The Note: The Kerfuffle Over the Court’s Decision

Day No. 22

TLDR: A panel of three federal appeals court judges ruled last night to keep a restraining order against Donald Trump's controversial executive order on immigration or "travel ban" in place. The president was not happy, almost immediately tweeting his dissatisfaction in all caps.


--APPEALS COURT BLOCKS TRUMP BID TO REINSTATE IMMIGRATION ORDER: A panel of federal appeals court judges ruled Thursday evening to keep a restraining order against Donald Trump's controversial immigration action in place, foiling the administration's attempt to get the action reinstated, according to court documents. The move capped a public campaign by the president to put pressure on the courts to rule in his favor, calling the decision "easy" and suggesting that the judge who made the original ruling could be to blame if a terrorist attack happens, explain ABC’s JULIA JACOBO, JAMES HILL and ADAM KELSEY.

--TRUMP AGREES TO HONOR 'ONE CHINA' POLICY: President Donald Trump has confirmed his commitment to honor the U.S.'s long-standing "one China" policy, according to a White House readout of the president's phone call Thursday night with Chinese president Xi Jinping, notes ABC’s DAVID CAPLAN. "The two leaders discussed numerous topics and President Trump agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honor our 'one China" policy," read the readout.

--ANALYSIS: HOW SCOTUS DRAMA IS ULTIMATE TRUMP DISTRACTION: It’s President Trump vs. the judicial branch. Trump vs. the legislative branch. Trump vs. his own nominee for the Supreme Court. Trump vs. senators, senators vs. senators, White House vs. media and a jumble of insults and shifting loyalties that’s already become familiar in Donald Trump’s Washington. For all that noise, though, here’s a stubborn fact: The president’s choice for the high court is overwhelmingly likely to be confirmed. ABC’s RICK KLEIN has more:

--TRUMP CALLS RULING BLOCKING EXECUTIVE ORDER A 'POLITICAL DECISION’: President Donald Trump reacted swiftly to a federal appeals court's decision to keep a restraining order against his controversial executive order in place, describing the justices' ruling a "political decision," ABC’s JULIA JACOBO and JORDYN PHELPS report. Trump briefly addressed a small group of reporters waiting outside White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's office Thursday, saying he looks forward to challenging the ruling in court. “It’s a political decision, and we’re going to see them in court, and I look forward to doing it,” the president said.

TODAY AT THE WHITE HOUSE: President Trump will meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this morning. At noon, President Trump will hold a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and then the two leaders will have a joint press conference at 1 p.m. This weekend he will be spending time at Mar-a-Lago with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, kicking off Palm Beach diplomacy for the first time as president. The Trumps and the Abes leave the White House for Florida today around 3 p.m and have dinner plans tonight.


HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE ASKS FOR REVIEW OF CONWAY'S ENDORSEMENT OF IVANKA TRUMP BRAND. Congressmen have chimed in as the fallout of Kellyanne Conway's public pitch to "go buy Ivanka's stuff" continues, with the House Oversight Committee chairman calling the remarks "over the line" and asking for a review by the Office of Government Ethics, write ABC’s ALEXANDER MALLIN and ZUNAIRA ZAKI. Conway, a counselor to the president, made the remarks on Fox News on Thursday morning, responding to the recent decision by Nordstrom to remove Ivanka Trump items from its shelves.

HOW TRUMP'S CRITICISM OF JUDICIARY COULD COMPLICATE SUPREME COURT CONFIRMATION. President Trump's comments about the federal judge who blocked his immigration executive order have raised concerns among members of Congress and could complicate the pending confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Legal experts said the president's tweets will all but guarantee that the issue of judicial independence is front and center during Gorsuch's confirmation hearing, which has not yet been scheduled. ABC’s GENEVA SANDS and AUDREY TAYLOR have more:

THE DEMOCRAT CHALLENGE TO COUNTER TRUMP'S MESSAGING MACHINE. House Democrats grappled with one central question at their annual policy retreat in Baltimore this week: How to create a message against President Donald Trump that wins back voters who abandoned the party in November. Democrats failed to strike a consensus, revealing ongoing tensions and frustrations with the party about the best way to rebuild and win back seats. First there is the question of how much to talk about Trump himself. ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS and JOHN PARKINSON have more:

ROSIE O'DONNELL GIVES HER TWITTER AVATAR A STEVE BANNON MAKEOVER. Rosie O'Donnell has given herself quite a makeover. The actress and former talk show host, 54, took her social media-driven campaign to play Steve Bannon on "Saturday Night Live" to new heights Thursday night, replacing her Twitter avatar with an image that lit up the Twittersphere: Her face on his head. ABC’s LESLEY MESSER has more:

A TIMELINE OF TRUMP'S IMMIGRATION EXECUTIVE ORDER AND LEGAL CHALLENGES. President Trump's controversial executive order to temporarily ban travel to the U.S. by refugees and immigrants from some majority-Muslim countries has sparked protests across the nation, as well as legal challenges that are still working their way through the court system. ABC’s MERIDITH MCGRAW has a recap of how the executive order and the subsequent legal challenges against it were rolled out.


@gregpmiller: Either the national security adviser misled the Vice President or the VP misled the public.

@jparkABC: House Dem Caucus chair @repjoecrowley mocks Trump's ALL-CAPS tweet; says "the president needs to grow up."

@Elizabeth_McLau: Trump finally acknowledges "one-China" policy in call with Xi Jinping last night. Here it is explained: #oneChina

@RobinRoberts: #HappyFriday...need I say more? Yes, I do...Happy Birthday @GStephanopoulos!!

@BobLewisOfRVA: Surveillance state may grow under Trump. From @MikeAllen @Axios AM Top 10 for Friday. … #axiosam