Apr 1, 2017

This week in Trumpland: Nunes, those tweets, and a brand new phone


Even though no week in Trumpland can be totally quiet, this one seemed relatively subdued! The tweets were (mostly) on topic, and the only foreign leader to visit was Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

(White) House Intel Committee: The Devin Nunes saga took an even weirder turn this week when it emerged that his sources for his allegations of incidental collection of Trump team communications were inside the executive branch. So to recap: Trump tweets about how Obama wiretapped him, Nunes gets info about the Trump team getting swept up in surveillance of foreign officials, and Nunes tells Trump about it — but Nunes' news came from White House employees! Or, for the big picture, check out our handy timeline because this is one story that isn't going to recuse itself anytime soon.

Pleading the Flynn-th: And to make things on Russia even worse, news came out on Thursday that Michael Flynn wanted immunity before testifying before the Senate's Russia prove. That got turned down as "wildly preliminary," but stay tuned over the weeks in Trumpland to come. Of course, both Trump and Flynn have insinuated over prior months that one would only request immunity if one had committed a crime, so that's not the best look. A periodic reminder to Trumpland: abide by the #1 rule of Twitter and never tweet. (Of course, FBI Director James Comey did that and look where it got him.)

War on Freedom Caucus: Of course, not tweeting would be very against the Trumpland brand. And after last week's failure of Trumpland, POTUS set his Twitter sights firmly on the Freedom Caucus, who helped to bring down AHCA before it even reached the House floor. Trump lumped the far-right group of representatives in with Democrats and pledged to "fight" them in the 2018 midterms. He went so far as to send his budget director to tell Mark Sanford that he can expect a primary challenge. And you thought walking the Appalachian Trail was stressful…

Changing DC's climate: Well, the Department of Energy banned its climate office from using the phrase "climate change" in official communications. But Trumpland's hottest take of all this week might have been the executive order rolling back a slew of Obama-era climate initiatives. Chief among them was an undoing of the EPA's signature Clean Power Plan. It also rolled back carbon metrics and allowed for new leasing for coal projects on federal lands. It was pretty far reaching, so check out a rundown of all the impacts here.

"Siri, tweet the failing @nytimes": President Trump got an iPhone, finally ditching his ancient — and and notably unsecured — Samsung Galaxy. For the closest watchers of Trumpland, that makes discerning the president's personal tweets a little more difficult since a "Twitter for Android" tag always guaranteed that Trump tapped out the message himself. Somehow, we'll all still figure it out.

Trump is staying put at the White House this weekend —putting his nose to the grindstone before hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago next weekend…

Go deeper

China tries to contain coronavirus, as Apple warns of earnings impact

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

As China pushes to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — placing around 780 million people under travel restrictions, per CNN — the economic repercussions continue to be felt globally as companies like Apple warn of the impact from the lack of manufacturing and consumer demand in China.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There are some signs that new cases are growing at a slower rate now, although the World Health Organization said Monday it's "too early to tell" if this will continue.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Apple will miss quarterly earnings estimates due to coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple issued a rare earnings warning on Monday, saying it would not meet quarterly revenue expectations due to the impact of the coronavirus, which will limit iPhone production and limit product demand in China.

Why it matters: Lots of companies rely on China for production, but unlike most U.S. tech companies, Apple also gets a significant chunk of its revenue from sales in China.

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.