Day 35 of President Trump: What you need to know

US NEWS TRUMP-TRAFFICKING 6 ABA
President Trump speaks during a listening session on domestic and international human trafficking on Thursday in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

A daily roundup of news about President Trump and his policies, from Philadelphia and around the country.

  • The president is off to give a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference today — the last president to address the conference in his first year in office was Ronald Reagan. But Trump is no stranger to the annual gathering — some suggest he started laying the groundwork for his presidential run when he was invited to address the conference back in 2011.


    Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, spoke there yesterday,
    hitting familiar Bannonian tones: he called the media  “corporate globalists” who are “dead wrong” about the administration, as his boss goes about the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Speaking at CPAC is a big step for Bannon. Unable to glean an invite when he edited Breitbart News — which he has described as “a platform for the alt-right” — he used to host a conference nearby called “The Uninvited.” (But CPAC organizers are still wrestling with who to allow under the big tent: the white nationalist Richard Spencer, who coined the term “alt-right,” was booted from the venue yesterday.)

  • Several news agencies reported that White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asked FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe to publicly dispute news stories about Trump staffers’ reported contacts with Russian intelligence operatives during the campaign. A White House official told the AP that Priebus made the request after the FBI told the White House it didn’t think those stories were accurate. But the FBI hasn’t gone public with any opinion about the investigation. And Democrats are contending the conversation violated a policy that’s supposed to limit communication about pending investigations between the White House and the Justice Department.

  • Gov. Christie’s now-infamous meatloaf lunch with the president was actually a job offer, Politico reports: The Springsteen-loving, Phillies-hating New Jersey governor could have been Secretary of Labor. The offer, made in the two days after former labor nominee Andrew Puzder withdrew from consideration, is an example of what Politico calls Trump’s Apprentice-style hiring approach. But Christie reportedly told Trump he wants to enter the private sector.

  • In a tweet last night, the president again mentioned the murder rate in Chicago — seven people were killed there Wednesday — and said the city needs “help.” Chicago’s police chief countered that he has asked for federal help, and the administration hasn’t responded.

  • The New York Times reports that congressional Democrats, spurred by an angry base, are planning “total war” against the president’s agenda. But, in their weakened state, it’s unclear how effective that will be. Still, activists are settling in for the long haul. In Philadelphia last night, At-Large Councilwoman Helen Gym hosted a “what’s next” meeting for the newly politically engaged.


    More than 500 people showed up, exceeding expectations and filling the pews at the Arch Street United Methodist Church.

    Attendees were asked to fill out cards indicating what they felt they could do, protest-wise, in the future — ranging from calling their representatives once a week to hosting letter-writing parties, to canvassing in their neighborhoods, to contributing to progressive political causes. Organizers said they’ll use those responses to gauge support and form a plan for more sustained political action.