Today in Trump: February 3, 2017

Today in the Trump Administration

Tweets on Iran, Australia, and Paris Louvre attack

In a blitz of Twitter activity early Friday morning, President Trump addressed Iran’s ballistic missile test, praised Australia’s prime minister, and discussed the machete attack that occurred in Paris’ Louvre museum. 

America’s business leaders at White House

Trump meets with his Strategic and Policy forum — big business names, including Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon, Mary Barra of GM, Tesla’s Elon Musk, Bob Iger of Disney, among others. Travis Kalanick resigned from the group Thursday.

The Cabinet

Very early Friday morning, senators took a procedural vote on Betsy DeVos to be education secretary. The Senate advanced DeVos’ nomination on a procedural vote, 52 yeas to 48 nays — a straight party line vote.The Senate will continue debating the nomination with a final confirmation vote on DeVos expected by the full Senate early next week, possibly as early as Tuesday February 7. 

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch continues to visit with the senators who will decide on whether to confirm him.

What will Senate Democrats do about Neil Gorsuch? Which Democratic senators will vote for him? Against him? When President Trump announced his Supreme Court pick as Judge Neil Gorsuch, Senate Democrats pounced. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer immediately fired off a statement that Gorsuch, a consevative Denver-based judge who currently sits on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, would face an “exhaustive, robust, and comprehensive debate” on his fitness to be a Supreme Court justice.

Others, like Oregon’s Jeff Merkley, charged that the seat on the Supreme Court bench was “stolen” from former President Obama after Republicans refused to confirm Judge Merrick Garland. Merkley vowed to do everything in his power to “stand up against this assault on the court,” seeming to threaten a filibuster of Mr. Trump’s nominee. 

Executive action

Trump will also sign an executive order before he flies to Mar-a-Lago for the weekend

The Takeout podcast: 

Will Neil Gorsuch be the next David Souter? On this week’s show, Carrie Severino, conservative activist and former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and conservative activist, and CBS News chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford joined CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett and CBS News senior political editor Steve Chaggaris to talk about why Republicans are confident President Trump has found a bona fide conservative justice in Neil Gorsuch… and why Gorsuch is no David Souter – a justice appointed by a Republican president who ended up voting with liberals on the court.

CBS News poll on immigration ban and Supreme Court nominee

To be published at 7 a.m.

What you missed yesterday

How Trump ordered a covert raid in Yemen against al Qaeda

When President Trump was deciding to order his first known covert raid against al Qaeda in Yemen — an operation that later resulted in nearly 30 deaths, including suspected terror leaders and the first U.S. military casualty under Mr. Trump — he had several trusted advisers by his side. Among them: his son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner.  

AP: U.S. readies sanctions on Iran after missile test

 
The Trump administration is preparing to levy sanctions on Iran after it test-fired a ballistic missile, according to U.S. officials and others with knowledge of the decision.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick quits Trump’s economic advisory council

Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick has resigned from President Donald Trump’s economic advisory council in the wake of blistering criticism on social media of his participation on the White House panel of top business executives.

Kalanick informed Uber’s employees of his decision in a memo published Thursday. 

“Earlier today I spoke briefly with the President about the immigration executive order and its issues for our community. I also let him know that I would not be able to participate on his economic council,” Kalanick’s memo stated. 

Family business

Nordstrom says it will stop selling Ivanka Trump clothing and accessories

The Seattle Times reports the Seattle-based department store chain said the decision was based on sales performance of the first daughter’s brand.

Prayer breakfast 

At the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday, President Trump boasted of his television ratings during his time hosting “The Apprentice” reality show and urged attendees to “pray” for his successor, former California governor and Hollywood macho man Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“They hired a big, big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to take my place,” said Mr. Trump, who still has an executive producer credit on the “Celebrity Apprentice.” “And we know how that turned out. The ratings went right down the tubes.”

Lawmakers respond to reports of Trump’s call with Australian PM

Some members of Congress are trying to defend Australia and the importance of its alliance with the U.S. after President Trump reportedly had a tense phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last weekend.  

Trump threatens Berkeley, Yiannopoulos jabs “social justice left” after campus protest escalates

President Donald Trump issued a social media threat early Thursday to federal funds allocated to the University of California-Berkeley in the aftermath of a riot that forced the cancellation of a speech by polarizing Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos.

Russia sanctions

The Trump administration appeared to loosen U.S. sanctions Thursday that the Obama administration had imposed against Russia in response to its cyberattacks in the 2016 presidential election.

The Treasury Department published a license that authorizes certain transactions between U.S. companies and the FSB, Russia’s security service and for the importation, distribution or use of “certain information technology products in the Russian Federation.” Such transactions had been prohibited under Obama administration sanctions imposed on Russia in late December. At the time, the U.S. sanctioned nine entities and individuals including the FSB and GRU. The Obama administration said that the FSB had assisted and provided material support to the GRU in its efforts to interfere with the U.S. election.

Homeland Security IG will review immigration ban implementation

The Office Inspector General (OIG) for the Homeland Security Department (DHS) announced late Wednesday that it will be reviewing DHS’ rollout of President Trump’s immigration ban executive order, signed by Mr. Trump on Friday.

New guidance for travel ban exempts green card holders

After days of confusion over how President Trump’s controversial immigration order would be applied to legal permanent residents of the United States, the White House says it has issued a new guidance that exempts green card holders from the travel ban.

“They no longer need a waiver because if they are a legal permanent resident, they won’t need it anymore,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said at a news briefing Wednesday. 

Meetings

The president meets with Sen. Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and top Democrat Ron Wyden, also with House Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady and ranking member Richard Neal, 11:15 a.m.

He also met with Harley-Davidson executives for lunch.

The cabinet

The nominations of two of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks — Scott Pruitt for the Environmental Protection Agency and Mick Mulvaney for the Office of Management and Budget — will advance to a vote by the full Senate after committee votes held Thursday.

A day after delaying its vote because of Senate Democrats’ boycott, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted — still with no Democrats present — to send Pruitt’s nomination to the full Senate. Pruitt’s nomination advanced with 11 votes (all Republicans) to zero after GOP members of the committee changed the rules to allow for a vote without Democrats present

And Mulvaney’s nomination will also go to the full Senate, though the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee voted 8-7, along party lines, to send the nomination without a recommendation.

Today in Trump: February 3, 2017

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