Liveblogging the Trump presidency, one catastrophe at a time.
Welp. We launched almost 60 missiles at one spot in Syria last night and they just confirmed Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, so we’re off to a roaring start for the day.
- ANALYSIS: “It’s been 420 days in the making, but President Trump scored bigly on Friday when Senate Republicans officially confirmed his nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, for the vacant ninth seat on the Supreme Court. He should savor this moment, because this may be the last time in a while that he can celebrate a major success.” (Washington Post)
- The Guardian is running a liveblog for last night’s Syria strike. Read it here.
- Russia has its knickers in a twist, as you might expect. They called the Syria strike “an act of aggression against a sovereign state delivered in violation of international law under a far-fetched pretext,” and had the UN call a Security Council meeting, where some members were supportive and others were cranky and accused the US of breaking international law. (NPR)
- Congress is pitching a hissy mostly along party lines. Republicans love the idea of bombing Syria and Democrats want Congress called back into an emergency session and think Trump should have gotten their permission first. (Politico: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; TPM: 1, 2; Washington Post)
- “Senior US military officials say Pentagon looking into whether Russia participated in Syrian chemical weapons attack.” (AP)
- Politico: Full Senate to be briefed Friday on Syria strikes
- Politico: Allies praise U.S. strike on Syria as Russia and Iran condemn it
- CFR/Weekly Standard: The Strike At Syria
- CFR/Salon: Welcome to Syria, President Trump: Years of rational policy led to this horror, and there’s no easy way out
- TPM: WH Releases Photo Of Trump Receiving Syria Strike Briefing
- TPM: Diehard Trump Fans Revolt Over Syria Missile Strikes – FYI, at least some fraction of these “diehard Trump fans” are probably Russian bots because they were out in force yesterday pushing the idea that the gas attack in Syria was a false flag action, and I’m pretty sure they were stirring up a bit of the anti-Trump rhetoric online last night, too.
- Washington Post: The Daily 202: 13 questions raised by Trump’s missile strikes on Syria
- Washington Post: Alt-right and anti-intervention libertarians reject Trump missile strike on Syria – Again, probably with the help of Russian bots.
- Washington Post: Feeling helpless about the devastation in Syria? Here are 11 ways you can help.
- Vox: Trump brought his economics team to his Syria strike watch party, for some reason
- Vox: Trump’s strike on Syria was also a major blow to his relationship with Russia
- FiveThirtyEight: The Syria Strike Is Trump’s First Big Break From His Campaign Rhetoric
- Politifact: For Trump, no signal yet refugee policy will change after U.S. airstrike in Syria
- Lawfare: The Constitutionality of the Syria Strike Through the Eyes of OLC (and the Obama Administration)
- Politico: So Trump Attacked Assad. What Now?
- Politico: Treasury secretary: Syria sanctions coming soon
- Politico: Is Trump Wagging the Dog in Syria?
- Politico: Ernst: No Evidence Yet That Russia Was Involved With Gas Attack
- FiveThirtyEight: Most Senators Support Trump’s Syria Airstrike
- Vox: Does Trump need congressional approval to strike Syria? The debate, explained.
NEWS: “The U.S. government is restricting drone flights over 133 military facilities for security reasons, marking the first time such flight restrictions have been applied only to drones rather than aircraft in general.” (AP)
NEWS: The CIA had evidence of Russian election meddling quite a bit earlier than we thought they did – in August. (New York Times)
- OPINION/ANALYSIS: “The key here is that the CIA had decided much earlier than heretofore reported that Russia was working to elect Donald Trump President and at least had serious suspicions that members of Trump’s team were collaborating with the Russians in that effort.” (TPM EdBlog)
NEWS: “Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on Thursday said that Republicans have ‘no stomach at all’ to blow up the legislative filibuster, though Senate Republicans voted earlier the same day to change the filibuster rules on Supreme Court nominations.” (TPM) Suuuuure.
NEWS: Trump did a little thing with the press about his meetings with Chinese president Xi Jinping where said “lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away,” and then left without answering any questions about North Korea or Syria. (TPM)
- NEWS: The Trump/Xi meetings are likely to be tense due to the Syria strike, but also due to other sticky issues like North Korea, trade, Taiwan, the South China Sea, and more. (NPR)
NEWS: “A U.S. judge has approved an agreement between the city and the U.S. Department of Justice to overhaul the Baltimore police department. […] Bredar earlier this week denied a request from the Justice Department to postpone Thursday’s public hearing, and on Friday denied a second request to delay signing off on the agreement to give new leadership time to review it.” (AP)
ANALYSIS: “Of Course There’s Evidence Trump Colluded with Russian Intelligence: It has become a kind of mantra in the defense of Donald Trump on matters related to L’Affaire Russe that there’s no evidence, at least not yet, of ‘collusion’ between the Trump campaign and the Russian active measures operation with respect to the 2016 election.” (Lawfare)
NEWS: “[Twitter] on Friday dropped a lawsuit it had filed a day earlier against the U.S. government, saying in court papers that the government had withdrawn a summons for information about an account critical of President Donald Trump.” (Reuters)
NEWS: Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican, says that Trump should get rid of Bannon completely. (Politico)
TRUMPBEAT: This week FiveThirtyEight covers Trump’s win/loss record, the DoJ, health care and immigration. Read it here.
NEWS: “The Trump Organization has settled a legal battle with the chef José Andrés that had stretched on for two years. The lawsuit concerned a restaurant deal that Andrés pulled out of after Trump made comments disparaging Mexicans.” (NPR)
RUMOR MILL: So there’s apparently a lot of infighting and drama in the White House and word has it Trump’s getting sick of all the news stories about the chaos. He might be considering booting both Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus. (TPM, Washington Post)
NEWS: “Jared Kushner failed to disclose some of his contacts with Russian government officials when he was filling out his application for a security clearance, his lawyer said Friday.” (AP) This would probably be a bigger story, except we just bombed some people.
NEWS: I guess Spicer had an awkward moment at today’s briefing where he demanded all the press corps’ cameras be turned off, after they’d already been livestreaming and teasing his impending briefing on air. Off-camera briefings aren’t uncommon, it’s just that Spicer should have known full well that the cameras were already on and streaming when he went out. (Washington Post)
Looking for old Trumpster Fires? Look here.