Wed, Jan. 31, 2017: Trump nominates Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court justice

President Donald Trump selected 10th Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch on Tuesday evening as his nominee to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant for nearly a full year by Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last February.

Trump, who promised along the campaign trail to select a judge “in the mold of Scalia,” made the announcement from the East Room of the White House just after 8 p.m. in Washington.

“This has been the most transparent and most important Supreme Court selection process in the history of our country, and I wanted the American people to have a voice in this nomination,” Trump said. “Judge Gorsuch has a superb intellect, an unparalleled legal education, and a commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its text.”

Gorsuch, from Colorado, graduated from Harvard Law School and clerked for Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. Gorsuch was nominated to the 10th Circuit US Court of Appeals in 2006 by President George W. Bush. He was confirmed by a voice vote.


Click here to read more from Business Insider

Tue, Jan. 31, 2017: Trump to announce Supreme Court nominee in prime time (8pm EST, Watch Live)

President Donald Trump was set to unveil his pick on Tuesday for a lifetime job on the U.S. Supreme Court, likely choosing a conservative judge to try to shape the court for years to come on issues like abortion and gun and religious rights.

Democrats, still fuming over the Republican-led Senate’s refusal to act on former President Barack Obama’s court nominee last year, girded for a fight.

Trump has announced he will reveal his choice to replace conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last February, at the White House at 8 p.m.

“We’ll be announcing a Supreme Court justice who I think everybody’s going to be impressed with,” Trump told reporters at a cyber security event in the White House.

A source involved in the selection process said Trump had made his choice between two conservative U.S. appeals court judges – Neil Gorsuch and Thomas Hardiman. Both were appointed to the bench by former Republican President George W. Bush.

Tue, Jan. 31, 2017: Trump meets with cybersecurity experts, delays executive order

President Trump was expected to sign an executive order Tuesday outlining his approach to protecting federal agencies from hackers. The White House said Tuesday afternoon that the signing had been postponed, but did not give a reason.

Trump met earlier in the day with cybersecurity experts at the White House, during which they discussed the president’s goals.

The order is expected to put heads of all federal agencies on notice that they themselves would be responsible for making sure their electronic defenses are sufficient, a White House official told reporters. That is to keep them from passing the buck to lower-level staffers, the official said.

At the top this effort will be the Office of Management and Budget, which will examine the cybersecurity risks across the executive branch, the official said.

“I will hold my cabinet secretaries and agency heads accountable, totally accountable for the cyber security of their organizations which we probably don’t have as much, certainly not as much as we need,” Trump said just before the afternoon meeting.

Click here to read more from NBC News.


Tue, Jan. 31, 2017: Trump meets with drug company executives, vows to reduce regulations

President Trump promised some of the nation’s top drug company executives in a meeting at the White House on Tuesday that he would slash regulations at the Food and Drug Administration and make it easier for them to manufacture products in the United States.

He also described as “fantastic” the person he planned to nominate for commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, someone he said would streamline the agency and get drug approval decisions faster.

“You can’t get approval for the plant, and you can’t get approval for the drug; other than that, you’re doing fantastic,” Mr. Trump said at the meeting, to laughter from top executives of companies like Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly and Novartis.

But even as he struck a cordial tone with them, he said that lowering drug costs would remain a focus and that he would discuss the issue further during the nonpublic portion of the meeting, away from the news media. “The U.S. drug companies have produced extraordinary results for our country, but the pricing has been astronomical,” Mr. Trump said. “We have to get prices down for a lot of reasons.”

–The New York Times

Tue, Jan. 31, 2017: White House statement: Trump to continue protections for LGBT employees begun under Obama

An executive order protecting federal employees from anti-LGBTQ discrimination that was first signed in 2014 by President Barack Obama will continue under President Donald Trump, the White House said Tuesday.

“President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community,” the White House said in a statement. “The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact.”