Feb 4, 2017

Restoring order (kind of) at Trump's White House

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

As Trump passes the two-week mark in office, there are sporadic signs of some semblance of order. Most of it is forced order: by disgruntled Cabinet officials, antsy GOP leaders, and now a Bush-appointed judge.

This will always be a wild ride, but it looks like the safety bars are beginning to come down.

  • A federal judge in Seattle temporarily blocks Trump's travel restrictions, although the White House said it was seeking an emergency stay of the stay. Per AP: "An internal email circulated among Homeland Security officials Friday night told employees to immediately comply with the judge's ruling."
  • At yesterday's CEO summit at the White House, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly calmly and clearly answered questions about the executive order. An exhausted White House official told us: "It's what we should have done from the beginning."
  • Speaker Ryan is getting a slightly bigger say, helping quietly advise smarter language on trade, and less bombastic remarks on refugees.
  • Trump himself said this has to go better. The Wall Street Journal says he has clarified (only slightly, we hear) the lanes of power for Priebus, Bannon and Conway.

All of this comes as three different polls show Trump as the least popular president ever at this point.

Sound smart: You have staff, cabinet officials and GOP allies trying to build -- on the fly -- a structure, guardrails and public case for their plans. And they are building all of this around a president too impulsive and too improvisational to lock into a sane, smooth system. So anticipate the chaos-forced order pattern to continue.

Trump's first three tweets this a.m., after joining the First Lady at Mar-a-Lago:

"When a country is no longer able to say who can, and who cannot , come in & out, especially for reasons of safety &.security - big trouble!"

"More Interesting that certain Middle-Eastern countries agree with the ban. They know if certain people are allowed in it's death & destruction!"

"The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!"

Go deeper

NASCAR driver Ryan Newman hospitalized after fiery Daytona 500 crash

Ryan Newman, driver of the #6 Koch Industries Ford, crashes and flips during the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Monday. Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Racing driver Ryan Newman was hospitalized in a serious condition with non-life threatening injuries after his car crashed at the Daytona 500 on Monday, NASCAR said in a statement.

The big picture: The 42-year-old was leading the final lap of the race, won by Denny Hamlin, when his car flipped in the fiery crash. President Trump tweeted after the crash, "Praying for Ryan Newman, a great and brave @NASCARdriver!"

Go deeper: Trump takes presidential limousine for lap at Daytona 500

Bolton indicates more Ukraine details if book prevails WH "censorship"

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton on stage at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, on Monday. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton said during a talk at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina he hopes his new book is "not suppressed" by the White House, according to journalists present in the room.

This is an effort to write history and I did it the best I can. We'll have to see what comes out of the censorship."
Bolton's comments, per Bloomberg and the New York Times

There are warning signs that Nevada could be Iowa all over again

Former Sen. Harry Reid (D) lines up to cast an early vote for the upcoming Nevada Democratic presidential caucus. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The alarms are increasingly sounding over Nevada's Democratic caucus, which is just five days away.

Why it matters: Similar issues to the ones that plagued Iowa's caucus seem to be rearing their ugly heads, the WashPost reports.