2018年2月28日 星期三

OnPolitics Today: 'I like taking guns away early,' Trump says, pushing back on due process

Also on Wednesday: Trump trashes Jeff Sessions, and finally loses Hope.
with Josh Hafner
OnPolitics Today: 'I like taking guns away early,' Trump says, pushing back on due process
President Trump at Wednesday's meeting.

Should due process apply to potential shooters? Not immediately, President Trump said Wednesday.

"I like taking guns away early," Trump said in a bizarre, free-flowing meeting with lawmakers. "Take the guns first, go through due process second."

Some Republicans are "petrified" of the NRA, Trump said, calling for lawmakers to put up an all-in-one gun bill to beef up background checks, arm school staffers and up the age for gun purchases while keeping guns away from the mentally ill and other potentially dangerous owners. 

Trump received a word of caution from Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat, that "the gun lobby has had a veto power" over gun bills. Trump seemed didn't seem phased. 

"I like that responsibility," he said. "I really do."

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Trump loses Hope

Hope Hicks, the most influential White House aide you may not know about, will leave Trump's administration in the upcoming weeks or months. Hope is Trump's 29-year-old communications director, foisted into the high-profile role after Sean Spcier, Michael Dubke and Anthony Scaramucci all held and lost the title within Trump's first year. GQ named Hicks ' the most powerful person in Trump's Washington' last week,  calling her the president's most trusted aide. 

Incidentally, Hicks reportedly admitted during a Russia-related testimony Tuesday that she occasionally told "white lies" for Trump. 

Trump, professional president, bashes his own attorney general on Twitter

Trump called a decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions "DISGRACEFUL" (all caps, of course) on Wednesday, criticizing an investigation into alleged abuse of surveillance powers. Having the Justice Department's inspector general look into the handling of certain warrants "will take forever" Trump tweeted, lamenting a lack of prosecutorial power. And besides, "Isn't the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!"

What's a $31,000 table and chairs look like? Ben Carson knows, thanks to taxpayers

The Department of Housing and Urban Development spent more than $31,000 on dining room furniture for Secretary Ben Carson's office, with one official saying she was told that "$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair." Carson himself didn't know about the table's purchase, a spokesman told The New York Times, but he doesn't the consider the dining set too expensive and doesn't plan to return it. He also spent $3,373 on new blinds, per Politico.

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Walmart says it will ban gun sales to anyone under 21

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  Walmart is banning sales of guns to people younger than 21, becoming the second major retailer to make such a move Wednesday following the Parkland, Fla., school shooting. The nation's largest private employer and retailer made the announcement hours after Dick's Sporting Goods earlier said it would make a similar move.


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Hope-less White House? Trump loses another communications director as Hicks resigns

The most important stories of the day. That's all. #TheShortList
Hope-less White House? Trump loses another communications director as Hicks resigns
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, one

BREAKING: Hope is officially leaving the White House

Another one bites the dust. White House communications director Hope Hicks is officially leaving the White House. Wait, who? Hicks, 29, is the White House official most responsible for guarding President Trump's public image. Hicks was the fourth White House communications director of the Trump White House, and the longest serving — following the often chaotic tenures of Sean Spicer, Michael Dubke and Anthony Scaramucci.  White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the resignation will take effect in the coming weeks or months.

Dick's Sporting Goods pulled assault-style rifles after Sandy Hook, too. It didn't last.

On the day survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., returned to class, Dick's Sporting Goods made a controversial announcement: Assault-style rifles will no longer be sold in stores nationwide. As Dick's CEO Edward Stack said in an interview with The New York Times , the Parkland shooting "got to us." While many applauded the decision, others pointed out that's it's not the first time Dick's has done this.  In 2012, the company halted sales of similar rifles after a man used an AR-15-style gun to kill 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Sales later continued at Dick's Field & Stream-branded stores. So, will Dick's pull a similar move with this ban? "Never," according to Stack. 

What we're reading on the Parkland school shooting and the gun-control battle:

Parkland students are back in class. Students who ran for their lives as a shooter gunned down 17 people, returned to class today. Gun-control groups are working with them  to shape November's midterm elections for Congress.
If Georgia doesn't want Delta, these states do. As the Georgia Legislature considers blocking a tax break for Delta Air Lines, other states and cities are lining up to put out the welcome mat for the airline.

Mystery of missing CDC scientist keeps getting stranger

Delete my number, a prominent official from the Centers for Disease and Control allegedly told his neighbor a day before he suddenly disappeared. Timothy J. Cunningham, a Harvard-educated epidemiologist, went missing more than two weeks ago. According to police, on Feb. 12, Cunningham met with a supervisor about a missed promotion, and then told co-workers he needed to go home because he was feeling sick. But he wasn't at home for long, because his family didn't find him there. Wherever he went, he left everything behind – cellphone, car keys and his beloved dog Mr. Bojangles.

WTH is happening in Washington?  Call girls, expensive chairs and a "not guilty" plea

From Ben Carson's extravagant spending to a Russian call girl offering information on the Russia investigation in return for help, things are as always getting weird in the world of politics. Here's a look at what we're reading: 

Busted? The self-described mistress of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska is begging for an American rescue from Thai prison. In exchange for safety, she said she's willing to detail the "connection between [Russia's] 'dear' parliament members with Manafort, Trump and all this 'buzz' around the election in the USA." Uh, oh.
Dollar, dollar bills, y'all: The Department of Housing and Urban Development spent $31,000 on a new dining room set for Ben Carson, and not everyone is happy about the way taxpayer dollars were spent. Carson doesn't see the problem.
Trouble in paradise for Trump, Sessions: In a midmorning tweet, Trump criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions over a newly announced investigation into alleged abuse of surveillance powers — a probe Trump himself endorsed for months.
Paul Manafort pleads not guilty:  Trump's former campaign chief pleaded not guilty Wednesday to money-laundering conspiracy and fraud charges.

This social app was supposed to replace Facebook, but not anymore

Remember Ello, Peach or Sarahah ? If not, we forgive you. These social apps rose to viral status as potential alternatives to giants like Facebook or Instagram faded faster than you could hit the Like button. The next app facing this fate is Vero, a social app surging to the top of app charts claiming it won't feature the ads or algorithm that have gotten social giants in trouble (think Russian meddling ). Just as it ascended the download charts, the #DeleteVero campaign already took off, following concerns over co-founder Ayman Hariri's connections to his father's Saudi construction company. Users also weren't fans of Vero's terms of service suggesting the content you share doesn't belong to you (Vero said that's not true). Now the question turns to whether we'll be talking about Vero six months from now?

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