Kushner’s Clearance Downgraded

Wednesday, February 28, 2018Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 9.36.51 AM

Good Wednesday morning,
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • Jared Kushner, the president’s adviser and son-in-law, lost his top-secret clearance. The decision came after John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, moved to overhaul the clearance process after an aide resigned amid abuse allegations.

  • With 980 days to go until the next presidential election, President Trump said he would run again in 2020, a statement aimed at ending speculation that he might not run for re-election at all.
  • Hope Hicks, the White House communications director, told House investigators that her work for Mr. Trump had occasionally required her to tell white lies. But she insisted she had not lied about matters material to the investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

  • Lawmakers in both parties are reframing their positions as the debate shifts toward action on firearms restrictions in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
  • China’s rise and its more recent embrace of repressive tactics that recall the Mao era have fractured a deeply rooted consensus in Washington about the long-term direction of its relationship with Beijing.
— The First Draft Team
The Upshot

Trump Losing College-Educated Whites? He Never Won Them in the First Place

By NATE COHN
After Donald J. Trump’s upset victory in the 2016 presidential election, one data point from the network exit polls jumped out at analysts: his two-point win among college-educated white voters.
Many pre-election polls had suggested they would favor Hillary Clinton. And now, more than a year later, polls again show Mr. Trump with striking weakness among well-educated white voters, implying he has alienated many who backed him in 2016.
But it is increasingly clear that there’s another explanation: The exit polls were wrong. Mr. Trump never won college-educated white voters, and therefore he hasn’t lost nearly as much ground among the group as it seems.
Read more »
“We want to talk also,” President Trump said in remarks to American governors at the White House on Monday, referring to the North Koreans. But he quickly added: “only under the right conditions.”

Trump Opens Door, Just Slightly, to Talking With North Korea

By MOTOKO RICH

“We want to talk also,” the president said. But hours later, the top U.S. diplomat on North Korea abruptly announced his departure.

Stacey Dash at the Academy Awards in 2016.

A Star of ‘Clueless’ Is Running for Congress

By MAGGIE ASTOR

In Federal Election Commission filings on Monday, Stacey Dash, a Republican, declared her House candidacy in a heavily Democratic California district.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions introduced a task force on Tuesday to pursue makers and distributors of prescription opioids.

Justice Department Backs High-Stakes Suit Against Opioid Makers

By KATIE BENNER AND JAN HOFFMAN

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would use legal actions and task forces to crack down on prescription opioid manufacturers, distributors and prescribers.

“President Putin has clearly come to the conclusion that there’s little price to pay and that therefore ‘I can continue this activity,’” Admiral Michael S. Rogers told a Senate committee on Tuesday.

White House Has Given No Orders to Counter Russian Meddling, N.S.A. Chief Says

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG

Admiral Michael S. Rogers’s testimony was the second time this month that a senior American intelligence official had said that the efforts to interfere in U.S. elections didn’t end in 2016.

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said the United States had “begun to have very high-level conversations” about rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Mnuchin Floats Rejoining Trans-Pacific Partnership, Trade Deal Trump Shelved

By ALAN RAPPEPORT

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said he had held “high-level” discussions with counterparts about what it would take for the United States to reverse course.

Prosecutors sought the emails of a suspect that were stored in a Microsoft data center in Dublin.

Must Tech Firms Provide Data Held Abroad? Justices Struggle to Apply 1986 Law

By ADAM LIPTAK

The Supreme Court appeared frustrated by the poor fit between the law and technology in a clash between law enforcement demands and firms’ desire to protect customers’ privacy.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., left, joined all of the majority opinion, and Justice Stephen G. Breyer dissented from the bench.

No Bail Hearings for Detained Immigrants, Supreme Court Rules

By ADAM LIPTAK

In a rare move, Justice Stephen G. Breyer dissented from the bench, saying the majority was violating fundamental constitutional principles.

Judith Pearson, a retired school principal, holding one of her shotguns at her home outside Cook, Minn. She urged her small number of Twitter followers to boycott the National Rifle Association over the organization’s repeated efforts to preserve civilian access to semiautomatic rifles.

Big and Small, N.R.A. Boycott Efforts Come Together in Gun Debate

By TIFFANY HSU

From individual Twitter posts to orchestrated efforts by advocacy groups, the protests against the gun lobby have coalesced into a powerful movement.

11 Sickened by Hazardous Envelope Opened on Military Base

By THOMAS GIBBONS-NEFF

Nine Marines were among those being treated after a letter containing a hazardous but unknown substance was opened on the Virginia base near the Pentagon.

Gov. Rick Scott of Florida at a press conference at Miami-Dade police headquarters in Doral on Tuesday. Gun control measures have moved quickly through the State House and Senate since the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

Gun Measures, Like Program to Arm Teachers, Race Through Florida Legislature

By PATRICIA MAZZEI

Florida lawmakers are considering funding a voluntary program that would allow school staff, including teachers, to carry concealed weapons on campus.