by Sharon Rondeau

(Jul. 31, 2017) — At 4:01 p.m. EDT, Monday’s White House Press Corps briefing began with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ brief opening remarks and her introducing of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

McMaster spoke about the Venezuelan election of Sunday in which ten people were killed and dictator Nicholas Maduro was allegedly granted more power in the socialist country.

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin then spoke, calling the Venezuelan election “illegitimate” and announcing U.S. economic and financial sanctions on the regime.

Venezuelans have been suffering food and water shortages in an increasingly poor economic situation in the country.

After approximately four minutes, Mnuchin took questions, during which McMaster was called upon to answer questions as well.

Earlier on Monday, Fox News, citing an “outside White House source,” reported that Anthony Scaramucci, who was announced as the new White House Communications Director, was terminated by President Donald Trump’s new chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly (Ret).  Scaramucci had not yet fully assumed his duties but had given a number of interviews since July 21, when his appointment was announced.

Kelly replaced Reince Preibus as Trump’s chief of staff today, having served as Trump’s DHS secretary since January.  Preibus’s departure was announced on Friday.

Mnuchin finished his remarks at 4:14.

Sanders took the podium and spoke about First Lady Melania Trump’s planned attendance at an event in Canada in September involving U.S. athletes, which will be her first “solo” international trip since her husband was inaugurated.

Sanders recounted that Trump awarded the Medal of Honor to Vietnam veteran James McCloughan, who risked his life and saved many during the 1969 Battle of Hui Yon Hill.

Sanders confirmed that Scaramucci does not currently “have a role” in the Trump administration.  She responded to a question by confirming that all staffers will approach Trump through Kelly.


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