Sat, Jan. 28, 2017: Trump sets 5-year and lifetime lobbying ban for officials; Gives JCOS 30 days to develop plan to defeat ISIS; Begins restructuring Security Council

President Donald Trump acted Saturday to fulfill a key portion of his pledge to “drain the swamp” in Washington, banning administration officials from ever lobbying the U.S. on behalf of a foreign government and imposing a separate five-year ban on other lobbying.

Administration officials described the bans as historic in scope. But it was not immediately clear how either one would be enforced. Continue reading “Sat, Jan. 28, 2017: Trump sets 5-year and lifetime lobbying ban for officials; Gives JCOS 30 days to develop plan to defeat ISIS; Begins restructuring Security Council”

Sat, Jan. 28, 2017: Trump and Putin discuss stabilizing ties

US President Donald Trump may be having his biggest day of diplomacy yet, speaking by phone Saturday with five world leaders — most significantly Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Germany’s Angela Merkel.

It was Trump’s first phone conversation with the Russian President since his inauguration last week.

CNN’s Matthew Chance in Moscow said a Kremlin summary of the phone call talked about stabilizing the relationship between the two nations and several other subjects. Some of the other issues included restoring trade ties, international terrorism, the situations in Ukraine and the Korean Peninsula, and the coordination of military action against ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria.

The White House called the one-hour chat a significant start to improving a relationship “in need of repair.”


Plan to reduce funding to United Nations delayed

The Trump administration is delaying its plans to issue two executive orders that would reduce funding to the United Nations and begin a process to review and potentially cancel certain multilateral treaties, according to current and former officials briefed on the matter.

Both draft orders were submitted to the National Security Council for approval, but the council’s advisers were granted less than an hour and a half to review them, though this process normally takes weeks. Federal agencies were granted similarly brief windows for review.

Federal officials that were asked to review the documents balked at their contents, warning they required legal vetting.

The draft orders are now being withheld for a more complete review by a number of agencies, including the State Department, which is expected to begin as early as next week.

Click here to read more from The New York Times

Sat, Jan. 28, 2016: Trump has phone calls with Russian, German, and French leaders

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are set to speak by telephone on Saturday, the White House has confirmed.

It will be the first time the two leaders talk since Trump took office on Jan. 20.

Trump will also be speaking with the leaders of France and Germany in separate calls, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

–The Hill

Before he speaks with Putin, Trump will hold call Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Later, he will speak with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.