The Latest Trump Casualty: Labor Pick Puzder Withdraws

Tyler Durden's picture

To summarize:

  • In the latest blow to President Donald Trump as he tries to assemble his administration, labor secretary nominee, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his name from consideration on Wednesday amid concerns that he could not garner enough Senate votes to be confirmed. The reason for the pulled nomination is that Puzdre admitted earlier this month that he and his wife had employed an undocumented person as a housekeeper.
  • He faced a flurry of complaints and legal cases brought in recent weeks and months by workers against his business and its franchises. Workers at some of CKE's restaurants have filed claims in recent weeks alleging they were victims of wage theft or victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • At least seven Republican senators, including Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, declined to publicly back Puzder in advance of the confirmation hearing, thereby making his election virtually impossible.
  • “After careful consideration and discussions with my family, I am withdrawing my nomination for Secretary of Labor," Puzder said in a statement.
  • Puzder's decision to withdraw is yet another setback this week for a White House still grappling with fallout from Monday night's abrupt resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, after less than a month in the job.
  • Puzder, the chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants Inc, which franchises fast-food chains including Hardee's and Carl's Jr, has been at the center of a swirl of controversies, complaints and potential conflicts. CKE declined on Wednesday to say if Puzder will remain as CEO after his decision to withdraw.

Update 2: It's confirmed:


* * *

Update: that didn't take long. As CBS' Chief White House reporter Major Garrett reported moments, ago a "source very close to Labor Secretary nominee Andy Puzder tells me he expects Puzder to withdraw. "He's very tired of the abuse." And now begins the scramble by Trump to find a replacement.

* * *

Following Betsy DeVos' narrow confirmation, it seems Andrew Puzder may not be so lucky.

The President's pick for labor secretary faces a Republican revolt as CNN reports a number of top Senate Republicans have urged Trump to withdraw the Carl's Jr. CEO's nomination.


As CNN reports,

Top Senate Republicans have urged the White House to withdraw the Andrew Puzder nomination for labor secretary, a senior GOP source said, adding there are four firm Republican no votes and possibly up to 12.


Puzder needs at least 50 votes to pass with the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Mike Pence, and Republicans only hold control of 52 seats.


Puzder, the CEO of the company that owns the Hardee's and Carl's Jr. fast food chains, has 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 housekeeper.

This would inject yet more turmoil into a tempestuous first few weeks for Trump's tenure as Republicans can lose 2 Republican votes and still secure a nominee, as they did with DeVos, but 4 is a dagger, as Democrats have solidified in opposition.

By way of backgrund The LA Times notes that concerns had been mounting as new controversies have arisen in recent days, including Puzder's admission that he had employed a housekeeper for years who was in the U.S. illegally.

Puzder paid back taxes related to that employee after Trump picked him for Labor secretary in early December.


Some Republicans also have viewed a 1990 episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in which Puzder's ex-wife, Lisa Fierstein, made allegation of spousal abuse, according to Politico.


Fierstein wrote to the leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee last month saying she later withdrew the allegations and vouching for Puzder as a "a good, loving, kind man."


But Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she had viewed the Oprah episode and told reporters Tuesday she had not made up her mind on Puzder's nomination.


"There have been issues that have been raised about him, and I’m sure that all of them will be thoroughly addressed in the hearing," Collins said.


Asked about Puzder on Wednesday, Collins said, "I've expressed my concerns."


Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) also said this week that they were awaiting the confirmation hearing before making a decision. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio also expressed concerns.


"I think it’s important that before we come to any conclusions or make any judgments that we have an opportunity to hear from him at his confirmation hearing respond to some of the questions that have been raised," Thune said Tuesday.


The issues involving his housekeeper and ex-wife came on top of controversial comments Puzder has made in recent years opposing an increase in the minimum wage to $15 and musing about deploying increased automation to his restaurants.


Democrats also have highlighted labor law violations at CKE Restaurants, and fast-food workers have staged protests against Puzder’s nomination in Los Angeles and elsewhere.

Finally we noted that Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for Puzder to withdraw, calling him "probably the most anti-worker" choice ever for the Cabinet position... which means whoever Trump chooses next for the role is - by defintion - not "the most anti-worker" choice.

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Chupacabra-322's picture

If they're against him. Keep him.


CNN Reports = Fake News.

Carry on.

YouJustMadeTheList's picture
YouJustMadeTheList (not verified) Chupacabra-322 Feb 15, 2017 1:41 PM

Offer them some 'EXTRA BIG ASS FRIES' and they might change their minds.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Should be fun watching some  Dem senator complaining about undocumented workers!

YouJustMadeTheList's picture
YouJustMadeTheList (not verified) TBT or not TBT Feb 15, 2017 1:44 PM with EXTRA MOLECULES!

barndoor's picture

Trump was right - I am getting tired of all the winning...

SWRichmond's picture

as well as the fact that he employed an undocumented housekeeper.

At least he didnt shove a cigar into an intern's vagina, get a blowjob in the oval office, and then lie to a grand jury about it.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Robert Reich said that he'll take the job.

pods's picture

Why is it when the Reps stand together it is slanted but every single Dem votes against something it is "solidarity?"

Sucks how things have come to this, I am not a Trumpster, but admit the guy should get his cabinet.  Sheesh.

Why not pester the fucking Dems for a while about their habits?  Nope, cant do that. So toss all the media out and let them petition to get let back in with all the internet news people.

Democrats just piss me off. Even more than warmongering MIC supporting closet homo Christian Republicans.


Not My Real Name's picture

Been that way for years, pods. According to the MSM, when the Republicans stand together they're always "partisans" voting in "lockstep."

When the Dems do it, they're "standing in solidarity" against "populism."

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Not My Real Name Feb 15, 2017 2:57 PM

It's like hazing, the Democrat Bully machine.

beemasters's picture

Trump should have been more aggressive in defending his subordinates as he is defending himself and his own. He practically left Flynn out to fry and only when it's too late, said Flynn was a victim. Nobody wants to work/live with the abuse/bully, unable to do anything else while the boss just sits there watching.

Mr. Universe's picture

Former NSA analyst John Schindler responded

“Now we go nuclear. IC war going to new levels. Just got an EM fm senior IC friend, it began: “He will die in jail.”

The deep state is playing for keeps.

jeff montanye's picture

indeed they are.  the trump administration seems to be falling further behind the curve and losing control of the conversation.  as a helpful suggestion, as soon as possible put forward a program that puts you ahead of a few curves, offers some reason to be pleased to the deplorables and, possibly, a reason to reconsider their opposition to whatever fragment can be saved, call them the salvageables.  a few thoughts:

1.  medical and recreational marijuana in all states that want it.  yes i know that’s the way it “is” now (the meaning of is, is) but the trump administration needs to pick its curves to be in front of and this one reduces crime, dials the border a click or two closer to peace, adds to state coffers and provides jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in the taxed world.  err on the side of no possession arrest.  it is growing in political popularity.  

really put some ingenuity into finding the dea attractive, alternative opportunities.


2.  medicare and those related insurance ppo’s for everyone.  negotiated drug and healthcare prices like canada.  no denial of care based on pre existing conditions (is, is).  

repeal of obamacare as we have come to know it.


3.  make a trade and aid deal with russia, however the master of the deal thinks best, but just trade and aid, no military or political negotiations as they are trouble and slow things down (russia will never give up crimea), and then lift the damn sanctions.  

sanctions are an act of war and the u.s. has led, not just to war crimes but to the banality of war itself.  war should be special.  it should mean something.  

in general trade and aid not loan or drone. 


4.  follow the lead of israel’s president and negotiate with the israelis and the palestinians toward a one state solution.  full israeli citizenship with full voting rights for every adult in the occupied territories (and gaza) which are then israel proper.  the palestinian leaders will oppose this as they want the job.  they will never get it 'til elected to the knesset.  trust me on this.  the two state solution is both a non starter with israel and a recipe for war.  one state is the answer.  

how much better would the average person in the occupied territories be as a citizen of israel?  the poorest people?  with maybe superior conscientious objector status as part of the reparations for past abuse and to avoid endless bickering over service in the idf.  likely more palestinians will want to be in the military with its marvelous benefits than the israelis will want.  

tear down that wall mr. netanyahu. 


5.  at the margin, on the absolute cheap, encourage wind and photovoltaic power.  not by further impeding fossil fuel but since the former are economically competitive with coal,, it makes sense to get in front of another benign curve that melts snowflakes and actually pleases most of trump’s supporters.  wind and solar offer revenue and job opportunities to property owners and workers.  

the utility companies’ establishment is an impediment.  trump didn’t get their campaign contributions.  again, why should he protect them over the common person?  do elections have consequences?  at the margin and on the cheap, fund research on increasing the efficiency of long distance electricity transmission, batteries, wildlife protection, etc.  the real future is covering all buildings in photovoltaic shingles, paint whatever and storing the excess in batteries, broadly defined, for transportation and the night.


6.  convene grand juries under someone of the stature, skills and experience of william k. black (if available, negotiate as needed) to investigate, indict, prosecute and convict the banksters guilty of running the greatest control fraud in history.  no more too big to jail.  giving in to their threats to crash the economy is worse than negotiating with terrorists, yet strangely like it.  

this is also a relatively popular idea on both sides of the aisle at the common person level, the ones who supposedly elected president trump.  and will elect the next congress.


these ideas are strongly revenue, vote and snowflake melting positive and cost, hatred and armageddon negative.

Paul Kersey's picture

It's not hard to bully those Republican pussies, like Lady Lindsey and Tokyo Rose Ryan. How else could one account for the Senate confirming Hillary Rodham Clinton as Secretary of State by a vote of 94-2? Turned out that Clinton the Crone was being confirmed as Secretary of Deep State, and that the Republicans were only too happy to put give her even power than she had as a Senator.

HamFistedIdiot's picture

So the CEO of Lockheed Martin is going to be the replacement to battle the Deep State? Lockheed is honchoing the global spraying program, climate modification, and probably has deep knowledge of the DynCorp organ harvesting and child trafficking operations. :(

FreezeThese's picture
FreezeThese (not verified) Not My Real Name Feb 15, 2017 3:40 PM

One at a time ... they shall fall


With all do respect ... the guy was the worst Labor head possible

greenskeeper carl's picture

Why does he even need a Labor Sectretary? For that matter, why do we need a Dept of Labor? Do the enumerated powers listed in the constitution mention the fedgov having the power to regulate the labor market?

JamesBond's picture

Still having to fight both sides of the isle I see.

Trump ... close down all congressional resturants , gyms, massage rooms, pool, etc. for security reasons. Got to search for bugs. That will send them into seizures.

barysenter's picture

Honestly. Now he has to go back to his f'n day job, making meellions every year, perpetuating tens of thousands of jobs, producing the de facto economy. Must really suck to be so happy.

Syrin's picture

If this guy can't take the heat he is the wrong man for the job.   Anyone consider him a big loss?

Escrava Isaura's picture

pods: Sucks how things have come to this……

Actually, it is a lot better now. Bipartisan is worse when the republicans are the minority.


Chief Wonder Bread's picture

Trump needs to go deep to find the right people. unknowns.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Chief Wonder Bread Feb 15, 2017 2:52 PM

Good News!

As of today the IRS can no longer ask you if you have health insurance, therefore not fine you for not having it.

for me it's $2500

Miss Expectations's picture

Read the fine print, the fine didn't go away, just the check box.

lovemesomeZH's picture

Why are giving the Feds an interest free loan? Don't have so much taken out f your check, owe a little at the end of the year. The IRS was ONLY able to collect from your tax refund. If you always owe taxes, their wasn't a damn thing they could do.  

earleflorida's picture

so its not a tax,... having been only mandated?

this good stuff

old but good

oncefired's picture

Labor Secretary or the Cigar Job?

consider me gone's picture

That is a job qualification in Libland.

earleflorida's picture

i wouldn't doubt for a second that every congressman and the power elite have illegal aliens working under-the-table for them.

paying slave wages, and not reporting their income!

in fact i would start an investigation into the Feinstein's and Pelosi's of the world with McCain and Ms. Lindsey!  both sides of the isle. think...Virginia, Maryland and DC.

oh, and let's not forget the Governors... esp. Calif, Texas, etc. etc.,....   

Farqued Up's picture

Slave wages? You are shitting us are you not.? Maids for the house are about $25/h and they don't come prepacked with an English dialect, at least not in Tahoe.

Cash only.

Donald J. Trump's picture

I'm confused on the Dem's stance here.  Is the undocumented worker good or bad?  I wish they would make ip their minds.

LetThemEatRand's picture

"Should be fun watching some  Dem senator complaining about undocumented workers!"

Kind of like watching a bunch of people here who want the wall etc supporting the guy just because Trump picked him.  He hired an illegal and he's up for Labor Secretary.  He's wealthy and easily could have afforded a documented worker.  No excuse.    He should be replaced with a different nominee.  Just because the Dems are a bunch of hypocritical assholes on this issue does not mean Trump supporters need to follow suit.

dexter_morgan's picture

Hard to find fault with that. Likely better choices out there. Like with kids (dems) gotta pick ur battles.

Jayda1850's picture

Trump supporters have pushed the bounds of hypocrisy as much as those who supported Cankles. Objectivity has become a rare commodity as of late.

cowdiddly's picture

Don't even go there about pushing boundaries you stinkin pedophile gimmedat Democrat socialist commie idiot

Here we are Feb 15 and the President still can not get but about 30 people approved. This should have been solved weeks ago. Thats all your party is about, obstructionism as they have NO plan, solutions OR direction.

They are all just like YOU bitchin about everything and the tiniest of things but solve nothing.

Bigly's picture

The window is closing for Trump.  If he does not act quickly to extract and arrest the traitors, he will be too encircled and will not be able to move in any direction.

He must get rid of them immediately...even if it leaves holes 

ToSoft4Truth's picture

Psst: arresting anyone was never in the plan. 

J Jason Djfmam's picture

He just needs to get some girls to wipe some liquid on their faces.

consider me gone's picture

I have to admit that I feared this would happen well before he got elected. The corrupt edifice that is DC is bigger than a handful of men and women with good ideas.

earleflorida's picture

this guy was vetted, and he lied. period!

plausible deniabilityl doesn't have a loop-hole that rounded.

funny in ways,... trump could have known the guy fudged the facts when vetted and hoped for the best, but having an escape route via a 'fishing [?] expedition' finding out its all the prime-free-publicity that he could hope for to call out the illegal congress esp., dem's hiring illegals.

this is big...

and, it ain't going away

the guy wasn't a sacrificial lamb, nor a pawn... he thought he could lie [a little white/grey fib] to the donald, which btw is not in ones best interest

Jayda1850's picture

People like you can never be objective because you automatically assume someone who disagrees with you is a member of the other party. Guess what pal? Objectivity is not being a member of any party, but keep falling for the red vs blue rope-a-dope, emphasis on the dope.

cowdiddly's picture

Ive watched enough of you stupid assed comments to know EXACTLY what you are so don't hide behind the old IND flag because your nothing of the sort. Just like your food stamp rant the other day.

a whiny little socialist bitch that does nothing but complain.


Bay of Pigs's picture

I cant believe ZHers upvoting that clown.

Comment section here has been invaded by all kinds of shills, trolls and idiots.

BarkingCat's picture

I hope you're not just noticing that now.

Jayda1850's picture

You represent the same stupidity I see on here daily arguing for the government to shut down fake news sites like CNN, MSNBC etc. and start revoking broadcast licenses. You have no concept of precedent. Just because your guy is in, you are okay with giving them unlimited power without realizing he will only be in 4-8years. Then when someone on the left gets in and wants to revoke the broadcasting license of say someone like Fox News or shut down a site like ZH, you will be screaming what a travesty of freedom and justice it is. At worst you are the epitome of hypocrisy and at best are the epitome of shortsightedness.

cowdiddly's picture

At least I am not stupid enough to not realize that these MSM attacks are being directed and funded from elsewhere. And, I did not bring up the MSM problem, you did.

Hypocrisy? after rigging a primary election and claiming you had one, you can keep your doctor, pizza gate, fighting ISIS and arming terrorists or meeting on the tarmac with the DOJ.  give me a break.

Got The Wrong No's picture

Same lame shit , just another day from you. Socialist are completely brain fucked.  I'm sure you will post that same drivel at least two more times before Friday.