Axios Oct 17
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Trump's drug czar pick thrown into chaos

Rep. Tom Marino on Capitol Hill in 2011. Photo: Susan Walsh / AP

Trump said "that he will declare a national emergency next week to address the opioid epidemic and declined to express confidence in Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), his nominee for drug czar, in the wake of revelations [joint WashPost/'60 Minutes'] that the lawmaker helped steer legislation making it harder to act against giant drug companies," reports the Post lead story.

Why it matters: The report "detailed how a targeted lobbying effort helped weaken the Drug Enforcement Administration's ability to go after drug distributors, even as opioid-related deaths continue to rise."

More from WaPo's report:

  • "The president ... said he had not yet spoken with Marino about the ... report, but if he determines that Marino's work was detrimental to the administration's goal of combating opioid addiction, 'I will make a change.'"
  • "Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who is running for the Senate in a state that has been hit hard by the opioid crisis, is ... fielding attacks for being a lead sponsor of Marino's bill."

Stat du jour: "The CBS Evening News" said nearly 13 million people saw the "60 Minutes" segment. Trump has been a longtime "60 Minutes" watcher, and he said yesterday that he "saw the report."

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Trump: Transgender people "disqualified" from the military

SecDef Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford. Photo: Andrew Harrer-Pool / Getty Images

President Trump late Friday issued an order disqualifying most transgender people from serving in the military.

"[T]ransgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria -- individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery -- are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances."

Why it matters: Anything short of an inclusive policy for transgender troops will be viewed as a continuation of the ban Trump announced on Twitter in August.

Haley Britzky 9 hours ago
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Both Bush and Obama also requested line item veto power

Donald Trump.
Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday evening that to avoid having "this omnibus situation from ever happening again," he wants Congress to re-instate "a line-item veto."

Why it matters: This would allow him to veto specific parts of a bill without getting rid of the entire thing. Trump was deeply unhappy with the $1.3 trillion spending bill approved by Congress early Friday morning, but signed it anyway on Friday afternoon.