The Note: President Trump Takes On Immigration

VIDEO: Trump Set to Sign Executive Orders on
WATCH Trump Set to Sign Executive Actions on Immigration


Day No. 6

THE BIG STORY: Richard Nixon famously said that “when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” The Donald Trump corollary might be that when the president believes it, that means it is not untrue. It’s with that attitude – as promulgated by a White House press secretary who defended Trump for having a “longstanding belief,” but not on the facts behind what he believes – that the Trump era of governance begins. On one level, maintaining the false stance that he would have won the popular vote if not for illegal votes has no point. But its lack of meaning is actually part of what makes it alarming. The president will inevitably be confronted with life-and-death situations for which he will need to make decisions. The public needs to have a level of trust for a president – trust, at least, that his decisions are based on facts, and not just beliefs.

THE SLEEPER STORY: While controversies about Trump's unsubstantiated claims on voter fraud spark controversy, don't miss the major policy changes rolling out from the White House in the last 24 hours. In just a two-day window, President Trump is slated to have issued major executive actions building the Keystone Pipeline and Dakota Access Pipeline as well as major immigration moves including potentially banning immigration from some countries, moving against sanctuary cities and shuffling dollars around to begin constructing the border wall.

THE SHINY STORY: The job of White House Press Secretary has always been a shiny object for DC insiders. Sean Spicer struggled to defend Trump's voter fraud allegations during yesterday's press conference, adding to mixed reviews over his first few days from behind the podium. He'll face another big test today handling the major policy changes from the White House. And amid talk about which organizations are getting questions and reports that Trump hasn't been thrilled about how things are going, today's press conference is another moment of truth for the face of the President of the United States.

TLDR: Donald Trump announced on Twitter he’ll be ordering a “major investigation” into alleged voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election amid major policy changes on energy and immigration.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Donald Trump tweeted out this photo of his inauguration ceremony that is to be “displayed in the upper/lower press hall.” One small problem – the date on the photo is wrong. Donald Trump’s inauguration was Jan. 20, 2017, while the date on the framed photo has Trump’s Inauguration Day as Jan. 21, 2017. Oops!

THIS MORNING'S TRUMP TWEETS: 7:10 AM: I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and.... 7:13 AM: even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time). Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures! 7:17 AM: I will be making my Supreme Court pick on Thursday of next week.Thank you!


--MARK YOUR CALENDARS: President Donald Trump tweeted this morning that he will unveil his nominee for the vacant Supreme Court seat next Thursday.

--NEW THIS MORNING: TRUMP TO ORDER 'MAJOR INVESTIGATION' INTO VOTER FRAUD: President Donald Trump vowed this morning to launch "a major investigation" into alleged voter fraud, without providing much detail. "I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and..." Trump tweeted today before adding in a second tweet, "even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time). Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!” Trump offered no further information on what the investigation would entail, report ABC's MORGAN WINSOR.

--TRUMP MAY SUSPEND SOME IMMIGRATION FROM IRAQ AND SIX OTHER COUNTRIES: SOURCES. President Donald Trump is set to unveil executive actions on immigration -- one of his central campaign promises -- and could move to suspend some immigration from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, either temporarily or "indefinitely," said sources familiar with the plans that have been under consideration, reports ABC's BENJAMIN SIEGEL, SERENA MARSHALL, MARY BRUCE and AMNA NAWAZ. The sources also expect any impending Trump action could also impact refugees from countries with Muslim populations. Trump proposed a ban on all Muslim immigration on a temporary basis early on in the campaign, but has since amended his position. ABC News has learned that Trump is expected to visit the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday as he prepares to unveil his first executive actions on immigration, according to congressional and administration sources.

--TRUMP NOMINATION WATCH: With the addition of Gov. Nikki Haley yesterday as Ambassador to the United Nations, President Trump has had four of his nominations confirmed by the Senate: Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. 17 other nominees are either awaiting votes or hearings, according to ABC's ALI ROGIN. Four nominees -- Ben Carson, Elaine Chao, Wilbur Ross and Rex Tillerson -- have cleared their committees but are awaiting votes on the Senate floor.

--DON'T MISS IT: DAVID MUIR TO INTERVIEW PRESIDENT TRUMP TONIGHT: President Donald Trump will do first interview with “World News Tonight” Anchor David Muir since taking the oath of office to become the 45th President of the United States. “President Trump: The First Interview” will air during a one-hour primetime special on Wednesday, January 25 (10:00 – 11:00 p.m., ET/PT) on ABC. The wide-ranging one-on-one interview at the White House will air across ABC News, including on “World News Tonight with David Muir,” “Nightline,”, ABC News Radio and ABC NewsOne on Wednesday, and “Good Morning America” on Thursday.

--TODAY AT THE WHITE HOUSE: This morning, President Trump will meet with Chief of Staff Reince Preibus and takes his official portrait. He'll visit the Department of Homeland Security this afternoon to make major announcements on immigration policy. President Trump will then return to the White House and talk with Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant on the phone. Press Secretary Sean Spicer will brief the media again today at 1 p.m.


TRUMP THREATENS TO 'SEND IN THE FEDS' OVER CHICAGO 'CARNAGE.' President Donald Trump threatened to "send in the Feds" to deal with the "carnage" in Chicago if the city doesn't fix the problem, he tweeted. It's unclear where Trump obtained the aforementioned figures because they differ from those provided by the Chicago Police Department, according to ABC's TOM LIDDY. A spokesperson for the department told ABC News on Tuesday that there have been 38 homicides -- not 42 -- and 182 shootings -- not 228 -- in 2017 so far. And despite Trump's claim that shootings and killings are up 24 percent from last year, the police spokesperson said the "shooting incident number is identical and there were 33 homicides for the same period in 2016.”

BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK CLIMATE CHANGE TWEETS DELETED. A series of tweets about climate change from the Badlands National Park Twitter account were deleted Tuesday. A few hours after posting, the tweets were removed from the @BadlandsNPS account, reports ABC's MERIDITH MCGRAW. It was not clear who composed the tweets or why they were taken down -- including whether or not the deletion involved the Trump administration. The tweets came after the Trump administration today placed a temporary “freeze” on public communications shared by federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of Agriculture.

FACT-CHECKING TRUMP'S REPEATED UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIM OF WIDESPREAD VOTER FRAUD. President Donald Trump and the White House are reiterating the unsubstantiated assertion that millions of people illegally cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election -- a claim Trump first made after the election without presenting evidence. This afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said President Trump "does believe that" millions of illegal votes were cast in the presidential election -- citing "studies and information" that were presented to him as the basis of this belief. Spicer said "maybe we will" investigate the claimed fraud. ABC's RYAN STRUYK and LAUREN PEARLE have more:

SPICER COMPARES 'ALTERNATIVE FACTS' TO CONFLICTING WEATHER REPORTS. Sean Spicer has shed new light on the concept of "alternative facts," a widely-panned concept introduced by his colleague Kellyanne Conway to defend his seemingly inaccurate inauguration attendee numbers, reports ABC's DAVID CAPLAN. According to the White House press secretary, his usage of "alternative facts" is much ado about nothing: In fact, he says, its similar to a meteorologist who incorrectly predicts the weather. "Sometimes when you look at a situation, in the same way that you can look at a weather report. One weather report comes out and says it's going to be cloudy and another says it’s going to be light rain. No one lied to you, it just means you interpreted the data in a way that you felt got you to a conclusion."

PRESIDENT TRUMP STILL BELIEVES MILLIONS VOTED ILLEGALLY: WHITE HOUSE. After being repeatedly pressed about President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated claims that "millions" of people voted illegally in the presidential election, White House press secretary Sean Spicer left the door open to a possible investigation into the claims during a press briefing Tuesday. On Monday, Trump said during a meeting with congressional leaders in the White House that "3 to 5 million illegals" voted, according to two Democratic aides who spoke on condition of anonymity. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY has more:

TRUMP ASKS JAMES COMEY TO STAY ON AS FBI DIRECTOR. FBI Director James Comey has told top FBI officials that President Trump asked him to stay on as head of the bureau. Comey told the officials on a conference call in recent days. Asked about the report Tuesday by ABC News, Trump had no comment. The White House has not responded to ABC News’ inquiries about the news, notes ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI. Comey was appointed by President Obama in 2013 for a 10-year term, but his future at the FBI came into question after his handling of the FBI probe into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email server.

TRUMP MOVES TO ADVANCE KEYSTONE XL, DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINES. President Donald Trump used his second weekday in office to sign memoranda aimed at advancing the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, which pleased supporters of the projects and brought immediate condemnation from environmentalists and other opponents. He also signed a memorandum on the Dakota Access Pipeline and announced that construction of both pipelines would be "subject to terms and conditions to be negotiated by us." The response, pro and con, was swift, report ABC’s SERENA MARSHALL, EVAN SIMON and MORGAN WINSOR.

DEMOCRATS GRILL TRUMP HHS NOMINEE OVER STOCK TRADES, OBAMACARE PLANS. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services, fended off accusations from Democrats that he acted improperly as a member of Congress by trading shares of a pharmaceutical company, while offering few concrete details about the president’s plans for an Obamacare replacement or entitlement reform. The physician-turned-lawmaker was questioned early in the hearing by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., regarding a series of trades he made in an Australian pharmaceutical company, writes ABC’s BENJAMIN SIEGEL.

RYAN INVITES TRUMP TO ADDRESS JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has invited President Trump to address a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Feb. 28.Ryan made the announcement during a GOP leadership press conference Tuesday morning. "With this unified Republican government, we have a unique opportunity to deliver results to the American people. And in the days and weeks, we look forward to laying out more of our agenda," said Ryan. "To that end, I am inviting President Trump to address a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28. ABC’s MERIDITH MCGRAW has more:

TWO UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIMS MADE BY TRUMP SINCE HE BECAME PRESIDENT. Donald Trump made multiple unsubstantiated claims during the presidential campaign, and he has not stopped doing so since he assumed the presidency. Trump is five days into his term, and there have been at least two times he made statements that have not been backed up by any evidence, note ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY and SERENA MARSHALL. The first was one about the size of the crowd at his inauguration — a topic that has raised questions for White House press secretary Sean Spicer as well. The second relates to unproved allegations of voter fraud, which he has stated before.


@rubycramer: Corey Lewandowski and Robby Mook team up to hit the paid speaking circuit

@GlennKesslerWP: A suggested Q for @PressSec today: When will @POTUS announce the probe of Russian meddling in the election? More evidence than voter fraud.

@AliABCNews: I asked @SenBobCorker about Spicer expressing openness to joint air strikes w/ Russia in Syria. His response: "Is that that crowd guy?"

@DevlinBarrett: Reminder: fairly or not, when officials investigate something much of the public thinks there must be *something* to it

@ktumulty: Via @danbalz Trump’s voter fraud claims undermine the democratic process and his presidency

@amandacarpenter: Don't think of Ivanka as First Daughter, def not First Lady. She's set to make a political play all of her own