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President Trump's order restricting migrant travel has been added as the urgent, sizzling opening topic tomorrow when he holds the inaugural meeting of a council he established to get regular advice from some of the top names in corporate America, many of whom weren't supporters. What was planned as an old-fashioned, closed-door bull session – and, let's face it, a bit of an awkward first date -- will now be a high-stakes confrontation that'll test Trump's skills as an explainer, listener and diplomat.
"The White House recognizes there will be some tense moments," said an executive involved in the planning.
More sedate topics on the agenda include regulatory relief; taxes and trade; women and the workforce; infrastructure; and education and "new-collar jobs," a passion of IBM's Rometty.
In "Trump 101: The producer of his own epic film," Jonathan Swan and I report after talking to many friends and colleagues that the president "sees himself as The Producer, conducting The Trump show, on and off stage": "Trump's gut on what sells on stage often works. His obsession with optics, style and TV glam are central to his being." Here are some gems we picked up:
Read the whole thing for more on Trump's obsession with imagery. And see the cool video by Rob Groulx and Bubba Atkinson.
"Trump Takes a Hair-Growth Drug, His Longtime Doctor Says," the N.Y. Times' Larry Altman M.D. reports in a "Doctor's World" dispatch on p. A19: "Trump takes medication for three ailments, including a prostate-related drug to promote hair growth, ... Dr. Harold N. Bornstein, said ... The other drugs are antibiotics to control rosacea, a common skin problem, and a statin for elevated blood cholesterol and lipids."
The WashPost's Greg Miller and Phil Rucker get an amazing readout of an Oval Office call on Saturday (top of column 1, "Trump badgers leader of Australia"):
"Trump blasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refugee agreement and boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win, according to senior U.S. officials ... Then, 25 minutes into what was expected to be an hour-long call, Trump abruptly ended it."
CNN's Jake Tapper and colleagues report the Australia conversation was "a day after a call with Mexico's President, where a transcript showed Trump complaining about Mexico's 'handling' of 'tough hombres.'"
National security adviser Mike Flynn, in a visit to the White House briefing room yesterday, warns of reprisals after Iran missile test: "As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice."
Betsy DeVos, the nominee for Education secretary, is on thin ice after her performance at her confirmation hearing was panned. Republican senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska announced opposition yesterday, opening the possibility DeVos will be the first Trump nominee to go down.
"UC Berkeley cancels right-wing provocateur's talk amid violent protest," via S.F. Chronicle: "A protest at UC Berkeley over a scheduled appearance by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos turned fiery and violent Wednesday night, prompting police to cancel the event ... [E]ven after the event's cancellation, hundreds of protesters spilled off campus into the city streets."
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, a possible Cabinet member if Hillary Clinton had won, is keeping her visibility up and her options open. Axios' Kim Hart writes that Sandberg yesterday announced a $1 million donation to Planned Parenthood. In a Facebook post last week, she spoke out against Trump's new policy banning federal funding to international health organizations providing abortions or abortion counseling.
"How The New Yorker brought the soul of the magazine to the web," by Poynter's Benjamin Mullin: "It's established a separate web operation that's unchained writers and editors from the time-intensive print edition. It's colonized platforms like podcasts, YouTube, mobile applications, Instagram and Snapchat. And it's built a digital staff of about 40 people."
Today's action, per Axios' Chris Matthews: Apple was responsible for pushing the Dow into positive territory yesterday — investors were pleased at the brisk pace of iPhone 7 sales. Today, it's Facebook's turn. Stock in the company rose more than 2% after hours last night, following a mobile-driven 50% increase in revenue, an a call with analysts that described plans to leverage the "mega-trend" of online video to drive Facebook's next stage of growth. It'll get the chance today to carry the NASDAQ on its back.
First Lady Melania Trump's social secretary is expected to be Natalie Jones, the State Department's former deputy chief of protocol, appointed by President Obama in 2011, per the WashPost's Reliable Source: "Jones was a finance director at the Democratic National Committee and for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. It's highly unusual for a president to pick a holdover from a previous administration for the sensitive job."
Lindsay Reynolds, associate director of the White House Visitors Office in Bush 43 (and daughter-in-law of GOP fundraiser Mercer Reynolds), was announced yesterday as the first lady's chief of staff.
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a New York party planner known for organizing the celeb-laden Met Gala, has been hired as a senior adviser, per the WashPost.
Jon Stewart reunites with Stephen Colbert on "The Late Show," reads mock executive orders in what the N.Y. Times' Dave Itzkoff calls "a willfully halfhearted Trump accent": "To secure our border, China shall immediately, and without hesitation, send us their wall. Done. Boom. ... America now finally has an official language. The new official language of the United States is" baloney. "Mr. Stewart used a far stronger word beginning with 'b.'"
"Super Bowl Ads Walk A Political Tightrope," on Wall Street Journal p. B1: "The temptation for brands to weigh in on these situations can be high. So are the chances that they inadvertently spark a backlash. ... 84 Lumber said it had an ad rejected by Fox, this year's Super Bowl broadcaster, which is getting as much as $5 million for 30-seconds of ad time. It featured a border wall and Hispanic actors."