Alayna Treene

Obama to Trump: your health care plan IS mean


Barack Obama wrote an emotional Facebook post Thursday outlining the consequences that would occur if the Senate's health bill was passed, and took a jab at President Trump, who called the bill "mean" in a meeting with GOP senators last week:

Obama's bottom line: "Simply put, if there's a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation."

Key excerpts:

  • "I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what's really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did."
  • "We didn't fight for the Affordable Care Act for more than a year in the public square for any personal or political gain – we fought for it because we knew it would save lives, prevent financial misery, and ultimately set this country we love on a better, healthier course."
  • "I still hope that there are enough Republicans in Congress who remember that public service is not about sport or notching a political win, that there's a reason we all chose to serve in the first place, and that hopefully, it's to make people's lives better, not worse."
  • "The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It's a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America."
  • "This debate has always been about something bigger than politics. It's about the character of our country – who we are, and who we aspire to be. And that's always worth fighting for."

Trump hasn't spoken with Sanders about Medicaid cuts

Andrew Harnik / AP

Just hours before Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders briefed reporters at the White House Thursday, the Senate released its version of the GOP health care bill, which included a series of cuts to Medicaid — something President Trump pledged he wouldn't do throughout his campaign. Reporters hoped she'd have answers on whether Trump still believed in protecting the program, but Sanders simply stated that she hadn't talked to the president about it.

Other highlights from the briefing:

  • On Democrats being left out health care process: "We know that Obamacare is not sustainable. It's collapsing under itself... if Democrats really cared, they would've been involved in the process... it's sad they decided to play partisan politics."
  • On health bill being rushed through House/Senate: "We've been talking about reforming healthcare for a number of years. I don't think it's moving too fast."
  • Does Trump think Russia interfered in the election? "He thinks that it probably was Russia," but he also thinks the Democrats are using it to make excuses for why they lost.
  • On Trump tweeting he didn't tape Comey: "I think the president's statement on Twitter is extremely clear. I don't have anything to add."
  • Does Trump regret his original tweet suggesting he may have tapes? "I don't think so."
  • Does Trump think he's being surveilled in the Oval Office? "Not that I'm aware of."
  • Did Trump raise prospect of tapes to get Comey to tell the truth? "It was more about raising the question of doubt in general."
  • Trump's North Korea tweet: "The president has been extremely clear on this process. Of course he hopes to work with China."

Carrier moving Trump jobs to Mexico

Carrier, the heating and air-conditioning manufacturer, is laying off more than 600 employees from its Indianapolis plant next month, the same plant Trump vowed to keep on American soil, per CNBC. Those manufacturing jobs will go to Mexico, where labor is significantly cheaper.

Why it matters: Trump heralded the November deal as proof he'd live up to his pledge to protect U.S. jobs. And this comes just a day after Ford announced that it will move production of its Focus model to China, just months after pressure from the Trump administration resulted in its cancelling plans to make it in Mexico; this was instead of keeping the jobs in the U.S., where the car is currently made.

Refresher on the deal: Trump agreed to give Carrier, a unit of United Technologies, up to $7 million if it continued to employ at least 1,069 people at the facility for 10 years, rather than moving it abroad in search of cheaper labor, as originally planned. Carrier also vowed to invest $16 million into the plant. But just a month after the deal was made, CEO Greg Hayes said the $16 million would be invested in automation.


Paul Ryan gives Scalise update during health bill briefing

House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Thursday that he had been briefed on the Senate's version of the health bill and that it's in line with the House version. He added that the House doesn't plan to "opine on their process," noting that "they gave us our space, we'll give them theirs."

His bottom line: "I want them to pass the bill so we can all get done with keeping our promise."

Update on Scalise: "I had a great meeting with Steve-O this morning. He's bright, he's alert... he wanted a brief on work!"


McConnell details what's next for GOP health bill


Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the Senate's timeline for getting their newly-released health bill to a vote, saying he expects a CBO score next week. "After that we will proceed to robust debate and open amendment process here on Senate floor," said McConnell.

He then addressed the criticism that the GOP had been working on this bill in secret. "I regret that our democratic friends made clear early on that they did not want to work with us in a serious and bipartisan way to address the Obamacare status quo," McConnell said. "But Republicans believe we have a responsibility to act, and we are."

Note: McConnell also pointed out that no amendment to the GOP Senate bill can be approved until posted publicly for 72 hours and with the CBO score. House GOP members were criticized for voting on the bill without a CBO score.


Spotify's leaders are being replaced before it goes public

Scott Beale / AP

Spotify's getting a leadership shakeup before it goes public. Sean Parker, an early private investor in the company who previously founded the online music store Napster and helped grow Facebook; and Klaus Hommels, also an early supporter, have left Spotify's board of directors, per TechCrunch.

Four new high-profile executives with public market experience have come on in their place:

  • Cisco's former CTO and CSO Padmasree Warrior
  • Disney's former COO Thomas Staggs
  • Ex-YouTube exec Shishir Mehrotra
  • Investor Cristina Stenbeck

Why it matters: Spotify, which is currently valued at roughly $13 billion, will need all the public market experience it can get, given the company plans to go public via an unusual direct listing process as early as this fall.


New leaks from classified Russia briefings with intel chiefs

Susan Walsh / AP

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and NSA Director Mike Rogers reportedly told Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and Senate investigators last week that President Trump "suggested" they publicly state there was no collusion between his campaign team and Russia, reports CNN.

  • In individual, closed-door briefings with the Senate Intelligence Committee, Coats and Rogers also allegedly said that Trump asked them to tell the media he was not personally under investigation for collusion.
  • Sources told CNN that Coats and Rogers described their conversations with Trump as "odd and uncomfortable," but noted they didn't feel the president was ordering them to directly interfere.
  • Flashback: During a June 7 Intel hearing, senators were furious with Coats and Rogers for refusing to answer questions on whether Trump has asked them to downplay claims of collusion. Coats and Rogers both said they felt it was "inappropriate" to share that information in a public session.

Snapchat's latest feature: a map that shows friends in real time


Snapchat debuted its latest feature Wednesday for its global iOS and Android users: Snap Map. The map is an entirely new screen on the app, and shows users, in real time, the location of where their friends are and what other Snapchatters are doing all over the world.

The goal: The company said they have seen "strong evidence" that Snapchatters have been wanting a way to see where their friends are and what they're doing, as well as share that information in return. And the company says Snap Map could work like Twitter, breaking news on the app before it hits the mainstream media.

"There's definitely the aspect of where are my friends and what's happening around them, but then there's a greater aspect of what's happening globally," Jack Brody, a product designer at Snap, told Refinery29. "There's something really powerful about seeing the diversity, but also the similarity of snaps around the world."

The company has designed a step-by-step guide for how to use the map. Depending on the user's preference, you can either make your location visible to all of your friends, to a select group of friends, or to no one at all, which Snapchat calls going into "Ghost Mode." Users will also have the option to share their location to the greater Snapchat community map.

What's new: The company's latest feature will also incorporate "Actionmojis," a new type of Bitmoji, which Snapchat creates by analyzing the data on a user's location, time of day, or speed of travel. An Actionmoji will pop on the map when a user chooses to share their location, and will disappear when a user has been offline for several hours.

Areas where there's a popular event or breaking news is taking place, will show up on the map in patches of color. There are also thumbnails that will be displayed for an organized event or theme, like Mardi Gras.


Trump's East Coast bias

President Trump is gearing up to travel to Cedar Rapids, Iowa today — the first state he'll visit west of the Mississippi River since becoming president. Within the first three months of Barack Obama and George W. Bush's presidencies, both leaders ventured out West on a few separate occasions.

Map: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

The president's overnight trips:

  • Trump visited Mar-a-Lago seven times in his first five months as president, spending 18 nights total at the Palm Beach, Florida resort.
  • Trump traveled to his National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey two times, spending a total of 5 nights at the resort.
  • The president visited Trump National Golf Club in Virginia six times, and stayed overnight once.

Ex-DHS secretary: Putin personally ordered hacking efforts

Andrew Harnik / AP

Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson told the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday that there is no doubt Vladimir Putin ordered his government to hack the U.S. November election:

"In 2016 the Russian government, at the direction of Vladimir Putin himself, orchestrated cyber attacks on our nation for the purpose of influencing our election. That is a fact, plain and simple. Now, the key question for the president and congress is: What are we going to do to protect the American people and their democracy from this kind of thing in the future?"


  • Impact on outcome of election: "I know of no evidence that through cyber-intrusions, votes were altered or suppressed in some way."
  • Why didn't you reveal the interference? "One of the candidates, as you recall, was predicting that the election was going to be rigged," said Johnson, adding that DHS didn't want to inject themselves "into a very heated campaign."
  • Why didn't it make headlines then? Johnson said the news didn't get the attention it deserved last fall because Trump's Access Hollywood tape overshadowed it.
  • Any evidence of Trump campaign collusion? "Not beyond what has been out there, open-sourced, and not beyond anything this committee hasn't seen before."
  • Unprecedented: "The scope of this effort [by Russia] was unprecedented... In retrospect, it would be easy for me to say that I should have bought a sleeping bag and camped out in front of the DNC in late summer."
  • DNC could have done more to stop hack: Johnson said the DNC wasn't interested in help from DHS. "I recall very clearly that I was not pleased that we were not in there helping them patch this vulnerability."
  • Looking forward: Johnson urged Sec. Kelly to make cybersecurity a top priority. "It's going to worse before it gets better."