Jan 11, 2019

Trump says he won't declare national emergency "right now"

Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Speaking at a roundtable Friday, President Trump reiterated that he has "the absolute right" to declare a national emergency in order to secure border wall funding, but said he does not want to do so "right now" and urged Democrats to vote again.

Details: Trump admitted that if he does invoke emergency powers, the decision will likely be appealed to the 9th circuit and subsequently the Supreme Court, where "hopefully we'll win." He also said he would sign a bill passed by the House and the Senate that ensures backpay for federal workers affected by the government shutdown. The shutdown is set to break the record tonight for longest in U.S. history, with both the House and the Senate adjourned for the weekend.

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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.