Trump Watch: Day 7 Wrap-Up

Here are all of the major news items involving Donald Trump from Friday, January 27:

— Trump signed an executive order that he titled, “Protection Of The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States”. Put simply, the order limits people from seven Muslim-majority countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen) from entering the U.S. for 90 days, and it suspends refugees from entering for 120 days until the administration decides which countries it considers to be safe for entry. (These countries were listed in an earlier CNN report…now the White House says it refuses to reveal the names of the countries. I decided to keep them in my post, though.) Trump also voiced support for Christians refugees over Muslim refugees in an interview with the Christian Broadcast Network (and I wish to remind readers that the U.S. does not have a national religion, and freedom of religion is a right granted by the Constitution). Several lawmakers and humanitarian groups have cited this as an executive order designed to allow Trump to discriminate against Muslims. http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/27/politics/trump-plans-to-sign-executive-action-on-refugees-extreme-vetting/index.html

— In the aforementioned interview with the Christian Broadcast Network, Trump claimed that Muslim refugees have had an easier time getting into the U.S. than Christian refugees. A report by the Pew Research Center (a nonpartisan fact tank) did not support this argument, showing that the number of Muslim and Christian refugees entering the U.S. in 2016 was nearly equal. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/05/u-s-admits-record-number-of-muslim-refugees-in-2016/

— He also signed an executive order to launch a “great rebuilding of the Armed Forces,” in his words. According to the Washington Post, the order asks new Defense Secretary James Mattis “to conduct a ‘readiness review’ that will examine needs for the war against the Islamic State” among many other things. Much more information on this executive order can be read here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/01/27/draft-executive-order-shows-how-trump-wants-to-grow-the-u-s-military-significantly/?utm_term=.44d1a30cb5e8

— British Prime Minister Theresa May visited Trump at the White House today and the two held a joint press conference. They agreed to work together on issues such as security and trade. For your daily dose of humor, in Trump’s opening statement he said that his mother was born in “serious Scotland” (as opposed to unserious Scotland?) An annotated transcript of the press conference can be read on the NPR website: http://www.npr.org/2017/01/27/511985090/trumps-press-conference-with-british-prime-minister-annotated

— Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto spoke by phone today, after Nieto canceled his previously scheduled visit to the U.S. amidst Trump’s order to begin building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico immediately, and his proposal to fund the wall by imposing a 20% tax on Mexican imports. According to the New York Times, both presidents stood their ground and reached no agreements or compromises during the call. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/27/world/americas/trump-mexican-president-phone-call.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=a-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

— Today was International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In a statement, Trump said, “It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust.” Throughout the three paragraph statement, though, Trump left out any mentions of the Jews or anti-Semitism. Several people, including the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League and the executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, spoke out in anger about these omissions. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-trump-holocaust-statement-20170127-story.html

— Obamacare Update: two things. First, on Thursday the Trump administration said they would halt all advertisements, emails, and communication outreach efforts aimed at letting the American people know that the enrollment deadline for Obamacare was fast approaching (the deadline is Jan. 31). Today, the administration reversed its decision to cut the ads after health insurers and supporters of the law strongly voiced their displeasure. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/obamacare-message-healthcare-gov-trump-234278

— Second thing on Obamacare: leaked audio from Republican Congress members’ retreat in Philadelphia this week (which Trump visited on Thursday) revealed that they are “divided, uncertain, and deeply concerned about how to move forward” with the decision to repeal Obamacare. Also, they still don’t have ANY sort of plan for how to replace the ACA if they repeal it. http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/27/14417272/republicans-obamacare-secret-tape-leak

Stay tuned for a Day Eight update tomorrow…the day of the Putin call.