Trump to announce replacement labor secretary pick

(CNN) — President Donald Trump will announce his new labor secretary pick at 12:30 p.m. Thursday before reporters in the East Room, according to the White House.

“We are going to be announcing, I guess I will do it at 12 o’clock, a new secretary of labor, who is really phenomenal,” Trump said during brief remarks he made while meeting with lawmakers at the White House. “The man I will be announcing for labor is a star, a great person, a great person.”

Andrew Puzder, Trump’s first pick to leader the Labor Department, withdrew his nomination Wednesday after Republican senators began telling the White House that they would not back the nominee.

Puzder, the CEO of the company that owns the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast food chains, faced fierce opposition mostly from Democrats in part related to his position on labor issues as well as the fact that he employed an undocumented immigrant housekeeper.

But Republicans, too, had grown weary of the range of liabilities facing Puzder, and senior GOP officials informed the White House Tuesday night and Wednesday that Puzder lacked a viable path for confirmation.

The turbulent nomination process wore on Puzder, too, with aides close to the nominee telling CNN that he was taken aback by the harshness of politics.

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