Thur, Feb. 9, 2017: Trump calls Chinese president, says U.S. will honor ‘One China’ policy

President Trump spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time since taking over the White House late Thursday, agreeing to honor America’s long-standing “One China” policy.

The White House, which described the conversation as “extremely cordial,” said Trump will honor Xi’s request that requires the U.S. to maintain unofficial ties with Taiwan, China’s rival. The White House also added that both Trump and Xi extended invitations to meet in their respective countries and looked forward to future conversations.

The phone call may alleviate concerns that Washington is intent on shifting its relationship with Beijing. China claims Taiwan as its own territory.

–USA Today, Charles Ventura 

Thur, Feb. 9, 2017: Trump calls Afghan president

U.S. President Donald Trump and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani discussed opportunities to strengthen ties, security, counterterrorism cooperation and economic development during a telephone call on Thursday, the White House said in a statement.

Trump also emphasized the continuing importance of the U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership and his support for the government, the statement said.

–Reuters, Eric Walsh

Thur, Feb. 9, 2017: Trump says, ‘See you in court,’ after judges refuse to reinstate travel ban

U.S. President Donald Trump suffered a legal blow on Thursday when a federal appeals court refused to reinstate a temporary travel ban he had ordered on people from seven Muslim-majority countries.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the Trump administration failed to offer any evidence that national security concerns justified immediately restoring the ban, which was launched late last month.

Shortly after the court issued its 29-page ruling, Trump tweeted: “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” He told reporters his administration ultimately would win the case and dismissed the ruling as “political.” Continue reading “Thur, Feb. 9, 2017: Trump says, ‘See you in court,’ after judges refuse to reinstate travel ban”

Thur, Feb. 9, 2017: Trump disputes criticism from SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch

President Donald Trump castigated a Democratic senator on Thursday for saying U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch had voiced dismay in a private meeting over Trump’s attacks on the judiciary, while Republicans came forward to back up the lawmaker’s portrayal.

The Republican president has publicly vented his frustration with a court order last week that temporarily halted his travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, criticizing the judge who issued the order, the appeals process and the wider judiciary. That has morphed into a dispute over comments made by his pick for the Supreme Court.

Senator Richard Blumenthal said on Wednesday that Gorsuch had told him that Trump’s comments about the judiciary, which have included calling the judge who blocked his travel ban a “so-called judge,” were “disheartening and demoralizing.” Continue reading “Thur, Feb. 9, 2017: Trump disputes criticism from SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch”

Thur, Feb. 9, 2017: Trump signs executive orders on crime as Sessions is sworn in as AG (Video)

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions was sworn in Thursday as the 84th attorney general of the United States as President Trump signed three executive actions aimed at bolstering law enforcement.

Sessions, a former federal prosecutor and Alabama attorney general, pledged to attack a crime problem that he described as “a dangerous permanent trend that has places the health and safety of the American people at risk.”

Sessions’ remarks on crime during the brief White House swearing-in ceremony come after Trump’s disputed claims in recent days about record rising crime throughout the United States. FBI statistics have shown a sustained decline in violent offenses across the U.S., in recent years. Continue reading “Thur, Feb. 9, 2017: Trump signs executive orders on crime as Sessions is sworn in as AG (Video)”

Thur, Feb. 9, 2017: Trump meets with airline executives, promises reduced regulations, lower taxes

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with airline industry executives, including Myron Gray (right), president of U.S. Operations at UPS, in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 9, 2017. (Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump told a group of airline and airport executives Thursday that he would help them through reduced regulations and lower taxes.

Again vowing to reduce taxes across the board, Trump told his guests at a White House meeting that “over the next two or three weeks” there will be an announcement that is “phenomenal in terms of tax”

Airline CEOs expressed support for Trump’s tax and regulatory cut agenda during the session, which included Oscar Munoz of United Airlines, Ed Bastian of Delta Airlines and Gary C. Kelly of Southwest Airlines.

When Kelly said the top priority for helping airlines would be to “modernize the air traffic control system,” Trump replied: “I hear we’re spending billions and billions of dollars, it’s a system that’s totally out of whack.”

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Thur, Feb. 9, 2017: Trump participates in Sessions’ swearing-in; Calls leaders of Afghanistan, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq

9:00 am: Receives his daily intelligence briefing

9:30 am: Breakfast with airline industry officials; State Dining Room

10:30 am: Participates in the swearing-in of Attorney General Jeff Sessions

11:30 am: Speaks with President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan

Noon: Speaks with Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar

12:30 pm: Holds a SCOTUS listening session and lunch; Roosevelt Room

2:15 pm: Speaks with Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah of Kuwait

2:45 pm: Speaks with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq