Feb 11, 2017

This week in Trumpland


Trump's hanging out and playing some golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago this weekend. And he probably needs it. It hasn't been a great week for Team Trump.

Immigration ban upheld, Trump vows to fight on: Trump started the week with a blustery tweet about the Ninth Circuit's deliberation on his travel ban ("If the U.S. does not win this case as it so obviously should, we can never have the security and safety to which we are entitled. Politics!"), but the court's decision to uphold the temporary restraining order on Thursday night brought him to break out the all caps ("SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!"). At his joint press conference with Abe on Friday afternoon, Trump said something is coming "very rapidly" on national security, perhaps as early as next week.

Trouble in Trumpadise: By all accounts, it wasn't a great week to work in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Kellyanne Conway was "counseled" about promoting Ivanka's brands live on Fox News, and may be investigated by the Office of Government Ethics. Sean Spicer had another rocky week with the White House press corps. Reince and Bannon had to give a joint interview to prove that they're buddies. And leaks on leaks in the White House led Trump to order his staff to "cut this shit out."

Flynn in hot water: Reports emerged this week that Trump's national security advisor actually did discuss sanctions with the Russian ambassador before Trump took office. That's a sharp turn from his continued categorical denials that no such discussions took place. No one knows what might happen to Flynn — he's unlikely to be prosecuted for the charges — but his already-tenuous status in Washington has taken a big hit.

Yemen aftermath gets worse: More details leaked about the raid that killed Navy SEAL Ryan Owens, stating that the raid failed to eliminate its primary target, a senior Al-Qaeda leader. That was compounded by the deaths of numerous civilians, including children, which led Yemen to pull its support for American ground missions in the country. Many, like Sen. John McCain, branded the raid a "failure," which led Trump to push back defensively both on Twitter and through Sean Spicer's press briefing.

The Cabinet takes shape: But it wasn't all bad for Trump this week. He managed to get Betsy Devos, Jeff Sessions, and Tom Price confirmed by the Senate. Given Senate Democrats' utter aversion to these nominees and a huge public pushback, especially regarding Devos, their confirmations can only be seen as huge wins for Trump. Now, all eyes turn to Andrew Puzder's hearings next week, as Dems are desperate to prevent Trump from getting the Cabinet of his dreams.

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.