Week 4, Thursday
President Trump held his first solo press conference today, first to introduce his new Secretary of Labor nominee, Alexander Acosta, but then to spend roughly an hour sparring with the press over their coverage of his administration. He repeatedly referred to any stories about Russia as “fake news,” he stood behind Michael Flynn despite accepting his resignation, he condemned and promised to punish those who leak confidential information (though he also held to the line that stories based on those leaks were fake), and he repeatedly shouted over reporters or told them to sit down and be quiet.
In one exchange, with Orthodox Jewish reporter Jake Turx, he strongly criticized the question (which was about how the government would deal with the uptick in anti-Semitism), told Turx to be quiet and to sit down, and answered that he was the least anti-Semitic person anyone could ever find and also the least racist. He asked April Ryan, who is African-American, if she could set up a meeting for him with the Congressional Black Caucus and if they were her friends in response to her question about whether he would work with the CBC to address urban crime.
The Senate confirmed Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) as Director of the Office of Management and Budget in a 51–49 vote (with Sen. John McCain voting with the Democrats).
The Justice Department notified the 9th Circuit that they do not seek en banc review of the 3-judge panel’s decision not to lift a TRO against Trump’s travel ban because of a new Executive Order that will, in the near future, replace the legally problematic EO. At that time, the DOJ requested that the 9th Circuit vacate the TRO ruling so that it will not create precedent. Washington and Minnesota argued that the precedent was firmly established and the court shouldn’t reconsider the ruling.
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