Thursday’s Mini-Report, 2.2.17

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* I hope this doesn’t mean Haley’s job is in jeopardy: “U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, blamed Russia on Thursday for the surge of violence in the eastern Ukraine since late January.”

* Initial evidence suggests this was a technical fix, not an important policy shift: “The U.S. Treasury Department announced Thursday it will allow some American companies to do limited transactions with the Russian Security Service, or FSB – the successor organization to the infamous KGB.”

* Iran: “A top aide to Iran’s supreme leader blamed the ‘inexperienced’ Trump administration for apparent U.S. threats and vowed his country would continue testing ballistic missiles.”

* It’s only ISIS’s central stronghold: “Obama’s White House worked for months on a plan to seize Raqqa. Trump’s team took a quick look and decided not to pull the trigger.”

* Strong terms: “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) slammed Stephen Bannon on Thursday, saying President Trump’s senior adviser is a racist who has no business sitting on the National Security Council (NSC).  ’It’s a stunning thing that a white supremacist, Bannon, would be a permanent member of the National Security Council,’ Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol.”

* Berkeley: “A speech by the divisive right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley, was canceled on Wednesday night after demonstrators set fires and threw objects at buildings to protest his appearance.”

* In response, Donald Trump personally tweeted this morning, “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” I don’t know why the president loves capitalizing letters needlessly, but I do know he appears to have made this threat after watching a Fox News segment.

* The number of Goldman Sachs vets at the White House drops from six to five: “Anthony Scaramucci, an investment firm founder and a Republican donor, will not be taking a senior job at the White House as previously announced, a senior administration official said Wednesday.”

* It’s hard to know what to believe when Trump administration officials address any topic, but here’s the latest on voter fraud: “A senior administration official told CNN that the voter fraud investigation is no longer a top priority for the President, insisting it’s not off the table, but not expected anytime soon.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.


Thursday's Mini-Report, 2.2.17