efforts to interact with Trump, after she appeared to have pitched to Chinese clients the opportunity to interact with the President and spent time at Mar-a-Lago and with the President at a Super Bowl party.

Previous hearing

Zhang’s previous hearing when she was first arrested went unusually—she admitted to owning a BMW and a home in China worth more than 1 million American dollars, and asked extensively about how she may get in contact with an attorney or find phone numbers of contacts in America if she were detained in a Florida jail.
She said she worked as an investor and consultant who sought to develop business contacts in the US, but kept some money in a Wells Fargo account here.
She has been in jail since her arrest, with a court-appointed public defender representing her.
The federal magistrate judge, William Matthewman, even noted the astuteness of her questions and her intelligence at the previous hearing. There’s been some dispute over how well Zhang speaks and understands English, though the court did provide her with a language interpreter at the previous court hearing.
This story is breaking and will be updated.
“The entire membership of the Baltimore City Council believes that it is not in the best interest of the City of Baltimore, for you to continue to serve as Mayor. We urge you to tender your resignation, effective immediately,” the two-sentence letter read.
In a statement, council member Brandon Scott, who tweeted a photo of the letter Monday, noted the “severity of the action (the council members) have taken,” but said Baltimore was deserving of a mayor who can focus on other issues affecting the city.
The letter was signed by 14 members of the 15-member council — the only member not to sign it was Bernard C. “Jack” Young, the council’s president who has been serving as the “ex officio Mayor of Baltimore City” since Pugh took a leave of absence last week.
Despite the calls for her to step down, Pugh does not plan on vacating her post, according to her spokesman, James Bentley. In a statement issued Monday, Bentley said Pugh, whose current term expires in 2020, “fully intends to resume the duties of her office and continuing her work on behalf of the people and the City of Baltimore.”
Pugh’s leave of absence — which Bentley attributed to a bout of pneumonia — came the same day Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan wrote to the Office of the State Prosecutor and requested an investigation into the sales of thousands of Pugh’s book, “Healthy Holly,” to the University of Maryland Medical System while she was a member of its board.
UMMS spent $500,000 to fund the purchase of some 100,000 books from Pugh’s company Healthy Holly LLC, confirmed UMMS spokesman Michael Schwartzberg, who explained that UMMS never had possession of any Healthy Holly books, nor did it distribute books. Book distribution was managed by Healthy Holly LLC.
Pugh — who apologized in March for doing something “to upset the people” — recently returned $100,000 to the medical system and canceled her book deal. She has also resigned from the hospital’s board, according to Schwartzberg.
Pugh also received about $114,000 from Kaiser Permanente for some 20,000 books from 2015 to 2018, according to the health care provider. Kaiser Permanente said it delivered the books to back-to-school fairs, elementary schools, communities of faith and early childhood education and care centers.
Additionally, Associated Black Charities, a public foundation that works to encourage healthier and more prosperous communities, said it spent approximately $80,000 between 2011 and 2016 to buy some 10,000 copies of Pugh’s books — a project the organization learned about while she was still a state senator.
“The entire membership of the Baltimore City Council believes that it is not in the best interest of the City of Baltimore, for you to continue to serve as Mayor. We urge you to tender your resignation, effective immediately,” the two-sentence letter read.
In a statement, council member Brandon Scott, who tweeted a photo of the letter Monday, noted the “severity of the action (the council members) have taken,” but said Baltimore was deserving of a mayor who can focus on other issues affecting the city.
The letter was signed by 14 members of the 15-member council — the only member not to sign it was Bernard C. “Jack” Young, the council’s president who has been serving as the “ex officio Mayor of Baltimore City” since Pugh took a leave of absence last week.
Despite the calls for her to step down, Pugh does not plan on vacating her post, according to her spokesman, James Bentley. In a statement issued Monday, Bentley said Pugh, whose current term expires in 2020, “fully intends to resume the duties of her office and continuing her work on behalf of the people and the City of Baltimore.”
Pugh’s leave of absence — which Bentley attributed to a bout of pneumonia — came the same day Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan wrote to the Office of the State Prosecutor and requested an investigation into the sales of thousands of Pugh’s book, “Healthy Holly,” to the University of Maryland Medical System while she was a member of its board.
UMMS spent $500,000 to fund the purchase of some 100,000 books from Pugh’s company Healthy Holly LLC, confirmed UMMS spokesman Michael Schwartzberg, who explained that UMMS never had possession of any Healthy Holly books, nor did it distribute books. Book distribution was managed by Healthy Holly LLC.
Pugh — who apologized in March for doing something “to upset the people” — recently returned $100,000 to the medical system and canceled her book deal. She has also resigned from the hospital’s board, according to Schwartzberg.
Pugh also received about $114,000 from Kaiser Permanente for some 20,000 books from 2015 to 2018, according to the health care provider. Kaiser Permanente said it delivered the books to back-to-school fairs, elementary schools, communities of faith and early childhood education and care centers.
Additionally, Associated Black Charities, a public foundation that works to encourage healthier and more prosperous communities, said it spent approximately $80,000 between 2011 and 2016 to buy some 10,000 copies of Pugh’s books — a project the organization learned about while she was still a state senator.
Zhang is appearing at a detention hearing in a Florida federal court, and prosecutors are outlining their case as to why Zhang is a flight risk after allgedly attempting to enter Mar-a-Lago.
“She lies to everyone she encounters,” and has no ties to the US, prosecutor Rolando Garcia said.
“Her ties are all in China,” he later added.
Prosecutors say they found multiple electronic devices in her hotel room, including a signal detector that can seek out detect hidden cameras, another cell phone, nine USB drives and five SIM cards. There were also several credit cards in her name.
Zhang arrived in Newark on a flight from Shanghai on March 28, Garcia said. The incident occurred on March 30.
Zhang was discovered to have a thumb drive with malware, as well as a laptop, an external hard drive and four cell phones. She was charged with two counts — making false statements to federal authorities and a misdemeanor offense of entering a restricted area without authorization.
She has not been charged with any offenses that nod to international spying. However, the FBI has been investigating the Zhang incident as part of a Chinese espionage effort.

Mar-a-Lago security

Trump has described the Zhang case as a “fluke situation,” but the case so far has highlighted the possibility of security flaws Trump’s private club.
Zhang talked her way into the club, carrying a large number of electronic devices including malware on a thumbdrive. At first, she told a special agent at Mar-a-Lago she wanted to visit the pool at the beach club. The Mar-a-Lago beach club manager then noted her last name matched that of a club member, and the club waved her in, believing her to be the club member’s daughter, and “due to a potential language barrier issue,” authorities wrote in her criminal complaint.
A golf cart shuttle driver then took her to the club’s main reception area, where Zhang claimed she was to attend a “United Nations Chinese American Association” event, and then told a Secret Service agent a “United Nations Friendship Event” on the premises — neither of which existed.
Later, Zhang told authorities who were questioning her that her Chinese friend “Charles” had sent her from Shanghai to speak with the President’s family about Chinese and American foreign economic relations, according to the complaint
The case comes as Democrats in Congress press for more information about security at Mar-a-Lago and, separately, for an FBI investigation into Florida businesswoman Li “Cindy” Yang’s efforts to interact with Trump, after she appeared to have pitched to Chinese clients the opportunity to interact with the President and spent time at Mar-a-Lago and with the President at a Super Bowl party.

Previous hearing

Zhang’s previous hearing when she was first arrested went unusually—she admitted to owning a BMW and a home in China worth more than 1 million American dollars, and asked extensively about how she may get in contact with an attorney or find phone numbers of contacts in America if she were detained in a Florida jail.
She said she worked as an investor and consultant who sought to develop business contacts in the US, but kept some money in a Wells Fargo account here.
She has been in jail since her arrest, with a court-appointed public defender representing her.
The federal magistrate judge, William Matthewman, even noted the astuteness of her questions and her intelligence at the previous hearing. There’s been some dispute over how well Zhang speaks and understands English, though the court did provide her with a language interpreter at the previous court hearing.
This story is breaking and will be updated.
President Donald Trump instructed his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to fire Alles. Alles remains in his position as of now but has been asked to leave.
The Secret Service director reports directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, who resigned on Sunday amid growing pressure from the President. The director oversees the Secret Service’s work on both protection and investigations.
Stephen Miller wants Trump to oust more senior leaders at Homeland Security

“There is a near-systematic purge happening at the nation’s second-largest national security agency,” one senior administration official says.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services director Francis Cissna and Office of the General Counsel’s John Mitnick are expected to be gone soon, and the White House is eyeing others to be removed.
The President in recent weeks empowered Stephen Miller to lead the administration’s border policies “and he’s executing his plan” with what amounts to a wholesale decapitation or the Department of Homeland Security leadership, the official says.
Neither the USSS nor the White House immediately responded to CNN’s request for comment.
Alles previously served in Customs and Border Protection leadership and also led that agency’s Air and Marine Operations. He is a 35-year veteran of the Marine Corps.
It was not immediately clear what prompted his firing, but the Secret Service recently came under scrutiny after a Chinese woman illegally entered the President’s Mar-a-Lago club carrying Chinese passports and a flash drive containing malware.
The European Commission on Monday unveiled ethics guidelines that are designed to influence the development of AI systems before they become deeply embedded in society.
The intervention could help break the pattern of regulators being forced to play catch up with emerging technologies that lead to unanticipated negative consequences.
The importance of doing so was underscored Monday when Britain proposed new rules that would make internet companies legally responsible for ridding their platforms of harmful content.
“It’s like putting the foundations in before you build a house … now is the time to do it,” said Liam Benham, the vice president for regulatory affairs in Europe at IBM (IBM), which was involved in drafting the AI guidelines.
The European Union has taken the global lead on tech regulation, introducing a landmark data privacy law last year while going after big tech companies for anti-competitive behavior and unpaid taxes.
AI, which has captured the public’s imagination and produced dire warnings on the potential for misuse, is the latest regulatory front for the bloc. It’s not an easy topic.
Google (GOOGL), for example, shuttered its new artificial intelligence ethics council last week after a swarm of employees demanded the removal of the president of a conservative think tank from the group.
Google scraps its controversial AI ethics council days after it was announced

The European Commission has crafted seven principles for guiding AI development and building trust. While the guidelines are not binding, they could form the basis of further action in coming years.

Transparency is key

Mariya Gabriel, Europe’s top official on the digital economy, said companies using AI systems should be transparent with the public.
“People need to be informed when they are in contact with an algorithm and not another human being,” said Gabriel. “Any decision made by an algorithm must be verifiable and explained.”
An insurance company that rejects a claim based on an algorithm, for example, should ensure the customer knows how and why the decision was made. A human should be able to step in and reverse the decision.
Amazon must let shareholders vote on limiting facial recognition sales, SEC says

Amazon must let shareholders vote on limiting facial recognition sales, SEC says

The European Commission said that future AI systems need to be safe and reliable for their entire life cycle. It also said that data protection must be a priority, with users in control of their own information.
The guidelines put responsibility squarely on those who build and deploy the AI systems.
“If a company puts in an AI system, that company is responsible for it … this is very important if there is any accident,” said Gabriel.

Avoiding discrimination

Gabriel also said companies need to ensure their AI systems are fair.
She said, for example, that an algorithm used in the hiring process that was produced using data from a company that employed only men would likely reject women candidates.
“If you have biased input data, that really can be a problem,” said Gabriel.
Who should get the credit for AI art?

Who should get the credit for AI art?

AlgorithmWatch, a non-profit group, said that while it’s a good idea to put guidelines in place, there are problems with Europe’s approach.
“The guidelines center around the idea of ‘trustworthy AI’ and that is problematic because it’s not a well-defined term,” said Matthias Spielkamp, the group’s co-founder. “Who is to trust and who is to be trusted?,” he added. He also said that it is not yet clear how future oversight will be handled.
Thomas Metzinger, a philosopher and professor at the University of Mainz, helped draft the guidelines but criticized them for not prohibiting the use of AI to develop weapons.
New Zealand's privacy commissioner calls Facebook 'morally bankrupt'

New Zealand's privacy commissioner calls Facebook 'morally bankrupt'

Others are worried about the impact the guidelines will have on innovation.
“We are concerned that the granularity of the guidelines, would make it difficult for many companies particularly [small and medium sized businesses], to implement,” said Antony Walker, deputy CEO of TechUK, an industry group.
The European Union will now try to work through these questions and others in a pilot program with Big Tech companies.
President Donald Trump instructed his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to fire Alles. Alles remains in his position as of now but has been asked to leave.
The Secret Service director reports directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, who resigned on Sunday amid growing pressure from the President. The director oversees the Secret Service’s work on both protection and investigations.
Stephen Miller wants Trump to oust more senior leaders at Homeland Security

“There is a near-systematic purge happening at the nation’s second-largest national security agency,” one senior administration official says.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services director Francis Cissna and Office of the General Counsel’s John Mitnick are expected to be gone soon, and the White House is eyeing others to be removed.
The President in recent weeks empowered Stephen Miller to lead the administration’s border policies “and he’s executing his plan” with what amounts to a wholesale decapitation or the Department of Homeland Security leadership, the official says.
Neither the USSS nor the White House immediately responded to CNN’s request for comment.
Alles previously served in Customs and Border Protection leadership and also led that agency’s Air and Marine Operations. He is a 35-year veteran of the Marine Corps.
It was not immediately clear what prompted his firing, but the Secret Service recently came under scrutiny after a Chinese woman illegally entered the President’s Mar-a-Lago club carrying Chinese passports and a flash drive containing malware.

Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of Homeland Security who has become a face of President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration push, is leaving the administration.

“Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will be leaving her position, and I would like to thank her for her service,” Trump announced yesterday on Twitter.

Nielsen did not resign willingly, a person close to her told CNN, but was under pressure to do so.

Trump had grown increasingly frustrated with the situation at the border, which has seen an influx in migrants.

He has vented privately that Nielsen hasn’t adequately secured the border or enacted stricter immigration rules, even as she became the face of policies that administration critics called heartless and illegal.

Meanwhile, Nielsen “believed the situation was becoming untenable with the President becoming increasingly unhinged about the border crisis and making unreasonable and even impossible requests,” a senior administration official tells CNN.

Who will replace her: Kevin McAleenan, the current US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, will become Acting Secretary after Nielsen’s departure.

“I just want to thank the President again for the tremendous opportunity to serve this country,” she told reporters. “I am forever grateful and proud of the men and women of DHS who worked so hard every day to execute their missions and to protect the Homeland.”
Trump announced Nielsen’s departure on Sunday evening and named Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan to take over in an acting capacity. According to multiple administration officials, over the past few months it had become clear to many inside the White House that Nielsen had few allies left in the West Wing, particularly following last year’s departure of chief of staff John Kelly, widely seen as her biggest advocate in the White House.
Nielsen butted heads with Kelly’s replacement Mick Mulvaney. Miller openly complained about her to the President. She was also a target of national security adviser John Bolton, according to four people familiar with their relationship. Bolton often criticized Nielsen for how she was handling immigration issues and had no hesitation about expressing his reservations openly in front of President Trump.
Nielsen did not have the support of President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner either, who has become more involved in immigration talks recently, according to one administration official. In a sense, Nielsen had become an island unto herself inside the West Wing, and the people who talk to Trump the most were openly against her.
By early Sunday, Nielsen knew how the day would likely go and that she would likely be forced to resign, according to a source familiar with her thinking.
Nielsen said on Twitter she’ll stay on through Wednesday.