What The Fuck Just Happened Today?

Today's essential newsletter. Logging the daily shock and awe in national politics. Read in moderation.
by @matt_kiser

Site updated:

1/ White House now says it may take travel ban to the Supreme Court. Minutes after one White House official said Trump would not appeal the 9th Circuit ruling upholding a temporary stay of the travel ban, Reince Priebus said the White House is now "reviewing all of our options in the court system," including possibly going to the Supreme Court. (Washington Post)


2/ US investigators corroborate some aspects of the Russia dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent. None of the newly learned information relates to the salacious allegations in the dossier. The intercepts do confirm that some of the conversations described in the dossier took place between the same individuals on the same days and from the same locations as detailed in the dossier. (CNN)

3/ Russia considers returning Snowden to U.S. to "curry favor" with Trump. Trump has called the NSA leaker a "spy" and a "traitor" who deserves to be executed. Russia considers turning over Snowden to be a "gift" to Trump. (ABC News)

4/ National security adviser Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials. Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were interpreted by some senior U.S. officials as an inappropriate and potentially illegal signal to the Kremlin that it could expect a reprieve from sanctions that were being imposed by the Obama administration in late December to punish Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 election. (Washington Post)


5/ Trump tells President Xi Jinping U.S. will honor the "One China" Policy, reversing his earlier expressions of doubt about the longtime diplomatic understanding and removing a major source of tension between the United States and China since shortly after he was elected. Trump had to publicly commit to upholding the 44-year-old policy for President Xi to take his call. The concession was clearly designed to put an end to an extended chill in the relationship between China and the United States. (New York Times)


6/ Jared Kushner proves to be a shadow diplomat on U.S.-Mexico talks. Kushner’s back-channel communications with Mexico reveals he’s operating like a shadow secretary of state, operating outside the boundaries of the State Department or National Security Council. (Washington Post)

7/ Tom Price confirmed as the new secretary of Health and Human Services. He was approved by a party-line vote of 52-47. Democrats were concerned that the conservative congressman wants to pare down government health programs. They were also troubled by lingering ethics questions over Price's investments. (NPR)


8/ Kellyanne Conway apologized to Donald Trump after Ivanka clothing line comments. Conway, in a Fox News interview, urged viewers Thursday to "go buy Ivanka's stuff.” The top White House adviser tweeted that she had the full support of Trump. (CNN)

POTUS supports me, and millions of Americans support him & his agenda. https://t.co/FTaPXTymGV

— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) February 10, 2017

9/ Trump border wall to cost $21.6 billion and take 3.5 years to build, based on a U.S. Department of Homeland Security internal report. The report’s estimated price-tag is much higher than a $12-billion figure cited by Trump in his campaign. (Reuters)

10/ Treasury nominee vows no tax cut for rich. But the math says the opposite. Mnuchin said any rate reductions at the top would be offset by the closing of fat loopholes, his guarantee appears impossible to fulfill either under the tax overhaul that the House Republicans are pushing or similar, sketchier proposals that Mr. Trump has offered. (New York Times)

11/ Trump vexed by challenges, scale of government. The president’s allies say he has been surprised that government can’t be run like his business. Nearly two dozen people who’ve spent time with Trump in the three weeks since his inauguration said that his mood has careened between surprise and anger as he’s faced the predictable realities of governing, from congressional delays over his cabinet nominations and legal fights holding up his aggressive initiatives to staff in-fighting and leaks. (Politico)

12/ Republicans push bill to split up "nutty 9th Circuit”. They argue that the 9th is too big, too liberal and too slow resolving cases. If they succeed, only California, Oregon, Hawaii and two island districts would remain in the 9th's judicial fiefdom. Nevada, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Arizona, and Alaska would be part of the brand new 12th Circuit. (Fox News)

13/ A blueprint for resistance to Trump has emerged. Here’s what it looks like: faith in the system, pressure Republicans to exercise oversight, use all the procedural tools in the Senate, leverage civil society, keep Trump distracted. (Washington Post)

14/ FBI terrorism taskforce investigating Standing Rock activists. FBI representatives have contacted several "water protectors," raising alarm that an indigenous-led movement is being construed as domestic terrorism. (The Guardian)

poll/ Americans believe the world sees the U.S. more unfavorably (57%) than favorably (42%) – the worst in a decade. (Gallup)

poll/ Americans evenly divided on impeaching Trump. Support for impeaching Trump has crept up from 35% 2 weeks ago, to 40% last week, to its 46% standing this week. (Public Policy Polling)