It was a tumultuous day for the White House Thursday, beginning with a top aide stoking the conflicts of interest fires and ending with new reports of foreign policy trouble. In between, President Trump suffered his latest setback in court, as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to reinstate his travel and refugee ban pending further lawsuits, arguing Trump’s administration hadn’t proven a likelihood of withstanding legal challenges to the ban. Trump responded in a tweet before even consulting with his Attorney General: “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”
Kellyanne Conway’s endorsement of Ivanka Trump’s product line is drawing bipartisan calls for reprimand or investigation. The Office of Government Ethics reported that its phone lines and website were overwhelmed by traffic Thursday. The White House would only say that Conway has been “counseled” and that Trump stands by her.
At the close of his third week in office Trump finally spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping, after agreeing to a Chinese precondition to reaffirm U.S. support for the One China policy. Trump had suggested during the transition that the policy was negotiable pending the conclusion of trade agreements with China, drawing the ire of the Asian trade and military power. Trump, meanwhile, continues to face damaging leaks from his phone calls with foreign leaders that paint him in a negative light and highlight his unfamiliarity with some basic foreign policy terms and history. He is set to host Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House Friday and at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida this weekend for golf.
Trump’s fear campaign. Flynn under fire. And Trump’s immigration comments.
Here are your must reads:
Appeals Court Refuses to Lift Suspension of President Trump’s Travel Ban
Trump tweets “SEE YOU IN COURT” [TIME]
No President Has Spread Fear Like Donald Trump
TIME’s Alex Altman on Trump’s fear campaign
How Brits Are Planning to Resist Donald Trump’s State Visit
Protests and walk-outs planned [TIME]
The Tricky Politics of Neil Gorsuch and President Trump’s Insults to Judges
TIME’s Tessa Berenson on the high stakes game of SCOTUS confirmations
Trump Tells Xi Jinping U.S. Will Honor ‘One China’ Policy
Trump backs down after freeze-out [New York Times]
National Security Adviser Flynn Discussed Sanctions With Russian Ambassador
More questions on his actions during the transition [Washington Post]
In Call with Putin, Trump Denounced Obama-Era Nuclear Arms Treaty
After asking his aides for clarification [Reuters]
Anger Erupts at Republican Town Halls
Reminiscent of the tea party protests [CNN]
“This is just wonderful line. I own some of it. I fully—I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.” — Kellyanne Conway on Fox & Friends on Ivanka Trump’s clothing line
“Kellyanne has been counseled and that’s all we’re going to go with. She’s been counseled on that subject, and that’s it.” — White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer
Bits and Bites