Feb 23, 2017

Trump's new national security adviser wants another shakeup

Susan Walsh / AP

The NYT reports that Trump's new national security advisor, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, is planning another restructuring of the White House's foreign policy team. The changes being discussed…

  1. The director of national intelligence and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would rejoin the principals committee of the National Security Council. They were only left out because the Trump team copied a Bush-era organizational chart — not realizing that President Obama had made both positions full members of the committee.
  2. Steve Bannon may be removed from the principals committee. The White House has downplayed the significance of his inclusion, but the criticism surrounding that elevation caught President Trump off guard.
  3. The Homeland Security Council would reform under the National Security Council, as it had during the Obama administration. It had been split off under Trump to remove power from McMaster's predecessor, Michael Flynn.

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 5,653,821 — Total deaths: 353,414 — Total recoveries — 2,325,989Map.
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  3. Public health: Fauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine — Nearly half of Americans say someone in their household has delayed medical care.
  4. Business: African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs saysDisney plans phased reopening on July 11Author Ann Patchett says bookstores are innovating to stay connected with customers.
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Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump administration to eliminate nuclear waivers tied to Iran deal

Pompeo testifies on Iran in February. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The U.S. is ending waivers that had allowed foreign companies to work at Iran's civilian nuclear facilities, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday.

Why it matters: This will eliminate most elements of U.S. sanctions relief still in place two years after President Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Pompeo said "continued nuclear escalation" made the move necessary, but critics warn it will encourage further Iranian enrichment.

Top Senate Democrat says State Dept. is working on new Saudi arms deal

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefs reporters on May 20. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/pool/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) wrote in a CNN op-ed on Wednesday that he learned that the State Department is currently working to sell thousands of additional precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia.

Why it matters: Democrats say that Steve Linick, the State Department inspector general who was ousted on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recommendation, was investigating the administration's previous effort to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia without congressional approval.