Trump Aides and Nunes

Friday, March 31, 2017Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 11.14.47

Good Friday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • White House officials helped provide Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, with reports that showed incidental surveillance of the Trump team. The revelation is likely to fuel criticism that Mr. Nunes has been too eager to do the bidding of the Trump administration.
  • Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, offered to testify before Congress in the investigation into the Trump campaigns ties with Russia in exchange for immunity, but an official said investigators were unwilling to broker a deal until their inquiry was further along.
  • President Trump took to Twitter to say that the Freedom Caucus, a group of the most conservative Republicans in the House, is hurting the party’s agenda. “We must fight them” in 2018, he said.
  • The Trump administration’s goals for renegotiating Nafta step back from the hawkish stance of the campaign, but include a call to resume tariffs if a flood of imports threaten a domestic industry.
 The First Draft Team

Can Trump Change Libel Laws?

By ADAM LIPTAK
President Trump at the White House last week. Unhappy with The New York Times, he posted on Twitter on Thursday: “Change libel laws?”

President Trump at the White House last week. Unhappy with The New York Times, he posted on Twitter on Thursday: “Change libel laws?” Al Drago/The New York Times

In a Thursday morning Twitter post, President Trump returned to a favorite theme. He was unhappy with reporting in The New York Times, and he had a solution. “Change libel laws?” he asked.
What does he mean?
On the campaign trail, where he was not constrained by Twitter’s character limit, Mr. Trump was more expansive.
“I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money,” Mr. Trump said. “We’re going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected.”
Read more »

2 White House Officials Helped Give Nunes Intelligence Reports

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG, MAGGIE HABERMAN AND ADAM GOLDMAN

The revelation fueled criticism that Representative Devin Nunes has been too eager to do the White House’s bidding, not run an independent investigation

Michael Flynn Offers to Testify in Exchange for Immunity

By MARK MAZZETTI AND MATTHEW ROSENBERG

An official said House and Senate investigators were unwilling to broker a deal with Mr. Flynn, the former national security adviser, until their Russia inquiry was further along.

Trump Goes After Conservatives of Freedom Caucus

By GLENN THRUSH AND JONATHAN MARTIN

The president came out swinging against the group’s members on Twitter, suggesting Republicans should “fight them” in the 2018 midterms if they do not back his agenda.

Trump’s Threats Against Freedom Caucus Cause Few Shivers of Fear

By JONATHAN MARTIN AND JENNIFER STEINHAUER

The president’s attack on fellow Republicans was only the latest and most high profile in the increasingly open warfare within the party.

Rubio Says His Campaign Was a Target of Russian Cyberattacks

By EMMARIE HUETTEMAN

Marco Rubio cautioned against becoming too focused on hacking, which he called “one aspect of a much broader campaign” by the Russians.

After Deriding Nafta, Trump Appears to Soften Stance

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS AND ALAN RAPPEPORT

The White House will propose keeping major planks of Nafta in place, while signing orders that lay the groundwork for stricter enforcement of trade laws.

Bathroom Law Repeal Leaves Few Pleased in North Carolina

By RICHARD FAUSSET

A compromise seeks to minimize economic damage from a law that led to boycotts, demonstrations and economic fallout from businesses, sports groups and others.

Justice Dept. Appeals Injunction of Trump Revised Travel Order

By REUTERS

The Justice Department on Thursday appealed a ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii extending a suspension of the president’s revised restrictions on travel from some Muslim-majority countries.

Trump Eases Combat Rules in Somalia Meant to Protect Civilians

By CHARLIE SAVAGE AND ERIC SCHMITT

A directive declaring parts of the country an “area of active hostilities” will give the United States greater latitude in carrying out airstrikes and raids.

Rex Tillerson’s Praise for Turkey Is Met With a List of Complaints

By GARDINER HARRIS

The secretary of state’s visit was intended to reassure a NATO ally in the fight against the Islamic State and a regional bulwark against a resurgent Iran.

Judge Signals He Will Approve Trump University Settlement

By JENNIFER MEDINA AND STEVE EDER

Thursday’s courtroom hearing could turn out to be the final one in a yearslong case that garnered outsize national attention during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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
• From The American Spectator:
“[…] is developing a work force for corporations what schools should be about?”
Emmett McGroarty and Jane Robbins, senior fellows at the American Principles Project, argue that the Common Core and other progressive education policies focus, incorrectly, on preparing students for industry. School should instead instill the tenets of “traditional, classical education” that prepare students to be knowledgeable citizens. Read more »
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From the Left
• From Salon:
“Government will never run the way Silicon Valley runs because, by definition, democracy is messy.”
Now that President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been tapped to lead a “SWAT team of strategic consultants” to overhaul the federal government, Simon Maloy reminds us of why we might not want the government to be more like a business. Read more »
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