Mon, Jan. 23, 2017: Trump meets with congressional leaders; Talks Obamacare, says ‘illegals’ cost him the popular vote

President Trump used his first official meeting with congressional leaders on Monday to falsely claim that millions of unauthorized immigrants had robbed him of a popular vote majority, a return to his obsession with the election’s results even as he seeks support for his legislative agenda.

The claim, which he has made before on Twitter, has been judged untrue by numerous fact-checkers. The new president’s willingness to bring it up at a White House reception in the State Dining Room is an indication that he continues to dwell on the implications of his popular vote loss even after assuming power.

Mr. Trump has said he intends to press Congress to move quickly to repeal and replace Mr. Obama’s health care law, pass a large investment in the nation’s infrastructure, make changes to the country’s immigration laws and overhaul the tax system.

Click here to read more from the New York Times

Mon, Jan. 23, 2017: Trump meets with union leaders, talks construction

At a meeting with the leaders of several construction and building trade unions, President Trump reiterated on Monday his interest in directing hundreds of billions of dollars to infrastructure investments, some of it from the federal government, union officials said.

“That was the impression I was taken away with,” said Sean McGarvey, the president of North America’s Building Trades Unions, an umbrella group, on a call with reporters after the meeting. “That the American citizenry and the American Treasury will be invested in building public infrastructure.”

Mr. McGarvey added that Mr. Trump clearly felt that much of the money should come from the private sector and that some of the investments could take the form of public-private partnerships, an idea the president floated as a candidate.

The meeting included roughly half a dozen union leaders and a similar number of rank-and-file members, as well as senior White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence; Reince Priebus, the chief of staff; Katie Walsh, the deputy chief of staff; Stephen K. Bannon, the chief strategist; Kellyanne Conway, the president’s counselor; and Sean Spicer, the press secretary. It took place in the White House and ran for well over an hour.

Click here to read more from the New York Times

White House to add 4 ‘Skype seats’ for journalists outside the beltway

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said at his first press briefing Monday that future briefings will include four “Skype seats” for reporters who are outside of the Washington, D.C., area.

Spicer did not specify how it would be decided which outlets would be brought in via Skype, the world’s largest video call service owned by Microsoft. He did say those eligible for consideration need to live more than 50 miles from Washington.

Spicer added that the technology would open up briefings to a “diverse group” of journalists who can’t afford to travel to D.C.

Mon, Jan. 23, 2017: Trump nominates Heather Wilson for Air Force secretary

President Donald Trump plans to nominate former New Mexico Republican Rep. Heather Wilson as Air Force secretary, the White House announced on Monday.

Wilson, who served in Congress for a decade until 2009, has been the president of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology since 2013. She’s a retired Air Force captain who graduated from the Air Force Academy and, if confirmed, would be the first gradate from the academy to become secretary of the Air Force.

In the Air Force, Wilson served on the White House National Security Council staff in the George H.W. Bush administration.

In Congress, Wilson served on the Armed Services Committee. Continue reading “Mon, Jan. 23, 2017: Trump nominates Heather Wilson for Air Force secretary”

Mon, Jan. 23, 2017: Executive actions: Trump ends taxpayer funding for overseas abortions, instates hiring freeze

President Trump signed two additional presidential directives Monday, imposing a hiring freeze in civilian agencies, and restoring the so-called Mexico City policy that prohibits U.S. aid from supporting international groups that promote abortion.

When Chief of Staff Reince Priebus handed him a memorandum directing a hiring freeze, Trump emphasized, “except for the military.” The hiring freeze is in line with similar actions taken by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush in their first days in office. Obama did not order a hiring freeze, but only a pay freeze for senior members of the White House staff.

None of the directives were executive orders, but rather presidential memoranda. Known as “executive orders by another name,” presidential memoranda became President Obama’s executive power tool of choice, signing more of them than any president in history.

The Mexico City policy, referred to as the “global gag rule” by abortion rights groups, was first adopted by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and has been subject to presidential ping-pong ever since. Democratic presidents repeal it as one of their first acts in office; Republicans reinstate it.

USA Today

Mon, Jan. 23, 2017: Executive orders: Trump pulls U.S. out of Trans-Pacific Partnership, signals intention to renegotiate NAFTA

President Donald Trump will sign executive orders on Monday to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to an official familiar with the plans.

Trump’s trade-focused executive orders, part of a series of actions planned for Monday, fulfill a campaign promise to rewrite America’s trade policy during his first days as president.

The TPP, a 12-country deal that sought to liberalize trade between the U.S. and Pacific Rim nations including Japan, Mexico and Singapore, was a signature piece of former President Barack Obama’s “pivot” to Asia. Trump campaigned against the pact and other trade deals, such as Nafta, during his campaign for the White House. Continue reading “Mon, Jan. 23, 2017: Executive orders: Trump pulls U.S. out of Trans-Pacific Partnership, signals intention to renegotiate NAFTA”

Mon, Jan. 23, 2017: Trump meets with business, union leaders, Paul Ryan; Signs executive orders

Donald Trump will start off his week by meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and leaders in the business community on Monday, according to the daily guidance released by the White House on Sunday night.

Trump will begin his day at a breakfast with business leaders, and later on Monday the President will meet with union leaders. In the evening, he will meet with Ryan.

He will also sign executive orders on Monday morning, though it’s not yet clear which actions he will take.

–Talking Points Memo

Sun, Jan. 22, 2017: Trump calls Georgia governor, pledges aid for South after deadly tornadoes

President Donald Trump pledged federal assistance for Georgia, Florida and Alabama after the southeastern states were hit by severe storms.

Trump said during a White House ceremony that he had spoken to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and planned to speak with Florida Governor Rick Scott about the storms.

Trump said he expressed his condolences.

“The tornadoes were vicious and powerful and strong and they suffered greatly,” he said. “So we’ll be helping out.”

(Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe and Steve Holland; Editing by Paul Simao)

SOURCE: Reuters

Sun, Jan. 22, 2017: Trump makes phone call with Netanyahu, begins talks on moving U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem

President Donald Trump invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit Washington in early February during a phone call in which they discussed the importance of strengthening the U.S.-Israeli relationship, the White House said on Sunday.

In his first call with Netanyahu since taking office on Friday, Trump stressed his “unprecedented commitment to Israel’s security.”

“The president and the prime minister agreed to continue to closely consult on a range of regional issues, including addressing the threats posed by Iran,” the White House said in a statement. Continue reading “Sun, Jan. 22, 2017: Trump makes phone call with Netanyahu, begins talks on moving U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem”