Alayna Treene

United CEO will no longer be chairman next year

Richard Drew / AP

United Continental Airlines announced in a regulatory filing Friday that CEO Oscar Munoz will not become chairman of the company next year — as previously planned. United said Munoz initiated the change.

Why this matters: This signals a major structural change within the company following the viral incident in which a passenger was forcibly removed from one of its planes. It could also signal that more changes are in store for the airline as they try to repair their reputation.


Trump praises Treasury Dept. and reminisces about Hamilton


President Trump praised the Treasury Dept. — and reminisced about Alexander Hamilton — while delivering remarks on his financial services executive order at a presidential lectern between the secretary's desk and a fireplace with a portrait of Hamilton above it. Quotables, per White House pool reports:

  • "I went through that beautiful hallway with those incredible paintings of every secretary," said Trump, adding that he wished he could stop and listen to stories about each one. He also said current Secretary Mnuchin was one of the best." I think Hamilton is tough to beat, but maybe you can do that too," he joked.
  • "The Treasury Department is the guardian of America's wealth and a symbol of America's prestige," said Trump, noting that Hamilton "understood that the government must protect the jobs of our citizens and the wealth of our nation."
  • "We've lifted one terrible regulation after another at a record clip from the energy sector to the auto sector... We're now in the process of rebuilding America and there's a new optimism sweeping our country that people have not seen in decades."

WH officials to meet with top drugmakers next month

Greg Baker / AP

Top Trump administration officials are slated to meet with a number of executives from drug companies and government scientific researchers at the White House on May 8, according to an agenda obtained by Bloomberg. The meeting is described in the memo as a chance for "private sector and thought leaders to describe their institution and its connection to federal funding."

Why it matters: This could give biotech executives a chance to make a direct pitch for the value of federal medical research funding, something they've wanted to do ever since President Trump's budget proposed a nearly 20 percent cut in NIH funding.

Who's coming: Vice President Mike Pence, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, HHS Secretary Tom Price, and NIH Director Francis Collins, among others.

Not mentioned: Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney, the main advocate of the NIH cuts.


Apple has recruited two top Google satellite execs

Eric Risberg / AP

Apple has hired a pair of top Google satellites execs for a new hardware team, reports Bloomberg. John Fenwick, who led Google's spacecraft operations, and Michael Trela, head of satellite engineering, will report to Greg Duffy, co-founder of camera maker Dropcam, who joined Apple earlier this year.

What they're saying: The recruits are experts in the field of satellite design and operation, and could be part of a new plan to use satellites for collecting images and communications. Bloomberg also reported that Boeing has been in talks with Apple about being an investor-partner in the aerospace company's plan to use satellites to provide increased broadband access, but its unclear if a deal will be reached.


Venezuela made 26,100 fewer cars in 2016

General Motors, one of the world's largest corporations, has become the latest company to pull its operations from Venezuela following the government's illegal seizure of GM's local vehicle assembly plant, per the N.Y. Times.

Why this matters: The auto industry has plunged in Venezuela under heightened political tensions, corruption, high crime rates, harsh currency restrictions, and a failing economy. As a result, 2,700 workers have lost their jobs.

Declining numbers:

  • Automakers sold roughly 3,200 vehicles last year compared with the more than 17,000 in 2015
  • Last year, automakers made only 4,900 vehicles, including heavy-duty pickups, down from 31,000 in 2015.


Trump will reveal his tax plan next week

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

President Trump told the Associated Press he will reveal his tax plan next week, and that it includes "massive" tax cuts for individuals and businesses.

The announcement comes ahead of Trump signing his tax executive order and Dodd-Frank memorandums later today.


Obama picks Chicago for his first post-WH event

Evan Vucci / AP

Former President Obama is returning to his hometown Monday where he'll deliver a speech to young leaders at the University of Chicago. The conversation will focus on civic engagement and community organizing. Hundreds of people from Chicago-area universities are expected to attend, and about six students and recent graduates will appear on stage with him for the 11 a.m. panel, said Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis.

Why this matters: The televised speech will be Obama's first public event since leaving office in January, and comes just a few days before Trump will mark his 100th day in office on April 29.


Trump's tax order focuses on keeping US jobs

Evan Vucci / AP

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin gave a background briefing on the financial services Executive Order and Memorandums Friday that Trump is signing later today.

Tax executive order: The Treasury will review all of the tax regulations going back to the start of 2016, and will cut any regulations that are detrimental to U.S. businesses. The priority is making U.S. corporations more competitive and creating incentives that will deter them from moving abroad. Mnuchin also emphasized that Trump will soon be working with Congress on a comprehensive tax reform package.

Memorandums: The two memorandums encompass "all of the aspects of Dodd-Frank, but go much further," said Mnuchin.

  1. Trump will not direct the Treasury to use their Orderly Liquidation Authority (OLA) unless under extreme circumstances
  2. The Treasury will complete a comprehensive review of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC)

Key takeaways from Spicer's Friday briefing

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Spicer started today's off-camera briefing by describing how "extremely pleased" Trump is to have successfully negotiated the release of Aya Hijazi and the other humanitarian workers who were held in Egypt — something Obama was unable to do. Other takeaways:

  • Government shutdown: Spicer revealed that OMB has ordered federal agencies to submit plans for a government shutdown — a routine step. Added that the administration "remains confident that we are not going to have a shutdown."
  • Healthcare reform: "It will get done when we feel like we've got the votes... if we can get it done next week, great."
  • Funding on border wall: "I don't know that it's a sticking point, but it's a priority."
  • French election: "No," Trump doesn't have a preferred candidate in the French election, said Spicer.
One fun thing: Spicer said that the White House press are welcome to bring their kids to work next Thursday in honor of the "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day."

Egyptian American prisoners freed thanks to Trump

Mohamed el Raii / AP

Egyptian American charity worker, Aya Hijazi — who has been imprisoned in Cairo for three years and became the international face of Egypt's crackdown on civil society — was released late Thursday following a series of quiet negotiations between Trump and Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi.

Flashback: Hijazi, her husband, and four other humanitarian workers were held on child abuse and trafficking charges that were broadly dismissed as bogus by human rights workers and U.S. officials. The Obama administration tried, and failed, to pressure Sissi to free them. But as the Post points out, it wasn't until Trump moved to reset U.S. relations with Egypt that Sissi considered releasing the group.

Between the lines: Trump's focus on repairing relations between the U.S. and foreign countries has helped him become more successful with his international policy goals. The president's attitude toward the leaders of China, Turkey, Israel and Russia have largely departed from that of Obama, and have led to a renewed sense of relations.