This week’s (27 January – 3 February) episode of Donald Trump’s America brings us the following:
Day 15, 3 February 2017
- New Yorker and Vanity Fair pulled out of White House Correspondents’ Dinner parties
- Kjell Magne Bondevik served as prime minister of Norway from 1997-2000 and 2001-05. He was held and questioned at Washington Dulles airport because of a visit to Iran three years ago.
- Yahoo News reported that Neiman Marcus has dropped Ivanka Trump jewelry.
- The Washington Post reported that a January business trip that Eric Trump undertook for the Trump Organization cost taxpayers nearly $100,000 in hotel rooms for Secret Service and embassy staff.
- A coalition of 598 college and university presidents sent a letter Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly voicing “concerns” with President Trump’s temporary ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations.
- ETHICS: Trump surrogate Kellyanne Conway cited “Bowling Green Massacre” that never happened.
- JUDICIAL: Seattle judge halted the Trump travel ban — nationwide — as a result of Washington state lawsuit.
Day 14, 2 February 2017
- At the annual National Prayer Breakfast, Trump said: “I just want to pray for Arnold if we can for those ratings [for The Apprentice].” Vanity Fair reported that “The Apprentice’s ratings have been falling for years.”
- Also at the National Prayer Breakfast, Trump vowed “to overturn a law restricting political speech by tax-exempt churches.”
- In a phone call to the president of Mexico, warned “that he was ready to send U.S. troops to stop ‘bad hombres down there’.”
- NPR reported that Trump faces more than 50 lawsuits. At the same two-week point, Obama had five lawsuits pending; Bush had four; and Clinton had five.
- Bloomberg reported that Nordstrom’s will stop selling the Ivanka Trump brand.
- JUDICIAL: Virginia asked a federal judge to force the President, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and top government officials “to show why they shouldn’t be held in contempt for failing to obey a lawful court order” regarding the travel ban.
Day 13, 1 February 2017
- In kicking off Black History Month, Trump said: “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice.” The verb tense implies that Douglass is alive; he died in 1895.
- First Lady Melania Trump May Stay in NYC Permanently and Never Move Into the White House
- SENATE Action: Rex Tillerson confirmed as Secretary of State (56-43).
January, Days 8-12
Day 12, 31 January 2017
- Trump announced his nominee for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge in Denver.
- The Washington Post reported that White House officials have “warned State Department officials that they should leave their jobs if they did not agree with President Trump’s agenda.”
- BILLS SIGNED: Trump signed his second piece of legislation, the GAO Access and Oversight Act of 2017 (HR 72). The bill passed the House on voice vote ; it passed the Senate, 99 – 0.
- SENATE Action: Elaine L. Chao confirmed as Secretary of Transportation (93-6).
Day 11, 30 January 2017
- Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she directed the Department of Justice not to defend the President’s Executive Order travel ban. The president replaced Yates with Dana J. Boente.
- JUDICIAL: Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed suit against “President Trump, the Department of Homeland Security, and several high-ranking Trump officials over the Friday night executive order banning refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.”
Day 10, 29 January 2017
- A 27-year-old white male student killed six in an attack on a Quebec City mosque. The president has been publicly silent.
- The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump’s tax plan “would maintain companies’ ability to lower tax liability by taking on debt;” in other words, benefit his companies.
- TWITTER: Trump castigated the New York Times (“fake news”) on Twitter. Twice.
Day 9, 28 January 2017
- Trump’s first overseas raid, in Yemen, ended in failure. U.S. Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens was killed. According to medics at the scene, about 30 people, including 10 women and children, were killed. U.S. military officials told Reuters “that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.”
- Via a presidential memorandum, Trump appointed Steve Bannon to the principals committee of the National Security Council.
- Thousands protested the travel ban on Saturday (and Sunday) in more than two dozen cities, many at airports, in response to President Trump’s executive order.
- JUDICIAL: Judge Ann M. Donnelly, a federal judge in Brooklyn, issued a temporary order “preventing the government from deporting some arrivals who found themselves ensnared by the presidential order.” Four other Federal Judges would issue similar orders.
Day 8, 27 January 2017
- Trump signs Executive Order 13769 at the close of business on Friday, putting in place a ban on entry to the United States from seven countries. The order went into effect on signature (not a standard practice), affecting thousands already on flights or at airports. [Explainer: executive orders and presidential memoranda.]