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The Daily 202: Fear of authoritarianism pervades Koch network seminar, as billionaire donors grapple with Trump

Mark Holden, general counsel for Koch Industries, chats with his boss Charles Koch. (Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)

with Breanne Deppisch

With Breanne Deppisch


INDIAN WELLS, Calif.—Charles Murray, the political scientist best known for his book “The Bell Curve,” spoke Sunday afternoon to 550 donors who have each agreed to give at least $100,000 a year to finance the conservative Koch network. He painted a pessimistic picture of decaying institutions, growing dependency on government assistance and the increasing isolation of the rich from the rest of society.

“Completely apart from the individual person of the president, I think we see an environment that is fertile for authoritarianism in the United States now,” he told some of the country’s most affluent business leaders, as they sipped lemonade and ate salad at a desert resort outside Palm Springs.

“As recently as 1960, both the left and the right were united in general support for what was called the American creed. The American creed was the basics of individualism and freedom and opportunity,” Murray explained. “And what we discovered last year was that the proportion of the American electorate on the right that is still devoted to those American creedal principles is way smaller than I thought it was. I’m not talking about how many doctrinaire libertarians there are. I’m talking about the degree to which people buy into what we’ve always considered, ‘This is what America is all about.’”

During a panel discussion later in the afternoon, billionaire industrialist Charles Koch – who has been convening these twice-annual seminars since 2003 – reiterated Murray’s point. “We have a tremendous danger because we can go the authoritarian route,” he said, “or we can move toward a free and open society.”

Koch, who has become a household name over the past few years, was not referring specifically to Trump. But he and others at the three-day conference, which continues until tonight, have warned in stark terms that the “disenchantment” which allowed Trump to become president shows how fragile freedom is in this country. “There’s some that like Trump. There’s some that like Bernie Sanders. But they didn’t like the status quo,” Koch said. “The struggle between opportunity and humanity and control and stagnation is eternal. We can never rest.”

-- The comments come at a surreal moment for the Koch network. On the one hand, it has never been more powerful. Republicans have unified control of government, and no one else has invested more money since the start of this decade to make that happen. Some of their biggest dreams could soon become reality: repealing the Affordable Care Act, rolling back environmental regulations, overhauling the tax code, moving the Supreme Court to the right.

But the network, and the Koch brothers, didn’t support Trump. Several of Trump’s priorities are anathema to them. Yesterday the network, in its first formal break with Trump since the election, criticized his travel ban on some refugees and immigrants, calling it “the wrong approach.” Many here are alarmed that Trump is targeting individual companies, they’re nervous about new tariffs and they don’t like the idea of a big infrastructure package.

Matea Gold and I take a deep look at how the Kochs are recalibrating for the new era in a piece that just posted. We write about how the mixed emotions foreshadow a provocative role for the network in the age of Trump — as a potent resistance movement within the GOP, well-positioned to fight the president and his allies on Capitol Hill when they push policies that run counter to the group’s libertarian credo. But they’re also happy to back him up when he’s on the same page.

In the next two years, the network aims to spend $300 million to $400 million on policy and political campaigns — up from $250 million during the 2016 elections. The plan is to continue building an operation that has 1,600 staffers and thousands of activists spread across 36 states. (Read my story with Matea here.)

-- The network is accustomed to taking on a Republican president. Koch convened his first seminar in 2003, partly driven by frustration with George W. Bush. Brian Hooks, the president of the Charles Koch Foundation, argued last night that Barack Obama’s presidency was only possible because Bush failed to govern effectively.

“Mike Pence, as a congressman, made a video with us. In it, he warns: ‘Beware unified government under either party,’” Hooks told the assembled donors. “When Pence was making that video with us, he was talking about the squandered opportunity of the 2000s. Frankly the promises of limited government and good reforms like tax cuts were overshadowed by the spending and regulatory policies that grew the size and scope of government by 60 percent. .. I’m not here to pick on the Bush people. I just want to tell you the truth. Policies like Medicare Part D, the steel tariffs and No Child Left Behind didn’t help people to improve their lives…

“Barack Obama was an extreme reaction away from the status quo of 2008,” Hooks continued. “Still frustrated, the American people have voted for change again. Donald Trump has made it very clear that’s what he’s offering. Many of the people who voted for President Trump also voted for Obama.”

Hooks, who is co-chairing the seminar, cautioned donors that Trump, too, could lead to a massive backlash. “If things don’t get better, then we should expect history to repeat itself,” he said. “We should expect that the political pendulum will swing with even more force to the other direction the next time. With people even further to the left than Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren! There are people right now who are prepared for the next four years to be a failure, people who cannot wait to be there to address the frustrated American people and introduce them to their own vision of radical hope and change. So the stakes are extremely high.”

Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost's morning newsletter.
With contributions from Elise Viebeck (@eliseviebeck).

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-- Trump blamed Delta Airlines for this weekend's chaos and confusion:

Delta's problems occurred Sunday evening, nearly two full days after Trump signed his order. The airline told Mark Berman that its IT systems went down at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, causing Delta to cancel 170 flights on Sunday evening and another 80 flights on Monday. The airline's systems were restored after a few hours and all systems were back to normal after midnight, according to Delta.

-- POTUS also said he will reveal his Supreme Court nominee tomorrow night:

A gunman attacked a mosque in Canada's Quebec City, killing at least six worshipers and injuring eight others as they finished their evening prayers on Jan. 29. (Video: Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

-- Gunmen attacked a suburban Quebec City mosque as worshipers were finishing their prayers Sunday night, killing six people and wounding 19 others, five of them critically — a horrific assault that government officials immediately labeled a terrorist act. A spokeswoman for the Sûreté du Québec, the Quebec provincial police, said that two suspects had been arrested. Authorities say they do not believe at this time that others were directly involved in the attack at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center. Police provided no possible motive as they launched their investigation. But government officials wasted no time calling it an act of terrorism. (Read our team coverage.)


-- A federal judge ordered U.S. authorities last night to try to return to this country an Iranian man who was flown back to Dubai as a result of Trump’s executive order. Matt Zapotosky reports: “Ali Khoshbakhti Vayeghan had sued to stop his removal from the U.S., but before the court could rule, he was put on a flight to Dubai as part of a plan to get him back to Iran, according to an order from U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee. Gee ordered U.S. authorities to bring Vayeghan back to this country … declaring that Vayeghan had ‘demonstrated a strong likelihood of success in establishing that removal violates the Establishment Clause, the Immigration and Nationality Act, and his rights to Equal Protection.' While other courts have blocked the enforcement of Trump’s ban on those from certain countries who actually made their way to U.S. airports, Gee’s order is notable in that it further commands officials to return someone who already had been removed. When and whether that will happen remains unclear.”

  • Hundreds of lawyers descended on U.S. airports this weekend to offer free legal assistance to travelers and family members of those affected by Trump’s order. Elise Viebeck and Michael Laris report: “By Saturday afternoon, arrival terminals in airports from Dulles, Va., to Chicago to San Francisco were being turned into makeshift hubs for legal aid. Lawyers assembled conference-style tables in restaurants and gathered around electrical outlets with their laptops awaiting work. Some held signs near arrivals gates introducing themselves to families in need. Social justice groups also circulated calls for help. “There’s been a call for LEGAL support at #JFK airport,” the New York City chapter of Black Lives Matter tweeted … ‘If you’re a lawyer folks on the ground are requesting you.’ Soon, lawyers had set up a base outside the terminal’s Central Diner restaurant.”
  • Trump’s order, parts of which have already been put on hold by U.S. judges, is likely to face a spate of fresh legal challenges about whether it violates the Constitution and a 1965 anti-discrimination law. Michael Kranish and Robert Barnes preview: “Four federal judges have put various holds on the ban, and other courts are expected to consider similar stays. The wording of Trump’s order in particular may expose it to legal challenges, experts said. It cites the need to protect the nation against a terrorist act such as those occurring on Sept. 11, 2001 — even though the terrorists involved in that attack did not come from the seven nations cited in Trump’s order, a fact that legal advocates are likely to cite in their challenges.” Trump also may have encouraged legal challenges by suggesting in press interviews that he would prioritize Christians.

-- Air France blocked 15 passengers from Muslim countries from traveling to the U.S. overnight because they would have been refused entry under the new immigration ban. “An airline spokeswoman said Monday that the passengers were taken back to their point of departure or otherwise taken care of,” the AP reports.

-- During the Screen Actors Guild Awards last night, the majority of celebrities on stage spoke out in some way against Trump’s order on immigration. Emily Yahr rounds up quotes, from Julia Louis-Dreyfus to William H. Macy and Bryan Cranston.


  1. A U.S. Special Operations service member died of injuries suffered during a Saturday raid against al-Qaeda militants in Yemen. Three other American troops, members of a Navy SEAL unit, were wounded in the operation against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The incident marks the first time a U.S. military member has died in combat since Trump assumed the presidency. (Missy Ryan, Sudarsan Raghavan and Thomas Gibbons-Neff)
  2. Several U.S. law enforcement agency field offices are at risk of being hacked because they are located in foreign-owned buildings without even knowing it, according to a new GAO report slated to be released later today. It reveals that a number of offices in the U.S. – occupied by the FBI, Homeland Security, the Secret Service and the DEA – are potentially vulnerable to espionage. (CNN)
  3. Italy has opened an investigation after a 22-year-old Gambian man began drowning in Venice’s Grand Canal – and onlookers, rather than attempting to intervene, simply laughed and filmed his death. “Go on, go back where you came from,” one man can be heard yelling in the footage. “Africa!” shouts another. “He is stupid. He wants to die.” The now-viral video is a bleak reminder of just how deep tensions run between locals and migrants in parts of Europe. (Amanda Erickson)
  4. A father and son who went on trial last week for sexually abusing multiple children in their home -- and who used the Bible as their only defense in the courtroom -- have been sent to prison for the rest of their lives. In sentencing them, the judge delivered a scathing rebuke of their decision to “[distort] the word of God for [their] own evil purposes." (Kristine Guerra)
  5. Underwhelmed by the taste of grocery store tomatoes? If so, you’re not alone – and scientists may be able to help. They’ve dedicated more than a decade of research to identifying the chemical compounds responsible for giving the fruit its taste -- and have a genetic fix that may be capable of drastically ramping up its flavor. (New York Times)



-- Questions continue to multiply over Bannon getting a seat on the National Security Council – something no previous president has ever bestowed on a political adviser. Karen DeYoung reports: “The same directive appeared to downgrade the status of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence — the president’s senior intelligence and military advisers under statute — by limiting their attendance to some meetings. A senior NSC official said Sunday that negative interpretations of both measures misunderstood both the intention and the effect of a directive whose overall aim was to make policy formation more inclusive and more efficient. Bannon ‘is a trusted adviser,’ said the official. … Trump sees Bannon as a generational peer who shares his anti-establishment instincts and confrontational style. According to several people familiar with their relationship, Bannon has cultivated a rapport with Trump over security issues in recent months, and impressed Trump with his grasp of policy in talks they have held together with top intelligence and military officials.”

-- The whirlwind first week of Trump’s presidency had “all the bravura hallmarks of a [Steve Bannon] production,” the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush write.It is a startling elevation of a political adviser, to a status alongside the secretaries of state and defense ... But his stated preference for blowing things up — as opposed to putting them back together — may not translate to his new role … People close to Mr. Bannon said he is not accumulating power for power's sake, but is instead helping to fill a staff leadership vacuum created, in part, by Michael Flynn's stumbling performance as national security adviser. Mr. Flynn still communicates with Mr. Trump frequently, and his staff has been assembling a version of the Presidential Daily Briefing for Mr. Trump, truncated but comprehensive, to be the president's main source of national security information."

-- Former White House officials in both parties are shocked by the move: “The last place you want to put somebody who worries about politics is in a room where they’re talking about national security,” said former CIA director Leon Panetta. That opinion was shared by George W. Bush’s chief of staff, Josh Bolten, who barred Karl Rove from NSC meetings: A president’s decisions made with those advisers, he told a conference audience last year, “involve life and death for the people in uniform” and should “not be tainted by any political decisions.”

-- Michael Flynn's son, a former top aide, appears to have deleted his Twitter account after he twice referred to Trump's executive order as a "Muslim ban" and called it a "necessary" step. He was first called out on the language by CNN's Jake Tapper, who noted it broke with the White House's official line. (Talking Points Memo)

-- David J. Rothkopf, CEO of the Foreign Policy Group, calls the move dangerous: “First, he essentially demoted the highest-ranking military officer in the United States, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the highest-ranking intelligence officer. … Hard as it is to imagine any situation in which their views would not add value, this demotion is even harder to countenance given the threats the United States currently faces and the frayed state of the president’s relations with the intelligence community. A president who has no national security experience and can use all the advice he can get has decided to limit the input he receives from two of the most important advisers any president could have. Worse still, it is a sign of other problems to come. … Moreover, elevating Bannon is a sign that there will be more than one senior official in Trump’s inner circle with top-level national security responsibility, an arrangement nearly certain to create confusion going forward.”

Trump administration officials defended the president’s executive order temporarily banning entry to the U.S. from seven mostly Muslim countries. (Video: Bastien Inzaurralde/The Washington Post)


-- Even as administration officials tried to clarify the reach of Trump’s action — ‘This is not a Muslim ban,’ the president said in a statement — the exact limits of its scope and legal questions over its constitutionality remained unresolved. So did the question of whether the administration would comply with orders from federal judges to temporarily halt the travel ban. Brady Dennis and Jerry Markon report: "The president reiterated that the country would resume issuing visas to all countries 'once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days.' Still, barely 48 hours after Trump issued his order, confusion reigned over its reach and its implementation."

Meanwhile, some Trump officials appeared on Sunday to walk back one of the most controversial elements of the action: its impact on green-card holders, who are permanent legal residents of the United States. "'As far as green-card holders going forward, it doesn’t affect them,' Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said on NBC News’ 'Meet the Press,' contradicting what government officials had said only a day earlier. In a separate statement, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly was less definitive, suggesting that green-card holders’ status would help them gain entry to the country but that they nonetheless would be subject to a 'case-by-case' review. Meanwhile, Kelly’s department indicated separately Sunday that it would continue to implement Trump’s directive, even as it said it 'will comply with judicial orders' issued by federal judges over the weekend, blocking enforcement of the ban to varying degrees."

-- The White House organized a briefing last night with two senior administration officials who agreed to explain the president's executive order — but only on the condition of anonymity. Jenna Johnson reports: “Their overarching message: Everything is going exactly according to plan, nothing has changed since the order was signed, and the news media need to calm down their ‘false, misleading, inaccurate, hyperventilating’ coverage of the ‘fractional, marginal, minuscule percentage’ of international travelers who have been simply ‘set aside for further questioning’ for a couple hours on their way into the greatest country in the world. ‘It really is a massive success story in terms of implementation on every single level,’ the administration official said at one point.”

The official claimed that the White House has provided clear instructions from the beginning on how green-card holders should navigate the system, telling reporters they are “exempt” from the new restrictions. A reporter jumped in: “That's different from what you said when we were in here yesterday, right?” “No,” the senior administration official said. “Do you want me to pull the quote?” the reporter said. “You can do whatever you want,” the official said. Then another reporter asked the senior White House official to respond to Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who said in a statement Sunday that the executive order “has been poorly implemented, especially with respect to green card holders.” The senior administration official said the senator presumably misunderstands the order. “He might have read one of CNN's stories,” the senior administration official said. “And, for that, the only responsible party would be CNN.”

-- The DHS secretary was kept out of the loop. From the New York Times’ Michael D. Shear and Ron Nixon: “As President Trump signed a sweeping executive order on Friday, shutting the borders to refugees and others from seven largely Muslim countries, the secretary of homeland security was on a White House conference call getting his first full briefing on the global shift in policy. Gen. John F. Kelly, the secretary of homeland security, had dialed in from a Coast Guard plane as he headed back to Washington from Miami. Along with other top officials, he needed guidance from the White House, which had not asked his department for a legal review of the order. Halfway into the briefing, someone on the call looked up at a television in his office. ‘The president is signing the executive order that we’re discussing,’ the official said, stunned.”

-- The travel ban was something of a secret, even among members of Trump’s own inner-circle. From The Wall Street Journal’s Peter Nicholas, Damian Paletta and Devlin Barrett: “They kept the circle tight as the work stretched from the campaign to the transition and then the White House. If word seeped out, they said, terrorists would enter the country before the new barriers were in place. There was another benefit of staying mum: It would keep opponents guessing about precisely what the incoming president had in mind. [Meanwhile,] many immigration officials critical to the implementation of the order were in the dark about the particulars of the policy up until they were called on to enforce it … [And] senior officials at Customs and Border Protection and agents working at airports were left with key questions unanswered when they began detaining people at the airports on Saturday.”

-- Trump defended the secrecy this morning:


-- Jihadist groups celebrated the decision on Sunday, saying the new policy validates their claim that the U.S. is “at war” with Islam. Joby Warrick reports: “Comments posted to pro-Islamic State social media accounts predicted that [Trump’s] executive order would persuade American Muslims to side with the extremists. One posting hailed the U.S. president as ‘the best caller to Islam,’ while others predicted that Trump would soon launch a new war in the Middle East. Several postings suggested that Trump was fulfilling the predictions of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American born al-Qaeda leader and preacher who famously said that the ‘West would eventually turn against its Muslim citizens.’”

-- “Though cast as measures meant to make the country safe, the Trump administration’s moves during its first week in office are more likely to weaken the counterterrorism defenses the United States has erected over the past 16 years,” senior U.S. officials and other experts tell Greg Miller and Missy Ryan: “Through inflammatory rhetoric and hastily drawn executive orders, the administration has alienated allies, including Iraq, provided propaganda fodder to terrorist networks that frequently portray U.S. involvement in the Middle East as a religious crusade, and endangered critical cooperation from often-hidden U.S. partners — whether the leader of a mosque in an American suburb or the head of a Middle East intelligence service. Already, supporters of the Islamic State … quickly claimed the travel ban as a victory. [And] those who study extremism fear that the sense of belonging among U.S. Muslims may begin to fray, increasing the likelihood that a U.S. citizen or resident becomes radicalized, and complicates the already-difficult task for the FBI and local authorities to cultivate relationships with Muslim community leaders.”

-- German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized Trump’s directive and reminded him in a phone call of the Geneva Convention policy regarding refugees. “The … refugee convention requires the international community to take in war refugees on humanitarian grounds,” a spokesman for Merkel said on Sunday. “All signatory states are obligated to do. The German government explained this policy in their call yesterday.” Seibert said the German government would examine what consequences the ban would have for German citizens with dual citizenship, and would “represent their interests, if necessary, before our American partners”. (The Guardian)

-- “The Iranian government thrives on isolating its population and choking off criticism,” Hadi Ghaemi, who directs the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, writes in a Post op-ed. “But Iran’s young population has been striving to break free of this isolation. In Iran, public opinion of the United States is much more favorable than in any other country in the Middle East and North Africa. By excluding all Iranians, Trump is only making it harder for the most promising elements of Iranian society to stand up to their repressive system and change their country for the better. This policy will extend the Islamic republic’s longevity, disrupt the lives of 1.5 million Iranian Americans and fan the flames of anti-Americanism in the region. None of these developments will help secure our country from terrorism.”

-- The White House said Trump brought up the idea of building “safe zones” in Syria during calls with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi on Sunday – mentioning a concept that appeared in early drafts of the executive order barring Syrian refugees from resettling in the U.S., but did not appear in the final version that was released on Friday. Jenna Johnson reports: Trump had campaigned last year on creating “safe zones” in Syria and then forcing wealthy Persian Gulf nations, such as Saudi Arabia, to foot the bill. “We’re not gonna put up money,” he said in August. “We’re gonna lead it, and we’ll do a great a job. But we’re gonna get the Gulf states to put up the money.” In a White House statement released Sunday, officials made no mention of who will fund the safe zones.

Protesters rallied outside the White House against President Trump’s executive order to bar U.S. entry to refugees and migrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations. (Video: Alice Li/The Washington Post)


-- The ACLU says it has received more than $24 million in online donations this weekend – a total that supersedes its annual online donations by six times. As of Monday morning, 356,306 people have donated, a spokesman said. (Katie Mettler)

-- Thousands of protesters gathered in major cities across the country to demonstrate against Trump’s immigration ban, massing in New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Atlanta, as well as airports in dozens of cities. Michael Laris and Michael Alison Chandler report: “In Washington, swarms of protesters had amassed in front of the White House by 1 p.m. The crowd proceeded to the nearby Trump International Hotel and Capitol building and later made its way back toward the White House, shutting down Pennsylvania Avenue. The tone vacillated between forceful and unifying, as protesters alternately chanted ‘Shame!’ and partook in renditions of ‘America the Beautiful’ and ‘This Land is Your Land.’ By evening, an impromptu Catholic Mass brought hundreds more to bordering Lafayette Square to resist Trump’s order.” Among the protesters was the mother of a five-year-old boy who was detained for several hours at Dulles Airport after returning from Istanbul on Saturday night.

-- “In Donald Trump’s America, there may be no more weekends — just an incessant cycle of shocks, of actions and reactions,” Dan Zak and Monica Hesse write. “For the second weekend in a row, Friday to Sunday was wall to wall with resistance and outrage. On Saturday, protesters began heading to the airports to welcome international travelers ... On Sunday, thousands pushed peacefully against the fences around the White House in protest of Trump’s order. The signs spelled out embarrassment and resolve — and a cheeky self-awareness that only Washington can muster. ‘DEATH TO FASCISM.’ ‘PROTEST IS THE NEW BRUNCH.’ You were out drinking, or at home playing Cards Against Humanity, when suddenly you were wondering how many Syrian refugees you could hide in your basement. Or how many hours you could drive for a protest. Either way, this weekend didn’t feel like a drill. This was no longer, ‘What would you do if?’ Something profound was happening, under the auspices of “extreme vetting.” It felt like time to figure out what kind of person you were, or would become."

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) tears up during a news conference while addressing the travel ban enacted by the Trump administration. (Video: Reuters)


-- Democrats are launching a full-scale opposition push against Trump’s executive order. David Weigel and Ed O'Keefe report: “On Sunday, [Sen. Chuck Schumer] fought back tears as he announced that Democrats would introduce legislation to stop the order. And in an interview, Sen. Chris Murphy said he would introduce legislation to overturn Trump’s order by forcing him to comply with the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act … ‘I think ultimately this ban will be struck down by the courts, but we need to put legislation on the table that Republicans could support that overturns the ban,’ Murphy said. ‘[The president] clearly campaigned on this ban, but the fact that he put no thought into how it was drafted or how it would be implemented is incredibly dangerous.’”

“Schumer and Democrats are eager to move quickly because they believe they have a rare opportunity to ride a wave of GOP opposition to Trump’s moves. At his news conference, Schumer said he believed legislation could easily move through the Senate given the growing opposition from key Republicans …” Meanwhile, lawmakers were also exploring options to hold more public events drawing attention to Trump’s orders, seeking to tap into the anger and opposition that drove millions of protesters to the streets last week.


-- Former Bush adviser Eliot A. Cohen says the first week of Trump’s presidency has been a “clarifying moment in American history”: “For the community of conservative thinkers and experts, and more importantly, conservative politicians, this is a testing time,” he writes in an op-ed for The Atlantic. “Either you stand up for your principles and for what you know is decent behavior, or you go down, if not now, then years from now, as a coward or opportunist. Your reputation will never recover, nor should it. Rifts are opening up among friends that will not be healed. The conservative movement of Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp, of William F. Buckley and Irving Kristol, was always heterogeneous, but it more or less hung together. No more. New currents of thought, new alliances, new political configurations will emerge. The biggest split will be between those who draw a line and the power-sick—whose longing to have access to power, or influence it, or indeed to wield it themselves—causes them to fatally compromise their values. For many more it will be a split between those obsessed with anxiety, hatred, and resentment, and those who can hear Lincoln’s call to the better angels of our nature, whose America is not replete with carnage, but a city on a hill.”

-- A number of Republican lawmakers joined all Democrats in speaking out against the order. Here are a few of the most prominent voices: (The Fix’s Aaron Blake has a complete list here.)

Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham slammed Trump’s executive order, saying in a joint statement that they fear his directive “will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism” and “may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security." “We are particularly concerned by reports that this order went into effect with little to no consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security,” they said. “Our government has a responsibility to defend our borders, but we must do so in a way that makes us safer … It is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that President Trump’s executive order was not properly vetted.” (Kelsey Snell)

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker called for the administration to make revisions to the order: "We all share a desire to protect the American people, but this executive order has been poorly implemented, especially with respect to green card holders," he said. "The administration should immediately make appropriate revisions, and it is my hope that following a thorough review and implementation of security enhancements that many of these programs will be improved and reinstated."

Sen. Jeff Flake came out against the measure Saturday evening, saying in a Medium post that the administration is right to be concerned about national security but objected to the measure for broadly blocking those who already have gone through the immigration process. “It’s unacceptable when even legal permanent residents are being detained or turned away …” he wrote. “Enhancing long term national security requires that we have a clear-eyed view of radical Islamic terrorism without ascribing radical Islamic terrorist views to all Muslims.”

Sen. Ben Sasse said the order is too broad: “If we send a signal to the Middle East that the U.S. sees all Muslims as jihadis, the terrorist recruiters win by telling kids that America is banning Muslims and that this is America versus one religion,” Sasse said. “Our generational fight against jihadism requires wisdom.”

"We generally support additional vetting for many of those entering our country from nations where the United States has identified there are serious concerns regarding terrorist activities and planning,” Sens. Marco Rubio and Tim Scott said in a joint statement on Sunday. “But given the broad scope and nature of these policy changes, we have some unanswered questions and concerns. We are seeking clarity on the changes to the Visa Waiver program, which is critical to the economies of our respective states.”

-- A trio of Republican senators who occupy prominent positions on Capitol Hill expressed concern Sunday afternoon — commenting on Trump’s move two days after the fact and in the wake of an explosive public outcry. From Sean Sullivan: “In separate written statements, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Cory Gardner (Colo.), Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (Tenn.), and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) said the order is too far-reaching and decried its effect on some legal U.S. residents. … With their statements, Gardner, Alexander and Corker offered more direct criticism than a pair of top Senate Republicans: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Barrasso (Wyo.). In an interview broadcast Sunday morning on ABC’s ‘This Week,’ McConnell said he is ‘opposed to a religious test.’ But he added: ‘The courts are going to determine whether this is too broad.’ … Barrasso issued a written statement largely echoing McConnell. … Even as more Republican lawmakers started to opine on Trump’s order Sunday, many have remained silent on the matter.”

-- Ohio Gov. John Kasich criticized the immigration order as “ham-handed," saying that while Trump has “a right” to be concerned about immigrants, he and his aides did not prepare properly for the rollout or its aftermath. “Frankly, when I look at this, I think he was ill-served by his staff,” Kasich told Robert Costa in an interview. “If I were the president, I’d be very upset with the staff — that they didn’t say, ‘Hey, wait hold on a second.’ Because that’s what executives do. They have people around them that help them to understand, ‘Hey, your message is fine, but here is what’s going to come from it.’”


-- “With immigration in spotlight, congregations hear messages of inclusion,” by Julie Zauzmer and Sarah Pulliam Bailey: “The liturgy read in churches across America on Sunday said: ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted.’ What clergy said in many pulpits, reacting to President Trump’s most recent executive order: ‘Blessed are the refugees.’ … Clergy across the nation scrapped earlier sermons to build on the lesson and urge parishioners to stand up for what they see as a biblical call to care for ‘the stranger.’ But at some conservative churches, pastors and parishioners also voiced concerns about how to balance welcoming the stranger with preserving American security. … In Roswell, Ga., the Rev. Eric Lee … [said] followers of Jesus ‘can’t just turn away and say I don’t care, or it’s not my problem.’ ‘Are we willing to take risks on behalf of our faith?’ he asked. ‘Because practicing intentional, even radical hospitality toward strangers is inherent to the Christian ethic.’”


Here are just a few of the people impacted by Trump’s order:

-- “In Turkey, a Syrian American woman worried that if she tried to enter the U.S. with her Syrian refugee husband, he could be deported back to Syria,” Sudarsan Raghavan reports. “In Moscow, a young Yemeni Russian man said he was denied a U.S. student visa because U.S. officials deemed he was more Yemeni than Russian. And in Kenya, a young Somali refugee scheduled to fly to the United States on Monday to launch a new life was informed that his trip was canceled. And so, on the second day after President Trump signed his executive order banning visas to nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries, the fallout continues, permeating through the lives of countless people around the globe. ‘I felt the world turning around and I felt crushed,” said Jameel Almaqtari, 23 … after his hope of getting an American education was denied ... ‘I feel a great sense of oppression and injustice. It was always my dream to go to the U.S.’”

-- Mo Farah, a Portland-based runner who was knighted for his track success, and who is currently training in Ethiopia, said in a Facebook statement that Trump “seems to have made me an alien.” “I am a British citizen who has lived in America for the past six years — working hard, contributing to society, paying my taxes and bringing up our four children in the place they now call home,” he said. “It’s deeply troubling that I will have to tell my children that Daddy might not be able to come home …” (Cindy Boren)

-- The wife of a successful California business owner, who is studying at the San Francisco Academy of Art, has been unable to return to the U.S. after visiting her family on a short trip to Iran. She holds a green card but was told by multiple airlines that she could not board a flight back to America. (Steve Hendrix)

-- A family of refugees, who were torn apart three months ago in their admittance to the United States. The parents and youngest children have been resettled in Michigan, while the oldest daughter and her husband are stuck in Turkey – now indefinitely. They are expecting their first child and money is growing tight. (Steve Friess and William Wan)

-- A Somali refugee who has lived in a house made of sticks and plastic tarp since 2009. On Friday morning, he was told his 20-year application for resettlement in the U.S. had been accepted, and his flight to Ohio had been booked.  “It was news that changed our lives,” he said. “I gave up my heart to the U.S.” Hours later, his life was changed once more. (Kevin Sieff)

-- An Iraqi father who formerly worked for the U.S., and his family of five. They were excitedly traveling to America to start a new life when Trump’s ban went into effect, and they were told they would have to return to Iraq. “The family had sold their house, their car and all their possessions to aid them in their new life,” Sudarsan Raghavan reports. “The children were pulled out of their schools. [Fuad] Sharef quit his well-paying job at a pharmaceutical company. Also down the drain is their sense of security[:] Sharef once worked for a U.S. government subcontractor in post-invasion Iraq as a translator and a program manager. He got his visas, after two years of vetting, through a special U.S. resettlement program for Iraqi employees of the American government. Working for Americans was filled with perils, he said. He and other colleagues faced death threats; he knew co-workers who were kidnapped or killed. Donald Trump destroyed my life,’ Sharef said. ‘How can he do this to people who risked their lives to help America?’”

Sahar Algonaimi was on her way to help her mother, who was undergoing surgery, when she was detained in Chicago. She was denied entry to the U.S. based on President Trump’s executive order temporarily prohibiting entry for migrants from seven mostly Muslim countries and all refugees. She recorded her story for The Washington Post on her cell phone from the airport in Abu Dhabi. (Video: Zoeann Murphy/The Washington Post)

-- A Syrian woman who was traveling to the U.S. to care for her hospitalized 76-year-old mother. She was turned away after her flight landed in Chicago on Saturday. “I can’t describe to you how I felt — the disrespect for humanity, I am here to visit my sick mother,” the woman, a first-grade teacher, said in a video. “There is no good reason for me to not be able to enter. It’s a feeling of utter despair.” (Reem Akkad and Sarah Larimer)


-- Technology companies quickly reacted to Trump’s executive order this weekend: Ride-hailing company Lyft has pledged to donate $1 million to the ACLU, while Airbnb says it will provide free housing to those affected by the ban. And in both internal and public statements, leaders of Apple, Alphabet and Facebook all expressed concern for their employees while also criticizing Trump's executive order. (Brian Fung and Herman Wong)

-- Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sought to assuage fears over Trump’s immigration ban, telling employees in a Sunday letter that the chain will look to hire 10,000 refugees in its stores around the globe, including some who have aided the U.S. military. (Fortune)

-- Google announced the creation of a $4 million crisis fund to help the immigration cause. Funds will be donated to the ACLU, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the International Rescue Committee, and the UNHCR, USA Today reports. It is Google's largest crisis campaign ever.

-- Coincidence? The seven nations targeted by Trump share one common trait – they are places the president does not appear to have any business interests. (Rosalind S. Helderman)


-- Priebus defended the White House's decision to intentionally omit any mention of Jews or anti-Semitism in a statement released on Holocaust Remembrance Day. From Abby Phillip: "In a statement on Friday, President Trump broke with the bipartisan practice of past presidents by failing to include any mention of the anti-Semitic views that fueled the Holocaust and left 6 million Jews and millions of others dead. ;;I don’t regret the words,' said White House chief of staff Reince Priebus when asked to defend the statement on NBC News’ 'Meet the Press' on Sunday. 'Everyone’s suffering [in] the Holocaust including obviously all of the Jewish people affected and miserable genocide that occurs — it’s something that we consider to be extraordinarily sad,' Priebus added. Trump’s 117-word statement was issued on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. What might have been seen as an oversight was confirmed by White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks to have been an intentional decision. 'Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered,' Hicks told CNN on Saturday."

-- Tim Kaine attacked: “This is what Holocaust denial is,” the Virginia senator said on NBC. “It’s either to deny that it happened or many Holocaust deniers acknowledge, ‘Oh yeah people were killed, but it was a lot of innocent people; Jews weren’t targets.’”

-- Conservative commentator John Podhoretz also slammed the White House in his column: “The Nazis killed an astonishing number of people in monstrous ways and targeted certain groups,” he wrote. “But the Final Solution was aimed solely at the Jews. The Holocaust was about the Jews. He added: “There is no ‘proud’ way to offer a remembrance of the Holocaust that does not reflect that simple, awful, world-historical fact … To universalize it to ‘all those who suffered’ is to scrub the Holocaust of its meaning.”

-- Two influential Jewish Republican groups piled on. “Especially as a child of Holocaust survivors, I and ZOA are compelled to express our chagrin and deep pain at President Trump, in his Holocaust Remembrance Day Message, omitting any mention of anti-Semitism and the six million Jews who were targeted and murdered by the German Nazi regime and others,” said Mort Klein, the national president of Zionist Organization of America. The Republican Jewish Coalition also issued a statement on the matter. (Politico)

-- Kellyanne Conway slammed the news media, suggesting that network reporters should be fired for their coverage of the Trump administration: "Who is cleaning house? Which one is going to be the first network to get rid of these people, the people who think things were just not true?" Conway asked on "Fox News Sunday." "Not one network person has been let go. Not one silly political analyst and pundit who talked smack all day long about Donald Trump has been let go," she added. "I'm too polite to mention their names, but they know who they are, and they are all wondering who will be the first to go. The election was three months ago. None of them have been let go."


-- President Trump’s newly-signed ethics rule that limits administration officials from parlaying their government posts into lobbying jobs stripped out an Obama-era provision that required public reporting of how well the administration is complying with the order, Matea Gold reports. “The deletion of the clause will make it harder for the public to determine whether the pledge is being enforced and find out how many administration appointees have been granted waivers that allow them to skirt aspects of the rules, government watchdogs said. ‘There will be markedly less transparency under President Trump regarding how or whether the ethics [executive order] is being implemented,’ said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause.”

 -- Treasury secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin flatly denied during his confirmation hearing that his former company, OneWest, eever used "robo-signing" on mortgage documents. But a Columbus Dispatch analysis shows the bank frequently utilized the questionable practice in Ohio. In three local cases, a judge dismissed OneWest foreclosure proceedings specifically based on inaccurate robo-signings – and the Dispatch analysis found more than 1,900 OneWest foreclosures in the state's six largest counties from 2009 to 2015.


-- “A ship full of refugees fleeing the Nazis once begged the U.S. for entry. They were turned back,” by Amy P Wang: “Nine hundred thirty-seven. That was the number of passengers aboard the SS St. Louis, a German ocean liner that set off from Hamburg on May 13, 1939. Almost all of those sailing were Jewish people, desperate to escape the Third Reich. So begins a haunting tale, one that would end tragically for hundreds of those on board ... ‘Sailing so close to Florida that they could see the lights of Miami, some passengers on the St. Louis cabled [FDR] asking for refuge,’ the Holocaust museum noted. ‘Roosevelt never responded.’ A State Department telegram stated, simply, that passengers must “await their turns on the waiting list and qualify for and obtain immigration visas before they may be admissible into the United States.’ Finally, the St. Louis returned to Europe. After more than a month at sea, the passengers disembarked in Antwerp, Belgium, where they were divided between four countries … By the end of the Holocaust, 254 of them would be dead.”

-- From the Washington Post Magazine, “The loneliest whale in the world?” by Kieran Mulvaney: “Nobody is certain because nobody has claimed to have seen it. But several people have heard it. And many more have heard of it. And what this latter group has heard about it has turned the whale into an unwitting celebrity, a cultural icon and a cipher for the feelings of many unconnected people around the globe. It is, allegedly, the Loneliest Whale in the World.”


This jab of Paul Ryan from California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom went viral:

The head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations posted this from outside the White House:

Muslims prayed at airports around the country:


From Saturday:

Ivanka Trump and hubby Jared Kushner posed before Washington's Alfafa dinner Saturday night (the president declined to attend);

Here's John McCain's tweetstorm against the ban:

Trump defended the ban in a number of tweets on Sunday:

And bashed Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) for criticizing it (their statement is below):

Many Democratic lawmakers joined the protests:

And from a Democratic senator in a state Trump won by 36 points:

And some general reaction and observations to the whirlwind of news:

A reference to the fact that Job's biological dad was from Syria:

Check out this tweetstorm from former NSC Susan Rice, who noted she was tweeting in her personal capacity, about the changes Trump announced to the National Security Council:

Then there was this:

Finally, this 2011 tweet from Trump Hotels elicited some poignant responses:


At the White House: Trump holds a breakfast and listening session with small business leaders, then signs an executive order. Later, he meets with Andrew Bremberg, the director of the Domestic Policy Council and staff from the National Economic Council.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 3 p.m. and resumes consideration of Tillerson's nomination for secretary of State at 5 p.m. The Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship votes on Linda McMahon’s nomination to lead the Small Business Administration, time TBA. The Senate Committee on Finance votes on Steven Mnuchin’s nomination for Treasury secretary around 6 p.m.

The House meets at 2 p.m. for legislative business, with seven suspension votes postponed until 6:30 p.m.

Democrats rally against Trump's executive order at 6 p.m. in front of the Supreme Court.


“You have an extreme vetting proposal that didn’t get the vetting it should have.” – Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)



-- The D.C. area got hit with some light snow last night – and there could be a bit more to come. Here’s today’s Capital Weather Gang forecast: “The heaviest snow is exiting the area just in time for the commute, but the eastern suburbs may have some visibility issues … Roads appear to be okay in the Beltway, but watch out for slippery areas. It looks like the immediate metro got a good coating of pasty, wet snow, while areas to the south got a bit more. … Flurries are possible this morning, even after the heaviest snow moves out, then skies partially clear for a time. But clouds build back up during the afternoon and some snow showers and flurries may zip by. Temperatures should mainly be above freezing but could fall back a bit in any heavier snow showers … Highs range from the mid-30s to near 40.”

-- After Martin O'Malley came out for a nonpartisan redistricting commission to draw state legislative maps, former Rep. Donna Edwards (D) told him to "get a real job already."


Jimmy Kimmel broke down all the times Trump complimented himself during his interview with ABC:

The Tonight Show spoke to real Republicans and Democrats on the street:

Fallon also interviewed Tom Brokaw about Trump:

Seth Meyers took a closer look at Trump's executive orders:

And next steps for the women's march:

Finally, Conan O'Brien imagined more conversations between Trump and Obama: