TRUMP AGENDA: Here come the lawsuits
“President Donald Trump has been named in more than 50 lawsuits since taking the oath of office, a staggering number compared to the first days of past administrations” writes NBC’s Phil McCausland. “Since being sworn in Jan. 20, Trump has been named in 52 federal cases in 17 different states, according to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Comparatively, Barack Obama was named in three and George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were each named in four cases between Jan. 20 and Feb. 1.”
Ari Melber: “The federal government's ethics watchdog warned President Donald Trump's transition team last fall about its "unprecedented" and risky approach to staffing the cabinet, according to new emails obtained by NBC News.”
POLITICO: “A feeling of distrust has taken hold in the West Wing of Donald Trump's White House and beyond, as his aides view each other and officials across the federal government and on Capitol Hill with suspicion. The result has been a stream of leaks flowing from the White House and federal agencies, and an attempt to lock down information and communication channels that could have serious consequences across the government and at the Capitol, where Trump tries to implement and advance his agenda.”
The New York Times: “President Trump, after promising a radical break with the foreign policy of Barack Obama, is embracing some key pillars of the former administration’s strategy, including warning Israel to curb settlement construction, demanding that Russia withdraw from Crimea and threatening Iran with sanctions for ballistic missile tests.”
And from the Washington Post: “In his phone calls with foreign leaders, President Trump has made it abundantly clear that he is less interested in tending America’s long-term relationships than he is in short-term deals.”
USA Today: “Appearing on MSNBC's Hardball TV program on Thursday night, Conway referred to the "Bowling Green massacre" as part of her attempt to justify Trump's temporary restrictions on refugees and nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries… Two Iraqi men who lived in Bowling Green, Ky., were indicted in 2011 and are serving life sentences for using improvised explosive devices against U.S. soldiers in Iraq and also for attempting to send weapons and money to Al-Qaeda in Iraq for the purpose of killing U.S. soldiers. The Department of Justice says so — right here. But there is no mention of anything that resembles — in any way — violent offenses that can be characterized, even informally, as a "massacre" or terrorist attack in Bowling Green.”
Don’t miss this, too: “President Trump vowed on Thursday to overturn a law restricting political speech by tax-exempt churches, a potentially huge victory for the religious right and a gesture to evangelicals, a voting bloc he attracted to his campaign by promising to free up their pulpits.”
The Holocaust statement story continues: “The State Department drafted its own statement last month marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day that explicitly included a mention of Jewish victims, according to people familiar with the matter, but President Donald Trump’s White House blocked its release,” POLITICO reports.
The Wall Street Journal: “President Trump plans to order a rollback Friday of regulations governing the financial services industry and Wall Street under the Dodd-Frank law and beyond. Gary Cohn, White House Economic Council director, told the Wall Street Journal the administration would also move against a regulation designed to force retirement advisers to work in the best interest of their clients, the “fiduciary rule,” set to take effect in April and designed to eliminate conflicts-of-interests among professionals dealing with those enrolled in qualified retirement plans and IRAs.”
The New York Times reports on Melania’s role (or lack thereof) in the new White House.
POLITICO: “President Donald Trump’s trip to his luxury resort in Mar-a-Lago this weekend could saddle taxpayers with a bill upwards of $3 million and is already drawing the type of scrutiny Trump and other Republicans regularly heaped upon former President Barack Obama.”
CONGRESS: Repair instead of repeal?
“Two top Republicans long expected to lead the Senate’s role in repealing the Affordable Care Act said publicly this week that they are open to repairing former president Barack Obama’s landmark health-care law ahead of a wholesale repeal, which has been a GOP target for eight years,” writes the Washington Post.