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VOL. 41 | NO. 4 | Friday, January 27, 2017

The Latest: More Republicans concerned over Trump travel ban

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Growing numbers of Republican lawmakers are expressing concerns about President Donald Trump's executive order cracking down on immigration.

GOP Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Tim Scott of South Carolina say in a joint statement that "the manner in which these measures were crafted and implemented have greatly contributed to the confusion, anxiety and uncertainty of the last few days."

Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania says that while he supports increased vetting, "Unfortunately, the initial executive order was flawed — it was too broad and poorly explained."

And Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas says that he supports thorough vetting, but does not support restricting the rights of lawful permanent residents. Moran adds, "Furthermore, far-reaching national security policy should always be devised in consultation with Congress and relevant government agencies."


11:05 a.m. (all times EST)

A number of U.S. diplomats have prepared a memo criticizing President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban on citizens from seven Muslim majority countries.

In a so-called "dissent cable," being drafted for State Department leadership, the diplomats say the ban will not make the U.S. safe, runs counter to American values and will fuel anti-American sentiment around the world. They say the ban won't produce a drop in terror attacks in the U.S., but instead "a drop in international good will towards Americans."

U.S. officials say several hundred diplomats have signed on and that the cable is expected to be formally submitted later Monday. The officials requested anonymity to disclose internal discussions.

Dissent channel cables are a mechanism for U.S. diplomats to register disagreement internally about U.S. policies.

— Vivian Salama and Matthew Lee


10:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump has signed an executive action aimed at significantly cutting regulations for small businesses.

The president was surrounded by small business leaders as he signed the order in the Oval Office Monday morning.

Trump says that the order is aimed at "cutting regulations massively for small business."

He says it will be the "biggest such act that our country has ever seen."

Earlier, White House officials called the directive a "one in, two out" plan. It requires government agencies requesting a new regulation to identify two regulations they will cut from their own departments.

The officials insisted on anonymity in order to detail the directive ahead of Monday's formal announcement.


10:05 a.m.

The Trump administration is defending its immigration order affecting seven majority-Muslim countries by comparing it to a 2011 policy on Iraqi refugees.

In 2011, President Barack Obama imposed more stringent checks on Iraqi refugees after two Iraqis were charged with terrorism offenses in Kentucky.

In an interview Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America," Trump aide Kellyanne Conway wrongly claimed that the 2011 policy "was never covered in the press." She also falsely described it as Obama's own "ban" on refugees.

The 2011 policy was reported by several media outlets, including the Associated Press. Unlike Trump's order that imposed a 90-day ban on those from seven Muslim-majority countries, the Obama policy applied only to Iraqi refugees and never specifically prohibited entry.


10 a.m.

President Donald Trump is signing an executive action Monday aimed at significantly cutting regulations.

White House officials are calling the directive a "one in, two out" plan. It requires government agencies requesting a new regulation to identify two regulations they will cut from their own departments.

Officials say the president is ordering that there be a zero dollar budget for new regulations through the rest of fiscal year 2017. The White House and agencies will work on a budget for regulations in upcoming years.

There are some exceptions in the executive action for emergencies and national security.

The officials insisted on anonymity in order to detail the directive ahead of Monday's formal announcement.

-By Julie Pace


9:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump is telling small business owners that the "American dream is back."

At a White House breakfast Monday, Trump vowed to "create an environment for small business," saying that he will end or limit regulations.

He said "this is not a knock on President (Barack) Obama" specifically, but on those before him, who Trump said did not do all that can be done for small businesses to prosper.

Trump said that a big segment of the American workforce is employed by small businesses, adding, "We want to make life easier for these small business owners."

Attendees of the breakfast included Roger Campos from the Minority Business Roundtable, Dennis Bradford from the Genesis Group and Natalia Luis, head of the Luis Asphalt and Construction Company.


9:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump says his pick for the Supreme Court is someone "unbelievably highly respected."

Trump made the comment Monday during a breakfast with small business leaders at the White House. He tweeted earlier in the day that he plans to announce his Supreme Court choice Tuesday night at 8 p.m.

The court has had eight justices since the death last year of Justice Antonin Scalia. President Barack Obama had nominated Merrick Garland for the post, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to take up the nomination.


9:05 a.m.

President Donald Trump is defending his decision to take swift action on his proposed travel ban, saying there are "a lot of bad 'dudes' out there."

The president tweeted Monday that "If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the 'bad' would rush into our country during that week."

The president signed an executive order Friday to bar individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days. The president has repeatedly said that the move is aimed at protecting the nation against extremists looking to attack Americans and American interests.

The move prompted protests at airports across the country.


8:50 a.m.

Virginia's attorney general is requesting information on any detentions in Virginia resulting from President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration.

Attorney General Mark Herring said in a statement Sunday that his request includes anyone with lawful permanent resident status or work or student visas. The Democrat's also requesting information about whether U.S. Customs and Border Protection is complying with an order giving lawful permanent residents detained at Dulles International Airport access to attorneys.

On Friday, Trump, a Republican, signed an order suspending refugee admissions for 120 days and indefinitely barring the processing of refugees from Syria. It also temporarily bars citizens of seven majority Muslim nations from entering the U.S., but there's confusion and an apparent walk-back about how it applies to certain groups, like U.S. legal permanent residents.


8:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he will announce his pick for the Supreme Court on Tuesday night. Trump tweeted Monday that he has "made my decision" and will announce it Tuesday at 8 p.m.

The court has been working with eight justices since the death last year of Justice Antonin Scalia.

President Barack Obama had nominated Merrick Garland for the post, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to take up the nomination.


7:45 a.m.

Television personality Joe Scarborough says he and co-host Mika Brzezinski met with President Donald Trump on Sunday.

Scarborough, the host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," tweets that he and Brzezinski "discussed outrage" over Trump's   immigration order and his changes to the National Security Council.

Trump's executive order temporarily suspends immigration for citizens of seven majority Muslim countries for 90 days. He also has decided to allow his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, to attend regular meetings on national security and left in question the role top military and intelligence officials would play.

Brzezinski says she and Scarborough "urged compassion."


7:43 a.m.

President Donald Trump's chief spokesman is defending the manner in which the White House rolled out the immigration restrictions.

Sean Spicer says officials were concerned about the possibility that doing it in a more open fashion would "telegraph what you're going to do" to people who might have rushed to airports to beat the ban.

In an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Monday, Spicer also said officials' highest priority was "to protect our own people" and said everybody in the government who needed to be consulted was consulted.

Spicer also says that Trump respects "people who are Muslim and peace-loving. But he also recognizes that certain countries and certain areas of the world produce people who seek to do us harm."

The spokesman, asked about delays at airports experienced by travelers with valid papers, said that 109 of some 325, 000 travelers "were slowed down" in their trips, and called that "a small price to pay" for protecting the American people.


7:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump says that "big problems" were created at airports by a Delta Airlines computer outage,  "protesters and the tears of Senator Schumer."

The president tweeted early Monday that only 109 out of 325,000 people "were detained and held for questioning" following his executive order to bar individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries.

A Delta systems outage Sunday night led to departure delays and cancellations of at least 150 Delta flights.

Protesters packed many of the country's major airports over the weekend protesting the executive order.

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer tweeted Friday that "Tears are running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty" over the ban.

Trump also tweeted on Monday, "there is nothing nice about searching for terrorists before they can enter our country."

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