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Today in Trump: February 27, 2017

Manufacturing Hope: Erie goes red
Why voters in Erie, Pennsylvania opted for dramatic change 06:08

Today in the Trump Administration  

ISIS-Pentagon Plan  

A month ago, on Jan. 28, the president ordered the Pentagon to review its strategy to fight ISIS. Defense Secretary James Mattis has the preliminary ISIS plan ready. It won’t include troop numbers and will be more strategic in nature, the Pentagon said Friday, Cami McCormick reported.

Trouble brewing for Deputy Commerce Secretary nominee Todd Ricketts

Even as the Senate confirmed Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary on Monday by a comfortable bipartisan margin of 72-‎27, trouble was lurking for Deputy Commerce Secretary nominee Todd Ricketts

Four sources familiar with the matter told CBS News that Ricketts, a member of the wealthy Ricketts family that owns the Chicago Cubs and Ameritrade, has run into significant difficulties separating himself from financial ties as part of Office of Government Ethics requirements. 

The requirements and difficulty of divesting from family business ties could force Ricketts to withdraw his nomination, two sources told CBS News. That move, the sources said, could come as early as Wednesday. 

Turning to Trump to reverse generations of manufacturing decline

The city of Erie has been hit hard by decades of decline in American manufacturing. Since its peak in the 1950s, Erie has shed nearly 30,000 manufacturing jobs, with the labor force decreasing by 12,000 over just the past decade. Its population now stands at under 100,000 people.

With a strong labor presence, Erie had been a reliable Democratic stronghold since the Reagan era. But the city voted for President Trump in 2016, becoming emblematic of Rust Belt communities that turned to Trump to reverse a downward spiral of job loss and outsourcing.

CBS Reports presents America: Manufacturing Hope 20:16

In the new documentary “America: Manufacturing Hope,” CBSN travels to Erie to meet the working class voters who have been hit hardest by the loss of manufacturing jobs in their hometown. Many families have lived in Erie for generations, carving out middle-class lives with well-paying jobs in local factories before the plants closed and work dried up.

Billionaire Wilbur Ross confirmed as commerce secretary

The Senate confirmed billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary Monday evening, with a vote of 72 yeas to 27 nays.

Ross easily cleared the Senate Commerce Committee and a procedural vote by the full Senate.

So far, the Senate has confirmed 15 out of 22 Trump Cabinet or Cabinet-level picks requiring confirmation. Senators also moved forward Monday on President Trump’s nomination of Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke to lead the Interior Department, voting 67-31 to limit debate. A final vote on confirmation could occur on Tuesday or Wednesday.

National security adviser rejects the term “radical Islamic terrorism”

President Trump’s new national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, does not think that “radical Islamic terrorism” is a useful term, CBS News’ Margaret Brennan confirms, putting him at odds with the president he serves. The New York Times first reported that he repudiated the phrase. 

Like many conservatives, Mr. Trump has routinely suggested that the phrase is critical to addressing the terrorist threat against the U.S. During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump repeatedly criticized the president and opponent Hillary Clinton for not using the term.  

“Is President Obama going to finally mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism?’” Mr. Trump wondered last year in a Tweet. “If he doesn’t, he should immediately resign in disgrace.”

Inside the U.S. vetting system Trump wants to replace

As the Trump administration readies a new “extreme vetting” executive order that is expected to ban people from certain countries in order to give agencies time to review U.S. vetting procedures, many experts and former officials argue that the screening process is already rigorous.

The revised travel ban, to be released this week, is again expected to bar entry for people from the seven countries in the president’s original order: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier this month that the 90-day ban on people from those nations would not be reinstated after it was suspended by a lower court. It’s unclear whether the new ban will again attempt to block all refugees from the U.S. for 120 days and block Syrian refugees indefinitely.

The cost to taxpayers of protecting Trump’s kids on overseas business trips

By Wednesday, Eric Trump will have gone to four countries on Trump company business since January 1, each with Secret Service agents in tow.

In early January, it was a trip to Uruguay for a glitzy party to promote a new property, with a reported $100,000 in hotel bills for Secret Service and other U.S. government personnel.

Then just a few weeks after the inauguration, he flew to the Dominican Republic --  but not before Secret Service agents first went for a routine advance planning trip.

Within weeks, Eric and his brother Donald Jr. flew to Dubai for the gala opening of another Trump property. 

And Tuesday night night, it’s Vancouver’s turn: a new Trump hotel that will be the city’s second-largest skyscraper.  Both brothers are expected to attend, and their Secret Service protection goes with them.

The Governors  

President Trump meets with  governors who are wrapping up their annual winter meeting in Washington, 8:50 a.m.  

Insurance executives

Mr. Trump meets with health insurance executives. 

The Cabinet

Congress returns from its break. The Senate has several Trump Cabinet nominees to confirm. The new Labor secretary nominee, Alexander Acosta, also has yet to testify in his confirmation hearing. 

  • Commerce: Wilbur Ross (Senate vote 7 p.m.)
  • HUD: Ben Carson
  • Interior: Ryan Zinke (Senate procedural vote follows Ross confirmation vote)
  • Energy: Rick Perry
  • U.S Trade Representative: Robert Lighthizer
  • Director of National Intelligence: Dan Coats; Agriculture: Sonny Perdue 
  • Labor Secretary: Alexander Acosta 

What you missed yesterday

Kasich on “Face the Nation”

As Republicans try to figure out how to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Ohio Gov. John Kasich says they’ll encounter “a problem” passing replacement legislation with some House conservatives if it still includes any vestiges of the original law. Because of that, he said, the GOP will need to reach out to Democrats to be successful.

Kasich was asked whether he agreed with former House Speaker John Boehner’s recent characterization of the issue: “Most of the Affordable Care Act, in the framework, is going to stay there,” Boehner said, adding that Republicans are “basically going to fix the flaws and put a more conservative box around it.”

Trump’s choice to be Navy secretary withdraws

 President Donald Trump’s choice to be secretary of the Navy, businessman Philip Bilden, said Sunday he was withdrawing from consideration for the post, citing concerns about privacy and separating himself from his business interests. 

Bilden’s withdrawal raises similar issues to that of Vincent Viola, Trump’s nominee for Army secretary who stepped aside earlier this month. 

As CBS News’ Major Garrett reported over a week ago, Bilden drew resistance due to his lack of familiarity with Navy issues and encountered difficulty separating himself from his financial interests. At the time, the White House publicly denied that Bilden is reconsidering his nomination.

Ex-CIA Director John Brennan says Trump travel ban won’t “help in any significant way”

With President Donald Trump expected to release his revised travel ban this week, former CIA Director John Brennan said Sunday that he doesn’t believe it will make the country significantly safer.

“I don’t think the travel ban is going to help in any significant way,” Brennan told CBS’ “Face the Nation” in his first media interview since leaving the CIA.

The governors

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump hosted a dinner for governors who are attending their annual winter meeting in Washington. Vice President Pence and his wife joined the president for a dinner with a record number of governors -- 46 -- and their spouses or guests.

The president told the governors, “I can say that after four weeks, it’s been a lot of fun,” according to the pool reporter. “We’ve accomplished almost everything we set out to accomplish. The borders are stricter….”

He went on to say that while “there are some big problems in the world,...we’re very happy with the say things are working. We’ve made a lot of promises over the last two years and many of those promises are kept.”

He joked, “Such an easy job you have,”  and told them he looked forward to meeting them Monday. 

In those meetings, he suggested health care would be a topic, and said, “I think you’re going to see something very, very special,” regarding repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. 

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