Feb 26, 2017

How to keep your eyes on the Trump news that matters

Mike Allen, author of AM

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

What doesn't really matter:

  1. Trump tweeting two months in advance that he'll skip the White House Correspondents' Association dinner April 29. It's a fine night in a crammed room with episodic humor and celebrity sightings, with scholarships awarded to journalism students who have contagious enthusiasm and idealism. In the scheme of things, the president's presence doesn't make or break it.
  2. Spicer cherry-picking media orgs for briefings. The briefings are marginally useful at best (transcript here of what the excluded reporters missed), and a terrific waste of time at worst. Twitter will tell you anything of substance that happened. So the time is better spent working the phones.

What really does matter:

  1. The double-barreled shots by Trump and Bannon at CPAC. Bannon: "If you think they're going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken. ... [E]very day, it is going to be a fight."
  2. "Wary of Trump unpredictability, China ramps up naval abilities," from Reuters: "The PLA Navy is likely to secure significant new funding in China's upcoming defense budget as Beijing seeks to check U.S. dominance of the high seas and step up its own projection of power around the globe."
  3. Republican "Rep. Darrell Issa [told Bill Maher] that a special prosecutor should be tapped to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, a stance that mirrors the calls of congressional Democrats to sideline the U.S attorney general from such inquiries."

Meanwhile, in the new NBC/ WSJ poll, Trump hits record low for a new president: 44% approve, 48% disapprove.

Go deeper

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Why it matters: With the White House and Twitter at war, Facebook has managed to keep diplomatic relations with the world's most powerful social-media devotee.

Twitter, Google lead chorus of brands backing George Floyd protests

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Twitter and Google are among the dozens of brands over the past 24 hours that have taken public stances in favor of Americans protesting racial equality. Some companies have changed their logos in solidarity with the movement, while others have pledged money in support of efforts to address social injustice.

Why it matters: The pressure that companies feel to speak out on issues has increased during the Trump era, as businesses have sought to fill a trust void left by the government. Now, some of the biggest companies are quickly taking a public stand on the protests, pressuring all other brands to do the same.

NYPD commissioner: "I'm extremely proud" of officers' response to protests

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New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a public statement Sunday that he is "extremely proud" of the New York City Police Department's response to protests over the death of George Floyd Saturday night, writing: "What we saw in New York City last night and the night before was not about peaceful protest of any kind."

Why it matters: New York City residents captured several instances of police officers using excessive force against demonstrators. In one video, two NYPD SUVs are seen ramming into protesters who were blocking a road and throwing traffic cones at the vehicles.