28 Mar 2017 – Quick update about the absence of the recent, possible Russian-connection stories

This site is still active, but recently there’s been more accusations and circumstantial evidence in the news rather than hard actions taken by Trump and his administration.

Until there is an official statement or hard evidence, I’m going to avoid posting the possibilities concerning Russia.

As always, if I’ve missed anything that you feel should be on this site, send an email to: [email protected]



25 Mar 2017 – Bannon told conservatives ‘this is not a debate,’ you have to back bill

White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon told a group of House conservatives they had no choice but to back the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal bill days before the bill was pulled, according to a new report.

Bannon confronted members of the House Freedom Caucus earlier this week during the White House’s push for the American Health Care Act, Axios’s Mike Allen reported Saturday in his newsletter.

“Guys, look. This is not a discussion. This is not a debate. You have no choice but to vote for this bill,” Bannon reportedly said.

A Freedom Caucus member reportedly replied: “You know, the last time someone ordered me to something, I was 18 years old. And it was my daddy. And I didn’t listen to him, either.”

The Hill


24 Mar 2017 – House GOP abruptly pulls troubled health care bill

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., withdrew the legislation after Trump called him and asked him to halt debate without a vote, according to Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong. Just a day earlier, Trump had demanded a House vote and said if the measure lost, he would move on to other issues.

Associated Press


23 Mar 2017 – House delays Obamacare replacement vote as it struggles to muster votes

The House of Representatives delayed its vote on repealing and replacing parts of the Affordable Care Act after Republican leaders failed to rally enough support to pass the bill, sources told CNBC.

The GOP House caucus will meet at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday to discuss its path forward, NBC News reported. House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy told CNN that House debate on the bill will start Friday morning. But a White House spokeswoman said debate will begin on Thursday night and Republicans expect to have the votes to pass it on Friday.

 The postponement is a sobering setback for Republicans, who aimed to approve health-care legislation before moving to other parts of their agenda, particularly tax reform. The GOP had timed Thursday’s now-aborted vote to the seventh anniversary of the passage of the ACA, popularly known as Obamacare.

23 Mar 2017 – Trump: ‘I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president and you’re not’

“I’m a very instinctual person, but my instinct turns out to be right,” Trump told Time’s Washington bureau chief Michael Scherer in an interview conducted Wednesday and published Thursday morning. “I tend to be right. I’m an instinctual person, I happen to be a person that knows how life works.”

To support his claim, Trump pointed to his prediction that Britain would vote to leave the European Union, his insistence that NATO member states meet their defense spending obligations when “nobody knew that they weren’t paying” and his shocking victory in the presidential election itself as proof that he is often proven right.

But Trump also pointed to more dubious examples, including his mysterious reference during a February rally to some unspecified event that happened “last night in Sweden” when nothing had happened in the Scandinavian country the night before. The White House later sought to clarify that Trump had been speaking generally about rising crime in Sweden, not a specific event, but in his Time interview, Trump said he had been vindicated by riots that broke out in Stockholm two days after his “last night” remark.

“That’s the story,” Trump said as the interview ended. “Hey look, in the meantime, I guess, I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not. You know.”



21 Mar 2017 – Trump signs NASA bill, authorizing $19.5 billion in spending for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The measure amends current law to add human exploration of the red planet as a goal for the agency. It supports use of the International Space Station through at least 2024, along with private sector companies partnering with NASA to deliver cargo and experiments, among other steps.

After signing the bill, Trump invited several lawmakers to comment, starting with Cruz. When Trump invited Vice President Mike Pence to speak, he suggested that Nelson be allowed to say a few words. Nelson traveled into space when he was in the House.

“He’s a Democrat. I wasn’t going to let him speak,” Trump quipped, to laughter. Nelson ultimately got a chance to briefly praise his bill.

Associated Press


21 Mar 2017 – White House issues gag order to officials on budget details

The White House is instructing Cabinet heads and agency officials not to elaborate on President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts beyond what was in a relatively brief submission, a move Democrats decried as a gag order.

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney wrote in a memo late last week that until the full budget release in May, “all public comments of any sort should be limited to the information contained in the Budget Blueprint chapter for your agency,” referring to the 53-page document released last Thursday.

“It is critically important that you not make commitments about specific programs if they are not expressly mentioned in the budget,” Mulvaney wrote in the memo. “Similarly, you should not address account-level details. Comments of such specifics need to wait until the release of the full budget.”

Associated Press


17 Mar 2017 – White House cites satire column to tout budget in official newsletter

The White House included a satirical column in its list of news stories meant to promote Trump agenda — apparently ignoring the fact that the column actually [attacks] Trump’s new budget.

Friday’s edition of the “1600 Daily” highlighted a Washington Post article by humorist Alexandra Petri with a deceptively positive title: “Trump’s budget makes perfect sense and will fix America, and I will tell you why.”

But Petri’s column is actually a brutal attack on Trump’s proposed budget, with cuts domestic programs and the State Department while boosting the defense budget.

“Some people are complaining that the budget proffered by the Trump administration, despite its wonderful, macho-sounding name, is too vague and makes all sorts of cuts to needed programs in favor of increasing military spending by leaps and bounds,” she wrote Thursday. “These people are wimps.”

“America has been soft and weak for too long,” Petri added. “BUT HOW WILL I SURVIVE ON THIS BUDGET? you may be wondering. I AM A HUMAN CHILD, NOT A COSTLY FIGHTER JET. You may not survive, but that is because you are SOFT and WEAK, something this budget is designed to eliminate.”

The Hill


17 Mar 2017 – Trump mistakenly calls the United States a company, and ignores German chancellor Merkel’s and press’s request for handshake

President Donald Trump mistakenly called the United States a company in a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Friday. The visit came as Merkel and other worlds leaders were calling on Trump to uphold the U.S.’ free trade deals.

Asked about his isolationism by a German reporter, Trump said, “The United States has been treated very, very unfairly by many countries over the years and that’s going to stop.”

“We’re a very powerful company—country,” Trump added, apparently catching his mistake. “We’re a very strong, very strong country, we’ll soon be at a level perhaps we’ve never been before. Our military is going to be strengthened, it’s been depleted. But I am a trader, I am a free trader, I am a trader that wants to see good for everybody worldwide. But I am not an isolationist but any stretch of the imagination.”



For comparison: Trump’s 19 second handshake with Prime Minister Abe from Japan

17 Mar 2017 – White House calls climate change efforts a “waste of your money”

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says the Trump administration is cutting spending for climate change efforts because “we consider that to be a waste of your money.”

Mulvaney says: “I think the president is fairly straightforward. We’re not spending money on that.”

President Donald Trump has often called climate change a “hoax” and his EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, said last week he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming. Trump’s proposed budget would cut the Environmental Protection Agency budget by 31 percent — nearly one-third — and eliminate more than 3,200 jobs.



16 Mar 2017 – Paul Ryan, Senate Intel committee see no evidence of Trump wiretap; Spicer says Trump ‘stands by’ unproven allegation that Obama ordered wiretapping of Trump Tower

“We have not seen any evidence that there was a wiretap or a (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court order against Trump Tower or somebody in Trump Tower,” Speaker Paul Ryan said in an interview Thursday on CNN’s “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer.


In a remarkably combative exchange with reporters at his daily news briefing, Spicer was asked whether Trump still believes Obama ordered the alleged surveillance effort.

“He stands by it,” Spicer said, going on to assail journalists for the way they have reported on the controversy.

Washington Post


16 Mar 2017 – Flynn was paid by Russia’s top cybersecurity firm while he still had top-secret security clearance

Retired Gen. Michael Flynn was paid $11,250 by Russia’s top cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky, in 2015, according to new documents obtained and published by the Congressional Oversight Committee on Thursday. Flynn was also paid $11,250 by the Russian charter cargo airline Volga-Dnepr Airlines, according to the documents.

Flynn was paid for his work with both companies while he still had top-secret-level security clearance, a year after he was fired as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, The Wall Street Journal’s Shane Harris reported.

Kaspersky said in a statement provided to Business Insider that the company had “paid Gen. Flynn a speaker fee for remarks at the 2015 Government Cybersecurity Forum in Washington, DC.”

Flynn – who was forced to resign as national security adviser in early February after he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his phone calls with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak – was also paid $33,750 to speak at a gala celebrating the 10th anniversary of Russia’s state-sponsored news agency, RT, in December 2015.

Business Insider


16 Mar 2017 – What’s getting cut and funded in Trump’s budget

The proposal covers only discretionary, not mandatory, spending.

To pay for an increase in defense spending, a down payment on the border wall and school voucher programs, among other things, funding was cut from the discretionary budgets of other executive departments and agencies. The Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department and the Agriculture Department took the hardest hits. The proposal also completely defunded 19 agencies.

Discretionary spending limits, addressed by this proposal, are set by congressional budget resolutions. Congress typically makes changes to the president’s proposal — last year, lawmakers disregarded Obama’s budget altogether. Mandatory spending, by contrast, is set by other laws and is often determined by the size of the benefit and the eligible population


The Trump administration is seeking to cut 21 percent of the Agriculture Department’s discretionary spending budget, though it hasn’t detailed what precisely will be cut. The vulnerable programs include rural development and research grants but exclude SNAP (food stamps) and crop subsidies. The USDA will also reduce staff by an unspecified amount at various service center agencies around the country.

– Eliminates the $200 million McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program

– Eliminates the $500 million Water and Wastewater loan and grant program

– Cuts Women, Infants and Children nutrition assistance from $6.4 billion to $6.2 billion

– Unspecified staff reductions at USDA service center agencies around the country

– Cuts $95 million from the Rural Business and Cooperative Service


As part of a 16 percent reduction to the Department of Commerce’s budget, the Trump administration is proposing sharp cuts to climate-change and ocean research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

– Cuts $250 million from coastal research programs that ready communities for rising seas and worsening storms

– Eliminates the popular $73 million Sea Grant program, which operates in conjunction with universities in 33 states

– Eliminates the Economic Development Administration, which gives out grants in struggling communities

– Cuts federal funding to the Manufacturing Extension Partnership


Under the Trump administration budget, the Defense Department would get a 10 percent increase in discretionary funding — but only about 3 percent more than what it spent last year. President Trump has cast it as a historic increase in defense spending, but critics say it is actually more of an incremental boost and much smaller than what he promised on the campaign trail.

– Increases the size of the Army and Marine Corps

– Increases the number of ships in the Navy’s fleet

– Buys F-35 Joint Strike Fighters more rapidly

– Increases spending to keep Air Force combat planes ready to fly


The Education Department faces a 14 percent cut under the Trump administration budget, which would downsize or eliminate a raft of grants, including for teacher training, afterschool programs, and aid to low-income and minority college students. The cuts would be coupled with a historic investment — $1.4 billion — in charter schools, private schools and other school-choice initiatives.

– Cuts $3.7 billion in grants for teacher training, after-school and summer programs, and aid programs to first-generation and low-income students

– “Significantly” reduces federal work-study aid to college students

– Increases charter school funding by $168 million

– Creates new private-school choice program with $250 million

– Spends $1 billion to encourage districts to allow federal dollars meant for low-income students to follow those students to the public school of their choice


The Trump budget proposal, which cuts the Energy Department’s budget by 6 percent, would boost spending on managing the nation’s nuclear stockpile and revive the controversial Yucca Mountain storage facility for nuclear power plant waste. It would slash spending on a host of science and climate areas.

– Cuts $900 million from the Office of Science

– Eliminates the Energy Star, Weatherization Assistance Program, ARPA-E, Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program, and Title 17 loan guarantees

– Gives the Yucca Mountain project $120 million to restart licensing operations


The Trump administration proposed an 18 percent decrease for HHS, one of the largest and most sprawling departments within the government. That sum excludes funding for the insurance provided by Medicare and Medicaid, two vast entitlement programs for older and lower-income Americans. In a rare move, those programs were omitted from the brief budget description the Trump administration has released.

– Increases funding for efforts to prevent and treat opioid addictions

– Decreases funding for the National Institutes of Health and certain programs to train health professionals

National Institutes of Health (part of HHS)

The 19 percent cut would affect the billions of dollars NIH gives out to researchers around the globe, as well as studies at its sprawling Bethesda, Md., campus.

– Eliminates the Fogarty International Center, which builds partnerships between U.S. and foreign health research institutions


The proposal would increase funding to DHS by 7 percent. This money primarily goes toward big boosts in spending on border and immigration enforcement — for a border wall, for 500 new Border Patrol agents, and 1,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

– Cuts $667 million from grant programs to state and local agencies, including pre-disaster mitigation grants and counterterrorism funding

– Raises the TSA Passenger Security Fee, currently $5.60 for a passenger flying out of a U.S. airport


The 13 percent cut in funding for HUD will put tremendous strain on housing authorities across the country, which manage public housing and rely heavily on federal funding.

– Eliminates the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program

– Eliminates the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the Choice Neighborhoods program and the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program

– Raises funding for lead-hazard reduction from $110 million to $130 million

– Eliminates the $35 million of funding for Section 4 Community Development and Affordable Housing


Under the Trump administration proposal, the Interior Department faces a 12 percent cut. That could strain everyday maintenance of national parks and historic sites, as well as enforcement of activity such as illegal wildlife trafficking at the nation’s borders.

– Eliminates funding for the 49 National Historic Sites

– Decreases funding for land acquisition by $120 million

– Wildfire suppression funding is likely to see a marginal increase


The budget proposal boosts the DOJ’s tough-on-crime and anti-immigration efforts — putting money toward targeting criminal organizations and drug traffickers, and hiring immigration judges, border enforcement prosecutors and additional deputy U.S. marshals. The DOJ budget’s overall 4 percent decrease appears to come from a reduction in federal prison construction because of a reduced prison population and reducing spending on mostly unnamed “outdated” programs.

– Cuts funding to reimburse state and local governments for costs of incarcerating certain undocumented immigrants

– Cuts almost $1 billion of funding for federal prison construction

– Adds $249 million of funding for the FBI, largely aimed at counterterrorism, cyber threats, more timely firearms purchase background checks and more crime data

– Adds $80 million to adjudicate immigrant removal proceedings and hire more attorneys


The 21 percent proposed cut in the Labor Department reduces funding for job training programs that benefit seniors and disadvantaged youth. The proposal would also shift funding responsibility to states for certain job placement programs.

– Eliminates the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which helps low-income seniors find work

– Closes poor-performing centers for Job Corps, a job-training program for disadvantaged youth

– Eliminates grants that help nonprofit groups and public agencies pay for safety and health training

– Expands efforts to reduce improper payments made to people receiving unemployment benefits


The 29 percent proposed cut to the State Department refocuses economic and development aid to countries of the greatest strategic importance to the U.S., and it shifts some foreign military aid from grants to loans. It also requires State and USAID to reorganize and consolidate.

– Eliminates climate-change prevention programs, including pledged payments to U.N. climate-change programs

– Reduces funding for U.N. peacekeeping

– Reduces funding for development banks such as the World Bank

– Reduces most cultural-exchange programs, but keeps the Fulbright Program


The Transportation Department’s budget would shrink by 13 percent. The spending plan would move what has been a core government function — air traffic control — outside of government hands, and push responsibility for many transit and other projects to localities.

– Shifts air traffic control outside the government

– Eliminates funding for many new transit projects and support for long-distance Amtrak trains

– Eliminates $175 million in subsidies for commercial flights to rural airports

– Cuts $499 million from the TIGER grant program, which has funded dozens of road, transit and other projects


The Treasury’s budget would shrink by 4 percent, with other funds reallocated toward the department’s security missions: preventing hacking, seizing terrorists’ bank accounts and enforcing sanctions on foreign adversaries.

– Reduces funding for the Internal Revenue Service by $239 million

– Eliminates grants for Community Development Financial Institutions, which provide financial services in economically distressed neighborhoods


VA would be one of the few departments to see its budget grow, by 6 percent to $78.9 billion. Most of the increase would improve veterans’ access to doctors and support services following a scandal in 2014 over patient wait times. The money would also help fill some of the agency’s more than 45,000 vacant medical positions. Veterans Choice, a program that gives patients the option to see private doctors outside the VA system, would also expand.

– Adds $4.4 billion in new funding to expand health services and modernize VA’s benefit claims system and other services


Trump’s budget begins to dismantle the EPA, shrinking its funding by 31 percent and eliminating a fifth of its workforce. More than 50 programs would be eliminated altogether, including Energy Star; grants that help states and cities fight air pollution; an office focused on environmental justice and cleanup efforts in the Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes; and infrastructure assistance to Alaskan native villages and along the Mexican border. Funding for drinking water infrastructure would remain intact, but the agency’s scienctific research would suffer massive cuts.

– Eliminates more than 50 programs and 3,200 jobs

– Discontinues funding for international climate-change programs

– Cuts funding for the Office of Research and Development in half

– Cuts funding for the Superfund cleanup program and the Office of Enforcement and Compliance

– Prioritizes drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects.


NASA will see only a small cut — about 1 percent of its 2017 budget. But the cuts come almost entirely from Earth-observing and education programs, suggesting that Trump aims to make good on campaign promises to shift NASA’s focus away from our planet. The budget also directs NASA to find ways to collaborate with the commercial space industry. It makes no mention of the Journey to Mars, which is likely to add to speculation that Trump wants to shift NASA’s focus to the moon.

– Cuts $102 million of funding from Earth science, terminating four missions aimed at understanding climate-change

– Eliminates the $115 million Office of Education

– Cuts $88 million from the Robotic Refueling Mission, which develops techniques to repair satellites


The Trump administration is proposing to cut about 5 percent of the Small Business Administration’s budget. The new plan would eliminate $12 million worth of technical-assistance grants and other programs where the administration thinks the private sector already “provides efficient mechanisms” for small-business development and growth.

– Eliminates PRIME technical-assistance grants, Growth Accelerators and Regional Innovation Clusters, saving about $12 million

– Cuts $1 million of $46 million of loan guarantees currently available to small-business owners


The Trump administration’s proposal calls for eliminating four cultural agencies and their collective $971 million budgets. Most of the funds support nonprofit groups across the country, such as dance companies, radio stations, orchestras and theaters.

– Eliminates all $148 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and all $148 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities

– Eliminates the $230 million Institute of Museum and Library Services

– Eliminates the $445 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports public television and radio, including PBS and NPR

In total, the budget proposes to eliminate funding for these 19 agencies:

– African Development Foundation

– Appalachian Regional Commission

– Chemical Safety Board

– Corporation for National and Community Service

– Corporation for Public Broadcasting

– Delta Regional Authority

– Denali Commission

– Institute of Museum and Library Services

– Inter-American Foundation

– U.S. Trade and Development Agency

– Legal Services Corporation

– National Endowment for the Arts

– National Endowment for the Humanities

– Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation

– Northern Border Regional Commission

– Overseas Private Investment Corporation

– U.S. Institute of Peace

– U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness

– Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Washington Post


15 Mar 2017 – Trump calls Hawaii judge’s ruling against revised travel ban ‘unprecedented judicial overreach’

Less than two hours after a federal judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide temporary restraining order on the Trump administration’s revised travel ban, the president slammed the decision as “an unprecedented judicial overreach.”

A day before the executive order was to take effect, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson blocked the limitations on travel and immigration. Watson’s ruling in Hawaii Wednesday noted that “a reasonable, objective observer… would conclude” that the ban “was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion.”

Speaking Wednesday night at a rally at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium, President Trump said the court was motivated by “political reasons,” adding that he expected to be “criticized … for speaking harshly about our courts.”

“The order… blocked was a watered-down version of the first order that was also blocked by another judge and should have never been blocked to start with,” Trump said.

He added, “This ruling makes us look weak.”



15 Mar 2017 – Trump’s Second Travel Ban Is Blocked by U.S. Judge

Donald Trump’s latest attempt to temporarily bar new immigrants and refugees from six Muslim-majority nations was put on hold by a judge, pushing the young administration toward a second defeat on one of the president’s core campaign pledges.

The ruling means the 90-day ban on new visa approvals won’t be enforced beginning Thursday, as intended by the White House. The decision by the judge in Honolulu to block the policy nationwide will almost certainly be appealed by the Trump administration and could reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

The judge is one of three across the U.S. who spent Wednesday weighing whether to impose a temporary halt on the president’s second travel ban, which was tailored by administration lawyers to stand up to the legal challenges that imperiled its predecessor. Revisions to the order weren’t enough to convince him that the ban was free of religious discrimination.



14 Mar 2017 – Trump paid $38 million in federal income taxes on reported income of $150 million, an effective tax rate of 25 percent

President Trump wrote off $100 million in business losses to reduce his federal taxes in 2005, according to forms made public on Tuesday night in a rare glimpse at documents that he has refused to disclose since becoming a candidate for the nation’s highest office.

The forms showed that Mr. Trump paid $38 million in federal income taxes on reported income of $150 million, an effective tax rate of 25 percent, according to Rachel Maddow, who aired them on her MSNBC show. By claiming losses from previous years, Mr. Trump was able to save tens of millions of dollars in taxes that he otherwise might have owed.

The White House responded without even waiting for the show to air, issuing a statement that seemed to confirm the authenticity of the forms even as it defended Mr. Trump and assailed the network for publicizing them. “You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago,” the statement said.

New York Times


14 Mar 2017 – Trump wiretap claims: White House softens stance on unproven tweets

Unsubstantiated claims by US President Donald Trump that he was wiretapped by Barack Obama were not meant literally, the White House press secretary says. Sean Spicer said Mr Trump had broadly meant “surveillance and other activities” when he made the allegation in a tweet earlier this month. He also suggested the president was not accusing his predecessor specifically.

A congressional committee had set a Monday deadline for the department to provide any evidence of President Trump’s claims but a spokeswoman said it needed “additional time… to determine what if any responsive documents may exist”.

The House Intelligence Committee said it would give the department until 20 March to comply with its request.

Earlier, Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said she did not have any evidence to back up the wiretapping claim but said there were “many ways to surveil each other now”.

“You can surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets – any number of ways… microwaves that turn into cameras. We know this is a fact of modern life,” she told New Jersey’s Bergen County Record.



Original Trump Track story

Update 16 Mar 2017 – Trump Tries to Explain his Reasoning

He said: “I’ve been reading about things. I read in, I think it was January 20 a New York Times article where they were talking about wiretapping. There was an article I think they used that exact term. I read other things.

“I watched your friend, Bret Baier, the day previous where he was talking about certain very complex sets of things happening, and wiretapping. I said, wait a minute, there’s a lot of wiretapping being talked about. I’ve been seeing a lot of things”.

He did not elaborate on his claims, which Mr Obama’s team have dismissed as “false”, nor provide any evidence to back them up.

When asked why he did not report his suspicions to the intelligence services before making them public he said he did not want “to do anything that’s going to violate any strength of an agency”.

He said they had “enough problems” and that the CIA itself had been hacked during the Obama administration and “had a lot of things” taken.

Mr Trump defended his decision to tweet his suspicions without proof because “The New York Times wrote about it”.

“Not that I respect The New York Times. I call it the failing New York Times. But they did write on January 20 using the word wiretap,” he explained.

He claimed he had subsequently gathered “a lot” of evidence and “some very interesting items are coming to the forefront over the next two weeks.”

Mr Trump’s confidence is at odds with the conclusion of the House Intelligence Committee that it had seen no evidence for it and did not believe it happened.

The Independent


12 Mar 2017 – Trump’s revised travel ban order loses its first court battle

U.S. District Judge William Conley on Friday blocked President Trump’s administration from enforcing his new travel ban against a Syrian family looking to escape their war-torn homeland by fleeing to Wisconsin.

Conley issued a temporary restraining order barring enforcement against the family.

The order doesn’t block the entire travel ban.

It simply prevents Trump’s administration from enforcing it against this family pending a March 21 hearing.

There are various exemptions and waivers in the new ban, including some that give consular officers flexibility to decide cases.

The Hill


11 Mar 2017 – US attorney Preet Bharara fired after refusing Jeff Sessions’ order to resign

Preet Bharara, the powerful Manhattan prosecutor, was fired on Saturday after he refused to resign, in reference to an order from attorney general Jeff Sessions.

“I did not resign,” Bharara tweeted on Saturday afternoon. “Moments ago I was fired.”

The afternoon announcement came less than a day after the Justice Department asked 46 holdover U.S. attorneys from the Obama administration to submit their resignations.

The Guardian



10 Mar 2017 – Top Democrat sent letter to Mike Pence in November warning of Michael Flynn’s Turkey lobbying

In an interview with Fox on Thursday night, Vice President Mike Pence said he was not aware, and that he only heard about it as reports surfaced on Thursday that Flynn had registered as a foreign agent with the Justice Department earlier this week.

But Rep. Elijah Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent Pence a letter on November 18 requesting more information about the potential conflicts of interest posed by Flynn’s lobbying work.

“In addition to being in the press, I warned the Vice President directly three months ago about the conflicts created by Lt. General Flynn’s company lobbying on behalf of Turkish interests,” Cummings said.

Business Insider