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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "donald trump"

Va. service ‘ argument court declares Trump travel ban unconstitutional

Westlake Legal Group va-service-argument-court-declares-trump-travel-ban-unconstitutional Va. service ' argument court declares Trump travel ban unconstitutional World News Virginia travel ban National News Muslim Middle East Maryland News Local News Government News donald trump Court decisions appeals court

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal service ‘ argument court has found that President Donald Trump’s latest ban on travelers from six largely Muslim countries is unconstitutional.

The 4th U. S. Circuit Court of service ‘ argument said Thursday that it examined statements made by Trump and other administration officials, as well as the ban itself, and concluded it is “unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam.”

The court upheld a ruling by a federal judge in Maryland who price rule and issued an injunction barring enforcement of the ban against people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen who have bona fide relationships with people in the U. S.

The U. S. Supreme Court has already agreed to hear the travel ban case in April. In December, the high court said the ban could be the eu fully enforced while service ‘ argument made their way through the courts.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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Trump Administration Abandons Central Issue Budget

Click here to get the Capital Journal Daybreak newsletter delivered to your inbox. White House-authored budget documents like the one the Trump administration rolled out Monday are often thought of nor more of a political blueprint than something to be taken up, nor legislation. If it’s truly more of a vision statement than an actual end […]

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The Immigration Debate in the Senate to Kick Off

Click here to get the Capital Journal Daybreak newsletter delivered to your inbox. It is rare these days for a bill to come to the Senate floor that doesn’t have built-in support from the majority party. Rarer still: one that is essentially an empty vessel—to be filled with the ideas of whichever group of senators can […]

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GOP Rep. Comstock Challenges Trump Over Shutdown Comment

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No elected official wants to hug an unpopular president of the same party too tightly. But what about getting into a pointed argument with the president in a public setting? Rep. Barbara Comstock (R., Va.) is testing those waters, challenging President Donald Trump at the White House Tuesday after he called for another government shutdown if Democrats don’t support his immigration plan.

Congress needs to pass another short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown before current spending expires at 12:01 a.m. Friday. Talks this week signaled Democrats were willing to move forward with a spending deal without having secured an agreement on an immigration bill.

But Mr. Trump and his aides are now insisting government funding be linked to immigration — a twist of irony given the White House last month had called on Democrats keep the government open and deal with immigration as a separate matter. “What makes them act is pressure,” White House chief of staff John Kelly told reporters yesterday, referring to Congress.

In exchange for protections for young undocumented immigrants, known as the Dreamers, Mr. Trump has insisted on $25 billion in border security and wall funding and other changes in immigration law, Laura Meckler and Michael C. Bender write. Mr. Kelly on Tuesday referred to those who did not sign up for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative as “people that some would say were too afraid to sign up, others would say are too lazy to get off their asses, but they didn’t sign up.” Mr. Trump ended DACA protections in September, but gave Congress until March 5 to pass a replacement.

“Let’s have a shutdown,” Mr. Trump said at a White House meeting Tuesday. Ms. Comstock, among her party’s most vulnerable House Republicans in the November elections, disagreed. “We don’t need a government shutdown on this,” she told the president, explaining that both parties see the downside of a lapse in government funding. Mr. Trump interrupted, saying: “You can say what you want.”

Ms. Comstock’s district chose Hillary Clinton over Mr. Trump by 10 points and includes many government workers. In 2016, the congresswoman won re-election by a slimmer margin, 5.8 points, than she won her first election in 2014, when she beat her Democratic opponent by 16 points. She is one of 23 Republicans in Clinton districts; Democrats need 24 seats to win control of the House.

In October 2016, just before Mr. Trump was elected, Ms. Comstock pulled her support for him after the Washington Post published the Access Hollywood tape of Mr. Trump making lewd comments about women. “Donald Trump should step aside and allow our party to replace him,” she tweeted then. “I cannot in good conscience vote for Trump.”  Such distance from Mr. Trump didn’t hurt her re-election in 2016 and she’s hoping that showing a willingness to stand up to the president will help her out in 2018, too.

Here’s what else is going on today:

Congressional leaders were on the cusp of striking a two-year budget deal Tuesday to boost federal spending levels for both the military and domestic programs, after separating for now a stalled immigration fight from efforts to keep the government funded, Kristina Peterson and Siobhan Hughes write. The emerging agreement is expected to increase military spending by $80 billion a year and nondefense spending by $63 billion a year, according to lawmakers and congressional aides, though the numbers were still being negotiated. The House on Tuesday passed a bill that would fund the Defense Department through September, but keep the rest of the government running only through March 23. That bill stands little chance of passing the Senate, where Democrats are opposed to funding just the military for the full year.

Democratic donor money has flooded the 23 Republican-held House districts that Hillary Clinton won in the presidential race, giving those candidates a $4 million fundraising advantage over Republicans, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of new Federal Election Commission reports.

Mr. Trump remained silent on Wall Street’s recent volatility after reveling in its run-up, Peter Nicholas and Julie Bykowicz report. The recent swings marked a departure from the gains of Mr. Trump’s first year, which extended a bull market from the previous administration and gave the president a steady source of numbers to tout to the public. More: Stocks rebounded Tuesday, but another round of wild price swings raised new questions about whether volatility was emerging as a threat to the nearly nine-year-old bull market. In-depth: A closer look at the wage growth that spooked markets, by Eric Morath and Nick Timiraos.

The U.S. Department of Defense is planning a military parade at the request of Mr. Trump, Julie Bykowicz reports. The White House said the president wanted to put on “a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation” for America’s service members. For some world leaders, parades are designed to showcase military strength to their populace and the world. The U.S. military doesn’t need to do that, critics inside the Pentagon said.

Mr. Trump met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to discuss a classified Democratic memo rebutting GOP allegations of partisan motives in the federal investigation of his former campaign aide, as the White House decides whether to authorize the document’s release. One person close to Mr. Trump said last week that the president’s interest in releasing a similar GOP memo stemmed in part from the president’s belief that it would undermine Mr. Rosenstein’s credibility. Mr. Rosenstein oversees the special-counsel investigation.

Sen. Jeff Flake took to the Senate floor to say the president was wrong to accuse Democratic lawmakers of treason for not applauding at his State of the Union speech. “Applause signals approval of an idea, not loyalty to one’s country. Our Democratic colleagues love this country as much as we do, and to suggest otherwise is simply unconscionable,” Mr. Flake said.

Beijing is showing a willingness to push back against mounting trade pressure from Washington, filing challenges to new U.S. tariffs on solar panels and washing machines at the World Trade Organization, Jacob M. Schlesinger reports. While the Chinese petition is a clear challenge to the Trump administration, it is still many steps removed from the retaliatory trade war many businesses fear.

The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to overhaul its policies on sexual harassment, banning lawmakers from using taxpayer funds to pay for settlements and mandating public reporting of cases, Natalie Andrews writes.

Americans enrolling in college over the next decade would receive about $15 billion less in subsidies than under current law if House Republicans pass their education bill, according to an official estimate Tuesday.

Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. would soon announce new sanctions on North Korea as he warned that the country could be using its attendance at the Olympics to blunt international pressure aimed at forcing it to drop its nuclear-weapons program.

From across the WSJ: 

Steve Wynn, the billionaire casino visionary considered to be the architect of modern Las Vegas, resigned as chairman and chief executive of his company in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations detailed in a Wall Street Journal investigation last month, Chris Kirkham reports.

Billionaire Elon Musk’s closely-held SpaceX defied critics by flying the world’s most powerful rocket since U.S. astronauts landed on the moon almost five decades ago. The rocket carried a Tesla roadster as a dummy payload and publicity stunt.

Social-media company Snapchat added 8.9 million daily users during the fourth quarter—the largest addition of users since it went public in 2017. The stock soared in post-market trading Tuesday.

The “thrombectomy” is beginning to transform stroke treatment. It’s a breakthrough treatment that can save lives — if it’s available. The medical establishment is far from making it standard practice, Thomas M. Burton reports.

The owner of the storied Los Angeles Times is expected to sell the newspaper to billionaire biotech investor Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong for around $500 million, Lukas I. Alpert reports. Back story:  Here’s a 2016 profile of Dr. Soon-Shiong; he told The Journal he hopes to take “what I’ve done in the world of cancer” and make newspapers better.

Apple has a long history of crushing incumbents—see MP3 players and smartphones. But our tech consumer-technology columnist Joanna Stern writes: In the smart-speaker equation, the HomePod nails the speaker but struggles at smart.

The national conversation on sexual harassment and abuse of power has galvanized a wider discussion about whether consensual office relationships are OK. So: Can you still date a co-worker? It’s complicated.


The U.S. trade deficit hit its widest mark since 2008 last year, totaling $566 billion in President Trump’s first year in office. WSJ’s Jerry Seib explains why the number may not be quite as bad as it appears on its face.

Westlake Legal Group gop-rep-comstock-challenges-trump-over-shutdown-comment GOP Rep. Comstock Challenges Trump Over Shutdown Comment immigration Government Shutdown Fundraising donald trump Capital Journal Daybreak Budget Barbara Comstock


TRUMP ADMINISTRATION: President Donald Trump meets with Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar at 11:30 a.m., Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair J. Christopher Giancarlo at 1:45 p.m., and Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee at 2:15 p.m. The president hosts the National Prayer Breakfast Dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the White House. Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence are in Japan. Mr. Pence will receive a missile defense briefing and briefing on national security, participate in an official arrival ceremony, and meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson concludes his visit to Bogota, Colombia, and travels to Kingston, Jamaica, to meet with Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Foreign Minister Kamina Johnson Smith. Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivers remarks on efforts to combat drug trafficking and end the opioid crisis at 12:50 p.m. in Tampa, Fla.

CONGRESS: The Senate meets at 11:30 a.m. and debates the Department of Defense spending bill that the House passed Tuesday night. The House meets at 9:30 a.m. and completes consideration of the Mortgage Choice Act of 2017. The House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference is held in Cambridge, Md., through Feb. 9.


Masha Gessen of the New Yorker writes that President Trump’s charge that Democrats were “treasonous” for not applauding him during his State of the Union address was reminiscent of the emphasis on applause during speeches by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. In that time, “contemporary accounts show that people feared that the first person to stop clapping would be the first to be hauled off to jail. Failure to applaud could certainly be considered treason.”

“Americans’ approval of the job Donald Trump is doing as president edged up to 40% for the week ending Feb. 4, from 38% the previous week,” Gallup reported. His disapproval rating is at 57%. The last time Mr. Trump’s weekly approval hit 40% in the Gallup survey was May 2017.

In a profile of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, former CIA analyst Jung H. Pak writes for Brookings that “even as he is modernizing his country at a furious pace, Kim has deepened North Korea’s isolation. Having rebuffed U.S., South Korean, and Chinese attempts to re-engage, he has refused to meet with any foreign head of state, and so far as is known, since becoming leader his significant foreign contacts have been limited to Kenji Fujimoto, a Japanese sushi chef whom he knew in his youth and whom he invited to Pyongyang in 2012, and Dennis Rodman, an American basketball player, who has visited North Korea five times since 2013.”

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After Stock Selloff, Trump Attacks Democrats and Urges Republicans to Vote

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its largest-ever point decline on Monday, falling by 1175 points and sparking steep selloffs in global markets. The daily market move is relevant politically given that President Donald Trump has frequently sought to link stock market performance to his policies and agenda.

The reason equity markets are shaky has a lot to do with traders’ anxiety that U.S. interest rates could start to climb at an accelerating rate. The post-election rally was in part due to optimism around Mr. Trump’s tax cuts and regulatory actions but also was an extension of the multiyear bull-market underpinned by historically low interest rates.

Mr. Trump has tweeted about the stock market rally at least five times this year and he listed the rally as an accomplishment in his State of the Union address. But after the year-to-date gains in the Dow industrials were completely wiped out Monday, the White House’s statement on the decline didn’t mention stocks at all. It reads in its entirety: “The President’s focus is on our long-term economic fundamentals, which remain exceptionally strong, with strengthening U.S. economic growth, historically low unemployment, and increasing wages for American workers. The President’s tax cuts and regulatory reforms will further enhance the U.S. economy and continue to increase prosperity for the American people.”

The president didn’t mention the stock market in a speech he gave in Ohio Monday afternoon that was focused on his tax law. Mr. Trump invited workers at the event to offer testimonials about how they planned to use extra money from the tax rewrite in their paychecks. He also cast Democratic lawmakers as “un-American” and “treasonous” for sitting silently during his State of the Union address when he mentioned how unemployment rates for minorities have gone down on his watch, Peter Nicholas reports.

Mr. Trump also used the Ohio speech to encourage Jim Renacci, a Republican, to run for Senate to oppose Sen. Sherrod Brown, a liberal Democrat, in November. The president’s Ohio trip marked the latest stop he has made in states where the GOP hopes to give Democrats a run for their money in 2018. Other states he’s been to this year include West Virginia, where Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin looks vulnerable, and Pennsylvania, where Democratic Sen. Bob Casey is also running for re-election in a state Mr. Trump carried.

Also of note: Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who lost the GOP presidential nomination to Mr. Trump in 2016, wasn’t at Monday’s event. He did not receive an invite to attend, a spokesman from the governor’s office told me. Asked by a reporter on Air Force One if Mr. Kasich had been invited, a White House spokesman said he was “not aware,” according to a pool report.

Here’s what else is going on today:

Cold Numbers Upend Midterm Election Assumptions

Republicans have been assuming that this year’s midterm elections will be about growing economic confidence, but that assumption is being called into question by the market rout as of late, Jerry Seib writes in his latest Capital Journal column. Meanwhile, Democrats are assuming the election will be about Mr. Trump’s sagging popularity. That assumption is being shaken by warning signs in national surveys including the WSJ/NBC News poll, which showed the share of voters who said they wanted Democrats to win control of Congress in this year’s elections shrank to six points in January from 11 points just a month earlier.

More from Washington:

House GOP leaders on Tuesday are expected to bring up for a vote legislation that would fund the Defense Department for the rest of the fiscal year but keep the rest of the government running only through March 23, setting up a showdown with the Senate, Kristina Peterson reports. “Everyone understands that this will probably end up being a ping-pong situation” where a bill is bounced between the House and Senate,” Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R., Fla.) said Monday night. “And we’ll see where the ball lands.”

The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously to release a classified Democratic memo that defends the federal investigation into a Trump campaign associate. Under the House rules used to approve the release of the memo, the White House now has five days to decide whether to raise an objection. If it does, a simple majority vote of the full House could override the White House.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to block a decision nullifying Pennsylvania’s congressional map leaves the state facing a confused political landscape and raises the prospect of new district lines that could give Democrats a boost in their push to retake the U.S. House, Brent Kendall and Scott Calvert report. The turbulence in Pennsylvania is part of a rare national re-examination of partisan gerrymandering.

Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina allege that Christopher Steele, the author of a controversial dossier, lied to federal agents, or that the Justice Department knowingly or mistakenly permitted “materially false statements” to appear in classified records. The letter doesn’t specify which classified records it is referring to, but the Justice Department said it was reviewing the matter.

U.S. regulators plan to ask Congress to consider imposing stricter federal oversight on trading of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as market cops amplify alarms about an asset that is largely exempt from investor-protection laws.

The top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked the Trump administration Monday to investigate fake online comments uncovered by The Wall Street Journal on a rule to restrict high-interest payday lending.

The U.S. and Russia said they have fulfilled obligations under a 2010 treaty to reduce the number of strategic nuclear warheads, Felicia Schwartz and Michael R. Gordon report. The State Department said the U.S. has fulfilled its commitments under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START, which was signed by former President Barack Obama in 2010 and ratified by the Senate in 2011.

The U.S. tax overhaul may bring trillions of dollars in accumulated profits back home from overseas financial centers, but will likely deliver a smaller boost to U.S. investment by foreign businesses, according to a United Nations analysis.

Jerome Powell took the oath of office as chairman of the Federal Reserve’s board of governors on Monday. The Fed was an indirect player in the recent market tumult.

From across the WSJ:

Steve Wynn and his legal representatives set up a company separate from his Wynn Resorts that helped conceal a $7.5 million payment to a woman who had accused the casino mogul of forcing her to have sex, Kate O’Keeffe reports.

Psychologists say high-powered men accused of abusing women have different motivations but often share some personality traits, writes our Bonds columnist Elizabeth Bernstein.

Chip-maker Broadcom sweetened its offer for fellow semiconductor maker Qualcomm, raising its takeover offer to $121 billion, which would be the largest tech deal ever.

Victoria’s Secret CEO Les Wexner is betting on a radical idea: smartphones will fade.

There were 17 Super Bowl records set in Sunday night’s thriller between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, but the size of the audience wasn’t one of them, Joe Flint writes: it was the least watched Super Bowl since 2009.

Amateurs search the city of Raqqa’s ruins so people can return to their booby-trapped homes, as Islamic State’s legacy in Syria is shaping up to be a plethora of hidden explosives. Read this in-depth report written by WSJ’s Raja Abdulrahim from Raqqa, Syria.

The A-hed: The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Associations world championships has a minimum size but no upper limit. Therein lies the source of the arms race for more bagpipes, Michael M. Phillips writes.


TRUMP ADMINISTRATION: President Donald Trump hosts a round-table discussion on the MS-13 gang at the White House at 1:45 p.m., and signs the National Security Presidential Memorandum establishing the National Vetting Center at 3:40 p.m. Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence begin a three-day visit to Japan. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets with President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in Peru before traveling on to Bogota, Colombia, where he meets with President Juan Manuel Santos and Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin.

CONGRESS: The House meets at 10 a.m., and is expected to vote on a short-term government funding bill. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman Gen. Paul Selva testify at 9:30 a.m. before the House Armed Services Committee on national defense strategy. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue testifies on the state of the rural economy at 9:30 a.m. before the House Agriculture Committee. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies before the House Financial Service Committee at 10 a.m. on the Financial Stability Oversight Council report. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin testifies before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs at 10 a.m. on the VA caregiver support program. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo testify on virtual currencies before the Senate Finance Committee at 10 a.m.


While most attention is focused on Russia’s attempts to expand its influence in Europe, Rick Noack of the Washington Post looks at China’s efforts to do the same: “Whereas Russia’s efforts have mainly shaped the discourse of the wider public while offending Europe’s ruling elites, China’s influence mainly appears to target leading politicians, academics and journalists in an active outreach effort at conferences, receptions or less public meetings.”

Juan Williams, writing for The Hill, explores ways President Trump can climb down from his promise to build a wall all along the southern border: “At this point, the wall is at best a majestic symbol in the culture wars and a wedge issue for Trump’s GOP. It is not a viable policy and thus it does not belong in a serious policy debate over immigration and funding the federal government.”

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News looks at the Supreme Court decision to leave in place a court ruling forcing Pennsylvania’s legislature to redraw the lines on its congressional district map: “The new Pennsylvania map could give Democrats a boost as they seek to take control of the U.S. House in the November election. Republicans hold 13 of the 18 Pennsylvania seats after taking 54.1 percent of the vote in 2016.”


The Dow industrials closed down 1,175.21 points, or 4.6%, to 24345.75, Monday, posting its largest one-day percentage decline since August 2011. It briefly dropped nearly 1,600 points, its largest one-session point decline.


@greg_ip: 1. Everyone expected a correction. 2. The market always moves in a way to maximize the number of wrong forecasts. 3. Therefore this correction is going to a) be way worse than everyone expects or b) disappear before you know it.

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Russia Probe: Two Key Questions Following Release of GOP-Authored Surveillance Memo

Click here to get the Capital Journal Daybreak newsletter delivered to your inbox. The debate over the House GOP-authored memorandum alleging improperly-granted surveillance of Carter Page, who served as a foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump‘s campaign, raises two key questions moving forward: 1.) Will calls from lawmakers to release the secret application used to surveil Mr. Page […]

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Why the GOP’s Classified Memo Is Important to Trump

Good morning. Click here to get the Capital Journal Daybreak newsletter delivered to your inbox. President Donald Trump is expected to tell lawmakers as early as today that he has approved the release of a classified memo that Republicans allege shows improper surveillance of one of the president’s former campaign aides, report Rebecca Ballhaus, Siobhan Hughes and Peter Nicholas. […]

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Watch All of Trump’s Off-Script Lines at State of the Union Speech

President Donald Trump likes to speak without a script, and even in formal settings he will regularly diverge from prepared remarks in an effort to drive home a point. We pulled together dozens of off-script moments from Mr. Trump’s first State of the Union speech Tuesday night. He made various brief detours from the prepared […]

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Trump’s First-Year Performance: Successes, Unfulfilled Pledges, Gray Areas

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President Donald Trump is poised to renew his call on lawmakers to work with him to overhaul the U.S. immigration system in his first official State of the Union address tonight. The other two big items to watch for: He is expected to pitch an infrastructure package and tout a strong economy in his first year as president.

We know the broad themes Mr. Trump wants to hit, but how does a State of the Union resonate in 2018, when the president attracts the world’s attention with a tweet? The speed of the current news cycle means it’s unlikely this speech will reverberate for long. But if it is still a historical marker of what a president had hoped to accomplish and a way to judge the success of a president, here’s how Mr. Trump would fare:

A look back to a speech Mr. Trump’s gave last year before a joint session of Congress (not a State of the Union but a similar event) shows that he did act on much of what he wanted to, though to mixed results. The president last year said he “directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS.” The fall of Islamic State has continued in stride in Mr. Trump’s first year. He asked the Senate to approve his nominee to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, who is now Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch—another success for Mr. Trump. And the president wanted to cut the corporate tax rate; he did.

There are examples of pledges yet unfulfilled. Mr. Trump said his administration had “cleared the way for the construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines,” which he said would create “tens of thousands of jobs.” Not yet. The president also said his administration would “soon begin the construction of a great, great wall along our southern border,” something that has yet to occur.

And as with any president, there are gray areas. The health law, also known as Obamacare, is still the law of the land but has been crippled. Stocks are soaring but wage growth is more tepid. Mr. Trump, as promised, did withdraw the U.S. from what he called the “job-killing” Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multinational trade pact. Yet, last week, he said at the World Economic Forum he was willing to consider rejoining it. Many average Americans will receive thousands of dollars in a tax cut, as promised, but the wealthy and corporations are poised to get the lion’s share of savings from the tax legislation Mr. Trump signed.

While the president focuses on his accomplishments, the incompletes and the pledges not-yet-fulfilled are sure to be addressed by Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D., Mass.), a young third-term congressman with a famous last name who the Democrats have tapped to deliver the party’s official, televised response to the president’s speech. Here’s what else is going on today:


As President Trump prepares to deliver his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night, WSJ’s Jerry Seib tells us what to watch out for. On the top of the list: what the president says on immigration, trade and North Korea.

Westlake Legal Group trumps-first-year-performance-successes-unfulfilled-pledges-gray-areas Trump’s First-Year Performance: Successes, Unfulfilled Pledges, Gray Areas State of the Union donald trump Capital Journal Daybreak

The latest column from Jerry Seib: The president relishes stirring up controversy, and, in fact, believes stirring the pot advances his reputation as an outside agitator and improves his position by keeping adversaries off balance, Jerry writes. But Mr. Trump usually keeps controversy at arm’s length, using his Twitter feed or offhand comments to attack and posture. By contrast, when he finally comes face-to-face with both friends and foes, his actual positions are often less contentious and rigid than his public posturing suggests. His Twitter bark is worse than his personal bite. Read Jerry’s full column, here.

From Washington:

Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe left his post on Monday after his bosses urged him to step aside, Aruna Viswanatha and Del Quentin Wilber. Mr. McCabe has faced a steady string of attacks over an alleged conflict of interest stemming from his wife’s previous run for Virginia state Senate as a Democrat before he became deputy director. The FBI has said Mr. McCabe played no role in his wife’s campaign. Though Mr. Trump had called for Mr. McCabe’s ouster, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president wasn’t part of the “decision-making process” on Mr. McCabe’s departure.

A congressional panel voted to make public a classified Republican-authored memo that alleges surveillance abuses against an associate of Mr. Trump dating back to the 2016 campaign. The matter now goes to Mr. Trump, who has five days to decide whether to object to the release of the material. If he does, the full House of Representatives can override his decision.

The Trump administration is resuming refugee admissions from 11 countries deemed national-security risks, while adding additional screening measures for them. Senior administration officials say the new vetting would include more independent interviews of refugee applicants and their families, but gave no other details, reports Laura Meckler.

Janet Yellen ends 14 years at the Federal Reserve this week, the last four as its first chairwoman, having guided the U.S. economy to its tightest labor market in nearly two decades by resisting calls to raise interest rates more aggressively. Nick Timiraos reports on her tenure.

The Republican Governors Association has decided to give back $100,000 in donations and cut other financial ties with Steve Wynn, in the wake of a Wall Street Journal report of decades-long sexual harassment allegations against the casino mogul.

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, on Monday said he wouldn’t seek re-election in 2018, making him the latest in a parade of senior House Republicans and committee leaders heading to the exits, Janet Hook reports. Janet had just last week written an in-depth look the uphill battle the New Jersey congressman faced in a re-election bid.

The increase in U.S. military action in Afghanistan over the past year has been accompanied by a higher number of casualties, with 141 American service members killed or wounded in the 12-month period through November, Jessica Donati writes. So far, the increased pressure has yet to halt the deteriorating state of security in the country.

The Pentagon is reviewing policies that allow deployed troops to use activity-measuring devices and fitness apps that rely on GPS tracking, after publication of a digital map online accidentally exposed information that could reveal where American troops are deployed or even precisely where they exercise overseas.

Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley led the 14 other members of the Security Council on a trip to Washington that included lunch with President Trump and a stop at a military hangar to see what the U.S. says is evidence that Iran is arming Houthi rebels in Yemen. They also visited an exhibit on Syria at the Holocaust museum.

From across the WSJ:

North Korea abruptly canceled plans to hold a joint musical performance with South Korea this week, Seoul officials said, putting a damper on the two Koreas’ attempts to build a detente before next week’s Winter Olympics.

Soaring stock prices and improving job prospects have set Americans off on a spending splurge that is cutting into how much they sock away for retirement and rainy days.

The Census Bureau has scrapped a plan to overhaul how it asks about race and Hispanic ethnicity in the 2020 Census, after the Trump administration delayed making a decision on the matter in time for the rollout.

Federal prosecutors announced charges against eight traders for deceptive trading practices in the futures markets, with all but one person charged with illegal spoofing, Gabriel T. Rubin writes.

President Trump’s pick to run NASA, GOP Rep. James Bridenstine, faces what increasingly seem insurmountable obstacles to confirmation because of opposition by Senate Democrats and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

The leader of a minor political party that supports Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi filed Monday to run for the presidency, a move that poses a token challenge to the incumbent in an election campaign opponents are calling a sham, Jared Malsin reports from Cairo.

As he runs for another term, Russian President Vladimir Putin claims credit for uptick after the country’s dismal oil-based recession, James Marson writes from Tver, Russia. The U.S. Treasury Department released an unclassified list of Russian senior political figures and oligarchs, provoking ire in Moscow even as its consequences were unclear.

Doctors are at odds over whether some patients with breast cancer should have chemotherapy—one treatment among the arsenal long seen as crucial to fighting the disease, along with surgery and radiation. Many oncologists are shunning chemo as risky and ineffective at combating some early-stage breast tumors.

JPMorgan Chase gave the clearest signal yet about a succession plan for CEO James Dimon.

Despite being one of the past year’s most successful movies, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” has fallen short of Wall Street’s expectations. That’s raising concern for the Walt Disney Co., which six years ago spent $4 billion to buy the franchise.

The maker of Keurig coffee machines is buying Dr Pepper Snapple Group, a $19 billion bet on soda.

The A-hed: Increasingly, emojis are bones of contention in lawsuits ranging from business disputes to harassment to defamation.


TRUMP ADMINISTRATION: President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address to a Joint Session of Congress at 9:10 p.m. The inaugural U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue begins at 8:30 a.m. at the State Department, co-hosted by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

CONGRESS: The Senate convenes at 10 a.m., and will resume consideration of the nomination of David Ryan Stras to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee at 10 a.m. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on the Financial Stability Oversight Council at 10 a.m.

FED: The Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day meeting begins, with interest rates decision to come Wednesday.


It’s “impossible to know who to believe” in seeking an explanation for the resignation of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, writes David A. Graham of The Atlantic. “Most of all, it is impossible to fully trust anything the executive branch says about personnel moves, thanks to the way the firing of James Comey was handled.”

The New Yorker’s Vinson Cunningham writes of a recently released 2005 picture of then-Sen. Barack Obama at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. He concludes that “if that picture spreads in 2007 or 2008, a whole different history ensues.”

Allan Lichtman, writing for Time magazine, says that “Democrats are making the mistake of counting on anti-Trumpism to carry the party to victory in the 2018 midterm elections and the presidential contest of 2020. The party desperately needs to develop a positive, uplifting message that doesn’t hinge on Trump-bashing and does capture grassroots attention. ”

“While Sean Hannity and Breitbart News carry water for Trump, and many liberal publications dodge introspection in favor of anti-Trump primal screams, right-of-center magazines have been debating and reassessing the soul of their political philosophy,” writes T.A. Frank in the Washington Post. “Conservative magazines are working to bring a plausible intellectual order to this new reality — and figure out what comes next.”


2.4%; The saving rate was 2.4% of disposable household income in December, the lowest rate since September 2005.


@Comey: Special Agent Andrew McCabe stood tall over the last 8 months, when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on. He served with distinction for two decades. I wish Andy well. I also wish continued strength for the rest of the FBI. America needs you.

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Democrats to Trump: Stick to Border and Dreamers

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President Donald Trump is proposing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children (the Dreamers, as they are called), if lawmakers agree to expand barriers along the Mexico border and make other changes to the immigration system. Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress want negotiations to be just about the Dreamers and the border. The give-and-take along these lines will determine the contours of any final immigration package and the political headwinds or tailwinds that are sure to come with it.

While Mr. Trump was in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum Thursday, top aides back in Washington told lawmakers that he would sign legislation that included legal protections for about 1.8 million Dreamers, who could become citizens within 10 to 12 years; a $25 billion fund for border security measures, including physical barriers; restrictions on family-based immigration, which is the channel by which most immigrants have come to the U.S. for the past 50 years; and ending a lottery-type program that awards 50,000 visas annually to foreigners.

Democrats said that only the first two items on the president’s priorities list should be part of the current conversation. A more narrow debate, Democrats said, would give the talks the best chance for success. If a deal isn’t reached by early February, it could lead to another government shutdown. Democrats could block funding for the government due to a lack of an agreement on immigration. “As we found time and again, when we open up the negotiations to discussions of broad immigration reform, there is no end to what each party says could be on the table,” Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said on the Senate floor. “We should find a narrow deal on DACA and border security,” he said, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“Certainly, that’s the easiest path,” said Theresa Cardinal Brown, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s director of immigration and cross-border policy, in an interview. “For a lot of Republicans, they think, ‘We don’t think we get to vote on immigration very often, so let’s get as much as we want.’”

Popular thinking in Washington is that a Republican president can give a lot of conservative House members cover to vote for a bill that some GOP voters may view as undeserved amnesty for illegal immigrants. But even that may not be enough, Ms. Brown said. “I think [the president is] sincere when he says he wants a path forward for the kids,” she explained. “I think it’s helpful if he’s clear, but it’s not enough. It’s necessary but not sufficient. The challenge of immigration has always been: The only way to get it done is on a bipartisan basis.”

Mr. Trump has long said he was open to protecting Dreamers, and the White House is betting that his supporters will overlook that concession if Mr. Trump can secure funding for a border wall, WSJ White House reporter Michael C. Bender writes.

Here’s what’s going on today:


The president is giving his speech in Davos at 8 a.m. ET today. We’ll be watching to see how he walks a fine line between promoting his “America First” agenda without leaving U.S. allies feeling isolated. Follow along with coverage on our live blog. Mr. Trump, the first U.S. president to visit the forum since Bill Clinton in 2000, was met by fascination and suspicion from attendees at the forum. Attendees saw Mr. Trump’s decision to bring with him a swath of his cabinet as a response to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit last year, which was widely seen as a play by China to fill what it saw as a vacuum in global leadership following Mr. Trump’s election, Rebecca Ballhaus and Felicia Schwartz write.

Mr. Trump said the Palestinians must return to peace talks with Israel to continue receiving U.S. aid, in comments to reporters as he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May strongly defended free trade and globalization in a speech Thursday in Davos, where she sought to walk a fine line in her messaging: distancing herself from Mr. Trump, but making it clear she valued her country’s relationship with the U.S. as she seeks to steer Britain out of the European Union. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi criticized remarks by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that a weak dollar benefits U.S. trade, signaling a fresh economic policy rift between European officials and the Trump administration.

More coverage: A top International Monetary Fund official said some Trump administration complaints about unfair trade are valid, writes Greg Ip.

From Washington:

President Trump dismissed as “fake news” reports that in June he ordered the top White House lawyer to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, but backed off when his counsel threatened to resign. “Fake news. Fake news,” Mr. Trump said as he arrived in the World Economic Forum this morning for meetings with foreign leaders ahead of his address this afternoon. A lawyer for President Trump said Thursday that the White House had provided more than 20,000 pages of documents to Mr. Mueller as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

Allies of Mr. Trump had raised concerns about missing text messages between an FBI agent and another bureau employee but a government watchdog has said he has found the texts. The new texts aren’t yet publicly available but Inspector General Michael Horowitz said he would turn over the texts to the Justice Department for “any management action it deems appropriate.”

The tax law is just one month old but its effects are roaring through U.S. firms. From acquisitions and equipment purchases to stock buybacks, firms are rapidly recalibrating their business plans, write Theo Francis, Peter Loftus and Heather Haddon. One important note: Some economists caution the economic impact may not quite measure up to the growth in corporate profits.

The Iranian military has halted the routine harassment by its armed “fast boats” of U.S. naval vessels in the Persian Gulf, a turnabout that officials welcomed but were at a loss to explain, report Gordon Lubold in Washington and Nancy A. Youssef in Kuwait City. The fast boats, typically armed with .50 caliber machine guns and rocket launchers, had come within shooting distance of American naval vessels.

Treasury Department tax experts are skeptical about states allowing taxpayers to make charitable contributions to circumvent a new cap on deductions for state and local taxes, Richard Rubin reports. Lawmakers in high-tax states are considering ways of responding to the new tax law, which limits the individual deduction for state and local taxes to $10,000.

A Chinese middleman who is allegedly one of the largest facilitators of North Korean trade invested around $500,000 with his wife in a fund that put them on a path toward becoming U.S. permanent residents, Aruna Viswanatha reports. The U.S. attorney’s office in Washington filed a complaint Thursday, and the disclosure appears to expose a loophole in the much-debated EB-5 visa program that allowed the pair to make the investment in 2015.

The Trump administration is withdrawing a decades-old air policy aimed at reining in some of the largest sources of hazardous pollutants like mercury and lead. The Environmental Protection Agency said late Thursday it is getting rid of requirements that it forever keep sites classified as “major sources” of hazardous air pollution once they meet that classification.

Rep. Pat Meehan, who settled a former aide’s sexual-harassment complaint with taxpayer money, informed party and campaign officials that he won’t seek re-election. The GOP has begun the search for a replacement candidate.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue wants more food-stamp recipients to work for that assistance, an opening salvo in what are expected to be contentious negotiations this year over the next U.S. farm bill.

From across the WSJ:

WSJ scoop: Dell is considering a range of strategic alternatives that could transform the maker of PCs and data-storage devices, report Dana Cimilluca and Dana Mattioli. Dell is expected to pursue a public listing, as an IPO could provide the company with cash to invest in the business and pay down debt.

Scientists advising U.S. regulators dealt a setback to the tobacco industry’s multibillion-dollar quest to bring a cigarette alternative to market.

Amazon has narrowed the list of metro areas it is considering for its new headquarters to 20 from 238. Now the real hunt begins. Amazon will visit cities, examine areas’ attributes and negotiate incentives in a site-selection process expected to take months.

The White House’s next NASA budget is expected to propose government-industry moon initiatives and ending space-station funding by the middle of next decade, according to people familiar with the details.

Canada is seeking to break a logjam in overhauling the North American Free Trade Agreement by way of a proposal for more North American content in automobiles, Paul Vieira and William Mauldin report from Montreal.

The recent recovery in U.S. business investment owes much to a rebound in the price of one critical commodity: oil, writes WSJ’s Ben Leubsdorf. Meanwhile, much stronger global growth is driving demand for exports.

In Philadelphia, officials are trying to slow an opioid crisis that has rapidly worsened by backing a novel step to open a safe haven where addicts can use their drugs.

Should you buy Bitcoin with your credit card? The card companies dislike the idea.

Here are highlights of what the tech giants, including Facebook, told Congress about Russia’s misinformation campaign before and after the 2016 presidential election.

The agreement to bring athletes from North and South Korea together at next month’s Winter Olympics shows economic pressure on Pyongyang is working, Elena Cherney reports.


President Trump will deliver a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this morning in front of multinational CEOs and financiers from around the world. WSJ’s Jerry Seib examines the type of message Mr. Trump might want to deliver at the forum.

Westlake Legal Group democrats-to-trump-stick-to-border-and-dreamers Democrats to Trump: Stick to Border and Dreamers immigration GDP Economy Dreamers donald trump Davos daca Capital Journal Daybreak

More video: Global Leaders on Trump’s Policies and Prospects


TRUMP ADMINISTRATION: President Donald Trump delivers an address at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, at 8 a.m. ET, and met with world leaders including Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Swiss President Alain Berset. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets with senior officials in Poland. Attorney General Jeff Sessions visits Norfolk, Va., at 1:30 p.m. to deliver remarks on the administration’s national security and immigration priorities. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis meets South Korean National Defense Minister Song Young-moo at U.S. Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii.

ECONOMIC INDICATORS: The U.S. government releases its first estimate of gross domestic product in the fourth quarter of 2017 at 8:30 a.m. Here are five things to watch in the GDP report.


“Special Counsel Robert Mueller is moving at a far faster pace than previously known and appears to be wrapping up at least one key part of his investigation — whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice, according to current and former U.S. officials,” write Chris Strohm​ and Shannon Pettypiece of Bloomberg News.

National Review’s Jonah Goldberg urges Republicans to use caution in pushing the theory that there was some kind of FBI conspiracy to bring down President Trump: “There’s just too much theatrics and chest thumping involved” among those pushing that idea, he writes.

Jonathan Chait of New York magazine complains that Republicans pushing the FBI conspiracy theory with selective release of texts from the phones of two FBI agents are following the pattern Wikileaks used in releasing stolen emails during the 2016 campaign: “For weeks, Republicans have followed the WikiLeaks formula with these texts, selectively leaking snippets of conversation to feed a distorted story line to the media.”


@CNBC: President Trump to CNBC: I favor free trade, but it must be fair. http://cnb.cx/2DGII80

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