Thursday’s Mini-Report, 3.8.18

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Part of me wasn’t sure he’d go through with it: “President Donald Trump on Thursday approved new steel and aluminum tariffs, capping off a week-long worth of controversy over his plans to impose the trade penalties.”

* Doing this on International Women’s Day seems especially insulting: “Mississippi lawmakers on Thursday passed what is likely to be the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, making the procedure illegal after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The House voted 75-34 in favor of the measure, and Gov. Phil Bryant has said he will sign it.”

* Manafort: “Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty to a new indictment on Thursday and will have to wear a second ankle-monitoring bracelet until his trial, which could begin as early as July. As he left court, a protester threw a Russian flag at him and shouted: ‘Traitor! Show us your bracelet.’”

* It’s genuinely weird to see a president talk like this: “President Donald Trump said Thursday he suspected departing aide Gary Cohn would be back, saying the National Economic Council director ‘may be a globalist, but I still like him.’”

* Jared Kushner with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, but he “did not invite the American ambassador – Roberta S. Jacobson, a diplomat with more than 30 years of experience in the region – to join him in the meetings.”

* I guess the story can get weirder: “A day before she resigned as White House communications director, Hope Hicks told the House Intelligence Committee last week that one of her email accounts was hacked, according to people who were present for her testimony in the panel’s Russia probe.”

* Quite a story: “Lawyers for the alleged USS Cole bombing mastermind quit the capital case after discovering a microphone in their special client meeting room and were denied the opportunity to either talk about or investigate it, the Miami Herald has learned.”

* Carl Icahn denies receiving a tip about Donald Trump’s tariff announcement.

* VA: “President Donald Trump last year hailed a multibillion-dollar initiative to create a seamless digital health system for active duty military and the VA that he said would deliver ‘faster, better, and far better quality care.’ But the military’s $4.3 billion Cerner medical record system has utterly failed to achieve those goals at the first hospitals that went online.”

* This strikes me as a good idea: “A judge is recommending that President Donald Trump mute rather than block some Twitter followers to resolve a First Amendment lawsuit.”

* More troubles at Interior: “A political appointee at the Interior Department attended two private events hosted by her longtime former employer, the right-wing Heritage Foundation, which appears to be a violation of federal ethics rules.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Thursday's Mini-Report, 3.8.18