Trump has a serious issue with something very simple: the truth. In addition, he considers any negative coverage him as "fake news." As he himself stated, he "really started this whole fake news thing."

Executive Summary:

  1. Trump has been in an ongoing spat with top GOP Senator, Bob Corker. Corker has called Trump “utterly untruthful” and said that the White House has become an "adult daycare."
  2. Trump accused the widow of a solider who died during the attack in Niger and her Congresswoman, Frederica Wilson, of lying about his condolence phone call to her. He also said he called or wrote a letter to “virtually every family” of soldiers who have been killed since he took office – he hasn't.
  3. Fake news, social media, and Russia’s role in disinformation during the election campaign has been a major focus of the Trump-Russia investigations.

The White House is worried that FBI Director Christopher Wray will quit if The Memo™ is released. Wray has "grave concerns" that "material omissions of fact" make the document inaccurate. Trump is expected to approve the release of the memo on Friday, which alleges surveillance abuse by the FBI, without the bureau's requested redactions. (CNN / New York Times / Washington Post)

Julian Assange thought he sent a direct message to Sean Hannity on Twitter offering news about Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. Instead it was just a fake Sean Hannity account. (The Daily Beast)

Trump proposed immigration legislation that could provide a path to citizenship for an estimated 1.8 million DREAMers in exchange for a $25 billion "trust fund" to build a border wall and assorted border security upgrades. The plan will be sent to the Senate on Monday, which White House officials called an "extremely generous" take-it-or-leave-it proposal. Yesterday, Trump said he'd be willing to consider a path to citizenship for DREAMers that would allow young undocumented immigrants to "morph" into citizens after 10 to 12 years. The off-the-cuff comment sent White House staffers scrambling in what one official called a "fire drill." (Washington Post / New York Times)

A Michigan man was arrested after allegedly threatening to shoot and kill CNN employees. The FBI launched an investigation after the man reportedly called CNN 22 times about a week ago and said, among other things, "Fake news. I'm coming to gun you all down." (WGCL-TV / The Hill)

Montana became the first state to pass its own net neutrality laws in the wake of the FCC's decision to deregulate the communications industry. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) signed an executive order on Monday that requires all internet service providers with state contracts to adhere to net neutrality standards. (New York Times)

Trump released his 2017 Fake News Awards. (

Jeff Flake delivered a speech from the Senate floor comparing Trump's anti-press rhetoric to former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin that Trump inspires modern-day authoritarians. Trump promised to announce his "Fake News Awards" today. (Los Angeles Times / Reuters)

poll/ 42% of Republicans consider negative news stories that are accurate to be "fake news." (Washington Post)

Jake Tapper abruptly ended an interview with White House adviser Stephen Miller on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday. Miller was there to talk about Michael Wolff's new book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, but refused to answer questions about Trump directly and repeatedly attempted to shift the conversation toward criticism of CNN. "I think I've wasted enough of my viewers' time. Thank you, Stephen," Tapper said as he cut off the interview. Miller then refused to leave the CNN set and had to be escorted off the premises. (CNN / Business Insider)

The Trump administration plans to allow offshore oil and gas exploration in the Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the proposal would make about 90% of the U.S. outer continental shelf available for offshore leasing. (CNBC / Washington Post / New York Times)

Trump tweets that the "corrupt media awards" will be presented to the "fake news media" next week. In November, Trump suggested there should be a contest among news networks, except for Fox News, for a "Fake News Trophy." A Rasmussen poll conducted after Trump's suggestion found that most Americans would award Fox News the trophy. "THE MOST DISHONEST AND CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR" will be presented Monday at 5:00 pm ET. (The Hill)

Trump golfed two days in a row after tweeting "it's back to work in order to Make America Great Again." On the second day, a box truck was parked between cameras and the president in order to block the view of Trump golfing. (Associated Press / BuzzFeed News)

The GOP tax bill will open up oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Congressional Budget Office projects that Alaska and the federal government could make about $1 billion from leases and sales in the area over the next decade. (ABC News)

"Fox & Friends" was named the "most influential" show in media because Trump watches it. Trump congratulated the hosts in a tweet: "You deserve it - three great people! The many Fake News Hate Shows should study your formula for success!" (The Hill)

Trump criticized the news media for its "demeaning" coverage of tax reform. "The Tax Cuts are so large and so meaningful, and yet the Fake News is working overtime to follow the lead of their friends, the defeated Dems, and only demean," Trump tweeted, adding: "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!" (The Hill)

The House passed tax reform today, but will have to vote again tomorrow after the Senate parliamentarian said three provisions violated the Byrd Rule and would have to be removed from the bill. Senate Republicans plan to vote on the measure tonight with the provisions removed, which would require the House to revote on the measure tomorrow, since both chambers must pass identical bills. The House initially passed the bill in a 227-203 vote with all but 12 Republicans voting for the bill. No Democrats supported it. Trump is expected to sign the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act into law before the end of the week. The bill will add $1.5 trillion to the federal debt over the next decade as it cuts tax rates for corporations, provides new breaks for private businesses, and reorganizes the individual tax code. The legislation also repeals the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate that most Americans buy health insurance coverage or face a fine. (NBC News / New York Times / Washington Post)

Trump considered rescinding Neil Gorsuch's nomination after the Supreme Court pick said he found Trump's repeated attacks on the federal judiciary "disheartening" and "demoralizing." Trump called the report "FAKE NEWS" on Twitter. (Washington Post)

poll/ 23% of Americans say "fake news" is the second more annoying phrase in 2017. "Whatever" was the most annoying phrase. (Marist)

Trump spoke with Rupert Murdoch "to make sure [he] wasn't selling Fox News" as part of the Disney deal. He also congratulated Murdoch for the $52.4 billion deal to sell a portion of 21st Century Fox. (CNN / Bloomberg)

House and Senate Republicans reached an agreement on their joint tax bill. The House and Senate are expected to vote next week. The agreement would set the top individual tax rate at 37%, down from today’s 39.6%. The corporate rate would drop to 21% from 37% and would take effect in 2018, rather than 2019. (New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post)

USA Today editorial called Trump unfit to clean toilets in Obama's presidential library. Trump tweeted that "more than 90% of Fake News Media coverage of me is negative." (USA Today)

Chuck Schumer was the victim of a fake news hit and turned over to Capitol Police a document purporting sexual harassment accusations by a former staffer. (Axios)

Roy Moore's wife argued that her husband is not a bigot because "one of our attorneys is a Jew." At a Monday night campaign rally, Kayla Moore said: "Fake news would tell you that we don't care for Jews. And I tell you all this because I've seen it and I just want to set the record straight while they're here. One of our attorneys is a Jew." Her comments came a week after Roy Moore attacked George Soros, the Jewish liberal mega-donor, saying Soros "is going to the same place that people who don't recognize God and morality and accept his salvation are going." (CNN)

56 female Democratic lawmakers asked the House Oversight Committee to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct against Trump, who has denied the accusations. "At least 17 women have publicly accused the President of sexual misconduct," the lawmakers wrote in a letter. In response, Trump tweeted that these are "false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don't know and/or have never met. FAKE NEWS!" (NBC News / Reuters)

Rex Tillerson told diplomats that Russia "interfered in democratic processes here," something Trump continues to call "fake news" intended to delegitimize his presidency. The comment came in a closed-door meeting with US diplomats where Tillerson also praised Trump for trying to focus on "productive engagement" with Russia. (The Daily Beast)

Macron will award US climate scientists with "Make Our Planet Great Again" grants to conduct research in France for the remainder of Trump's current presidential term, totaling about $70 million. (ABC News)

Russian operatives tried to make contact with Hope Hicks at least twice since Trump took office and after US intelligence agencies publicly accused Moscow of trying to influence the presidential election. Hicks is one of Trump's top advisers and there is no evidence that Hicks did anything wrong. The FBI gave Hicks the names of the Russians who had contacted her, and said that they were not who they claimed to be. Hicks met with Robert Mueller's investigators this week as part of the investigation into Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election. (New York Times)

Trump Jr. cited attorney-client privilege and refused to discuss a phone call he had with his father about how to handle the fallout from his June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer. He told the House Intelligence Committee that a lawyer was in the room during the call. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, told reporters: "I don't believe you can shield communications between individuals merely by having an attorney present," adding "that's not the purpose of attorney-client privilege" and that "the presence of counsel does not make communications between father and son a privilege." (Politico / New York Times / Wall Street Journal)

The British publicist who arranged the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting encouraged Dan Scavino to make a page for candidate Trump on the Russian social networking site VK, telling him that "Don and Paul" were on board with the idea. Don and Paul, of course, refer to Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort. The previously undisclosed emails from Rob Goldstone to a Russian participant and a member of Trump's inner circle later that summer raise new questions for congressional investigators about what was discussed at the meeting. Scavino is now the White House director of social media. (CNN)

Trump Jr. met with the House Intelligence Committee behind closed doors today. He told the committee that he spoke with Hope Hicks – not his father – about how to respond to news reports of his June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower. While aboard Air Force One, Trump helped write Trump Jr.'s initial response, which was sent through the Trump Organization under Trump Jr.'s name. The voluntary appearance is Trump Jr.'s first face-to-face meeting with Congress since Robert Mueller charged Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and Rick Gates. Trump Jr. met with the Senate Judiciary Committee in September. He is expected to meet with the Senate Intelligence Committee soon, although a date has not been set. (CNN / Bloomberg / ABC News)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reversed its position on a nearly concluded case less than 48 hours after Mick Mulvaney was named acting director. Lawyers withdrew their earlier brief and said they would no longer take a position on whether Nationwide should pay $8 million in penalties for misleading more than 100,000 mortgage customers. Mulvaney has also stopped approval of some payments to some victims of financial crime, halted hiring, and ordered a review of active investigations and lawsuits. (New York Times)

A conservative operative offered the Trump campaign a "Kremlin Connect" by using an NRA convention to make "first contact." Russia, Paul Erickson wrote, was "quietly but actively seeking a dialogue with the U.S." (New York Times)

Flynn promised "full cooperation" with Mueller's investigation and is prepared to testify that Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians. The FBI said Flynn communicated with Sergey Kislyak, then the Russian ambassador to the US, after being asked by a senior Trump transition official to find out where foreign governments stood on an upcoming UN Security Council resolution about Israel. The FBI did not name the officials. (ABC News / CNN)

Senate Republicans said they have the votes needed to pass their tax bill. Holdouts Steve Daines, Ron Johnson, Jeff Flake, and Susan Collins all said they will support the bill. "We have the votes," Mitch McConnell told reporters after meeting with his caucus. (Washington Post / Politico / New York Times)

Rex Tillerson called reports that the White House wants him to resign "laughable." Trump called the reports that he is planning to fire Tillerson "fake news" and that "I call the final shots." (New York Times)

Trump falsely claimed that the Republican tax bill would cost rich Americans like himself "a fortune." Trump and his family could save more than $1 billion under the House tax plan that passed two weeks ago. Under the Senate plan, wealthy Americans like Trump would receive nearly 62% of the benefit by 2027, while two-thirds of the middle-class would face a tax increase. "This is going to cost me a fortune, this thing, believe me," Trump said. "This is not good for me." He added that his "very wealthy friends" were "not so happy with me." (NBC News)

poll/ 40% of Americans think Fox News should receive the Fake News Trophy that Trump suggested earlier this week. 25% of respondents think CNN deserves a trophy. (Rasmussen)

Trump paid $1.375 million to settle a class-action labor case in 1998. Trump employed a crew of 200 undocumented Polish workers who worked in 12-hour shifts and were paid $4 an hour to demolish the Bonwit Teller building on Fifth Avenue to make way for the Trump Tower. (New York Times)

Trump is now suggesting that the "Access Hollywood" tape is fake, despite apologizing for what he described as "locker room talk" between men in October 2016. "Access Hollywood" responded to Trump, saying: "The tape is very real." (The Hill / New York Times)

Project Veritas got caught trying to spread fake news about Roy Moore. The organization, run by conservative activist James O’Keefe, targets the mainstream news media in an attempt to set up undercover "stings" that involve using false stories and covert video meant to discredit media outlets. The Washington Post reported that a woman falsely told its reporters she had been impregnated by Moore as a teenager. (Politico)

North Korea fired a ballistic missile for the first time in more than two months. Trump warned North Korea in a September speech at the United Nations that if it threatened the US or its allies, he would have "no choice but to totally destroy North Korea" and called Kim Jong-un "rocket man." The US believes Pyongyang may be able to put a miniaturized warhead on a missile in 2018, which would theoretically give North Korea the capability to launch a missile capable of hitting the US. Trump told reporters that he "will take care of it," adding that North Korea "is a situation that we will handle." (New York Times / CNN)

Trump tweeted that the media should get a "fake news trophy" for its distorted "coverage of your favorite President (me)." It's not clear what prompted the tweet, but over the weekend Trump criticized CNN International for representing "our nation to the WORLD very poorly." CNN responded: "It's not CNN’s job to represent the U.S. to the world. That’s yours." (Politico / New York Times / Washington Post)

Today, Flynn's lawyer met with Robert Mueller's team, a possible sign that both sides are discussing a plea deal. The process would likely include several off-the-record discussions between Flynn and the special counsel's team, as well as an opportunity to make a proffer of evidence that could implicate others. (ABC News)

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating what he calls a massive scheme to corrupt the FCC with fake public comments on net neutrality. (The Hill)

Nearly 60,000 Haitians living in the US must leave within 18 months now that the Trump administration has ended their Temporary Protected Status. Temporary status was granted to Haiti in 2010, after an earthquake devastated the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The Department of Homeland Security said that the "extraordinary conditions" justifying their status in the US "no longer exist." Haitians with protected status are expected to leave by July 2019 or face deportation. (Los Angeles Times / New York Times / Washington Post)

Tax experts say the House GOP tax bill is full of loopholes for the wealthy. As written, hedge funds could take advantage of the new, lower 25% tax rate intended for small businesses, while private equity fund managers could sidestep a new tax on their earnings. (Bloomberg)

Trump scolded Al Franken on Twitter for his sexual misconduct. "The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words," Trump tweeted, adding that last week Franken was "lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women." During Trump's presidential campaign, 11 women accused him of unwanted touching or kissing over several decades. Trump called the allegations "pure fiction" and "fake news" and referred to the women as "horrible, horrible liars." Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House position is that the women who have accused Trump of sexual harassment are lying. Franken, meanwhile, apologized for his behavior and encouraged a Senate Ethics Committee review of his actions. (Washington Post)

Trump has repeatedly declined to call on Roy Moore to quit Alabama's Senate race despite several women accusing Moore of sexually assaulting them when they were teenagers. Trump has not publicly condemned Moore’s actions, or pulled his endorsement of the Republican candidate, even as Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan have called for Moore to drop out of the race. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "The president believes that these allegations are very troubling" but that "the people of Alabama should make the decision on who their next senator should be." (New York Times / Associated Press)

The Senate Finance Committee approved the $1.5 trillion Republican tax overhaul, but not without an angry shouting match between Republicans and Democrats after nearly 12 hours of talk about taxes. Sherrod Brown and Orrin Hatch sparred over Republican talking points about trickle-down economics with the Ohio Democrat charging "that whole thing about higher wages, well, it’s a good selling point." Hatch replied: "I really resent anybody saying I’m just doing it for the rich." The committee voted along party lines, 14-12, to forward the proposal on to the full Senate, where the Senate is expected to take action after the Thanksgiving break. (CNN / New York Times / Politico)

The US embassy in Moscow hired a security firm owned by Putin's former KGB counter-intelligence director to provide "local guard services" for the US mission in Russia. Moscow forced Washington to cut its diplomatic staff in Russia from more than 1,200 to 455 in response to sanctions adopted against Russia in August. To make up for the loss of security guards, Washington awarded a $2.8 million no-bid contract to Elite Security, which was founded in 1997 by Viktor Budanov and his son Dmitry. Budanov retired from espionage in 1992. (The Telegraph / New York Times)

The Joint Committee on Taxation found that the tax bill would add $1.574 trillion to the deficit over a decade, which is $74 billion over the maximum amount it can add if Republicans want to take advantage of special Senate rules that would allow them to pass the bill with 50 votes. The Senate plans to release its tax bill this week; it is expected to differ significantly from the House bill. (NBC News / Washington Post)

The Justice Department told AT&T and Time Warner to sell off CNN's parent company or DirecTV if they want to approval of their proposed merger. During the campaign, Trump criticized the proposed merger, arguing that "deals like this destroy democracy" and that it's "an example of the power structure" he was fighting. Trump has also repeatedly labeled CNN "fake news." (New York Times)

Carter Page testified that he received permission from Corey Lewandowski to visit Moscow in July 2016, he told the House Intelligence Committee during his seven-hour testimony yesterday. Page also told senior campaign officials Sam Clovis, Hope Hicks, and JD Gordon, as well as then-Senator Jeff Sessions, about his trip to Russia. When he returned, Page sent an email to campaign officials saying he had received "incredible insights and outreach" from "senior members" of Putin’s administration and suggested that Trump should make a foreign policy speech in Russia and "raise the temperature a little bit." Page maintains that his trip was made as a private citizen and was unrelated to his role in the Trump campaign. (CNN / NBC News / Washington Post)

Trump told CIA director Mike Pompeo to meet with a former intelligence officer who claimed the DNC emails were "leaked" – not hacked. Pompeo met last month with William Binney, who has challenged a January 2017 intelligence community report from the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA that concludes "Putin ordered an influence campaign … to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency." Trump has called the report "fake news." (The Intercept)

poll/ 60% of Americans say Trump's tax plan will benefit the wealthy, while 17% think it will treat people equally. Among those that make $100,000 or more, 61% think Trump's plan will benefit them most. (ABC News)

Steve Bannon advised Trump to find new lawyers, because he believes that Ty Cobb and John Dowd, the top two attorneys on Trump's legal team, "are asleep at the wheel." Bannon is also pushing Trump to take action against Robert Mueller, urging him to defund the investigation – a move that would curtail Mueller without having to formally fire him. (The Daily Beast /Politico)

poll/ 49% of voters support impeaching Trump, to 41% who are opposed to doing so. Of Trump voters, 79% think he should remain in office even if collusion is proven, and 75% claim the entire Russia story is “fake news." (Public Policy Polling)

In a 12-count indictment, Robert Mueller charged Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates with conspiracy to launder more than $18 million, making false statements to the Justice Department, and other charges stemming from probes into possible Russian influence in US political affairs. The indictment of Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, and Gates focused on their work advising a pro-Russia party in Ukraine between 2006 to 2015, laundering money through 2016, and continuing the conspiracy against the US in 2017. The charges – the first by Mueller – make no mention of Trump or Russian election meddling. Both Manafort and Gates surrendered to Justice Department and pleaded not guilty on all counts today. (New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Politico)

The White House: All of the women who have accused Trump of sexual harassment are lying. Last week Trump called accusations of sexual harassment by at least 16 women "fake news." During a White House briefing, a reporter asked if the official position is that all of the women are lying. “Yeah," Sanders said, "we’ve been clear on that from the beginning, and the president’s spoken on it." (Washington Post)

I "really started this whole fake news thing." He went on to say that "if you look at the level of approval of the media, of general media—if you look at it from the day I started running, to now, I’m so proud I have been able to convince people how fake it is, because it has taken a nosedive." (CNN)

Jeff Flake announced that will not run for re-election, saying he "will no longer be complicit or silent" in the face of Trump's "reckless, outrageous and undignified" behavior. The Republican senator delivered a 17-minute speech on the Senate floor less than an hour after Trump met with Republicans for lunch, saying the "stability of the entire world [is] routinely threatened by the level of thought that goes into 140 characters" and to "do nothing in the face of such mercurial behavior is ahistoric" and "profoundly misguided." (New York Times / CNN)

Trump called a congresswoman "wacky" and said she told a "total lie" about his call to the widow of a solider killed in Niger. "The Fake News is going crazy with wacky Congresswoman Wilson(D), who was SECRETLY on a very personal call, and gave a total lie on content!" Trump tweeted. Frederica Wilson said Trump told the widow her husband "knew what he signed up for" in a condolence call. (Politico)

Putin's "chef" is believed to have financed the Russian "troll factory" that used social media to spread fake news during the 2016 US presidential campaign. Yevgeny Prigozhin is a Russian oligarch and the main backer of the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency. A declassified assessment by US intelligence concluded in January that the "likely financier of the so-called Internet Research Agency of professional trolls located in Saint Petersburg is a close Putin ally with ties to Russian intelligence." It did not name Prigozhin directly. Prigozhin was at one point, allegedly, Putin's "personal chef," in addition to having catering contracts with Russia's armed forces. He also once served caviar and truffles to George W. Bush during a summit in St. Petersburg. (CNN)

Trump will cut off essential subsidy payments to Affordable Care Act insurers. The subsidies are used to pay out-of-pocket costs for low-income people and represent an estimated $7 billion this year. A White House statement directed Congress to "repeal and replace the disastrous Obamacare law and provide real relief to the American people" because "the government cannot lawfully make the cost-sharing reduction payments." Trump said the ACA was "imploding" and called it a "broken mess" in a pair of tweets. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi responded, saying Trump had “apparently decided to punish the American people for his inability to improve our health care system.” Nearly 6 million enrollees qualify for the cost-sharing payments this year. (Politico / New York Times / CNN)

In response to the NBC News story, Trump tweeted that NBC’s broadcast license should be pulled as punishment for reporting what he considers fake news. “Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a ‘tenfold’ increase in our U.S. nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean. NBC = CNN!” Trump tweeted. “With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!” (Politico / The Hill)

Trump challenged Tillerson to an IQ test after the secretary of state's "moron" comment. "I think it's fake news," Trump said, "but if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win." Tillerson reportedly called Trump a "fucking moron" and nearly resigned this summer. (Forbes / Washington Post)

Trump criticized the Senate Intelligence Committee for continuing its investigation into possible collusion between Russia and his campaign, tweeting: "Why Isn't the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!" Trump tweeted. The tweet comes in response to yesterday's news that the committee is still investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential race. (The Hill / ABC News)

Today, Tillerson denied he considered resigning from his job, but did not address whether he called Trump a "moron." Minutes before Tillerson's remarks, Trump tweeted that NBC News was "fake news" and "more dishonest than even CNN. They are a disgrace to good reporting. No wonder their news ratings are way down!" Immediately after Tillerson spoke, Trump tweeted, again, that the NBC News "story has just been totally refuted" by Tillerson and that the news network "should issue an apology to AMERICA!" Later in the day Trump called it “a totally phony story” and said he has "total confidence” in Tillerson. (USA Today / CBS News / New York Times)

The House intelligence committee is focusing on Russian ads bought on Google, search engine manipulation, fake news, and the potential uses of YouTube. Google had initially said it found no evidence of targeted tactics like the thousands of election-related ads purchased on Facebook. (Bloomberg)

Tom Price resigned as Trump's Health and Human Services Secretary after racking up at least $400,000 in private charter flights. Yesterday, in an effort to satisfy Trump, Price offered to reimburse the government $51,887. Price's resignation came hours after Trump told reporters he considered Price a “fine man” but that he “didn't like the optics” and would make a decision about his future by the end of the day. Additionally, Politico reported that Price had used a military aircraft to travel to Africa, Europe, and to Asia earlier this year at a cost of more than $500,000 to taxpayers. The overseas trips bring the total cost of Price’s travels to more than $1 million since May. (NBC News / New York Times / Washington Post)

Trump's top economic adviser suggested that a family of four earning $100,000 can expect to save $1,000 a year in taxes – enough to "renovate their kitchen. They can buy a new car. They can take a family vacation. They can increase their lifestyle.” Yesterday, Gary Cohn said he "can't guarantee" taxes won't go up for the middle class" and “the wealthy are not getting a tax cut" under Trump’s tax plan. Cohn is worth an estimated $266 million. (HuffPost)

Twitter briefed members of the Senate and House intelligence committees about fake news spread by Russian accounts and what steps the company took to stop it. Twitter told Congress that about 200 accounts are tied to some of the same Russian-linked sources that purchased ads on Facebook. The vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee criticized Twitter for failing to aggressively investigate the Russian misuse of its platform beyond the accounts linked to fraudulent profiles already identified by Facebook. Mark Warner said the company's presentation “showed an enormous lack of understanding from the Twitter team of how serious this issue is, the threat it poses to democratic institutions and again begs many more questions than they offered." He added: “Their response was frankly inadequate on every level.” (Recode / New York Times)

Russian-bought political Facebook ads criticized Hillary Clinton, promoted Trump, and supported Bernie Sanders even after his presidential campaign had ended. The ads appeared designed to create divisions while sometimes praising Trump, Sanders, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. A number of the ads questioned Clinton’s authenticity and touted liberal criticisms of her candidacy. Trump took to Twitter to suggest that Facebook had colluded with the news media against him during the campaign, tweeting: "Facebook was always anti-Trump. The Networks were always anti-Trump hence, Fake News @nytimes (apologized) & @WaPo were anti-Trump. Collusion?" He added: "But the people were Pro-Trump! Virtually no President has accomplished what we have accomplished in the first 9 months – and economy roaring." (Politico / The Hill)

Trump said the United States is "prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists." Speaking at a United Nations dinner in New York, Trump argued the United States must "take important steps to hold the regime accountable," referencing the erosion of democracy under President Nicolás Maduro. (Politico)

Trump rescinded Obama's restrictions on the transfer of surplus military-style equipment to local police departments. Obama’s 2015 order came in the wake of the Ferguson riots, where police used armored vehicles and military-type equipment to quell protests after the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was unarmed when he was shot and killed by police. The Justice Department concluded that the use of military-style equipment made matters worse in Ferguson. (NBC News / Politico)

On the news media: "It’s time to expose the crooked media deceptions. They’re very dishonest people. The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself and the fake news."

Trump followed up his threat to shut down the government if Congress didn't fund his wall by going after Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona. Trump tweeted "I love the Great State of Arizona. Not a fan of Jeff Flake, weak on crime and border!” Flake is one of two Republican senators up for re-election next year and was among a handful of GOP lawmakers who did not endorse Trump for president. Flake has been skeptical of building a border wall between the US and Mexico. (Politico / New York Times)

Trump thanked a fake Twitter user and then attacked the "dishonest Fake News Media." The account was created in October 2015, but it first tweeted just 3 days ago, gathering over 6,000 followers with memes and posts exclusively celebrating Donald Trump. Trump thanked the bot for its tweet saying that "Every single day the #FakeNews media try to take you down.. You never falter, you always stand strong!" (Mashable)

Mitch McConnell undercuts Trump that "most news is not fake." McConnell told a group at the Louisville Chamber of Commerce that he reads a variety of sources that Trump has blasted, including the New York Times, and that "it is my view that most news is not fake." (Politico)

Trump fired Steve Bannon. The White House issued a statement saying, "White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best." A person close to Bannon insists that it was his idea to part ways and that he submitted his resignation on August 7th, but it was delayed in the wake of Charlottesville. A White House official said Bannon and then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus were supposed to be fired at same time, but the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus urged Trump to keep Bannon on board. (New York Times / CNN / Politico / Washington Post)

Mitt Romney called on Trump to apologize for his Charlottesville comments. Romney warned of “an unraveling of our national fabric” if Trump doesn’t take “remedial action in the extreme." He added that "whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn." (Washington Post / New York Times)

Baltimore removed its four Confederate monuments early this morning after the City Council voted unanimously to take them down following the violence in Charlottesville. (CNN / New York Times)

Trump's lawyer called the FBI raid on Manafort's home a “gross abuse of the judicial process” for the sake of “shock value." John Dowd also questioned the validity of the search warrant, calling it an “extraordinary invasion of privacy.” (Fox News)

One of Trump’s evangelical advisers says "God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un.” Robert Jeffress, a pastor at a Texas megachurch, released a statement saying that "When it comes to how we should deal with evil doers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary — including war — to stop evil.” (Dallas News / Washington Post)

Trump threatened to unleash "fire and fury" against North Korea if it continues to provoke the US. Trump's comments came hours after North Korea criticized the US and its allies for the latest round of UN sanctions, warning that it will mobilize all its resources to take “physical action” in retaliation. “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump told reporters from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. “They will be met with fire and fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.” (New York Times)

Trump took to Twitter on his first day of vacation to lash out at the “Fake News” media and insist that his political base is only “getting stronger" despite a drop-off in his approval rating and the intensifying Russian investigation. “The Trump base is far bigger and stronger than ever before (despite some phony Fake News polling). Look at rallies in Penn, Iowa, Ohio and West Virginia,” Trump tweeted. “The fact is the Fake News Russian collusion story, record Stock Market, border security, military strength, jobs, Supreme Court pick, economic enthusiasm, deregulation and so much more have driven the Trump base even closer together. Will never change!” He added: “Hard to believe that with 24/7 #Fake News on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, NYTIMES and WAPO, the Trump base is getting stronger!”

Rosenstein: Prosecutors don't intend to go after reporters. "We're after the leaker, not the journalist," he said. "We're after people who are committing crimes." The comments come two days after Jeff Sessions warned that the "culture of leaking must stop." The Justice Department is reviewing guidelines that make it difficult for prosecutors to subpoena journalists about their sources, calling them "procedural hurdles" that are delaying leak investigations. The number of criminal leak probes has more than tripled during the Trump administration. (NBC News)

Pence shot down a report that he was positioning himself to run for president in 2020, calling it "disgraceful and offensive." Pence has created his own political fund-raising committee, signaling to major Republican donors that he's the heir apparent if Trump does not seek a second term. “Whatever fake news may come our way, my entire team will continue to focus all our efforts to advance the president’s agenda and see him re-elected in 2020," Pence said in a statement. "Any suggestion otherwise is both laughable and absurd.” (Politico / New York Times)

Trump used a campaign-style rally to attack the Russia investigation, hours after news broke that special counsel Robert Mueller had tapped a grand jury. He referred to the investigation as a "totally made-up Russia story" and a "total fabrication." He insisted that Democrats "can't beat us at the voting booths, so they're trying to cheat you out of the future and the future that you want. They're trying to cheat you out of the leadership you want with a fake story that is demeaning to all of us, and most importantly, demeaning to our country and demeaning to our Constitution." (Politico / CNN)

The FBI monitored social media on Election Day to track a suspected Russian disinformation campaign spreading "fake news" and identify possible disruptions to the vote. For the FBI, monitoring the news put them "right on the edge of Constitutional legality" given the First Amendment's free speech protections. (CNN)

John Kelly has brought rigor to the White House, attempting to give Trump bureaucratic competence while forcing staff members to stay in their lanes. He's attempting to broker peace between the different factions in the West Wing, telling employees that he was hired to manage the staff, not the president. Kelly encouraged National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster to make any staffing changes necessary, which resulted in the firing of a top intelligence aide Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who was hired by Michael Flynn, after months of trying. Kelly has also assured Jeff Sessions that his job is safe. (New York Times / Politico / Wall Street Journal)

Trump criticized his military advisers because "we aren't winning, we are losing" the Afghanistan war. Trump directed his frustration at Defense Secretary James Mattis, saying Trump had given the military authority months ago to make advances in Afghanistan and yet the US was continuing to lose ground. (NBC News)

The White House conceded that the Boy Scouts never called to say his was the best speech ever. Trump told the Wall Street Journal last week that “I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful.” The Boy Scouts of America, however, said it was not aware of any call from its leadership to Trump. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, however, said that "multiple members of the Boy Scouts leadership” had praised Trump’s speech, but the conversations "simply didn’t take place over a phone call, they happened in person.” (New York Times)

The lawyer in the Fox "fake news" suit wants Trump and Spicer to testify. Rod Wheeler’s lawsuit claims that Fox fabricated quotes implicating DNC staffer Seth Rich in the WikiLeaks scandal. “We’re going to litigate this case as we would any other,” and that means “we’ll want to depose anyone who has information,” including the president, Wheeler's attorney. (Yahoo News)

Fox News and a Trump donor created a fake news story to deflect attention from the administration's ties to Russia, a lawsuit alleges. The story is about the death of Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staffer, which first aired in May, but was retracted a week later. The lawsuit, filed by Rod Wheeler, a paid commentator for the news network, claims a Fox News reporter created quotations out of thin air and attributed them to him in order to propel the story. A month before the story ran, Trump donor Ed Butowsky and Wheeler met at the White House with Sean Spicer to brief him on what they were uncovering. At a press gaggle after the story ran, Spicer claimed to have no knowledge of the Rich story. Spicer now confirms meeting with the two. (NPR)

The military will test launch an ICBM early Wednesday morning. The test launch comes days after North Korea’s second ICBM test and is meant "to validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness, and accuracy of the weapon system." Lindsey Graham, meanwhile, said that military options are "inevitable if North Korea continues." He added that "there is a military option to destroy North Korea's (missile) program and North Korea itself. If there's going to be a war to stop them, it will be over there. If thousands die, they're going to die over there, they're not going to die here and (Trump) told me that to my face." (NBC News / CNN)

Trump swears in his new chief of staff, saying he has “no doubt” that John Kelly will do a “spectacular job” in his new role. Kelly is a retired four-star Marine general and will take over for Reince Priebus. (Washington Post / CNN)

After a contentious week in Washington, one GOP senator says Republicans are complicit if they don't call out Trump. Jeff Flake added that the Republican Party has "lost its way," and is urging members to turn back to what he calls traditional conservatism. "The last thing you want to do is wake up every morning and see a tweet… You know, it's tough not to just say, 'I'm not going to respond,'" Flake said. "And we can't respond to everything. But there are times when you have to stand up and say, 'I'm sorry. This is wrong.'" (CBS News)

Trump appeared to advocate for rougher treatment of people in police custody. “Don’t be too nice,” Trump told law enforcement officers in Suffolk County, New York. He spoke dismissively of the practice by which arresting officers shield the heads of handcuffed suspects as they are placed in police cars. “I said, ‘You could take the hand away, OK,’” Trump said. (Associated Press)

Reince Priebus resigned. The move comes after a week in which Priebus endured a non-stop attack by incoming White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. John Kelly, a retired Marine four-star general currently serving as secretary of homeland security who oversaw the implementation of Trump’s travel ban, will take over as the new White House chief of staff. Trump's advisers pushed back on the Kelly appointment, saying Trump needs someone more in tune with the nationalist political agenda that helped propel him to the White House. Trump announced the news, naturally, on Twitter, saying Priebus was a "good man" but called Kelly a "star." Priebus is the last of the RNC staffers to exit the West Wing. Months ago, Priebus' deputy, Katie Walsh left after being accused of leaking documents, followed by Sean Spicer. (New York Times / NPR / NBC News / CNN / Wall Street Journal)

The Senate rejected the GOP repeal-only measure, which would have repealed major parts of the Affordable Care Act without providing a replacement. The vote failed 45-55. The last viable path for Senate Republicans is to now try their "skinny repeal," which rolls back the mandate that most people have insurance, but leaves most of Obama’s health law in place. Senators would then take their narrow bill into negotiations with the House. (New York Times / Washington Post / CNN)

Russia threatened to retaliate against the new sanctions, warning of a "painful" response and saying the sanctions make it impossible to achieve Trump's goal of improved Russian relations. Russia has reportedly prepared “economic and political measures that will be adopted if the Senate and Trump support the bill." (Bloomberg)

Trump pressured Republican senators to get on board and "do the right thing" and repeal Obamacare, saying: "Any senator who votes against starting debate is telling America that you are fine with the Obamacare nightmare." Earlier, he threatened Republicans that the "repercussions will be far greater" than they expect and that Republicans are doing "very little to protect their President." Mitch McConnell wants to move ahead with a procedural vote tomorrow to take up the health care bill. If he can find 50 votes, the Senate would begin debate on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. (New York Times / Reuters / Politico / The Hill)

The new White House communications director praised Breitbart News, saying they've "captured the spirit of what's actually going on in the country." Anthony Scaramucci said he wants to get Trump's unfiltered message to his supporters via Twitter, bypassing mainstream media Trump often calls "fake news," while hoping to de-escalate "unfairness and bias in the media." (Politico)

Trump would have never hired Jeff Sessions had he known he would recuse himself from the Russia investigation. "Sessions should have never recused himself," Trump said, "and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and I would have picked somebody else." Trump called the decision “very unfair to the president. How do you take a job and then recuse yourself?" Asked if Robert Mueller’s investigation would cross a line if it started to look at his family’s finances beyond Russia, Trump said, “I would say yes,” but declined to say what he would do about it. “I think that’s a violation. Look, this is about Russia.” (New York Times)

The White House says Trump still has confidence in Sessions, despite being "disappointed" in Sessions' decision to recuse himself. Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Trump “clearly he has confidence in him or he would not be the Attorney General," adding “if he wanted somebody to take an action, he would make that quite clear.” (NBC News)

Robert Mueller expanded his probe to include Trump's business transactions, ignoring Trump's warning not to dig into matters beyond Russia. Investigators are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008. In Trump's interview with the New York Times, he defended his involvement with Russia saying, "it’s possible there’s a condo or something, so, you know, I sell a lot of condo units, and somebody from Russia buys a condo, who knows? I don’t make money from Russia." (Bloomberg)

In response to the news of the meeting, Trump tweeted that the "Fake News" story about his "secret dinner with Putin is "'sick.'" He added that "the Fake News is becoming more and more dishonest" and makes his previously undisclosed meeting with Putin "look sinister!" (Twitter)

Senate Republicans who opposed the health care bill are meeting tonight to try and revive the repeal and replacement bill after being told by Trump that they need to get a deal done before the August recess. Mitch McConnell wants vote next week for the procedural motion to take up the bill and start debate. Trump told senators that "inaction is not an option" and that “any senator who votes against starting debate is really telling America that you’re fine with Obamacare." (Politico / Axios / New York Times / CNN)

poll/ 53% of Americans say they want to see Democrats take control of Congress in 2018 “to act as a check on Trump," versus 35% who’d like to see the GOP retain control in order “to support Trump’s agenda.” (ABC News)

The vice chair of Trump’s voter fraud commission wants to add new requirements for voting. The day after Trump was elected, Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State, proposed a change federal law to make voter registration requirements stricter and "to make clear that proof of citizenship requirements are permitted." Kobach is now the vice chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. (Washington Post / HuffPost)

Trump claims to have signed more bills than any president ever in his first six months. “We’ve signed more bills — and I’m talking about through the legislature — than any president, ever,” Trump said at a “Made in America” event. Carter signed 70 bills in his first six months, Clinton signed 50., W. Bush signed 20 bills, and Obama signed 39 bills during the period, including an $800 billion stimulus program to confront an economic disaster, legislation to make it easier for women to sue for equal pay, a bill to give the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco and an expansion of the federal health insurance program for children. Trump has signed 42 bills as of this week. (New York Times)

Mitch McConnell delayed the Senate vote on the health care bill until John McCain returns from surgery where he had to remove a blood clot above his left eye. Neurosurgeons said McCain's recover could take a week or two. Rand Paul said the delay would strengthen critics’ position by giving them more time to mobilize against the bill. “The longer the bill is out there, the more conservative Republicans are going to discover it is not repeal,” he said. (New York Times / Washington Post)

Senate Republicans released their new Obamacare repeal bill. The new bill would maintain some Obamacare taxes on the wealthy, provide new financial support to help low-income people purchase health insurance, allow people to pay for insurance with pre-tax money, and spend $45 billion to fight opioid addiction. The plan also includes an amendment from Ted Cruz to win over conservatives aimed at building enough GOP support to open debate on the bill next week, but it's not clear if the votes will be there. The Cruz amendment would allow insurers offering Obamacare plans to also offer cheap, deregulated policies meant to appeal to conservatives. The change could drive away moderates who are concerned the amendment would cause premiums to spike for those with pre-existing conditions. The revised bill would provide an additional $70 billion in funds that states could use to make health care more affordable on top of the more than $100 billion already included. (Politico / CNN)

Pence’s press secretary repeatedly refused to say if the VP had met with any Russians during the campaign. "Clear up a few things for us now. Did the vice president ever meet with representative from Russia?” Bill Hemmer, host of Fox News' America’s Newsroom. “The vice president is not focused on the areas where, you know, on this campaign, especially things that happened before he was even on the ticket. As he has said, that when he joined the campaign his entire focus was on talking to the American people, taking the case that President Trump was going to make to the American people,” Pence’s spokesman Marc Lotter replied. (HuffPost)

Trump Jr. tried to downplay his meeting while hiring a lawyer to represent him in the Russia probe. He tweeted that "obviously I'm the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent." He added that there was "no inconsistency" in his two statements, saying the meeting ended up being primarily about adoptions. Trump Jr. hired Alan Futerfas, a criminal defense attorney that's represented organized crime and cybercrime cases. (ABC News / Reuters / BuzzFeed News)

Trump defended Ivanka's seat-holding at the G20, saying "If Chelsea Clinton were asked to hold the seat for her mother, as her mother gave our country away, the Fake News would say CHELSEA FOR PRES!" Clinton responded on Twitter: "Good morning Mr. President. It would never have occurred to my mother or my father to ask me." Ivanka sat in for Trump when he stepped away for a one-on-one discussion with other leaders. Ivanka serves as an unpaid adviser to Trump as the assistant to the president with an office in the West Wing, blurring the lines between family and official business. (CNN / Bloomberg)

Trump tells Putin “it’s an honor to be with you" during their first face-to-face talk. “I’m delighted to meet you,” Putin replied. Their closed-door session lasted more than two hours, far longer than the expected 45 minutes. Six people attended the meeting: Trump, Rex Tillerson, Putin, Sergey V. Lavrov, and two interpreters. (New York Times)

ICE officers were told to take action against all undocumented immigrants they encounter while on duty, regardless of their criminal histories. The Trump administration and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly had promised to ramp up enforcement of immigrants who pose a public safety threat. The new guidance goes beyond that promise. (ProPublica)

3/ Democrats are urging Trump to confront Putin, calling it a "severe dereliction of duty" not to do so. Five Senate Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, sent a letter to Trump telling him to "set the agenda from the start” with Putin “and make absolutely clear that Russian interference in our democracy will in no way be tolerated." (NBC News / Politico)

Trump asks "whether the West has the will to survive," saying military spending alone is not enough. He told the bused-in, friendly Polish crowd that “radical Islamic terrorism” has threatened “our civilization and our way of life," adding that "the fundamental question of our time" is whether "we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?” (New York Times)

North Korea successfully fired an intercontinental ballistic missile. The test-launch came early Tuesday morning with the ICBM taking a steep trajectory to avoid flying over neighboring countries. The North’s state-run news agency said the missile was capable of hitting the “heart of the United States” with “large heavy nuclear warheads.” Experts don't believe the North can make a nuclear warhead small enough to be mounted on ICBMs, yet. If fired at a conventional trajectory, the missile was capable of flying for about 4,160 miles – not enough to reach the lower 48 states or the large islands of Hawaii, but within range of Alaska. American lawmakers have long seen the development of an ICBM as a critical threshold that North Korea shouldn't be allowed to cross. (Wall Street Journal / New York Times)

Investigators are exploring if Russia colluded with far-right, pro-Trump sites during the election in order to spread bogus stories aimed at discrediting Hillary Clinton. The top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee said that at least 1,000 “paid internet trolls working out of a facility in Russia” were pumping anti-Clinton fake news into social media sites during the campaign. The head of Trump's digital team, Brad Parscale, has been asked to appear before the House intelligence committee. (The Guardian)

Trump used his Saturday night speech to continue his attack on the news media. “The fake media is trying to silence us," Trump said. "But we will not let them. Because the people know the truth. The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House. But I’m president and they’re not.” (New York Times)

Trump assailed television host Mika Brzezinski on Twitter for "bleeding badly from a face-lift." Trump targeted both Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough in a pair of morning tweets, referring to Brzezinski as "low I.Q. Crazy Mika" and Scarborough as "Psycho Joe." He then opined on the physical appearance of Brzezinski, saying he declined meeting with the pair at Mar-a-Lago during the winter because "she was bleeding badly from a face-lift." Brzezinski responded in a tweet of her own, mocking Trump's "little hands." Brzezinski and her fiancé Scarborough are co-hosts of the MSNBC show “Morning Joe." About two hours before his tweets, Brzezinski said on the show that “it’s not normal behavior” for any leader to tweet about a person's appearances, bully, lie, undermine managers, or throw people under the bus. (CNN / New York Times / The Daily Beast / Associated Press)

Later, Trump tweeted that the "FAKE NEWS" Washington Post is the "guardian of Amazon" for taxes purposes. Amazon doesn’t own the newspaper. It's privately owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. There is no federal “internet tax.” Fake news. (Politico / Recode)

Mitch McConnell delayed the Republican health care vote until after the July 4th recess as they search for the 50 votes needed to start debate on the bill. McConnell told GOP senators that he wants to make changes to the bill, get a new Congressional Budget Office score, and have a vote after the holiday. Meanwhile, Trump has invited all Senate Republicans to the White House to discuss the health care bill. The senators-only meeting is scheduled for 4PM EST at the White House. (Politico / CNN)

Sarah Huckabee Sanders lectured reporters about the "constant barrage of fake news" by the media. She then promoted a video by James O'Keefe, a journalist known for his deceptive video editing and interview tactics, who released an undercover video where a CNN producer called the network's Russia coverage "mostly bullshit." She conceded that she did not know "whether it's accurate or not," then added that "if it is accurate, I think it's a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism." (Washington Post / Politico / HuffPost)

Trump tweeted that CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, and The Washington Post are all "fake news" after CNN retracted a story tying a member of Trump’s transition team to the ongoing Russia investigations. (Politico)

The Supreme Court partly reinstated Trump's travel ban. The administration may now impose a 90-day ban on travelers from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day ban on all refugees entering the US, as long as they lack a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” Trump said the court’s decision to hear arguments on the travel ban cases in October was a “clear victory” for national security and will go into effect in 72-hours. Three justices — Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch — said they would have let the complete ban take effect while the court considers the case. (Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times / Wall Street Journal)

Trump tweets that he didn't tape his conversations with Comey after all. In May, Trump warned Comey against leaking to the press, suggesting there were "tapes" of their private conversations. Soon after reports surfaced of memos Comey had written detailing Trump's effort to shut down the Michael Flynn investigation. Today, Trump tweeted that "with all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are "tapes" or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings." (NBC News / New York Times / Washington Post)

Trump at Iowa rally: "All we do is win, win, win." He then blamed Democrats for his problems, boasted about his "amazing progress," and called the Russia investigation a "phony witch hunt" at his campaign-style rally in Cedar Rapids last night. During the 70-minute speech, Trump promised to lay out the next steps in “our incredible movement to make America great again," but continually veered off on tangents, reflected on the past, and contradicted himself. He knocked trade deals the Iowa economy relies on, dismissed wind energy in a state filled with thousands of turbines, and denounced the war in the Middle East despite reauthorizing troops in Afghanistan. Trump also revealed his plan for putting solar panels on his proposed border wall "so it creates energy and pays for itself." (New York Times / Washington Post / CBS News)

Trump will hold a "Make America Great Again" rally to get a boost from outside of Washington. 8,600 political supporters will join Trump in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where he's expected to repeat his campaign rhetoric at a time when he has the lowest job approval rating of any president in modern history at this point in his tenure. (Washington Post / AOL News)

Republican Karen Handel beat Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia's special election for a House seat. Trump tweeted his excitement: “Well, the Special Elections are over and those that want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN are 5 and O! All the Fake News, all the money spent = 0." The Georgia race was the most expensive House race in history, with candidates spending roughly $55 million combined. (CNN / New York Times / Politico)

Rosenstein privately acknowledged that he may have to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Rosenstein told Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, the Justice Department's new third-in-command, that if he were to recuse himself, she would have to step in and take over the probe. She was sworn-in little more than a month ago. (ABC News)

Trump blocked a veterans group on Twitter that was critical of him. While on the campaign trail, Trump praised veterans as "amazing," "distinguished" and "tremendous." Today, he blocked them on Twitter for criticizing his tweet about the "Fake News Media." (Talking Points Memo / Newsweek / The Hill)

The Senate approved new bipartisan sanctions against Russia, which establishes a congressional review of any changes the Trump administration wants to make to the current penalties. Senators voted 97-2, but its future in the GOP-controlled House is unclear, as is whether Trump would even sign the bill. (Politico)

US investigators believe Russian hackers planted a fake news report in Qatar's state news agency. The Qatar News Agency attributed false remarks to the nation's ruler that appeared friendly to Iran and Israel and questioned whether Trump would last in office. In reaction, Qatar's neighbors, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, cut off economic and political ties, causing a broader crisis. (CNN)

Fox News host to Trump: "Fake news media" isn’t the issue. "It’s you." Neil Cavuto hit Trump for his criticism of how the media has covered his Twitter habits, saying "Mr. President, it’s not the fake news media that’s your problem. It’s you. It’s not just your tweeting, it’s your scapegoating. It’s your refusal to see that sometimes you’re the one who’s feeding your own beast and acting beastly with your own guys. Look at the critiques you’re now hearing from usually friendly and supportive allies as sort of like an intervention. Because firing off these angry missives and tweets risks your political discussion." (The Hill)

Comey will stop short of accusing Trump of obstructing justice in his congressional testimony, despite some legal experts saying Trump's requests could meet the legal definition of obstruction. Comey will also dispute Trump's assertion that Comey told him three times he is not under investigation. "He is not going to Congress to make accusations about the president’s intent, instead he’s there to share his concerns." (ABC News)

Trump asked the Supreme Court to revive his travel ban, appealing a ruling by the 4th Circuit that upheld a nationwide halt on the ban. The move sets up a showdown over a "president’s authority to make national security judgments in the name of protecting Americans from terrorism." (Washington Post / New York Times / CNN)

Trump pulled the US from the Paris climate accord, prioritizing the economy over the environment and global alliances. Trump will stick to the process laid out in the Paris agreement, which will take about four years to complete, leaving a final decision up to American voters in the 2020 election. Trump said the US will "begin negotiations to reenter the Paris accord" to "see if we can make a deal that's fair. And if we can, that's great." He argued that the Paris agreement would “punish” Americans by instituting “onerous energy restrictions” that stymie economic growth, while leaders around the world said the exit from the accord is an irresponsible abdication of American leadership. The US is the world's #2 greenhouse-gas producer, and would have accounted for 21% of the total emissions reduced by the accord through 2030. All but two countries — Nicaragua and Syria — signed onto the 2015 accord. (New York Times / Associated Press / Washington Post / Politico / NPR)

Trump will withdraw from the Paris climate deal. A small team is now deciding on whether to initiate a full withdrawal, which could take 3 years, or exit the underlying United Nations climate change treaty, which would be a faster, more extreme move. World leaders, the Pope, major oil companies, and even Ivanka and Kushner have pushed Trump to stay in the deal. (Axios / Politico / New York Times)

Kushner is under pressure to "lay low" and take a leave of absence from the White House amid reports that he is under FBI scrutiny. (NBC News / The Hill)

Trump attacks "fake news" for reporting that Kushner had discussed setting up a secret communications channel with the Russians. (New York Times)

The House health care bill would leave 23 million more uninsured by 2026, the Congressional Budget Office projected. If passed, 14 million people would lose insurance next year and would make coverage less comprehensive than it is now for those still insured. The Senate has already said it will make substantial changes to the measure passed by the House. (New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / Bloomberg)

Poll/ 65% of voters believe there is a lot of fake news in the mainstream media. 84% of voters said it's hard to know what news to believe online. (Editor's Suggestion: Get the fuck off Facebook.) (The Hill)

Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Bob Mueller to oversee the investigation of Russian interference in election. Mueller will take command of the prosecutors and FBI agents who are working on the far reaching Russia investigation. Trump said that he expects the probe will find no collusion between his 2016 White House campaign and foreign countries, calling the Russia inquiry a “taxpayer-funded charade." (NBC News / New York Times / Washington Post / Politico)

Democratic congressman Al Green called for "the impeachment of the President of the United States of America for obstruction of justice." Green said it was the House of Representative's "duty" to take up impeachment. More Republicans and Democrats are starting to talk of the possibility that Trump could face impeachment after reports that he pressed James Comey to end an investigation of Michael Flynn. Representative Justin Amash said if the reports about Trump's pressure on Comey are true, it would merit impeachment. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi both raised concerns about Trump’s action, but avoided the topic of impeachment in their statements responding to the news of Comey’s memo. “At best, President Trump has committed a grave abuse of executive power," Pelosi said. "At worst, he has obstructed justice." Democrats can't impeach Trump without significant Republican support. (CNN / The Hill / BuzzFeed News)

McCain compares Comey memo about his meeting with Trump to Watergate. "The only thing I can say is I think we’ve seen this movie before. I think it's reaching the point where it's of Watergate size and scale," McCain said. His advice to Trump is "the same thing that you advised Richard Nixon, which he didn’t do… get it all out… it’s not going to be over until every aspect of it is thoroughly examined and the American people make a judgment. And the longer you delay, the longer it’s going to last." (ABC News / The Daily Beast)

In a tweet, Trump threatened to cancel all future press briefings for the "sake of accuracy," saying it's "not possible" to always tell the truth. While the White House can't get its story straight about the firing of FBI director James Comey, Trump has offered his solution: cancel all press briefings. Spicer declined to say whether Trump had decided to stop holding daily news briefings, saying that Trump is “a little dismayed” about the unwillingness of reporters to focus on the policy actions of his administration. (CNN / New York Times / Washington Post)

Trump asked for Comey to pledge his loyalty at a private dinner seven days after the inauguration. Comey declined to make the pledge, but instead told Trump that he would always give him "honesty." Trump pressed him on whether it would be "honest loyalty." Comey agreed. Trump claims Comey assured him "three times" that he was not under FBI investigation. (New York Times / NBC News / CNN)

Mitch McConnell rejected calls for a special prosecutor or independent commission to investigate Russia’s election meddling in the wake of the firing of FBI Director James Comey. The Senate Majority Leader said, "Today we'll no doubt hear calls for a new investigation, which could only serve to impede the current work being done." Democrats exerted pressure on their Republican colleagues, moving to shut down Senate committees, using procedural moves to block or delay hearings on Russia, cybersecurity, presidential nominees and more. (Politico / New York Times)

Sally Yates said she warned the White House that Flynn could be "blackmailed" by Russia, and gave the White House a warning "so that they could take action." The former acting attorney general's testimony raises questions about how Trump responded to her concerns about Flynn, who wasn't fired until two weeks later. Former director of national intelligence James Clapper also testified, saying Russia launched “cyber operations” against the Democratic and Republican parties during the 2016 presidential campaign. He said Putin sought to “advantage” Trump’s campaign and confirmed that British intelligence officials shared “very sensitive” information about Russian connections to Trump’s campaign. (Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News)

The EPA dismissed half of its scientific advisers on a review board, which provides guidance on whether research has sufficient rigor and integrity. The move, which Scott Pruitt cited as his desire to make a “clean break” with the Obama administration, came as a surprise to members of the board, who had been informed both in January and recently by EPA career staff members, that they would be kept on for another term. (Washington Post / New York Times)

Kushner’s sister is promising Chinese investors a path toward US residency in exchange for putting $500,000 into a New Jersey real-estate project. She cited the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program to make her pitch, though critics have accused organizers of the event of playing up their ties to the White House. (New York Times)

House Republicans narrowly passed the controversial health care bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The vote passed 217-213 six weeks after House leaders failed to get the votes needed to pass an earlier version of their bill. The bill included last-minute amendments designed to draw votes from the most conservative House Republicans in the House Freedom Caucus as well as from their more moderate counterparts. The vote occurred before the Congressional Budget Office had released a new analysis of the revised bill with its cost and impact. The measure moves to the Senate, where its fate is far from certain. Democrats are confident that some provisions of the House bill will not comply with special budget rules that Republicans must follow in order to skirt a Senate filibuster. (Washington Post / NPR / New York Times)

Trump attacks "fake news media" while congratulating Fox News for its high ratings. It's not clear what provoked Trump’s criticism of the media on Twitter this morning. (Politico)

Ben Carson is not a fan of comfortable government housing projects for low-income Americans. Compassion, Carson explained, means not giving people “a comfortable setting that would make somebody want to say: ‘I’ll just stay here. They will take care of me.’” As he toured facilities for the poor in Ohio last week, Carson nodded as officials explained how they had stacked dozens of bunk beds inside a homeless shelter and purposefully did not provide televisions. (New York Times)

The Senate confirms the deputy attorney general who will now be in charge of the Russia probe. Rod Rosenstein takes over the high-profile inquiry and will make the decision on whether to appoint an outside prosecutor. (NBC News)

poll/ 37% of Americans say Obamacare should be repealed and replaced. 61% say it should be kept and fixed instead. 79% say Trump should seek to make the current law work as well as possible, not to make it fail as soon as possible, a strategy he’s suggested. (ABC News)

Trump blasts approval rating polls as "fake news" conducted by media outlets whose polling about last year’s presidential election had proven incorrect. (Politico)

Syria still has chemical weapons. Israeli defense officials estimate that Syria still has up to three tons of chemical weapons in its possession. Mattis says Syria has "dispersed their aircraft" in the wake of the punitive US missile strike. The implication is that Syria may be concerned about additional strikes and is moving its combat aircraft to make them less vulnerable to an attack. (ABC News)

Democrats aim to "make Trump furious" in Georgia election. Today's special election lumps all 18 candidates on one ballot and is expected to be more competitive than Republicans' single-digit victory in Kansas last week. Unless one candidate captures a full 50% of the vote, there will be a runoff between the top two finishers, on June 20th. Democrats are hoping Jon Ossoff can pull off a major upset in the conservative Georgia congressional district. (ABC News)

Trump "will take action" to end any North Korea threat to the US and will not accept a hostile regime with nuclear weapons. While the administration is not planning to respond to the failed missile launch, Trump's national security adviser said the launch "fits a pattern of provocative and destabilizing and threatening behavior on the part of the North Korean regime." (ABC News)

Ivanka Trump will take an unpaid federal job as her father's assistant. She'll be moving from an informal, voluntary role to an official adviser. Her previous role raised ethics concerns, which would allow her to avoid some rules and disclosures. (New York Times)

Sanctuary city mayors fire back at Trump administration's threat to cut fed funding. “If they actually act to take away our money, we’ll see them in court,” vowed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. (Fox News)

Kushner to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of their inquiry into ties between Trump and Russia. The Committee wants to question Kushner about previously undisclosed meetings he arranged with the Russian ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak. The Senate's decision to question Kushner would make him the closest person to Trump to be called upon in any of the investigations, and the only one currently serving in the White House. (New York Times)

Trump slams Comey hearing as "fake news" four hours before Comey confirmed the existence of a probe on "the Russian story." Trump preemptively tried to swat down lingering allegations that his campaign engaged in improper activities with the Russian government during the 2016 election. (Salon)

Rex Tillerson rules out negotiation with North Korea to freeze its nuclear and missile programs and said that the Trump administration might be forced to take pre-emptive action “if they elevate the threat of their weapons program” to an unacceptable level. (New York Times)

Chaffetz: Low-income Americans will have to choose health care over iPhones. "Americans have choices, and they've got to make a choice. So rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care. They've got to make those decisions themselves," Chaffetz said. (CNN)

China warns of an arms race after the U.S. deployed a missile defense system in South Korea. Beijing denounced the United States’ decision to use the THAAD technology and vowed to “take the necessary steps to safeguard our own security interests.” The U.S. deployed the defense system after North Korea launched four simultaneous missiles into the waters off the Japanese coast, which Pyongyang said was a drill for striking American bases in Japan. (New York Times)

The Supreme Court ruled that confidential deliberations must be disclosed if there's evidence of racial bias by jurors. “The nation must continue to make strides to overcome race-based discrimination,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority. (New York Times)

Trump angry and frustrated at staff over Sessions fallout for stealing his thunder in the wake of his address to Congress. "Nobody has seen him that upset," one source said, adding the feeling was the communications team allowed the Sessions news, which the administration deemed a nonstory, to overtake the narrative. (CNN)

Moscow blames anti-Russian hysteria in the U.S. for Sessions’s plight, saying "fake news" and a "witch hunt" are intended to head off better relations. (Washington Post)

FBI once planned to pay former British spy who authored controversial Trump dossier to continue his work. While Trump has derided the dossier as “fake news” compiled by his political opponents, the FBI’s arrangement with the spy shows that bureau investigators considered him credible and found his line of inquiry to be worthy of pursuit. (Washington Post)

This is how Planned Parenthood is fighting to survive in the era of Trump. A leaked draft of a bill shows Congress is getting ready to defund the women’s health clinic and abortion provider. The organization’s president says that “no one really knows what will make a difference anymore, but that’s why we have to do everything we can." (BuzzFeed News)

Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly head to Mexico amid deep strains in bilateral ties in what is expected to be the first in a series of high-level meetings focusing on drug trafficking, trade and immigration. Twin threats hang over the frayed relationship between the two nations: Trump’s new orders to round up and deport immigrants who are in the United States illegally, and a separate effort to take a hard look at all American aid to Mexico, possibly using it to pay for a border wall instead. (New York Times)

Repeal of Obamacare face obstacles in House, not just the Senate. Conservative Republicans are pushing for a fast repeal with only a bare-bones replacement plan, but moderates are interested in coming up with a clear and robust plan. It's becoming increasingly likely that a consensus in the House may be just as hard to reach. (New York Times)

Trump's plan to hire 15,000 border patrol and ICE agents won't be easy. The time to recruit and hire Border Agents, administer medical exams and drug screening, polygraph tests, fitness tests, and training could take a year or more to bring a new agent on board. Customs and Border Protection has also had a problem retaining Border Patrol agents: the agency is down some 1,600 agents from the 21,000 it's authorized for. (NPR)

Ivanka and Kushner publicly silent as White House rolls back transgender protections. The couple is seen as a moderating force on social issues, but transgender allies want them to take a stand as the new administration rolls back Obama-era policies on school bathrooms. (Politico)

Donald Trump returns to CPAC six years after he was loudly booed there. Trump will take the main stage with some new allies at the conservative confab. In 2011, Trump told the conservative political action conference that prominent libertarian Ron Paul “can not get elected”. He was loudly booed for taking a shot at one of their heroes. (The Guardian)

poll/ Majority of Americans worried about war. Nearly two-thirds of Americans are worried that the U.S. will become engaged in a major war in the next four years; 62% think that U.S. should take into account the interests of its NATO allies, even if it means making compromises with them. (NBC News)

The Trump administration seeks to prevent "panic" over the new immigration enforcement policies, saying the goal is not "mass deportations". Federal officials cautioned that many of the changes detailed in a pair of memos from Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly will take time to implement because of costs and logistical challenges and that border patrol agents and immigration officers will use their expanded powers with care and discretion. (Washington Post)

Mexican officials riled by Trump’s new deportation memos. The release of the documents come on the eve of Tillerson and Kelly’s trip south of the border. The timing of the guidelines' release threaten to severely hinder what could have been a diplomatic make-up session. (Politico)

Trump to roll back Obama’s climate and water pollution rules through executive action. While both directives will take time to implement, they will send an unmistakable signal that the new administration is determined to promote fossil-fuel production and economic activity even when those activities collide with some environmental safeguards. (Washington Post)

Republican health proposal would redirect money from poor to rich. The Republican plan would substantially cut funding for states in providing free insurance to low-income adults through Medicaid. And would change how tax credits are distributed by giving all Americans not covered through work the same flat credit by age, regardless of income. The draft proposal largely contains provisions that could be passed through a special budget process that requires only 50 Senate votes, and fulfills President Trump’s promise that the repeal and replacement of the law would take place “simultaneously.” (New York Times)

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace warns viewers: Trump crossed the line in latest attack on media. Trump's contentious relationship with the press has again been in the spotlight after the president repeatedly attacked the media as “fake news”. All presidents fight with the media, but Trump had taken it a step further in making them out to be “the enemy,” Wallace said. (Washington Post)

Popular domestic programs could face budget cuts. Trump’s budget office has drafted a hit list of programs that could be eliminated or have their domestic spending trimmed. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corporation, AmeriCorps, and the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities are on that list. Most of the programs cost under $500 million annually, a pittance for a government that is projected to spend about $4 trillion this year. (New York Times)

CNN host Don Lemon abruptly ended his segment after a commentator continued to call a story they were discussing "fake news" while defending Trump. Lemon was moderating a discussion on the cost of Trump's visits to Mar-a-Lago in Florida when Paris Dennard, a political analyst and commentator, called it "fake news." Dennard insisted that "this is a fake news story," after which Lemon ended the segment altogether. (The Hill)

Reince Priebus advised Americans to take Trump’s attacks on the media “seriously,” following the president’s denunciations of the press as the “enemy.” The chief of staff continued to hammer the press for its coverage, saying “the American people suffer” because of it. (CBS News)

US allies in Europe have no idea “what the fuck is going on” with the Trump Administration.“It’s a wake up call to European leaders that counting on America isn’t currently a smart policy,” one European intelligence official said after the sudden resignation of the US national security advisor. (BuzzFeed News)

Sanders rips Trump, jokes about “fake news”. In an 11-minute interview, Sanders weighed in on Trump's travel ban, his clashing with the media, and the controversy surrounding National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. (CNN)

"We're going to see more" sanctuary cities cave in face of Trump's funding threats. Several towns, cities and counties around the nation are caving to President Trump's threat to pull funding, and abandoning their "sanctuary" pledges to shield illegal immigrants from federal authorities. The changes come on the heels of Trump’s executive order giving the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security the power to cut federal funding to communities that are deemed sanctuaries for illegal immigrants. Trump also has authorized the DHS to publish a weekly list of sanctuary communities. (Fox News)

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)

The 9th Circuit Court refused to reinstate travel ban, delivering the latest and most stinging judicial rebuke to Trump's effort to tighten the standards for entry into the United States and make good on a campaign promise. The ruling was focused on the narrow question of whether the travel ban should be blocked while courts consider its lawfulness. The decision is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court. (New York Times)

Appeals Court panel appears skeptical of Trump’s travel ban. The appeals court judges seemed taken aback by the assertiveness of the administration’s position, which in places came close to saying the court was without power to make judgments about Trump’s actions. (New York Times)

WH official: We'll say "fake news" until media realizes attitude of attacking the President is wrong. Trump and his staff have repeatedly used the term "fake news" to discredit reporting on the administration, often offering no evidence to back up their disputes with those outlets' stories. (CNN)

Trump says "negative polls are fake news." Trump turned to Twitter early Monday and began challenging polls that showed his travel order was not popular. (New York Times)

The massacre that wasn’t, and a turning point for fake news. The Bowling Green episode made such a splash because it played directly into concerns that the Trump administration would use untrue assertions to rally support for its agenda while denigrating as "dishonest" all the valid reporting pointing out the falsehoods. (New York Times)

New Yorkers hold mock vigil at Bowling Green for 'massacre' victims as Kellyanne Conway ripped for bogus claim. The group decided to take to the streets to poke fun at presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway’s false claim that Iraqi refugees committed an atrocity that never happened called the “Bowling Green massacre.” (NY Daily News)

Democrats plot protest for Trump’s speech to Congress. Democrats are planning to make Trump’s first speech to Congress as uncomfortable as possible by inviting guests they say will suffer under new White House policies. Trump will likely face a crowd including ethnic minorities, LGBT people, undocumented immigrants, the disabled and others when he addresses a joint session on Feb. 28. (The Hill)

White House ices out CNN. Trump administration refuses to put officials on air on the network the president called "fake news." (Politico)

Trump continued his longstanding assault on media outlets. This time labeling the NY Times as "fake news," and said that it and the Washington Post's coverage of Trump has been "so false and angry." It is unclear as to what prompted Trump's criticism. (Politico)

Following Trump’s executive order green card, visa holders already blocked by airports. Within hours of the executive order limiting immigration from Muslim countries, green card and visa holders were already being blocked from getting on flights to the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security issued a directive at 4:30 p.m. ordering the Customs and Border Protection to enforce the executive order. People who were still in the air as of 10:30 p.m. likely face being blocked at the airport when their planes land, he said. (NY Daily News)

One of the greatest threats Trump poses is that he corrupts and corrodes the absoluteness of truth, facts and science. It is no coincidence that the rise of Trump is concurrent with the rise of “fake news.” It is no coincidence that his rise comes during an age of severely damaged faith in institutions. Our president is a pathological liar. Say it. Write it. Never become inured to it. And dispense with the terms of art to describe it. A lie by any other name portends the same. (NY Times)

Fake news is about to get even scarier than you ever dreamed. What we saw in the 2016 election is nothing compared to what we need to prepare for in 2020. If there’s one thing we learned from this election cycle, it is that there are a number of reasons that people create fake-news stories. And, it has become clear that most new consumers don’t want to know if what they are reading is real or fake; they just want to know that it helps support their worldview. (Vanity Fair)

Trump's impulses now carry the force of the presidency. Impetuous and instinctive, convinced of broad, but hidden plots to undermine him, eager to fight and prone to what an aide called “alternative facts,” Trump has shown in just days in office that he is like few if any occupants of the White House before him. (NY Times)

For Trump, everything is a rating. Trump spent his first weekend in office at war with math. He said that his inauguration crowd — which photographs showed was dwarfed by Barack Obama’s estimated 1.8 million in 2009 — “looked like a million, a million and a half.” His staff members backed up that claim with what his adviser Kellyanne Conway memorably termed “alternative facts.” (NY Times)

Kellyanne Conway said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the White House had put forth “alternative facts” to ones reported by the news media about the size of Mr. Trump’s inauguration crowd. (NY Times)

KELLYANNE CONWAY: Don't be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. What– You're saying it's a falsehood. And they're giving Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that. But the point remains–

CHUCK TODD: Wait a minute– Alternative facts?

CHUCK TODD: Alternative facts? Four of the five facts he uttered, the one thing he got right–

CHUCK TODD: –was Zeke Miller. Four of the five facts he uttered were just not true. Look, alternative facts are not facts. They're falsehoods.

Alternative facts are a needless lie by the Trump Administration. If the president and his aides will tell easily disproven falsehoods about crowd sizes and speeches, what else will they be willing to dissemble about? (The Atlantic)