Trump walks out before signing executive orders
(CNN) – President Donald Trump walked out of an executive order signing ceremony Friday — without actually signing the orders.
During the signing ceremony, White House pool reporters asked Trump questions about his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has offered to testify on Russian involvement in the US election in return for immunity from prosecution.
The President ignored the questions and moved to another room, only to be followed by Vice President Mike Pence, who picked up the folders containing the two executive orders.
Trump later signed the pair of orders aimed at identifying and targeting foreign trade abuses, according to the White House, but behind closed doors.
(AOL NEWS) – Donald Trump attacked the media and the Affordable Care Act in a pair of tweets posted Saturday afternoon.
“The failing @nytimes finally gets it – ‘In places where no insurance company offers plans, there will be no way for ObamaCare customers to … use subsidies to buy health plans.’ In other words, Ocare is dead. Good things will happen, however, either with Republicans or Dems,” the president tweeted.
(POLITICO) – TRUMP’S SCHEDULE:
10:30 a.m.: President Donald Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing in the Oval Office.
11 a.m.: Trump will hold a listening session with the Fraternal Order of Police in the Roosevelt Room.
2 p.m.: Trump will sign an “Energy Independence Executive Order” at the Environmental Protection Agency.
4 p.m.: Trump will meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly in the Oval Office.
7 p.m.: Trump will host a reception for senators and their spouses in the East Room.
Judge to President Trump: No protection for speech inciting violence
(KIRO7) – A federal judge has rejected President Donald Trump’s free speech defence against a lawsuit accusing him of inciting violence against protesters at a campaign rally.
Trump’s lawyers sought to dismiss the lawsuit by three protesters who say they were roughed up by his supporters at a March 1, 2016 rally in Louisville, Kentucky. They argued that Trump didn’t intend for his supporters to use force.
Two women and a man say they were shoved and punched by audience members at Trump’s command. Much of it was captured on video and widely broadcast during the campaign, showing Trump pointing at the protesters and repeating “get them out.”
Judge David J. Hale in Louisville ruled Friday that the suit against Trump, his campaign and three of his supporters can proceed. Hale found ample facts supporting allegations that the protesters’ injuries were a “direct and proximate result” of Trump’s actions, and noted that the Supreme Court has ruled out constitutional protections for speech that incites violence.
Trump tells NBC News and ‘sleepy eyes’ Chuck Todd to stop covering Russia story
(AOL News) – “It is the same Fake News Media that said there is ‘no path to victory for Trump’ that is now pushing the phony Russia story. A total scam!” added the president shortly after his first tweet.
While it’s unclear what exact piece of coverage triggered the president to tweet on Saturday morning, Chuck Todd on Friday had on top Washington lawyer Abbe Lowell and Josh Earnest, former Obama press secretary, about the latest Russia developments.
Michael Flynn left Russian speaking fees off initial financial disclosures
(CNN) – President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, did not include receiving thousands of dollars in speaking fees from three Russian companies in initial financial disclosures to the Office of Government Ethics, copies of the reports show.
Flynn’s initial disclosures, which he submitted in mid-February, left out that he received money from Russia’s state-funded television network, RT, for a speech in Moscow and from air cargo company Volga-Dnepr Airlines and cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Government Security Solutions Inc. for speaking engagements in the United States.
Supreme Court showdown looms ahead of vote
(ABC News) – The Senate is headed for a tense showdown over President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee that could have far-reaching consequences for Congress, the high court and the nation.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republicans are determined to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch within the week. But to do so, they will likely have to override Democratic objections and unilaterally change Senate rules so that Gorsuch can be confirmed with a simple majority in the 100-seat chamber, instead of the 60-voter threshold.
Though it may seem arcane, the approach is known on Capitol Hill as the “nuclear option,” because it strikes at the heart of the Senate’s traditions of bipartisanship and collegiality.
It would allow all future Supreme Court nominees to be confirmed without regard to the objections of the minority party. And senators of both parties say that proceeding with the rules change could ultimately lead to complete elimination of the minority party’s ability to block legislation via filibuster, one of the few remaining mechanisms that force bipartisan cooperation in Congress.
“Once you go down this path it’s awful easy just to keep going, and that is not a good thing,” said Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., a senior lawmaker.
Eurovision 2017: Why Ukraine and Russia are facing off
(BBC) – The Eurovision Song Contest, an annual pop extravaganza where each country sends an act to compete for others’ votes, is never just about the music.
Some would cite its unrivalled commitment to sequins – others, the fiercely biased voting.
Until recent years, though, there was little about the competition that would give politicians sleepless nights.
But now a fierce row between Russia and this year’s hosts – Ukraine – has seen a warning letter from Eurovision’s organisers land on the Ukrainian prime minister’s desk.
So what’s the cause of the conflict, and how did it get this far?