The Latest: Trump tells Democrats to move on Cabinet picks

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Posted: Jan 31, 2017 6:51 AM
The Latest: Trump tells Democrats to move on Cabinet picks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

6:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump is jawboning Democrats to move faster on approving his Cabinet nominations.

In an early morning post on his verified Twitter account, the president said, "When will the Democrats give us our Attorney General and rest of Cabinet."

He said, "They should be ashamed of themselves! No wonder D.C. doesn't work."

His choice to succeed Loretta Lynch as attorney general, Alabama's Sen. Jeff Sessions, was due for a vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee later Tuesday morning.

Several other Cabinet picks are due for votes by the respective committees in the next few days.

6(05 a.m.

A shakeup at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has resulted in the departure of acting director Daniel Ragsdale.

The administration didn't offer any explanation for the move announced late Monday. The move came on the same day that President Donald Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates for publicly declining to defend Trump's executive order on immigration and refugees.

ICE executive associate director Thomas Homan has been elevated to the role of acting chief. The agency's Twitter account says Ragsdale is returning to his previous position as deputy director of ICE.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in announcing the change that Homan had led efforts "to identify, arrest, detain, and remove illegal aliens." The statement didn't make any mention of Ragsdale.

An ICE spokeswoman didn't offer any further explanation for the move when reached early Tuesday.

3:50 a.m.

In an extraordinary public showdown, President Donald Trump fired the acting attorney general of the United States after she publicly questioned the constitutionality of his refugee and immigration ban and refused to defend it in court.

The clash Monday night between Trump and Sally Yates, a career prosecutor and Democratic appointee, laid bare the growing discord and dissent surrounding an executive order that halted the entire U.S. refugee program and banned all entries from seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days. The firing also served as a warning to other administration officials that Trump is prepared to terminate those who refuse to carry out his orders.

Yates' refusal to defend the executive order was largely symbolic given that Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump's pick for attorney general, will almost certainly defend the policy once he's sworn in. He's expected to be confirmed Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee and could be approved within days by the full Senate.