Trump’s First 100 Days with ABC’s RICK KLEIN and VERONICA STRACQUALURSI
Day No. 11
THE BIG STORY: This is it – a defining early moment for President Trump and the new world order he is bringing. The scenes over the weekend – stranded travelers, swelling protests, late-night legal flurries – have captured the world’s attention. Trump managed to wake up the American business community, Hollywood, sports leagues and teams, and countries on the friendship spectrum that range from Great Britain to Iran. Whatever the legality or the label - “this is not a Muslim ban,” the president declared, even though he famously and meticulously called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” – is it tenable for the Trump administration to maintain that this was properly planned before implementation? (If this did go according to plan, things haven’t even begun to get interesting.) Perhaps critically, the messy weekend demanded the attention of Republicans in Congress, who have noted the irony an “extreme vetting” order that didn’t itself get properly vetted.
THE SLEEPER STORY: The scope of Steve Bannon’s influence in this White House is revealing itself daily, through executive orders, omissions and commissions, and even an interview where he called on the press to “keep its mouth shut” for a while. But to national-security veterans and outside observers alike, the president’s order elevating Bannon’s role on the National Security Council is startling, and perhaps alarming. The same order downgrades the military and the Director of National Intelligence in considering urgent security matters. Bannon is a provocateur with alt-right ties who has publicly mused that he sees power in the “Dick Cheney, Darth Vader, Satan” model. After the election he called for “an entirely new political movement.” He now sits in the president’s formal inner circle of matters impacting war and peace.
THE SHINY STORY: The president took some time away from implementing new executive orders – and squeezing in a screening of “Finding Dory” at the White House – to blast away on Twitter at some familiar rivals: The New York Times, The Washington Post, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham. McCain and Graham came out saying the travel ban wasn’t properly planned and implemented, and that it might harm the US in fighting terrorism. The Times’ and the Post’s sins were less clear, but the newspapers did spend considerable reportorial resources documenting those same shortcomings. This is what Trump does: attack. Sometimes the strategy is the distraction. Always, he seems to think the drama gives him greater leverage in his next fight.
TLDR; The White House is defending the executive order Trump signed on Friday, which suspends immigration from Muslim countries with ties to terror, while backlash from both sides of the aisle builds.
PHOTO OF THE DAY: Demonstrators hold signs at an Atlanta airport protesting President Trump's executive order, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. (Credit: Branden Camp/AP Photo)
--TRUMP DEFENDS TRAVEL BAN: 'THIS IS ABOUT TERROR AND KEEPING OUR COUNTRY SAFE:' President Donald Trump on Sunday defended the move, saying it "is not about religion," but "about terror and keeping our country safe." "To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting," the president said in reference to the order. "There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order," he said. "My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months," Trump said. However, Trump's executive order bars anyone, not just refugees, from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan or Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days -– even if they possess valid visas that would have previously allowed them to do so, notes ABC’s PAUL BLAKE. http://abcn.ws/2jH14d8
--PROTESTS BUILD ACROSS THE COUNTRY AGAINST TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION ORDER: President Trump defended his executive order restricting the entry into the U.S. of people from seven Muslim-dominated countries, saying the move was not about religion but about keeping the country safe, but administration officials appeared to backtrack on the scope of the order, even as demonstrators gathered across the U.S. to protest. Massive crowds packed Boston's Copley Square, Battery Park in New York City and outside the White House, and public areas in other cities, with demonstrations also held at airports from coast to coast to protest the order. ABC’s BEN GITTLESON, MICHAEL EDISON HAYDEN and DEAN SCHABNER have more. http://abcn.ws/2kgHS6W
--TODAY ON GMA: CONWAY SAYS GOP SENATORS NEED TO SUPPORT TRUMP: President Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway defended President Trump's criticism of GOP Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham today, saying the president's fellow Republicans need to back his leadership. "We want them to be there for the president and support him," Conway said, ABC’s MICHAEL EDISON HAYDEN notes. http://abcn.ws/2kj0gfk
--HAPPENING ON THE HILL: As President Trump blames airport delays on the “tears of Chuck Schumer,” referencing his emotional press conference at JFK yesterday, Democratic leaders of the House and Senate will bring “refugees, immigrants and members of the community” to call on Trump to reverse the executive order, ABC’s ALI ROGIN reports. On top of all the pressing news of the day, the Senate will hold a vote to advance the confirmation of Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson – the actual confirmation vote is likely to come on Wednesday. The Finance Committee will vote to report out the nomination of Treasury Secretary-designate Steve Mnuchin.
TRUMP GIVES CONTROVERSIAL ADVISER BANNON SEAT AT SECURITY COUNCIL PRINCIPALS MEETINGS. President Donald Trump has tapped his controversial senior adviser and chief strategist Stephen Bannon for a seat at National Security Council Principals Committee meetings in what some experts are calling an "unprecedented" political appointment to the panel, ABC’s ALEXANDER MALLIN reports. In an executive memorandum signed by Trump on Saturday, the president also downgraded the status of the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the security council's Principals Committee. Both will now only attend meetings "where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed." While it's not abnormal for presidents to restructure the makeup of their National Security Council, the addition of Bannon, the former publisher of Breitbart News, to the Principals Committee has brought scrutiny over the adviser's influence in Trump's inner circle. http://abcn.ws/2k5VAHL
GATES: 'BIG MISTAKE' TO PUSH KEY INTELLIGENCE, MILITARY LEADERS OUT OF SECURITY COUNCIL PRINCIPALS COMMITTEE. Former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Robert Gates called it "a big mistake" by President Trump to downgrade the status of the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the National Security Council, limiting which council meetings the two leaders can attend. "They both bring a perspective and judgment and experience … that every president -- whether they like it or not -- finds useful,” Gates said on “This Week,” notes ABC’s ALI DUKAKIS. http://abcn.ws/2kguSy9
TRUMP SPARS WITH SENS. MCCAIN AND GRAHAM AFTER THEY CRITICIZE TRAVEL BAN. Two leading GOP senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, joined other Republican officials on Sunday in criticizing President Trump's executive order on immigration and refugees. ABC’s DAVID CAPLAN and BENJAMIN SIEGEL reports, McCain of Arizona and Graham of South Carolina issued a joint statement saying, “It is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that President Trump’s executive order was not properly vetted.”"We are particularly concerned by reports that this order went into effect with little to no consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security. We fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security." http://abcn.ws/2jEaUg8
SENATE LEADER MCCONNELL CAUTIONS TRUMP ON TRAVEL BAN, WARNS AGAINST 'RELIGIOUS TESTS.' In an interview with ABC’s MARTHA RADDATZ, McConnell said he supports the notion of strengthening the country's process of vetting immigrants for national security, but not the targeting of specific sects. “I don't want to criticize them for improving vetting. I think we need to be careful; we don't have religious tests in this country," the Kentucky senator said on "This Week,” writes ABC’s ALI ROGIN. McConnell said some of the country’s best allies in the war against terrorism are Muslims, and if individuals like interpreters for the U.S. get caught up in this new executive order, that could do more harm than good. http://abcn.ws/2jrZFEc
IRAQ WAR VET CONGRESSMAN: AMERICANS SEE THAT TRUMP'S ORDER IS REALLY 'A MUSLIM BAN.' Congressman and Iraq War veteran Seth Moulton, D-Mass., said that President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration and refugees amounts to "a Muslim ban," despite the administration's assertions that the order aims solely to keep the country safe, reports ABC’s MERIDITH MCGRAW. "What he's doing with this Muslim ban just is so wrong and un-American, you see why so many Americans across the country are rising up against it," the Democratic representative told ABC’s MARTHA RADDATZ on "This Week." http://abcn.ws/2jsLs9R
KOCH BROTHERS' NETWORK SAYS TRUMP IMMIGRATION BAN LIKELY ‘COUNTERPRODUCTIVE.’ Add the Koch brothers’ network to the list of those questioning President Donald Trump’s recent executive order on immigration. In a statement released Sunday, an official for the political network led by the Republican billionaires, said the organization believes Trump’s ban on immigration from seven predominately Muslim countries will likely be “counterproductive.” ABC’s LIZ KREUTZ has more. http://abcn.ws/2kBZUOx
SPICER: TRUMP 'DOING EXACTLY WHAT HE SAID HE WAS GOING TO DO.' White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer pushed back against criticism of President Donald Trump's executive order on travel and refugees, asserting that the safety of the U.S. is paramount and the president is fulfilling his campaign promises. President Trump has "hit the ground running, had a flurry of activity, to do exactly what he said he was going to do," including on national security, Spicer said on “This Week.” "We're going to protect our country and our people," he said. ABC’s KATHERINE FAULDERS has more. http://abcn.ws/2jFyaKo
@MLevineReports: SCOOP: Diplomats worldwide consider filing rare “dissent” memo w/ State Dept over Trump order; warn of consequences http://abcn.ws/2kKjFac
@realDonaldTrump: I have made my decision on who I will nominate for The United States Supreme Court. It will be announced live on Tuesday at 8:00 P.M. (W.H.)
@maggieNYT: Do read this @shearm and Ron Nixon piece, in which the lede demonstrates how locked out the Cabinet was on EO http://nyti.ms/2ki0eVt
@markknoller: If there weren't protests, says WH Sr Policy Advisor Stephen Miller, "then you’re probably not doing anything that really matters."
@ABC: In statement, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemns "terrorist attack on Muslims" at Quebec City mosque. http://abcn.ws/2kE8TyR