Today in Trump: March 1, 2017

Today in the Trump Administration

Justice Department 

President Trump visits the Justice Department, 3 p.m.

Commentary: Donald Trump’s winning speech

Every so often, we get one of these moments where he seems so jarringly normal.

President Trump’s speech on Tuesday was a success. The remarks were good and, on the Trump scale, delivered quite well.  It hit the notes he needed to hit. It was optimistic – not Trump’s usual speed, but one he now seems equipped to use.

But back to the “normal” thing. That’s been his critics’ big fear, that we would all get over the sheer weirdness of a President Trump, that we’d soon get used to it and accept. That our category for how presidents look, act, and speak would expand to include him. —Will Rahn

Travel ban

Iraq may be dropped from the group of countries whose citizens would be banned from visiting the U.S. when President Trump reissues his travel ban, sources tell CBS News. 

While there is no decision yet, U.S. diplomats told CBS News’ Margaret Brennan they are optimistic the White House will sign off on dropping Iraq from the list. The White House said there is no statement at this time. 

Pence on “CBS This Morning”

The vice president will be interviewed live in the 8 a.m. hour by Norah O’Donnell

Tillerson

The president has dinner with his secretary of State, Rex Tillerson

The Cabinet

The Senate Finance Committee votes on the nomination of Seema Verma to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 10:30 a.m.

Senate votes on Ryan Zinke to be Secretary of the Interior, and then holds a procedural vote on the nomination of Ben Carson to be HUS Secretary. 10:30am

What you missed yesterday

Trump’s address to Congress

Donald Trump delivers his first joint address before Congress tonight at 9:10 p.m.

CBSN live coverage of the Trump speech and address to Congress begins at 7:00 p.m. ET.

President Trump grades his first month in office

As President Donald Trump prepares to deliver an address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night on his goals for the year, the new president thinks he’s done pretty well so far.

In an interview with Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump said he would give himself an “A plus” for effort, an “A” for achievement — though he conceded that he would grade himself lower on messaging, giving himself a “C or a C plus.”

He also shares that lower grade with his communications staff, “my people,” however.

The history of the “designated survivor”

As President Donald Trump prepares to give his address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, all his top aides and Cabinet members will be in attendance — except one.

The “designated survivor” is one member of the U.S. Cabinet who’s whisked out of D.C. by U.S. Secret Service in case of a catastrophic attack on the Capitol.

Who is Elizabeth Warren’s refugee guest for Trump’s joint address?

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren will be bringing an Iraqi refugee with her as a guest for President Trump’s address to the joint session of Congress Tuesday night. 

According to a release from Warren’s office, Tiba Faraj and her parents and siblings arrived in 2010 in Lynn, Mass., after undergoing extensive refugee screening that spanned several years. Faraj’s father was employed by a U.S.-backed development organization in Iraq, when in 2006, he was shot and left permanently disabled.

Commentary: What to look for at Trump’s joint session address

Tonight, the President will address both Houses of Congress in what will be, essentially, his first State of the Union address. And the first thing to watch for is what happens when the Sergeant-at-Arms announces him and he enters the hall.

Will the representatives and senators greet him warmly? Will they look to take him, whisper a private joke, and laugh for the cameras?

Will they try and look like they’re his friend, in other words, knowing that folks back home are watching – or will it be a tad chillier, indicating that they know he’s toxic in blue- and purple-districts, and that they should keep their distance? When Trump walks in, will the only ones grabbing at him be Republicans safely ensconced in deep-red districts? —Will Rahn

More than 100 generals sign letter warning against budget cuts

More than 120 retired generals are making what may seem like a surprising defense of government spending on diplomacy. Their unified perspective is expressed in letter to congressional leadership and was prompted by an announcement of major cuts to the non-defense budget and a corresponding increase of $54 billion to defense spending.

The generals quoted Defense Secretary James Mattis to illustrate their point that foreign policy is not monolithic, and that diplomacy and defense are equal partners in U.S. policy.
 
“As Secretary James Mattis said while commander of U.S. Central Command, ‘If you don’t fully fund the State Department, then I need to buy more ammunition.’” —Kylie Atwood

Historically black colleges and universities

President Trump  has a listening session with leaders of Historically Black Colleges & Universities at 11:00am

Trump issues executive orders on HBCUs, environmental regulations

President Trump will sign an executive order to bolster historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) on Tuesday. The order will do this by moving the moving the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which was previously part of the Department of Education, back to the White House. 

The administration says this action will encourage strategic partnerships with other agencies and outside groups by giving it greater visibility. The United Negro College Fund had requested that Mr. Trump move the Initiative to the White House and be led by a person “who reports to a senior advisor to the president,” according to The Washington Post. –Jacqueline Alemany

Today in Trump: March 1, 2017

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