Shane Savitsky

National Security Council aide fired after criticizing Trump

Susan Walsh / AP

Politico's Eliana Johnson reports that the White House has dismissed Craig Deare, the National Security Council's senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs, after he tore into President Trump and his senior advisors at a private roundtable hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Center, one of the nation's most highly-respected think tanks.

Deare's most specific complaint: A lack of access to the president for senior national security advisors.

And don't forget: This just adds to the NSC's problems, as it remains leaderless following last week's firing of national security advisor Michael Flynn.


Milo Yiannopoulos to keynote CPAC

Jeremy Papasso /Daily Camera, AP

The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop that controversial alt-righter Milo Yiannopoulos has grabbed a keynote slot at this month's Conservative Political Action Conference.

The topic of his speech: His "experiences in America battling feminists, Black Lives Matter, the media, professors, and the entertainment industry"

He'll get more time on stage than — among many others — Vice President Pence, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Scott Walker, Jim DeMint, Sean Hannity, Rick Santorum, and Nigel Farage.

Not everyone's happy: Washingtonian reporter Elaina Plott reports that some members of the American Conservative Union, which organizes CPAC, had no idea that Milo had been given the keynote and will issue a press release next week "distancing" themselves from his selection.


Trump's 4th week in review

What a week in Trumpland it has been. It seemed like there was a massive new breaking story leaking from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue every day. To get through it all, Axios has rounded up the 5 biggest stories of the week and shipped them right to you…


Read the draft memo on a National Guard immigrant "round up"

Gregory Bull / AP

The AP has now released the full text of the draft Homeland Security memo at the center of its report that the Trump administration is considering calling up 100,000 National Guard troops to round up illegal immigrants.

The White House called the AP's report "100% not true" and stated "this is not a White House document." DHS confirmed the memo was authentic but disputed the AP's report that it was authored by Homeland Security secretary John Kelly. A DHS spokesman told Axios that having Kelly's name on the document isn't a sign that he'd seen it, but rather that staffers were passing it back and forth before final approval. Nonetheless, the AP released the memo today, and here it is:


History passes its first judgment on Barack Obama

Richard Branson / YouTube

In C-SPAN's third Presidential Historians Survey, Barack Obama came in at #12 — three spots higher than his Democratic predecessor Bill Clinton and solidly in the top third of presidents. That's based on the network's polling of 91 historians and other professional observers of the presidency on qualities of presidential leadership like crisis leadership, international relations, and economic management.

Other notables: Lincoln, Washington, and FDR rounded out the top 3; Reagan at #9; Buchanan, as is tradition, brought up the rear.

Food for thought: This list will include Donald J. Trump in the not-so distant future.


Russia: it's too early to judge Trump

Dmitri Lovetsky / AP

The Kremlin said today that it's too early to be disappointed about a lack of improved relations between Russia and the United States so far under President Trump, stating that substantial talks are still needed to determine areas of agreement and discord, per the AP.

Putin's spokesman: "We never wore rose-tinted glasses, never had any illusions, so there is nothing to be disappointed with."

Some perspective: It's day 28 of Trump's presidency.


Flynn reportedly lied to the FBI about Russia calls

Carolyn Kaster / AP

The Washington Post reported today that Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn told the FBI last month that he hadn't discussed sanctions during a conversation with Russia's ambassador to the United States before Trump took office.

Why it matters: Flynn has essentially no chance of being prosecuted under the Logan Act, a 1799 statute that prevents citizens from engaging in unauthorized negotiations with foreign governments. (No one has ever been prosecuted under the Logan Act.) Lying to the FBI, however, potentially opens up Flynn to a whole new batch of legal trouble.


Trump turns Cabinet announcement into fiery campaign speech

Evan Vucci / AP

Surprise! President Trump announced an impromptu press conference during a meeting with some of his biggest congressional supporters this morning. It was expected that he'd introduce his new pick for Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, but it turned into a stream of consciousness speech: tearing into the "dishonest media" and "the mess" he inherited as president, denying his campaign had contacts with Russia, and announcing he'll issue a new executive order on the travel ban next week.


Trump to bring in billionaire pal for intelligence review

Carolyn Kaster / AP

The NYT reports that President Trump is planning to bring Stephen Feinberg, a fellow New York billionaire and member of Trump's economic advisory council, to the White House to lead a review of the nation's intelligence agencies.

Feinberg's national security experience: His hedge fund has stakes in a private security company and two gun manufacturers.

A wrinkle: Trump's pick for director of national intelligence, former Indiana Senator Dan Coats, is still awaiting Senate confirmation. Coats, like CIA Director Mike Pompeo, is a GOP establishment favorite, so Trump's consideration of Feinberg for some new role is viewed as POTUS' way of asserting control over the intelligence community.


Hackers are rushing to archive government science data


Wired has a look at eclectic groups of coders organizing hackathons around the country to archive science data from publicly available government datasets.

The problem: There's a worry that the Trump administration might direct huge dumps of environmental and scientific data. And it's already started — for example, coders discovered that some of NASA's atmospheric carbon dioxide datasets were empty.

The work: It could be as simple as tagging websites to be saved for posterity in the Internet Archive or as difficult as building algorithms to manage downloading gigabytes worth of datasets from the DOE.

The goal: Compiling the data and monitoring changes or deletions on government websites is a huge task, so automation is the key. Ideally, the groups can compile a huge network of volunteers in every state working 24/7 to code and archive data as quickly as possible.