Status of cabinet picks and other appointments: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/
- On inauguration day DJT filed as a candidate for 2020, allowing him to receive campaign contributions for the next 4 years (source).
- In December, 19% of Russian oil giant Rosneft sold to unknown buyers (source - for the conspiracy minded, that's about the same amount that was promised to Trump in that unverified intelligence dossier).
- Anti-immigration Executive Order goes into effect and immediately causes chaos at most U.S. international airports and confusion among government officials (summary). Travel ban does not include exceptions for legal permanent residents (green card holders) or legal visa holders, an estimated 500,000 people (source). About 100-200 of them are caught mid-travel and detained at airports. ACLU wins a court order preventing deportations, but they aren't released either leaving detainees in limbo. Protests against the EO at many airports. Some of the detainees are refused access to lawyers. Also reports of Customs officials refusing to abide by the court order or to allow congressmen access to the detainees. Acting Attorney General Yates (an Obama appointee) says Justice Dept. won't defend EO and is immediately fired (source). Homeland Security allows release of green card holders starting Sunday (source). Numbers banned as of Tuesday. Later analysis reveals that including green card holders in the ban was intentional and Bannon's doing, overruling DHS advice (source) and that the EO was done without executive review. Lots of speculation out there that this may have been a deliberate move by Bannon to test reactions and loyalties of various groups.
- Ex-KGB agent, possible informant for the Trump dossier, found dead (source).
- The Guardian reports that last week's State Dept. resignations were really firings and that the State Dept. is being bypassed in foreign policy decisions (source).
- Executive order requiring repeal of two regulations for every new one and requires them to have a net cost of zero (text of EO) - personally I think it's so vague that it's unenforceable which may be why it hasn't been getting much attention.
- Steve Bannon asked to attend all National Security Council meetings (source). (a side note - he has not been technically appointed to the NSC, just asked to attend, appointment would require senate approval).
- Foreign Policy article on Bannon's increasing influence on national security issues here.
- DJT nominates Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court (source)
- DJT shelves anti-LGBT executive order, will allow Obama's protections to stay source)
- Reuters advice to its journalists covering the administration - just read it - that is definitely not normal.
- GOP changes senate rules to allow cabinet appointments to move forward without Dems (source).
- Work proceeds on Dakota pipeline (source).
- House votes to overturn two environmental regulations, one preventing mining companies from dumping in streams, and one requiring gas and oil companies to disclose when foreign governments pay for access (source).
- DJT threatens Iran because of Yemeni rebels attacking a Saudi ship (because in Spicer-speak that's an Iranian attack on a U.S. vessel) (source).
- Homeland Security anti-extremist program may change to be anti-Islam only, dropping efforts against white nationalist groups (source). (note this change has not actually gone through yet)
- DJT insults Australia (source).
- DJT approves his first counter-terrorism mission in Yemen, it doesn't go so well (source).
- DJT team scraps Obama's plans for assault on final ISIL stronghold (source).
- DJT wants to repeal law that prohibits churches from political campaigning while claiming tax-exempt status (source).
- Some analysis of DJT's bizarre phone calls to world leaders.
- DJT asks Jerry Falwell Jr. to lead education task force, wants to cut rules for investigating and reporting sexual assaults (Not the Onion, I'm still not making any of this up) (source).
- Some sanctions on Russia eased, namely cyber-security sales (source).
- Conway makes up a terrorist attack (source).
- Executive orders reducing Dodd-Frank restrictions on the financial industry and repealing "fiduciary rule" which requires financial consultants to act in their customers interests (source).
- DJT waffling on Israeli settlements (source).
- DJT's pick for EU ambassador considered "malevolent" by EU (source).
- House votes to scrap background checks for people with mental health issues buying guns (source).
- DJT threatens North Korea (source).
- House votes to overturn BLM drilling restriction (source).
- DJT issues sanctions against Iran (source).
This week work kept me too busy to do the running tally I usually do and there was a lot of stuff, so most of this was compiled after the fact and I may have missed smaller stuff. Let me know if you saw something important I missed.
Map of the week: