TRUMP AGENDA: Thunder from Down Under
Breaking last night, from the Washington Post: “It should have been one of the most congenial calls for the new commander in chief — a conversation with the leader of Australia, one of America’s staunchest allies, at the end of a triumphant week. Instead, President Trump blasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refugee agreement and boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win, according to senior U.S. officials briefed on the Saturday exchange. Then, 25 minutes into what was expected to be an hour-long call, Trump abruptly ended it. At one point, Trump informed Turnbull that he had spoken with four other world leaders that day — including Russian President Vladimir Putin — and that “this was the worst call by far.”
The AP: “For decades, Australia and the U.S. have enjoyed the coziest of relationships, collaborating on everything from military and intelligence to diplomacy and trade. Yet an irritable tweet President Donald Trump fired off about Australia and a dramatic report of an angry phone call between the nations' leaders proves that the new U.S. commander in chief has changed the playing field for even America's staunchest allies.”
The White House says it’s putting Iran “on notice” for a recent ballistic missile test.
More, from the Washington Post: “President Trump is advancing a combative and iconoclastic foreign policy that appears to sideline traditional diplomacy and concentrate decision-making among a small group of aides who are quickly projecting their new “America First” approach to the world.”
The New York Times writes that Trump’s view of Islam “It sometimes conflates terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State with largely nonviolent groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots and, at times, with the 1.7 billion Muslims around the world. In its more extreme forms, this view promotes conspiracies about government infiltration and the danger that Shariah, the legal code of Islam, may take over in the United States.”
From last night: “A scheduled speech by controversial Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley led to violent protests that caused the event to be called off, the university said.”
“The White House and lawmakers in Congress appear poised to take on another contentious slice of immigration policy: the visa programs favored by technology and other companies,” writes the Wall Street Journal.
From the Washington Post: “The early days of Donald Trump’s presidency have been marked by an aggressive and unapologetic effort to banish dissent.”
The AP looks at America’s complicated relationship with immigration.
The Wall Street Journal: “The biggest U.S. companies are reporting improved profits for the final quarter of 2016—and touting rosier prospects for 2017—but much of the discussion this earnings season has centered on President Donald Trump. From Apple Inc. to Exxon Mobil Corp., conversations between executives and investors about iPhone shipments and oil prices have made room for questions about the new president and the potential for major federal tax, regulatory and spending initiatives.”
There are alternatives to a physical border wall. NBC News takes a look at what some other ideas for the border would look like.
Rex Tillerson has been sworn in as secretary of state.
Betsy DeVos’s nomination may be in trouble after two Republicans said they can’t support her.
POLITICO goes there: “Trump vs. Obama: By the TV numbers”
DEM WATCH: Profiling Perez
NBC’s Suzanne Gamboa profiles Tom Perez, who hopes to be the next leader of the DNC.