News Roundup

Hope Hicks resigns as White House Communicates Director

  • Operationally one of the most important people in the White House, she has announced her departure a day after she testified for eight hours in front of the House Intelligence Committee and said that her job sometimes involved telling white lies, although she reportedly had been planning to leave for months before
  • She was the 4th Communications Director for Pres. Trump, following Sean Spicer (who was also the Acting Communications Director after Dubke resigned), Mike Dubke, and Anthony Scaramucci
  • Pres. Trump said that she is “outstanding” and “as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person”

Conflict of interest questions for Pres. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner

  • Yesterday the Washington Post reported that officials in at least four countries – the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel, and Mexico – have privately discussed manipulating Jared Kushner by taking advantage of his business and financial arrangements and lack of foreign policy experience
  • Kushner reportedly also lost security clearance to access top-level briefings – Kushner had held an interim clearance while his background was being checked – and a Kushner spokesperson said that “there are dozens of people at Mr Kushner’s level whose process is delayed, that it is not uncommon for these clearance reviews to take this long in a new administration, and that the current backlogs are now being addressed”

More tension between Pres. Trump and Atty. Gen. Sessions

  • Yesterday morning in a tweet Pres. Trump criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to delegate investigation of FISA abuses to the office of the Inspector General, who Trump called an “Obama guy”
  • Atty. Gen. Sessions defended his decisions in a statement which said his Justice Department had “initiated the appropriate process”

Parkland Shooting aftermath

  • The White House is scheduled to take an Executive Action to ban bump stocks today
  • Trump rebuked the NRA, shocking many: “I like taking the guns early,” Trump said. “Take the guns first, go through due process second… you’re afraid of the NRA. Some of you people are petrified of the NRA. They have great power over you people. They have less power over me.”
  • There are allegations that Broward County told deputies to stage outside, training
  • Congress has so far come no closer on passing gun legislation
  • The father of a Parkland survivor has admitted to altering emails from CNN, after his son criticized CNN for holding an event in which his place would have “ended up being all scripted,” although his father said he didn’t do it on purpose

Major winter storm hitting California

Mayor of Oakland under fire after tweeting to warn illegal immigrants

  • An ICE chief said that 800 illegal immigrants/undocumented workers had avoided arrest due to a warning issued by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, although the agency did arrest 150 people
  • Mayor Schaaf said she’s ready to go to jail to protect Oakland’s sanctuary city status: “Every day as the mayor of Oakland I make decisions that are criticized. That comes with the job”

Jury selection begins for wife of Orlando Pulse shooter

  • The wife of the man who killed 49 people and injured dozens of others in a gay night club in Orlando, Fla. in 2016 is now having her jury selected
  • The man had pledged commitment to ISIS in the second-deadliest terror attack in US history, behind 9/11

West Virginia Teacher’s strike continues

  • A day after the strike was reportedly going to end, teachers have decided to continue because the deal they’d reached yesterday – which included a 5% pay raise for school employees – didn’t include a fix to the Public Employees Insurance Agency, which employees say requires them to pay high premiums

Trump leads honors for Rev. Bill Graham

  • In just the fourth time a private citizen has lain in honor in the Capitol rotunda, Pres. Trump touched the casket of “America’s pastor” Billy Graham and spoke about Graham’s life along with Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
  • The president will also attend Graham’s funeral on Friday in Charlotte, N.C.

Afghan leader offers truce with Taliban

  • Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has declared his readiness to enforce a cease-fire with the Taliban, saying he would recognize them as a political group, although reiterating that they must “respect the law” and “recognize” the national unity of government

Death toll in New Guinea Earthquake rising

  • Papua New Guinea’s largest ever earthquake at magnitude 7.5 has now killed a reported 31, although the country’s National Disaster Centre has said that a preliminary damage assessment from the quake is still incomplete

Ongoing attempted cease-fire in eastern Ghouta

  • Russia is blaming the rebels for repeatedly breaking the rules of the daily five-hour cease-fire, saying that civilians are asking to be evacuated as rebels are bombing corridors

Top Stories

New York Times: Trump Stuns Lawmakers With Calls for Gun Control
Washington Post : Putin claims Russia has nuclear arsenal capable of avoiding missile defenses
Drudge Report : Putin: I Can Beat Your Nukes!
The Daily Caller : Bull-Schiff | House Intel Dems Accused Of Inaccurate Leaks About Hope Hicks Testimony
Breitbart News : Exclusive: Masters of Universe Muzzle Trump | President’s Facebook ‘Engagement’ Drops 45% Since ‘Algorithm’ Change
Slate : Why the Parkland Kids Are So Good at This
HuffPost : Hell Night at White House
BuzzFeed : Scandal | This Is The Absolute Craziest Russian Scandal That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of