The Note: Trump’s words on trial as travel ban heads to Supreme Court

At the heart of the argument that the ban is unconstitutional are Trump's words.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

The case is about the third iteration of the travel ban, of course. But the stakes are broader – with questions of national security, immigration and refugee policy, and the power among the branches of government at issue.

At the heart of the plaintiffs’ argument that the ban is unconstitutional are Trump’s words, as spoken and tweeted, as a candidate and then as president. Most famous was his campaign call for – in writing and read out on camera – “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

The Trump administration’s position is that campaign rhetoric can’t be mistaken for official government actions, and that this is no Muslim ban. The courts, the argument goes, should look at what’s being done, while ignoring much of what’s been said, even by the president himself.

It means that the Supreme Court will now be wrestling with a main feature of Trumpism itself.

Trump has challenged institutions throughout his time in office, with varying degrees of success. The nation’s highest court now starts to get its turn, in what won’t be the last dispute it will have to settle.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

There was something for everyone in the results of Arizona’s special congressional election last night.

A true political Rorschach test: folks on all sides may see what they want to see.

Other Democrats though could use statistics from last night to contend the opposite. After all, the demographics of this district where entirely different.

Ahead of last night’s race, twice as many Republicans voted in their primary compared to Democrats, a sign of just how solid and active the Republican Party is in this part of Arizona.

Still, Tipirneni was able to come within about 5 points it seems, according to the latest results this morning. A huge swing to the left in this red district that President Trump won by over 20-points. Tipirneni capitalized on an anti-establishment sentiment and a craving among independents for new faces, an appreciation of facts and a strident defense of Social Security and Medicare. Interesting, a lot of Democrats in a lot of other seats, especially some in crowded primaries have resumes like Tipirneni's: health care professional, running on the issue and their outsider-creds. She has not yet conceded.

Some Republicans, too, may look at the win and exhale. Tell their donors that things are not as bad as feared. Others, though, eyeing the final tab could worry. Tipirneni outraised congresswoman–elect Debbie Lesko, and so Republican groups came in and outspent the Tipirneni overall big time in a way they may not be able to everywhere next fall.

The TIP with Emily Goodin

The president endorsed Rep. Jim Renacci, who has seen less-than-positive stories emerge about his past as a lobbyist and his strong first quarter fundraising numbers included a $4 million personal loan to his campaign.

Trump has tweeted for other Republicans who needed some TLC from the party. He renewed his support for Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee after retiring GOP Sen. Bob Corker made favorable comments about her Democratic opponent.

And he tweeted his support for Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker after reports conservative Chris McDaniel would challenge him in the primary (although McDaniel ultimately switched to the special election in that state).

Trump also cheered Mitt Romney’s entry into the Utah Senate race and gave a shout-out to Sen. Ted Cruz ahead of the Texas primary.

It remains to be seen if the president’s enthusiasm can win votes but it’s likely to win him some gratitude from the candidates.


  • President Donald Trump meets with the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook in the Oval Office at 1:45 p.m.
  • Today the Supreme Court hears from attorneys on the Travel Ban 3.0 case — the third attempt by the Trump administration to restrict entry into the U.S. by individuals from particular countries, most of which are Muslim-majority.
  • U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will appear before a subcommittee today on funding requests and budget justifications for the Department of Justice in 2019.
  • Former FBI Director James Comey will be at his alma mater, William & Mary College, tonight to talk about his book. CNN’s Anderson Cooper moderates the discussion.

    Republican Lesko projected winner of Arizona special election in GOP stronghold. Republican Debbie Lesko is the projected winner of Arizona's special election on Tuesday in a contest both parties were watching as a barometer of political strength ahead of the November midterm election. (Emily Goodin and John Verhovek)

    Inside the 1st Trump state dinner Melania Trump personally oversaw the planning for the evening, which has been decorated in a crème and gold color scheme and draws from American and French influences. (Jordyn Phelps)

    Trump and Macron's 'bromance' continues with kisses, praise. Not shy about expressing his affection for Macron, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, “We do have a very special relationship,” as he brushed off what Trump called “a little piece of dandruff” off Macron's suit jacket shoulder. (Erica King)

    Pruitt declined White House offer to help prep for marathon day of congressional questions. The EPA chief elected instead to prepare with a team of the loyal advisors he brought to Washington from Oklahoma, sources tell ABC News. (John Santucci, Katherine Faulders, Matthew Mosk and Stephanie Ebbs)

    White House says Trump will defend VA nominee hours after he suggested he step aside. "The president will be defending him," White House Director for Legislative Affairs Marc Short told ABC News just moments after Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Veterans Affairs emerged from a late afternoon meeting with at the White House. (Devin Dwyer, Justin Fishel, Mary Bruce, Mariam Khan, Ali Rogin, Jonathan Karl and Meridith McGraw)

    What Trump and Macron's 'new' Iran deal could look like: ANALYSIS. President Donald Trump started his day with French President Emmanuel Macron bashing the Iran nuclear deal as "insane" and "ridiculous," but hours later at a joint press conference, both leaders floated the idea of a "new" Iran deal. (Conor Finnegan)

    Homeland star Mandy Patinkin describes a 'terrifying' reality: Powerhouse Politics. Actor Mandy Patinkin portrays the national security adviser in the Showtime original series Homeland. But he reminded "Powerhouse Politics" podcast hosts Jon Karl and Rick Klein that truth can sometimes seem stranger than fiction. “Remember I’m in a fictional show. This is a real show you report on a daily basis.” (Avery Miller)

    Kourtney Kardashian arrives on Capitol Hill to clean up cosmetics. The reality TV star held meetings with lawmakers, aides and reporters Tuesday to express her support for legislation that would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the power to investigate and prevent the sales of dangerous cosmetics. (Jeffrey Cook)

    Politico reports on a prison reform bill sponsored by the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner that might work its way through the chambers soon.

    In a rare and public split from the president, the four military service chiefs say there is no harm in transgender personnel serving, the Military Times reports.

    The New York Times reports on the interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mick Mulvaney, advising bankers to press lawmakers and revealed that, as a congressman, he would meet only with lobbyists if they had contributed to his campaign.

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.