Here’s where things stand heading into day 12 of the Trump administration.
One thing is clear already this week: Dissent will not be tolerated within the Trump administration.
On Monday night, President Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she told government lawyers not to defend his executive order banning entry to the United States for people from seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees from around the world.
Yates had said in a memo that she was not convinced the executive order, which produced chaos at U.S. airports and a number of court challenges, was lawful. Her defiant stance led Trump to remove her, arguing she had “betrayed” the Department of Justice.
“Ms. Yates is an Obama administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration,” the White House said in a statement Monday night. “It is time to get serious about protecting our country.”
The White House has named Dana Boente, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, as acting attorney general. Boente told The Post that he will agree to enforce the immigration order.
Meanwhile, over at the State Department, dozens of career diplomats have signed on to a “dissent channel” document expressing disagreements with Trump’s travel ban. White House press secretary Sean Spicer had a stern message for them on Monday afternoon.
“Either get with the program or they can go,” he said. “If somebody has a problem with that agenda, then that does call into question whether … they should continue in that post or not,” he told reporters.
INFIGHTING PLAGUES GOP FOLLOWING IMMIGRATION ORDER
While Trump and his advisers continue to stand by the policy, tensions have flared behind closed doors over the last three days.
At the White House, Trump’s inner circle is divided into two factions, one led by senior strategist Stephen K. Bannon and senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, and the other by chief of staff Reince Priebus.
Within Trump’s Cabinet, officials including Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security John Kelly “fumed privately,” as our colleagues wrote, because they were caught off-guard by the policy, which was crafted mostly in secret.
And on Capitol Hill, Republicans angrily complained that Trump’s team did not consult them before releasing the executive order, a major break with convention.
CORRECTING THE RECORD ON THE TRAVEL BAN
A big source of confusion about Trump’s executive order is: How many people are actually affected?
The White House defended its policy Monday by saying only 109 people were detained and held for questioning at U.S. airports over the weekend. Unfortunately, this figure vastly underestimates the number of people whose lives will be impacted. In reality, that number comes to about 90,000 when you include the number of people who receive visas from the seven affected countries in fiscal 2015, our colleague noted.
TRUMP SIGNS ORDER TARGETING REGULATIONS
Trump, in his latest executive order, wants federal agencies to eliminate at least two regulations for every new one they produce.
That might be easier said than done. As our colleague wrote, “any effort to scrap a regulation triggers its own process, complete with draft rules, comment periods, and regulation rewriting. … At the least, Trump’s proposal would add a new time-consuming requirement for any new congressional legislation or agency regulation.”
COMING UP ON TUESDAY
The big news Tuesday looks likely to be Trump’s announcement of his Supreme Court nominee at 8 p.m. As The Post reported, there are currently three front-runners, one of whom is a protege of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).
The Senate also has a busy schedule as the confirmation process for Trump’s nominees continues. Here’s when votes are scheduled:
- Senate Judiciary Committee on Sessions’s nomination for attorney general around 9:30 a.m.
- Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Rick Perry’s nomination for secretary of energy around 9:30 a.m.
- Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Rep. Ryan Zinke’s (R-Mont.) nomination for secretary of interior around 9:30 a.m.
- Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Betsy DeVos’s nomination for secretary of education around 10 a.m.
- Senate Committee on Finance on Rep. Tom Price’s nomination for health and human services secretary around 10 a.m.
- Senate Committee on Finance on Steven Mnuchin’s nomination for treasury secretary around 10 a.m.
- Full Senate on Elaine Chao’s nomination for transportation secretary around 12:20 p.m.