The Note: The Legal Showdown Over Trump's Travel Ban

A look at the day's most important political stories.

— -- Trump’s First 100 Days with ABC’s RICK KLEIN and SHUSHANNAH WALSHE

Day No. 18

TLDR: In an interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, the president compared the U.S. to Putin's Russia, even saying "we've got a lot of killers" in the U.S. when O'Reilly called Putin a "killer." He also went after the federal judge who temporarily blocked his controversial immigration executive order this weekend calling him a "so-called judge."


7:07 AM: I call my own shots, largely based on an accumulation of data, and everyone knows it. Some FAKE NEWS media, in order to marginalize, lies!

--THE FINAL SCORE: New England Patriots 34, Atlanta Falcons 28 (OT)


--WHERE THE LEGAL SHOWDOWN OVER TRUMP'S TRAVEL BAN STANDS. The legal showdown over President Trump's executive action barring entry into the U.S. by people from seven predominantly Muslim countries is expected to produce another appeals court ruling as early as Monday and could ultimately go before the Supreme Court, experts told ABC News. ABC’s MAIA DAVIS has more:

--TRUMP'S COMPARING US TO PUTIN'S RUSSIA DRAWS BIPARTISAN BACKLASH. President Donald Trump's comment equating Russia under Vladimir Putin to the United States has drawn sharp negative reactions from people in both parties. Trump told Fox News in an interview that aired prior to the Super Bowl on Sunday that he respects Putin, writes ABC’s MICHAEL EDISON HAYDEN. "I do respect him," Trump told Fox News’ Bill O'Reilly. When O'Reilly said, "Putin is a killer," Trump responded, "A lot of killers. We got a lot of killers. What, you think our country's so innocent?"

--MELISSA MCCARTHY PLAYS SEAN SPICER ON 'SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.' Alec Baldwin reprised his role as President Donald Trump on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend, but it was the surprise appearance by actressMelissa McCarthy as White House press secretary Sean Spicer that seemingly elicited the most laughs in Studio 8H and in the Twittersphere. As ABC's DAVID CAPLAN recounts, McCarthy portrayed Spicer as excitable, ill-tempered, disparaging to reporters -- and loaded with quirks.

--QUOTE OF THE MORNING: "It was cute. It was funny. I would rather us be talking about the issues that the president is so committed to helping Americans on but, you know, it's part of American culture." -- White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on 'SNL' impression on "Fox and Friends"

--THE PRESIDENT'S SCHEDULE: President Trump will leave Mar-a-Lago this morning and spend most of his day in Tampa Bay at MacDill Air Force Base. He'll receive an central command and special operations briefing there and eat lunch there. He will also give remarks and meet with Gov. Rick Scott before flying back to Washington. White House press secretary Sean Spicer is slated to gaggle aboard Air Force One on the way back to Washington.

--TODAY ON CAPITOL HILL. The next hurdle for Betsy DeVos: A procedural vote for President Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education is possible tonight. Her nomination is teetering on the brink of collapse after two GOP Senators announced they would not be backing her bid to lead the agency.


TRUMP THREATENS DEFUNDING SANCTUARY STATES AS 'WEAPON.' President Donald Trump said in an interview that aired today he would not be opposed to using defunding as a "weapon" against states that want to be sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants, ABC’s ALEXANDER MALLIN and LISSETTE RODRIGUEZ note. "I don't want to defund anybody. I want to give them the money they need to properly operate as a city or a state," Trump said. "If they're going to have sanctuary cities, we may have to do that. Certainly that would be a weapon." The latest comments on sanctuary cities and states came during the president's first Super Bowl interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly.

AUSTRALIAN PM MALCOLM TURNBULL ON PRESIDENT TRUMP: 'WE HAVE A VERY FRANK RELATIONSHIP.' Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reiterated in a new interview that his phone call last week with Donald Trump was "frank and forthright," and he again denied reports that the president hung up on him, ABC’s DAVID CAPLAN writes. "We have a very frank relationship," Turnbull told 60 Minutes Australia, in an interview that aired Sunday. "I've only said three things about the phone call with the president: Firstly, that it was frank and forthright. Secondly, that he gave a commitment that he would honor the refugee resettlement deal entered into by President Obama. And thirdly, that he did not hang up. The call ended courteously."

VP MIKE PENCE DID NOT ASK SUPREME COURT NOMINEE ABOUT ROE V. WADE. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump pledged to appoint an anti-abortion justice to the Supreme Court, but Vice President Mike Pence told ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS he did not ask the president’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch directly about the landmark Roe v. Wade case. Stephanopoulos noted that Judge Gorsuch has never ruled directly on abortion rights, and asked the vice president, "Are you confident that he would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade on the court?" ABC’s NICKI ROSSOLL has more:

PENCE WARNS IRAN TO 'THINK TWICE' BEFORE TESTING TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. Days after the Trump administration imposed new sanctions on Iran, Vice President Mike Pence issued a stern warning to the country in an interview with ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS. “Iran would do well not to test the resolve of this new president,” Pence said on “This Week” Sunday, adding that Iran should “think twice about their continued hostile and belligerent actions.” When Stephanopoulos pressed the vice president on what actions by Iran would test Trump’s resolve, the vice president specifically mentioned the country's ballistic missile tests and military support for Houthi rebels in Yemen, reports ABC’s CONOR FINNEGAN.

MIKE PENCE ON LGBT RIGHTS: DISCRIMINATION HAS 'NO PLACE' IN TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. Vice President Mike Pence defended President Trump's decision to let stand an Obama-era order protecting the rights of some LGBT workers, noting that Trump made clear during his campaign that "discrimination would have no place in our administration." ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS asked Pence about the response of social conservatives to Trump's decision last week to keep intact President Obama's 2014 executive order barring discrimination against LGBT employees of federal contractors. ABC’s MOLLY NAGLE has more:

VP PENCE RESPONDS ON WHETHER ADMINISTRATION SHOULD REPAIR OBAMACARE INSTEAD OF ‘REPEAL AND REPLACE.’ Vice President Mike Pence responded to a top GOP senator’s suggestion that Republicans should "repair" Obamacare before replacing it, saying the Trump administration still favors repealing the law’s “most corrosive elements” while working on an “orderly” replacement, ABC’s NICKI ROSSOLL notes. ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS asked the vice president about a recent remark by Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, comparing the health care law to an old bridge that needs replacement.

VP PENCE ON RUSSIA IN UKRAINE: 'WE'RE WATCHING AND VERY TROUBLED.' In an interview on “This Week,” Vice President Mike Pence responded to new Russian aggression in Ukraine, saying, “We’re watching and very troubled by the increased hostilities.” Asked by ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS if President Donald Trump talked about that concern with Russian President Vladimir Putin in their phone call last weekend, Pence would not say. But he revealed that the two leaders did discuss the crisis in Ukraine, which the White House had not mentioned in its official readout of the call. “Those conversations are going to be ongoing,” the vice president said on “This Week” Sunday. ABC’s CONOR FINNEGAN has more:

DEMOCRATIC SENATOR: 'EVERYTHING DEPENDS' ON HOW TRUMP'S SUPREME COURT PICK 'ANSWERS THE QUESTIONS.' Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar said the fate of Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court depends on how he answers the Senate's questions about his judicial record. "Everything depends on how he answers the questions when we look at his record," the Minnesota senator said of President Trump's nominee in an interview with ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS that aired Sunday. Stephanopoulos pressed the senator on the fact that some Democrats, such as President Obama's acting solicitor general, Neil Katyal, have come out in support of Gorsuch, explains ABC’s ALI DUKAKIS.

GOP SEN. SASSE DOESN'T 'UNDERSTAND' TRUMP'S STATEMENTS ON PUTIN OR ON 'SO-CALLED JUDGES.' Republican Sen. Ben Sasse said he doesn't "understand"President Trump's statements on Russian leader Vladimir Putin or the president's slamming a federal judge as a "so-called judge." ABC’S GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS asked the Nebraska senator about the president's tweet Saturday attacking a federal judge who temporarily blocked Trump's immigration order as a "so-called judge." "I'll be honest, I don't understand language like that," Sasse said in the "This Week" interview that aired Sunday, writes ABC’s ALI ROGIN.


@bethreinhard: Neil Gorsuch says he did pro bono for inmates and the poor at Harvard but classmates don't remember him. via @WSJ

@maggieNYT: Can't stress significance of Fred Trump's photo being the lone one that the president keeps over his shoulder

@evanmcmurry: .@votevets with new ad speaking directly to Trump: "You want to be a legitimate president, sir? Then act like one."

@SalenaZito: Whom do we trust? The answer, it appears, is no one.

@thegarance: Via @politico: "NATALIE JONES, who WaPo said was Trump's 'likely pick' for social secretary, has withdrawn her name from consideration"