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Today in Trump: February 14, 2017

Replacing Gen. Flynn
Replacing Gen. Flynn 06:39

Today in the Trump Administration

Michael Flynn resigns

Late last night, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned

Flynn said in his resignation letter that during the course of his duties as incoming national security adviser he held “numerous” phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers and ambassadors that were “to facilitate a smooth transition and begin to build the necessary relationships” between President Trump, his advisers and foreign leaders.

“Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador,” he said. “I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.”

John Dickerson: Trump and Flynn and truth-telling habits

Sunday, on “Face the Nation” White House policy adviser Stephen Miller assessed the administration’s ability to handle the frantic pace: “to say that we’re in control would be a substantial understatement.” 

Today, National Security adviser Michael Flynn resigned. Sunday, a friend of the president, Newsmax editor Chris Ruddy who had just shared a late night drink at the White House, went on CNN’s Reliable Sources and said Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was in over his head. Administration-friendly Breitbart reported Tuesday that a list of possible replacements for Priebus is being evaluated as a part of a staff shake-up. The reports of such a shakeup are not just appearing in administration-allied organs, but also hereherehere and here.

Michael Flynn timeline

A look at the developments in Flynn’s recent past -- from his travel to Russia months before the election through his resignation just over three weeks into his tenure as national security adviser

Who could replace Flynn as national security adviser?

The White House is considering three candidates to serve as President Trump’s national security adviser after Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation from that position Monday night.

Officials have floated three names, including retired Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr., who’s been named acting national security adviser in the interim.  Former CIA Director David Petraeus and Vice Admiral Bob Harward, who’s a retired Navy SEAL and a former deputy commander of CENTCOM, or U.S. Central Command, are the other two names.

Canadian Muslims denied entry to the U.S. after Arabic videos found on phone

Canadian citizens Fadwa Alaoui and her cousin Fadela Boutaleb were off on one of their quick shopping trips across the border, this time to celebrate Alaoui’s 5-year-old son’s last chemo treatment.

But when they arrived at the U.S. border in Highgate Springs, Vermont, the women say they were asked repeated questions about their religion, illegal under us law.

Hillary Clinton weighs in on Michael Flynn’s resignation

Hillary Clinton late Monday weighed in on Twitter on the resignation of Gen. Michael Flynn as President Trump’s national security adviser.

The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee retweeted a tweet from her longtime aide, Philippe Reines, who joked about Flynn’s situation, alluding to him and his son spreading the conspiracy theory known as “PizzaGate” that accused Clinton and her former campaign manager of running a child sex slave ring out of Comet Ping Pong, a pizza restaurant near Washington, D.C.

GOP reaction to Flynn resignation

Sen. Armed Services chairman John McCain responded to “this Flynn situation” at the Capitol today.

“I think there is significant dysfunction in the national security apparatus of the Trump administration,” McCain said, according to CBS News’ Alan He. “When you see they don’t know who’s in charge, this Flynn situation, the whole environment is one of dysfunction in the Trump administration as far as national security concerned.”

Earlier, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that Mr. Trump made the right call on Flynn.

“I think the president made the right decision to ask for his resignation. You cannot have a national security adviser misleading the vice president and others,” he told reporters, according to CBS News’ Catherine Reynolds. “So I think the president was right to ask for his resignation, and I believe it was the right thing to do.”  


The president has lunch with Chris and Mary Pat Christie, 12:30 p.m.

On schedule

President Trump signs H.J. Resolution 41, which nullifies a Dodd-Frank SEC rule requiring oil and gas companies to disclose taxes, fees they pay to foreign governments, 2:30 p.m.

He’ll meet with parents and teachers for “listening session,” 10:30 a.m.

Supreme Court

10:30a.m. Neil Gorsuch meets with Sen. Joe Donnelly, then Sen. Mazie Hirono at 12:30 p.m.. He meets with Sen. Chris Coons at 2:30 pm. and Sen. Minority Whip Dick Durbin at 3:30 p.m.

The cabinet

Senate votes on Linda McMahon’s confirmation to be small business administrator, 11 a.m.     

Vice President Pence swears in David Shulkin as Veterans Affairs secretary, 3 p.m.

Report: White House reporter accuses Trump aide Omarosa Manigault of bullying her

A longtime White House reporter says that President Trump’s aide Omarosa Manigault “physically intimidated” her when they got into an argument in the West Wing last week, according to The Washington Post.

The reporter, April Ryan of the American Urban Radio Networks, said that the former star of “The Apprentice” intimidated her in a way that could have invited involvement by the Secret Service.

“She stood right in my face like she was going to hit me,” Ryan told the Post. “I said, ‘You better back up.’ . . . She thought I would be bullied. I won’t be.”

What you missed yesterday

Michael Flynn’s job in jeopardy

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s job security is in jeopardy, CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett has learned, and White House policy adviser Stephen Miller’s studied non-defense of Flynn illustrates a new level of isolation from Trump and his inner circle. 

Flynn’s deception about conversations with the Russian ambassador about Obama administration sanctions have deeply soured his relationship with Vice President Mike Pence. Two sources with direct knowledge of the situation describe Pence as aggravated by Flynn’s decision to deceive Pence -- forcing him to say things on Flynn’s behalf on “Face The Nation” and other shows that have proven to be untrue. Pence relied on Flynn’s representations and feels burned, the sources said.‎

Trump is evaluating the situation involving Michael Flynn and Russian calls

The White House says President Trump is “evaluating the situation” involving his national security adviser Michael Flynn.

“[H]e is speaking to Vice President Pence relative to the conversation the Vice President had with General Flynn and also speaking to various other people about what he considers the single most important subject there is, our national security,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said in a statement Monday. 

Report: Trump dealt with North Korea missile launch as his club’s members dined nearby

President Trump dealt with a major national security issue during his weekend getaway at Mar-a-Lago with members of the club eating dinner near his table on the terrace outside.

One guest who joined the club a few months ago, Richard DeAgazio, posted photos of what happened on his Facebook account, that were publicly taken down but then obtained by CBS News.

DeAgazio, a retired investor, told The Washington Post in an interview Monday that he was sitting about six tables away from where Mr. Trump and his team sat with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. While he was sitting there, DeAgazio said that he learned that North Korea had just test-fired a ballistic missile and he turned to look at the president’s table.

U.S. sanctions Venezuela’s vice president as “drug trafficker”

The U.S. sanctioned Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami on Monday, calling him a “prominent Venezuelan drug trafficker.”

In a statement, the U.S. Treasury Department said its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated El Aissami as “a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) for playing a significant role in international narcotics trafficking.” 

The U.S. is also sanctioning Samark Bello, a wealthy businessman connected to El Aissami who has held significant business interests in the U.S. The U.S. says Bello provided assistance or support to El Aissami’s trafficking activities. 

Judge denies DOJ request to postpone travel ban hearing

The Justice Department’s request for a delay in action on the lower court case on the merits of President Trump’s travel ban was denied by the federal court in Seattle.

The Washington State Attorney General’s office confirmed to CBS News that District Judge Robart ruled that the travel ban case can proceed on the merits in his court.  That means the two sides will begin submitting briefs and arguments on the issue of whether this policy is actually Constitutional. 

In a memo filed Monday afternoon regarding the legal fight over President Trump’s travel ban, the Justice Department had informed the court that it wanted to postpone any further action at the District Court level until the 9th Circuit decides whether it will hear the case en banc. 

What the White House may do next with the travel ban

President Trump’s adviser Stephen Miller said in a round of TV appearances Sunday that the administration is exploring multiple avenues to get some type of travel ban implemented.

Just a few days after a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided to uphold a lower court’s decision to temporarily block the travel ban, Miller said the White House is considering further legal action as well as executive actions.

“We’re considering new and further executive actions that will enhance the security posture of the United States,” Miller said in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I don’t have any news today to make on it but I think the point John is that the President has enormous powers both delegated to him by Congress and under the Constitution, his article 2 foreign affair powers to control the entry of aliens into our country and he’s going to use that authority to keep us safe.”

Trump and Trudeau

President Trump met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at 11 a.m. They’ll held a round table at 12:15 p.m. on women business leaders and entrepreneurs, and then held a joint press conference.

The joint news conference follows a bilateral meeting between the two leaders. Issues including trade and possibly immigration might come up on their agenda. There might be questions regarding the administration’s plan moving forward on the travel ban and new executive action(s) they’ve said they’d roll out this week. 

The Cabinet

Trump Treasury nominee Steven Mnuchin confirmed by Senate

The Senate voted 53-47 to confirm Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary on Monday evening.

Mnuchin was expected to be confirmed. His confirmation came in spite of strong objections by Democrats that the former banker made much of his fortune by foreclosing on struggling homeowners during the financial crisis.

Republicans said Steven Mnuchin’s long tenure in finance makes him qualified to run the Treasury Department, which will play a big role in developing Trump’s economic policy.

Phone calls

President Trump will speak with President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, 9:45 a.m., and then at 10:10 a.m. he’ll have a call with President Jacob Zuma of South Africa

Late this afternoon, Mr. Trump speaks with Maureen Scalia, the widow of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, on the anniversary of his death.

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