The Morning Briefing: Trump's Tax Reform Dinner, NorKs Get Sanctions and Much, Much More

A house slides into the Atlantic Ocean in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. (Gary Lloyd McCullough/The Florida Times-Union via AP)

Good Tuesday Morning.

Here is what’s on the President’s agenda today:

  • In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will meet with Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt.
  • The President will then receive his daily intelligence briefing.
  • Later in the morning, the President will meet with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.
  • In the afternoon, the President will welcome Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak of Malaysia, meet with him, and lead an expanded meeting with him.
  • The President will then meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. In the evening, the President will host a bipartisan Senators dinner.

About that dinner

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will host a dinner tonight with moderate Democrats (who coincidentally are up for reelection in a Trump state) and Republicans to discuss tax reform. Senators Heitkamp (D-ND), Donnelly (D-IN) and Manchin (D-W.Va) will be in attendance along with Toomey (R-PA) and Thune (R-SD) on the Republican side.

Politico writes:

They have also been closer to the president than other congressional Democrats. Each declined to join a letter with party leaders outlining conditions on tax reform and all three supported Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch earlier this year.

But Trump is trying a bipartisan approach of late after a partisan Obamacare repeal effort failed earlier this year. He agreed to a fiscal deal with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi last week and has angled for some Democratic votes on tax reform.

Republicans are planning to pursue reform in the Senate via a majority vote threshold, though any Democratic votes could be key due to the GOP’s narrow 52-seat majority and internal divisions.

CIA Director Pompeo says NorKs might sell their missiles

In a Fox News interview on Monday, CIA Director Mike Pompeo suggested North Korea might sell its missile technology to interested customers.

“The North Koreans have a long history of being proliferators and sharing their knowledge, their technology, their capacities around the world,” Pompeo said in the interview.

“As North Korea continues to improve its ability to do longer-range missiles and to put nuclear weapons on those missiles, it is very unlikely, if they get that capability, that they wouldn’t share it with lots of folks, and Iran would certainly be someone who would be willing to pay them for it,” Pompeo said.


Meanwhile at the U.N….

The UN Security Council approved a new round of sanctions on North Korea, but did not approve the tough measures sought by the Trump administration.

The resolution, responding to Pyongyang’s sixth and strongest nuclear test explosion on Sept. 3, does ban North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates. It also bans all textile exports and prohibits any country from authorizing new work permits for North Korean workers – two key sources of hard currency for the northeast Asian nation.

As for energy, it caps Pyongyang’s imports of crude oil at the level of the last 12 months, and it limits the import of refined petroleum products to 2 million barrels a year.

The watered-down resolution does not include sanctions that the U.S. wanted on North Korea’s national airline and the army.

The 9th Circus Court gets a smack down

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a temporary order that allows the Trump administration to continue its “restrictive” policies on accepting refugees.

Justice Kennedy has temporarily put on hold part of federal appeals court ruling last week that had narrowed President’s Trump’s travel ban, CBS News Chief Legal Correspondent Jan Crawford reports. In a brief order, Kennedy granted the administration’s request to block the 9th Circuit’s ruling that the ban wouldn’t cover refugees working with U.S. refugee agencies or with formal assurances from resettlement organizations.


The Department of Justice did not appeal the part of the 9th Circus’ ruling that dealt with eligible family members.

The Justice Department opted not to appeal another part of last Thursday’s ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that related to Trump’s ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority nations. The 9th Circuit ruling broadened the number of people with exemptions to the ban to include grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins of legal U.S. residents.

Without an intervention by Kennedy the 9th Circus ruling would have gone into effect on Tuesday and would have allowed 24,000 additional refugees to be eligible to enter the U.S.

“The extraordinary efforts the administration is taking in pursuit of the Muslim ban stand in stark contrast to its unwillingness to take a single step to protect 800,000 Dreamers,” Omar Jadwat, an ACLU lawyer, said.

Picture of the day:

Damaged sail boats are shown in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in the Florida Keys. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

Other morsels:

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Authorities consider felony charges after pets tied up, abandoned in hurricane

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Death toll from southern Mexico’s big earthquake rises to 96

Schools reopen in Houston, buoying hope for recovery

Breitbart rips Trump for not saying ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ during 9/11 speech

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ESPN anchor: ‘Donald Trump is a white supremacist’

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FBI investigating Russian state-run news agency Sputnik, report says

John Kelly says Congress has done “nothing” to fix DACA

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Trump voter fraud panel will meet Tuesday without a vocal skeptic of voter fraud

LA gets official go-ahead to host 2028 Olympics

The 20 happiest states in the US, ranked

Pope blasts climate change doubters: cites moral duty to act

And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!



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