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The Morning Briefing: The NFLOL, Healthcare on Life Support and Much, Much More

Good Monday Morning.

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

  • In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing.
  • In the afternoon, the President will have lunch with Vice President Mike Pence.
  • The President will then make an announcement on the Trump Administration’s commitment to equipping the American workforce for jobs of the future.
  • In the evening, the President will have dinner with grassroots leaders.

Trump v. NFL

If you shut off your television and internet on Friday evening and are just now powering them up, you missed the great battle between President Trump and the NFL. The short version goes a little like this: On Friday at a rally for Alabama Senate candidate Luther Strange, Trump asked the audience: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b---h off the field right now?'” referencing the players who "take the knee" while the national anthem plays before a football game.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement on Saturday saying “divisive comments…demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.”

Several owners, including Trump-friendly team owners, criticized the president for his remarks. On Sunday, many team members "took the knee" or refused to come on the field during the anthem.

Among those teams that saw players demonstrating on Sunday were the Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots.

The NFL, like Hollywood, is dependent upon its audiences and fans. And like Hollywood, the NFL is not a place people turn to get a face full of political statements. So those millionaire athletes, like the millionaire Hollywooders, are risking their livelihood by alienating those people who do not want to see the flag disrespected, particularly those who feel strongly that respecting the flag and our country includes respecting those in our military and public servants and their families who have lost their lives or family members so rich jackass athletes can speak freely here. Are any of these rich athletes doing anything to help fix the problem they are trying to highlight with their protests, or are they content to make a spectacle of themselves with televised symbolic gestures?

Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin made an important point, saying these athletes "can do free speech on their own time."

"I think what the president is saying is that the owners should have a rule that players should have to stand in respect for the national anthem," Mnuchin said Sunday on ABC's "This Week." "This isn't about Democrats, it's not about Republicans, it's not about race, it's not about free speech. They can do free speech on their own time. That this is about respect for the military and first responders in the country."