Sep 29, 2017

Report: George W. Bush criticized Trump adding N. Korea to travel ban

George W. Bush looks out at North Korea from the Demilitarized Zone, the tense military border between the two Koreas in 2002. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Former president George W. Bush criticized the Trump administration's decision to add North Korea to the travel ban this past week, Business Insider reports, citing a "source present at the dinner."

Bush reportedly said the U.S. should be encouraging dissidents and defectors to seek freedom from the North Korean regime, but suggested banning their travel to the U.S. doesn't contribute to that goal. His spokesperson told Business Insider that Bush didn't address Trump or the travel ban specifically, and instead was speaking "in broader strokes, welcoming and supporting dissidents."

One last nugget: When asked if he thought the Korean peninsula would ever reunify, Bush answered "not in my lifetime."

Bush was speaking at The Korea Society's annual dinner in New York city with about 400 guests present.

Go deeper with The Washington Post's Emily Rauhala: "Almost no North Koreans travel to the U.S., so why ban them?" Rauhala notes, "very few [North Koreans] — almost none — make the trip."

Go deeper

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.