As I'm sending this out, there are overnight firings of Secret Service managerial personnel and nobody knows why. See last item. At posting time, this was a breaking event.
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Resistance from within: Federal workers push back against Trump
By Juliet Eilperin, Lisa Rein and Marc Fisher January 31 at 8:34 PM
The Washington Post
The signs of popular dissent from President Trump’s opening volley of actions have been plain to see on the nation’s streets, at airports in the aftermath of his refugee and visa ban, and in the blizzard of outrage on social media. But there’s another level of resistance to the new president that is less visible and potentially more troublesome to the administration: a growing wave of opposition from the federal workers charged with implementing any new president’s agenda.
Less than two weeks into Trump’s administration, federal workers are in regular consultation with recently departed Obama-era political appointees about what they can do to push back against the new president’s initiatives. Some federal employees have set up social media accounts to anonymously leak word of changes that Trump appointees are trying to make.
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Trump Vows to ‘Destroy’ Law Banning Political Activity by Churches
By MARK LANDLER - FEB. 2, 2017
The New York Times
WASHINGTON — President Trump vowed Thursday to overturn a law restricting political speech by tax-exempt churches, a potentially huge victory for the religious right and a gesture to his political base.
Mr. Trump said his administration would “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits churches from engaging in political activity at the risk of losing their tax-exempt status.
Repealing the law would require approval by Congress. Certain tax-exempt organizations — in this case, churches — are not allowed to openly endorse or campaign for political candidates. If they do, under existing law, they risk losing the benefits of their tax-exempt status.
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Virginia Just Filed A Contempt Motion Against Trump Over Immigration Order
Virginia asked a U.S. District Court to make the federal government prove it complied with a temporary restraining order.
02/02/2017 02:31 am ET
The Commonwealth of Virginia asked a federal judge late Wednesday night to force President Donald Trump, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and top government officials to show why they shouldn’t be held in contempt for failing to obey a lawful court order.
The temporary restraining order issued Saturday night by U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema of the Eastern District of Virginia required Customs and Border Protection to allow attorneys access to legal permanent residents that CBP had detained at Dulles International Airport as a result of Trump’s executive order blocking people from seven Muslim-majority nations from traveling to the U.S. Saturday’s court order also forbade CBP from deporting any of the legal permanent residents ― also known as green-card holders ― detained at Dulles for seven days.
When federal judges rule against the government, any official implicated in the order, including the president, is supposed to obey ― even if they believe the court’s order is incorrect.
But as The Huffington Post reported this weekend, CBP did not comply with the court’s order. The border agency never let attorneys near the people it was detaining. And when Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and at least four other members of Congress tried to get CBP to comply at various points over the weekend, CBP defied them.
In addition to Trump and CBP, the Department of Homeland Security, DHS chief John Kelly, acting CBP Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan, Dulles CBP head Wayne Biondi and eight unnamed CBP agents are defendants in the lawsuit. Their “conduct and refusal to account for their actions last weekend suggests disobedience” to the court’s order, Virginia charged in its brief.
The case originated on Friday, when Virginia civil rights attorneys sued on behalf of green card holders who were detained at Dulles soon after Trump’s executive order was signed. Brinkema issued her temporary restraining order Saturday. Virginia intervened in the case on Tuesday, arguing that CBP and the other defendants may have violated the rights of legal state residents by deporting them and forcing them to sign papers giving up their rights to live in the country, and it filed the contempt motion late Wednesday. A hearing on the contempt issue, which could prove to be a significant showdown between a Democratic-controlled state and the Republican-led federal government, is scheduled for Friday morning.
“A president can be held in contempt of court,” Adam Winkler, constitutional law expert and law professor at UCLA, told The Huffington Post. “President Clinton was held in contempt of court in 1999 over his false testimony in the Monica Lewinsky scandal. The truly remarkable question we find ourselves asking is whether Trump will follow a court order. Clinton did. But Trump seems to snub his nose at anyone who opposes him. “
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Trump Threatens UC Berkeley’s Federal Funding After Protesters Shut Down Alt-Right Event
Demonstrators could be seen shouting, setting fires, destroying lights, and breaking windows in response to a scheduled speech by Milo Yiannopoulos.
2 February 2017
President Donald Trump reacted angrily to overnight protests against alt-right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos at University of California, Berkeley, and threatened to withdraw federal funds if the university “does not allow free speech and practices violence” in a tweet posted early Thursday morning.
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
Chaos erupted on campus on Wednesday night as protesters demonstrating against a scheduled speech by Yiannopoulos started fires, broke windows, and repeatedly refused police orders to disperse.
The protests began peacefully Wednesday evening outside the campus building where Yiannopoulos — an outspoken Trump supporter and writer for the far-right website Breitbart — was scheduled to give a speech. They quickly turned violent, though, and video from the scene showed protesters toppling an outdoor light fixture and starting a large fire outside the building.
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Donald Trump's attorney general blamed disabled children for 'decline in civility' in schools
Senator Jeff Sessions' appointment seen as controversial due to string of inflammatory comments, including allegations he referred to a black official as 'n****r'
Wednesday 30 November 2016 14:45 BST
Donald Trump’s newly appointed attorney general said laws designed to help disabled children were to blame for a "decline in civility and discipline" in classrooms.
In May 2000, Senator Jeff Sessions argued against federal protections for students with disabilities as part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - citing efforts to place disabled pupils in mainstream classrooms as the reason for bad behaviour in the US public school system.
“We have created a complex system of federal regulations and laws that have created lawsuit after lawsuit, special treatment for certain children, and that are a big factor in accelerating the decline in civility and discipline in classrooms all over America. I say that very sincerely,” Mr Sessions argued to the Senate floor.
The 1975 law was designed to offer disabled children protections from school administrators, requiring schools to grant students with disabilities access to education in a general classroom where possible.
The legislation, which has since been reformed numerous times, has been credited with helping millions of children receive mainstream access to public schooling.
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U.S. eases restrictions on cyber-security sales to Russian spy agency
Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY Published 12:29 p.m. ET Feb. 2, 2017
The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday eased some economic sanctions against Russia, specifically licensing cyber-security sales to the Russian Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB, according to official documents.
The license, listed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Treasury Department, covers "all transactions and activities" involving the Federal Security Service, known as the FSB, that were prohibited by earlier executive orders.
It notes in particular that "requesting, receiving, utilizing, paying for, or dealing in licenses, permits, certifications, or notifications issued or registered by the Federal Security Service (FSB) for the importation, distribution, or use of information technology products in the Russian Federation," is allowed.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., ranking member of a House CIA subcommittee, accused the Trump administration of “rewarding” the FSB for tampering with the U.S. elections.
“This is the same group (FSB) that, just a month ago, our intelligence community determined was responsible for the attack on our democracy,” Swalwell told USA TODAY. “We just made it easier for the same group to import into Russia the tools they could use to hack us or our allies again.”
Swalwell said he will explore methods for Congress to enact its own sanctions.
“We have French and German elections coming up, and we just made it easier (for the FSB) to go after them,” he said. “They can sharpen the knives and come after us again.”
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On Twitter, in response to Betsy DeVos cloture vote (52-47, strict party line vote)
9:31 AM - 2 Feb 2017
Everything that Trump does in office: Always remember it was possible because Republicans supported it *unanimously*
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President Trump's 'Bad Hombres' Comment Intended as 'Lighthearted,' White House Official Says
Vivian Salama / AP
2:14 PM UTC
[Okay, so, first he said it, then he didn't say it, then he did say it, but it was "lighthearted" and a joke? I think?]
(WASHINGTON) — A White House official is confirming that President Donald Trump told Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto that he might send U.S. troops to deal with "bad hombres down there" if the Mexican military doesn't.
The official says the remark was meant to be "lighthearted" and was a reference to cooperation between the countries in fighting drug cartels.
The Associated Press first reported Wednesday that Trump made the comment in an hourlong conversation with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Jan. 27.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the details publicly, said "those comments, while lighthearted, were part of a discussion about how the United States and Mexico could work collaboratively to combat drug cartels and other criminal elements, and make the border more secure."
The official described the conversation as "pleasant and constructive."
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Press Secretary Sean Spicer Falsely Accuses Iran of Attacking U.S. Navy Vessel, an Act of War
Zaid Jilani, Alex Emmons
2 February 2017
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer asserted at Thursday’s press briefing that Iran had attacked a U.S. naval vessel, as part of his argument defending the administration’s bellicose announcement that Iran is “on notice.”
National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on Wednesday said he was “officially putting Iran on notice” following the country’s ballistic missile test and an attack on a Saudi naval vessel by Houthi rebels in Yemen (the Houthis are tenuously aligned with Iran’s government but are distinct from it).
The White House press corps wanted to know what being put “on notice” entailed, and Spicer responded by claiming that Iran’s government took actions against a U.S. naval vessel, which would be an act of war. “I think General Flynn was really clear yesterday that Iran has violated the Joint Resolution, that Iran’s additional hostile actions that it took against our Navy vessel are ones that we are very clear are not going to sit by and take,” he said. “I think that we will have further updates for you on those additional actions.”
Major Garrett of CBS News quietly corrected him, saying “a Saudi vessel,” and Spicer then responded almost inaudibly: “Sorry, thank you, yes a Saudi vessel. Yes, that’s right.” He did not in any way address his false claim that it was an Iranian attack, however.
Pentagon spokesman Christopher Sherwood confirmed to The Intercept that the attack was in fact conducted against a Saudi warship, and that the Pentagon suspects Houthi rebels. “It was a Saudi ship – it was actually a frigate” said Sherwood. “It was [conducted by] suspected Houthi rebels off the coast of Yemen.”
Fox News initially misreported that a U.S. ship was somehow the target — which is perhaps where some of the confusion in the White House originated.
This, of course, is how American wars start. In the infamous 1964 “Gulf of Tonkin incident,” as it is often referred to, the White House and the Pentagon accused North Vietnamese forces of attacking two Navy destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin off Vietnam on August 4. President Lyndon Johnson used the attacks to coax Congress into approving a resolution, known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, that authorized military action in Vietnam. As the New York Times noted a few years ago, the “attack never happened.”
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Bills to Repeal Trump Ban Backed By Nearly All Congressional Democrats
National Iranian Affairs Council
February 1, 2017 NIAC Staff
(see also: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/724 )
Washington, DC – Legislation to rescind Donald Trump’s Executive Order that bans travel for nationals of seven countries has already garnered the support of nearly every Democrat in the House and Senate.
In the House, 185 of the 196 Democrats in the chamber have signed onto legislation offered by Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), the Statue of Liberty Values Act (SOLVE/H.R.724). The bill would rescind Trump’s executive order and prohibit any funding to enforce it. House Democrats held a series of speeches yesterday on the floor in support of repealing the ban and asked for unanimous consent to vote on the bill, which was blocked.
Senate Judiciary Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced S. 240, which would rescind the Executive Order and ensure that it has no legal effect. The bill is cosponsored by 38 of the chamber’s 48 Democrats. Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer sought an immediate vote on the bill Monday night, but Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK)– the author of the letter to Iran’s leaders warning them not to agree to the Iran nuclear deal – blocked a vote on the measure.
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REPORTED BUT UNCONFIRMABLE: Milo Y was going to target undocumented students at Berkeley?
(By me, with Twitter link)
What I'm hearing about the Milo Y speech in California is that he was going to target a bunch of undocumented students at the university, much like he viciously went after a transwoman student at U. Wisconsin. (She ended up withdrawing from school over it, and that _is_ when protests against him started ramping _way_ the fuck up. Before that, it was a much smaller affair.)
I am more specifically hearing that this kind of action was expected by the protesters.
He was - and this is from his own publisher - _specifically_ going to "call for the withdrawal of federal grants and the prosecution of university officials" at "sanctuary" campuses. We also know with certainty that he previewed a "PURGE YOUR LOCAL ILLEGALS" slide in New Mexico, six days ago. ( https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C3m871IWQAEmJRo.jpg ) So given his MO of the past, I consider the rumour plausible.
(There is a Breitbart link at the tweet.)
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Nancy Pelosi Throws Down, Repeatedly Calls Trump Chief Strategist Steve Bannon “White Supremacist”
Hillary tried to warn us.
by Dan Van Winkle | 4:56 pm, February 2nd, 2017
The Mary Sue
We’re no fans of Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, around here. He’s been the executive chair of Breitbart, a website that he once called the “platform for the alt-right”—the “alt-right,” as you’ll remember, is not-so-secret code for white supremacists. Hillary Clinton tried to warn everyone about this and was generally ignored by the people who needed to hear it, if the election results are any indication. Now, Nancy Pelosi is throwing down the gauntlet.
In the video clip above, wherein Pelosi calls Bannon a “white supremacist” twice in under 45 seconds, she’s referring to his placement on the National Security Council. It’s unusual enough for a political member of the president’s staff to sit on the National Security Council, and Bannon’s personal views on Islam and his self-proclaimed desire to “destroy the state” make the decision even more troubling.
As for being a white supremacist, Bannon’s even made remarks to an uncomfortable Trump that it’s a problem when tech company CEOs are from countries in Asia, seemingly preferring that anyone from a foreign country who goes to school in the United States then leaves the U.S. afterward instead of putting that education to work here. Bannon himself aside, the administration’s policies so far, especially the not-a-Muslim-ban-Muslim-ban and shifting counter terrorism efforts to focus solely on Islam, already reflect the dangerous ideology in the White House.
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DEVELOPMENT: @lufthansa now boarding travelers from the seven banned countries in accordance with MA order!
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‘Commit to not criticizing the president’: Hawaii GOP ousts leader for speaking at Women’s March
David Edwards | Raw Story
02 Feb 2017 at 15:20 ET
Republican lawmakers in Hawaii have reportedly booted state Rep. Beth Fukumoto (R) out of her position as House Minority Leader because she participated in the Women’s March against President Donald Trump.
Fukumoto told KHON that she was bullied by her colleagues and is now considering switching parties.
“The Republican Party is getting increasingly hostile to different opinions,” she explained. “If you followed what happened at the state convention (in May 2016), I got booed for about 10 minutes straight for raising concerns about President Trump, then nominee Trump, and the way he treated women and minorities in many of his remarks. I, at the time, had said this is not, this should not reflect our party.”
Fukumoto said she “repeated those sentiments at the Women’s March last week.”
“And since then, there have been many calls for my resignation, and my caucus members have raised concerns about whether or not that means I’m a Republican, whether or not that means I’m fit for leadership, whether or not that means I should even be an elected official.”
In an address on the state House floor, Fukumoto revealed that Republicans had asked her to agree to never criticize Trump again.
“They told me they would keep me in this position if I would commit to not disagreeing with our president for the remainder of his term. Mr. Speaker, I’m being removed because I refused to make that commitment, because I believe it’s our job as Americans and as leaders in this body to criticize power when power is wrong.”
State Rep. Bob McDermott (R) argued that Fukumoto’s first responsibility was to the party.
“You are speaking not for yourself anymore,” he said. “It is a high-level responsibility.”
Fukumoto sent letters to her constituents this week asking for feedback before making the jump to the Democratic Party.
“When I was re-elected in November, I was elected as a Republican, and I want to honor my community’s choice by consulting them before any decision is made,” she said in a statement. “As I articulated in my letter, I encourage my constituents to contact me with input and provide feedback. I was elected by the people of Mililani, and I am here to represent them.”
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Iranian man barred from entering U.S. lands at LAX; first to return after court order
Los Angeles Times
2 February 2017
An Iranian man who was barred from entering the United States under President Trump’s travel ban returned to Los Angeles on Thursday, the first person allowed into the country after a legal challenge to the White House’s executive order.
Ali Vayeghan was aboard a flight from Qatar that landed at Los Angeles International Airport at 12:40 p.m., said family members and attorneys who took up his case. A roar of approval went up from immigration attorneys and relatives who had gathered at LAX’s Terminal 2 when it was announced that Vayeghan’s plane had landed.
Vayeghan reunited with supporters around 1:30 p.m. after officials allowed him into the U.S.
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Donald Trump Pledges to 'Destroy' Johnson Amendment Blocking Political Activity by Churches
By JENNIFER HANSLER | ABC News
Feb 2, 2017, 3:31 PM ET
President Donald Trump today pledged to "destroy" the six-decade-old Johnson Amendment, which bars churches from engaging in political activities.
"It was the great Thomas Jefferson who said, 'The God who gave us life gave us liberty.' Jefferson asked, 'Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?' Among those freedoms is the right to worship according to our own beliefs," Trump said at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning.
Trump added, "That is why I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution."
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Howard Stern: Trump wants to be loved, presidency will be 'detrimental' to his mental health
by Andrew Kaczynski @CNNMoney February 2, 2017: 3:58 PM ET
Howard Stern said on his program Wednesday that Trump will hate being president and the role will be detrimental to his mental health.
Stern and Trump are long-time friends, with Trump making numerous appearances on Stern's radio show over the years.
"I personally wish that he had never run, I told him that, because I actually think this is something that is gonna be detrimental to his mental health too, because, he wants to be liked, he wants to be loved," Stern said. "He wants people to cheer for him."
"I don't think it's going to be a healthy experience. And by the way, he's now on this anti-Hollywood kick. He loves Hollywood. First of all, he loves the press. He lives for it. He loves people in Hollywood. He only wants hobnob with them. All of this hatred and stuff directed towards him. It's not good for him. It's not good. There's a reason every president who leaves the office has grey hair."
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Trump's EPA pick vote delayed in boycott by Senate Democrats
By Timothy Gardner | WASHINGTON
Republican U.S. senators on Wednesday delayed a committee vote on President Donald Trump's pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency after the panel's Democrats boycotted the meeting, saying that nominee Scott Pruitt doubts the science of climate change.
The boycott in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee delayed the transition to a new administrator for the agency. Senator Ben Cardin, a Democrat, said he could not support Pruitt, a Republican and the attorney general of Oklahoma, for a public health position because he "denies the sum of empirical science and the urgency to act on climate change."
At a committee confirmation hearing last month Pruitt, who has sued the agency he intends to run more than a dozen times on behalf of the oil-drilling state Oklahoma, expressed doubt about climate change science.
But Pruitt said he would be would be obliged for now to uphold the agency's 2009 "endangerment finding" that carbon dioxide emissions harm public health. The finding is the agency's basis for regulations on those emissions.
Senator Tom Carper, the panel's top Democrat, said Pruitt had provided "woefully inadequate" answers to written questions and had not named one agency regulation that he supported.
"If Mr. Pruitt is serious about leading this important agency, he should be more than willing to provide straightforward answers to our fundamental questions," Carper said.
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New Law Lets Dads Veto Abortions
An Arkansas law makes performing the procedure used in 95 percent of second trimesters a felony, with no exception for rape or incest—and allows family members to stop it.
02.02.17 5:00 AM ET
A new Arkansas law bans one of the safest and most common abortion procedures and allows family members to block an abortion by suing the abortion provider.
Arkansas Act 45, signed by Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson last Thursday, bans dilation and evacuation abortions, the most common abortion procedure during the second trimester of pregnancy. Rushed from filing to law in less than two months, the legislation effectively blocks abortions after 14 weeks by making the safest procedure a felony. The earliest current abortion bans block the procedure after 20 weeks.
With no exception for rape or incest, and a clause that allows a woman’s spouse or parent to sue an abortion provider, the law potentially allows the fetus’s father to sue even in cases of spousal rape or incest, abortion rights activists say. The law could go into effect as early as spring.
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Donald Trump has built a wall. It’s in Washington Dulles International Airport.
Welcome to America: “Did you see anyone being detained or taken away?”
Updated by Tara Golshan Feb 2, 2017, 10:00am EST
Around 1:30 pm on Tuesday, soon after a Saudi Airlines plane landed from Jeddah, a US Customs and Border Protection agent slipped through the security wall at the international arrivals terminal at Virginia’s Washington Dulles airport. He opened a door, crossing between a group of people already welcomed to the United States, and those still waiting in bureaucratic limbo.
Azadeh Erfani spotted him and began her chase, a copy of a court order in hand.
“Excuse me,” she said.
“No comment,” the agent said. He walked past her.
“I’m an attorney,” Erfani said. “I’m not the press. I have a court order—”
“No comment,” he said. He disappeared back behind the wall.
Erfani works with the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition. Legally, she and her fellow attorneys are allowed to give face-to-face legal counsel to permanent residents stuck in the airport’s secondary screening, where visa holders subject to Donald Trump’s new immigration ban are taken for further questioning.
But the lawyers at Dulles have not been allowed behind the wall. They don’t know who has been pulled out of line, their visa status, or where they are being taken.
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Kellyanne Conway Refers to Fake Bowling Green Massacre
Trump’s adviser referenced the ‘Bowling Green massacre’ as a means of justifying the president’s refugee ban. Just one problem: It never happened.
02.03.17 3:43 AM ET
During an appearance on Chris Matthews’ Hardball on Thursday night, Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager and now an adviser in his administration, appeared to make up a fictional “massacre” when justifying the President’s ban on refugees and immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries.
“I bet it’s brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre,” Conway said during an exchange on the program. “Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.”
The media didn’t cover the Bowling Green Massacre because no such event ever happened.
What Conway was likely referring to was an incident in 2011 in which two Iraqi nationals were indicted for allegedly having ties to IED (Improvised Explosive Device) attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq.
According to a 2013 release from the Department of Justice pertaining to their sentencing for terrorist activities, “Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 25, a former resident of Iraq, was sentenced to life in federal prison, and Waad Ramadan Alwan, 31, a former resident of Iraq, was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison.” The two men lived in Bowling Green, Kentucky and according to the release “admitted using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against U.S. soldiers in Iraq and who attempted to send weapons and money to Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) for the purpose of killing U.S. soldiers.”
There is no information about the men having committed violent offenses in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Conway’s reference to a “ban” from Obama likely alludes to a review of vetting procedures for individuals coming from Iraq which did occur in 2011 as a result of the Bowling Green arrests. It was not a ban though.
The Daily Beast has reached out to Conway to determine what exactly she was referencing here, or whether it was another set of “alternative facts.” We will update as we hear more.
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The president is violating the court orders against his Muslim ban. Here’s how he’s getting away with it.
By Jeremy Stahl
2 February 2017
Early Sunday, less than 48 hours after the haphazard and mistake-riddled implementation of Donald Trump’s almost certainly unconstitutional travel ban, two district court judges in Massachusetts issued a sweeping order appearing to call for a temporary halt to the executive order.
Donald Trump and anyone working with him to implement the ban, Judges Allison Dale Burroughs and Judith G. Dein wrote, “shall not, by any manner or means, detain or remove individuals with refugee applications approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as part of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, holders of valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas, lawful permanent residents, and other individuals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen who, absent the Executive Order, would be legally authorized to enter the United States.”
The judges went further, instructing Trump and his agents to notify airlines that these people would not be detained or returned “solely on the basis of the Executive Order” so long as they flew in to Boston’s Logan Airport. This was widely interpreted as a very clear instruction: Tell the airlines that previously blocked travelers are now allowed to fly to Boston.
By Tuesday night another court, this time in Los Angeles, had issued an injunction restraining Trump from “blocking the entry” of a number of specifically named would-be travelers trapped in Djibouti and “any other person from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen with a valid immigrant visa.” The order also instructed the airport to “immediately” notify all relevant authorities at Los Angeles International Airport and Djibouti’s international airport that the plaintiffs in the case were allowed to travel.
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Donald Trump and Steve Bannon's coup in the making
By Ruth Ben-Ghiat
Updated 11:47 AM ET, Wed February 1, 2017
(CNN)We're not even two weeks into the Trump presidency. Has your head exploded yet? If so, you're right where Donald Trump and our shadow ruler, Steve Bannon, want you to be.
The onslaught of executive orders and threatening talk, while entirely in keeping with what Trump promised during the campaign, have left Americans of many political leanings feeling overwhelmed and fearful of what may come next.
Welcome to the shock event, designed precisely to jar the political system and civil society, causing a disorientation and disruption among the public and the political class that aids the leader in consolidating his power.
Those who still refuse to take Trump seriously cite his incompetence for the rough start in office. Yet this blitzkrieg was intentional. "Get used to it. @POTUS is a man of action and impact ... Shock to the system. And he's just getting started" his counselor Kellyanne Conway tweeted Saturday.
As Conway implies, these first days of the Trump administration could be considered a prologue to a bigger drama, and one that reflects the thinking of Trump and Bannon alike. From their actions and pronouncements, we cannot exclude an intention to carry out a type of coup.
Many may raise their eyebrows at my use of this word, which brings to mind military juntas in faraway countries who use violence and the element of surprise to gain power. Our situation is different. Trump gained power legally but this week has provided many indications that his inner circle intends to shock or strike at the system, using the resulting spaces of chaos and flux to create a kind of government within the government: one beholden only to the chief executive.
----- 24 -----
Secret Service purge in progress?
Steve Clemons on Twitter
(Editor at The Atlantic, also works with National Journal, MSNBC)
3 February 2017
Reports coming in that some Secret Service mgr level personnel forced 2 resign 2nite & escorted out of EEOB. Two out but source says more
[EEOB: Eisenhower Executive Office Building; it's part of White House complex, and is next door]
Repeat. Two (& perhaps more) @SecretService Mgr level staff abtuptly forced to resign tonight & escorted out of EEOB #trump #whitehouse
Not clear 2 @SecretService staff why they were abruptly forced 2 resign 2nite. individually terminated, escorted out #secretservice 1/3
The dismissed @SecretService staff now learning others also let go as they connect after the dismissals. Not sure total number fired 2/3
One of fired @SecretService Mgrs speculates #Trump is restructuring the service but this is speculation #secretservice 3/3
It's now 1:45amET Friday in DC & this @SecretService story unfolding now. Ive posted all I know. I am heading to DC imminently from Tokyo
To media colleagues I have posted what I know on @SecretService firings. I called @WhiteHouse & @SecretService but no response yet 1/2
But Im getting on flight now frm Tokyo2DC. Land 3:20pm. Plz feel free to call @SecretService Comms directly & plz send me what u learn 2/2