President Donald Trump signed an executive order targeting social media companies on Thursday, days after Twitter called two of his tweets “potentially misleading.”
The Senate repudiating a president of the majority party on a matter of national security would be unusual under any circumstances. That it comes at a time when tensions with a major international foe are boiling over is nothing short of astonishing, a sign of how far President Trump has fallen as commander in chief even among Republicans.
The Post reports on the Senate’s vote to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia:
Trump has cited rising tensions with Iran as justification for using his emergency powers to complete the deals.
A bipartisan group of senators, led by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), had initially filed 22 resolutions of disapproval against the sales — one for every contract the administration had expedited by emergency order, effectively sidestepping congressional opposition. But after weeks of negotiations, Senate leaders agreed to hold just three votes, which will encompass the substance of all the blocking resolutions, congressional aides said.
In other words, senators don’t believe the president is playing it straight on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which set off a firestorm regarding the Saudis on Capitol Hill. They do not believe in Trump’s policy of making Saudi Arabia a proxy in a battle with Iran over regional dominance. And, moreover, the Senate is willing to undercut Trump at the precise moment his credibility and judgment are under fire in a standoff with Iran.
Democrats are taking aim at President Trump’s power to roll back regulations.
President Trump signed the 30th executive order of his presidency on Friday, capping off a whirlwind period that produced more orders in his first 100 days than for any president since Harry Truman.
The rash of executive orders underlines Trump’s focus on reversing as much of the Obama administration’s policy agenda as he can, even as the new administration struggles to find legislative victories in Congress.
It fits Trump’s showman persona, as well: signing ceremonies for his orders are often in the Oval Office or in a well-furnished executive building, and see the president surrounded by administration officials, members of Congress or everyday Americans who, Trump says, he’s trying to help.
Trump and his aides have touted the orders as they have put a shine on his first 100 days in office.
“No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days,” Trump declared earlier this month at a Kenosha, Wis., event.
Trump is leaning heavily on executive orders and other unilateral actions to argue he’s done more than any predecessor.
President Trump’s criticism of federal judges could color the debate when big issues on his agenda hit the Supreme Court.
The collision appears inevitable, with Trump’s executive order halting travel to the United States by people from seven majority-Muslim countries — a ban a federal judge blocked last week — already moving quickly through the judicial system.
Legal scholars say Trump’s attacks on judges are unlikely to have any effect on a high court ruling. But it will be impossible for the justices to have missed those broadsides, which have extended to Chief Justice John Roberts himself.
“Judges will and should try not to be influenced by his trashing of the independent judiciary, but judges are only human,” said Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard Law School.
Roberts has maintained a reputation as an institutionalist who prides himself on staying above the political fray. But many also consider him the savior of ObamaCare after his votes kept the law afloat in two major decisions that conservatives called politically motivated.
It would appear that some of the folks who were hoping that Donald Trump was actually an isolationist “jobs” president, rather than the authoritarian white nationalist with imperial ambitions that he clearly showed himself to be on the stump, are now being forced to face reality. Everything he has done since his inauguration proves he is dead serious about unleashing the military and the police to enact his agenda, and he wants the other branches of government to understand that if they obstruct him he’s going to make sure his rabid followers know whom to blame.
According to Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker, legal scholars of all stripes, even the torture advocate John Yoo, whom I wrote about on Tuesday, are disturbed by Trump’s executive actions and what he’s saying about them. Pretty much across the board, they anticipate that Trump will blame the courts, the media and the political opposition in the event of an attack. They believe he is anxious to use an attack as an excuse to “take the gloves off” in whatever way he deems necessary.
That could mean everything from registering and deporting Muslims to enhanced surveillance or an attack on a foreign country and the reinstatement of torture and “black site” prisons. (A draft executive order on the black sites has made the rounds already.) All we know at this point is that Trump is looking for an excuse, and odds are there will be one at some point.
In normal times, it takes American presidents hundreds of days before they reach a majority disapproval rating.
This has been the case for the last five presidents – with Bill Clinton being the previous record holder after taking 573 days to have more than 50 per cent of Americans disapprove of his presidency.
But Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman, TV star and now US president, has smashed this record after his victory on a wave of anti-establishment anger.
It has taken just eight days for him to gain a majority disapproval rating, according to Gallup polling, with 51 per cent of Americans saying they disapproved of the President on 28 January 2016.
Visa-holders and refugees arriving late Friday were detained; the travel ban also was applied to green-card holders.