Trump swears in Pompeo » The United States officially has a new secretary of state.
POMPEO: I, Michael Pompeo, do solemnly swear. PENCE: That I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States. POMPEO: That I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Vice President Mike Pence issuing the oath office Wednesday. President Trump also made the trip to State Department headquarters to celebrate Mike Pompeo’s swearing in.
TRUMP: I have absolute confidence that he will do an incredible job as the nation’s 70th secretary of state.
Following the ceremony, Pompeo addressed the State Department staff. He said his top priority is preparing for a possible face-to-face meeting between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
POMPEO: Right now we have an unprecedented opportunity to change the course of history on the Korean Peninsula. I underscore the word opportunity. We’re in the beginning stages of the work, and the outcome is certainly yet unknown.
In his former role as CIA Director Pompeo had already begun backchannel discussions with North Korea.
Mueller/Rosenstein/Trump latest » Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is pushing back against a possible effort to impeach him, warning the Justice Department will not be—quote—“extorted.”
The Washington Post has reported the conservative House Freedom Caucus has drafted articles of impeachment. Rosenstein’s response:
ROSENSTEIN: I just don’t have anything to say about documents like that that nobody has the courage to put their name on and that they leak in that way.
Freedom Caucus members call impeachment a last resort if the Justice Department keeps dragging its feet on document requests from Congress. GOP Congressman Andy Biggs of Arizona said this week it’s not an empty threat.
BIGGS: I think people expect us to do something in Congress and that includes the investigation, and maybe sometimes you have to come in and say maybe we should impeach somebody.
Some Republicans are growing increasingly frustrated with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe … which the president and his supporters have called a “witch hunt.” Mueller reports to Rosenstein, who appointed him after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation.
Military plane crashes in Savannah, Ga. » At least five people died in a military plane crash near Savannah, Georgia, on Wednesday. The C-130 Hercules cargo plane had taken off from the airport in Savannah just before it crashed.
The cause of the crash is unknown, but Air Force Master Sergeant Roger Parsons told reporters the military will fully investigate.
PARSONS: There will be a safety board that will be convened of experts that are skilled at looking at these type of crashes to determined what happened.
The aircraft was carrying members of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard. The plane belonged to the 156th Airlift Wing out of Puerto Rico. It was in route to an Air Force base near Tucson, Arizona.
States sue to end DACA » Texas and six other states announced Tuesday they are suing to end the DACA program. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has that story.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: West Virginia, Nebraska, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and South Carolina are all joining Texas in the lawsuit.
The suit claims the Obama administration overstepped its constitutional limits when it went around Congress to set up the DACA program. That’s the program that shields young immigrants from deportation, if they were brought into the country illegally as children and meet certain criteria.
The lawsuit is asking a U.S. District Court in Texas to either instantly rescind all existing DACA permits on the grounds they’re unlawful or prevent the government from issuing new ones.
The suit comes a week after a federal judge in Washington ordered the Trump administration to again accept new DACA applications. The case could set up a circuit split and an eventual Supreme Court date.
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.
Iowa passes ‘heartbeat’ pro-life bill » State lawmakers in Iowa have approved a trailblazing pro-life bill that would protect babies from abortion once doctors detect a heartbeat. That’s usually right around six weeks of gestation.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican, has indicated she very well may sign the bill, giving her state the strongest pro-life law in the country.
The law would almost certainly draw a legal challenge from pro-abortion groups, but GOP lawmakers, like state Senator Jake Chapman, say bring it on. Chapman said he’d—quote—“love for the United States Supreme Court to look at this bill and have this as a vehicle to overturn Roe v. Wade.”
Boy Scouts change their name » The Boy Scouts of America is no longer the Boy Scouts, or at least it won’t be as of February of next year. The iconic youth program has announced Wednesday that, with girls soon joining its ranks, it will change its name to “Scouts BSA.”
The 108-year-old organization started admitting girls to its Cub Scouts program for 7- to 10-year-olds in January. The name change will occur when the Boy Scouts program for 11- to 17-year-olds begins accepting girls next year.
I’m Kent Covington. Up next: an adoption battle in Kansas. Plus, Cal Thomas on discernment in politics. This is The World and Everything in It.