Bannon Removed

Thursday, April 6, 2017

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Good Thursday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:

President Trump removed Stephen K. Bannon from the principals committee of the National Security Council, a sign of changing fortunes for the increasingly embattled adviser.

Mr. Trump sat down for an interview with The Times’s Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush on Wednesday. Among the highlights, Mr. Trump:
  • Described his $1 trillion infrastructure bill as a high-value legislative sweetener that he could attach to a revived Affordable Care Act repeal bill or tax code overhaul to attract bipartisan support.
  • Citing no evidence, suggested that Susan E. Rice, the former national security adviser, may have broken the law by seeking to learn the identities of Trump associates swept up in surveillance of foreign officials by U.S. spy agencies, adding, “I think it’s going to be the biggest story.”
  • Called the Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who is facing allegations of sexual harrassment, “a good person” and said, “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”
  • Read the transcript of the interview »
Later, at a news conference in the Rose Garden, Mr. Trump said that the death of “innocent children, innocent babies, little babies” had made him reassess the situation in Syria and the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad. He declined to elaborate on what he would do to respond.
The First Draft Team

Tracking the President’s Visits to Trump Properties

 

By KAREN YOURISH AND TROY GRIGGS
Donald J. Trump has spent nine of his 11 weekends as president visiting at least one of his properties. On Thursday, he will welcome President Xi Jinping of China to Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, Fla., for two days of meetings.
Learn more about his visits »

Trump’s View of Syria and Assad Altered After Chemical Attack

By MARK LANDLER, DAVID E. SANGER AND MICHAEL D. SHEAR

The president declined to elaborate on what he would do to respond to the attacks during a joint news conference with King Abdullah of Jordan in the Rose Garden.

U.S. May ‘Take Our Own Action’ on Syrian Chemical Attack

By SOMINI SENGUPTA AND RICK GLADSTONE

Nikki R. Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, told fellow Security Council members their lack of unity on Syria might mean “we are compelled to take our own action.”

Bannon’s Role Is Diminished as Others Blame Him for Setbacks

By PETER BAKER, MAGGIE HABERMAN AND GLENN THRUSH

President Trump removed his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, from his seat on the National Security Council in a sign, officials said, of his shrinking role in the administration.

Trump, Citing No Evidence, Suggests Susan Rice Broke Law

By MAGGIE HABERMAN AND MATTHEW ROSENBERG

In an interview, the president said Ms. Rice, a former national security adviser, may have sought the identities of Trump associates who were mentioned on intercepted communications.

As Latest Health Plan Dies, G.O.P. Can’t Agree on a Culprit

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER AND ROBERT PEAR

Conservative groups moved quickly to shift the blame for the failure of a promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act onto some not-as-conservative Republicans.

On Supreme Court Split, Senators Agree: It’s Bad for the Country

By MATT FLEGENHEIMER

It was the eve of an expected Democratic filibuster of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, and a likely rule change by Republicans to bypass the filibuster.

Trump Weighs Infrastructure Bill but Keeps New York Up in the Air

By GLENN THRUSH AND MAGGIE HABERMAN

Describing the plan as a legislative sweetener, the president refused to say if it would include two New York City projects that his budget for next year would defund.

Telling Trump’s Story to Children: For Book Publishers, It’s Tricky

By KATHERINE ROSMAN

Presidential biographies aimed at young readers hit bookshelves every four years. But the latest round has posed a unique set of challenges.

F.D.A. Nominee Deflects Criticism About Ties to Drugmakers

By ROBERT PEAR

Democrats tried to raise doubts at a hearing that Dr. Scott Gottlieb could be objective, but unless damaging new information turns up, he appears to be headed for confirmation.

Rex Tillerson’s Reticence on North Korea Leaves Allies Confused

By DAVID E. SANGER AND MARK LANDLER

The Trump administration’s few, and seemingly conflicting, pronouncements have made the United States’ strategy and goals unclear as the Chinese president’s visit nears.

Right and Left: Partisan Writing You Shouldn’t Miss
Read about how the other side thinks. We have collected political writing from around the web and across ideologies.
From the Right
• Mary Vought in The Washington Post
“My work product determined my success — not private dinners with the congressman.”
After The Washington Post published a profile of Karen Pence, the vice president’s wife, many commentators on the left noticed a telling detail: that Vice President Mike Pence refuses to dine alone with female staffers. Mary Vought, who worked for Mr. Pence when he was a congressman, defends him against accusations that this rule leaves Mr. Pence’s female employees at a professional disadvantage. Read more »
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From the Left
• Jia Tolentino in The New Yorker
“Trump may be blatantly irreligious and Pence exotically devout, but our President and Vice-President come together quite well in their stated inability to resist women.”
Raised in a Southern Baptist community in Texas, Jia Tolentino grew up with people who didn’t think married men should dine alone with women. That’s why she’s particularly well-placed to argue that Mr. Pence’s rule against socializing with women without his wife present constitutes a pernicious attitude toward the female gender as a whole. Ms. Tolentino concedes that taking steps to avoid situations that imperil your marriage is wise, but she argues that avoiding “all women as a group and as a rule because of the abstract possibility of sexual temptation” debases an entire gender. Read more »
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More selections »