Trump Is Already At Odds With His Own Cabinet-- And #PresidentBannon Is At Odds With The World
Bannon has a 19% approval rating. Only a third of voters approve of him being on the National Security Council
Kelly, according to two administration officials familiar with the confrontation, refused to comply with Bannon’s instruction. That was the beginning of a weekend of negotiations among senior Trump administration staffers that led, on Sunday, to a decision by Trump to temporarily freeze the issuance of executive orders.
The confrontation between Bannon and Kelly pitted a political operator against a military disciplinarian. Respectfully but firmly, the retired general and longtime Marine told Bannon that despite his high position in the White House and close relationship with Trump, the former Breitbart chief was not in Kelly’s chain of command, two administration officials said. If the president wanted Kelly to back off from issuing the waiver, Kelly would have to hear it from the president directly, he told Bannon.
Bannon left Kelly’s office without getting satisfaction. Trump didn’t call Kelly to tell him to hold off. Kelly issued the waiver late Saturday night, although it wasn’t officially announced until the following day.
That did not end the dispute. At approximately 2 a.m. Sunday morning, according to the two officials, a conference call of several top officials was convened to discuss the ongoing confusion over the executive order and the anger from Cabinet officials over their lack of inclusion in the process in advance.
On the call were Bannon, White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, White House Counsel Donald McGahn, national security adviser Michael Flynn, Kelly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State designee Rex Tillerson, who had not yet been confirmed.
One White House official and one administration official told me that Kelly, Mattis and Tillerson presented a united front and complained about the process that led to the issuance of the immigration executive order, focusing on their near-complete lack of consultation as well as the White House’s reluctance to make what they saw as common-sense revisions, such as exempting green-card holders.
Bannon and Miller pushed back, defending the White House’s actions and explaining that the process and substance of the order had been kept to a close circle because the Trump administration had not yet installed its own officials in key government roles and other officials were still getting settled into place.
...The weekend’s events were the first major dust-up between the White House political leadership and the powerful figures Trump has appointed to head the national security bureaucracies. The Cabinet members stood up for themselves and their agencies and successfully pushed for a policy tweak that the administration later embraced in a memorandum to “clarify” the executive order.
The Cabinet members also demonstrated that they had something to offer the White House besides their policy input; they are the most credible spokespeople for controversial White House policies in the eyes of the public. On Tuesday, Kelly gave the White House badly needed political cover by holding a press conference and strongly defending the immigration executive order.
“This is not, I repeat, not, a ban on Muslims,” Kelly said. “We cannot gamble with American lives. I will not gamble with American lives. These orders are a matter of national security, and it is my sworn responsibility as secretary of homeland security to protect and defend the American people,” he said.
The Post later reported that now the State Department has also pushed back about Bannon's attempt to push his own destructive and calamitous agenda forward. While Trumpanzee-- high on Adderall-- was tweeting childishly that a "so-called judge" was encroaching his power, the now confirmed Rex Tillerson ordered that previously banned travelers will be allowed to enter the country in line with the orders of the federal judge in Washington state who blocked enforcement of President Trump’s unconstitutionall immigration ban.
“We have reversed the provisional revocation of visas under” Trump’s executive order, a State Department spokesman said Saturday. “Those individuals with visas that were not physically canceled may now travel if the visa is otherwise valid.”
Department of Homeland Security personnel “will resume inspection of travelers in accordance with standard policy and procedure.”
Immigrant advocates said they were encouraging travelers from the affected countries to get on planes as soon as possible, since the Trump administration has said it plans to appeal the stay on the travel ban.
Bannon is flipping out and has insisted that the Justice Department go to court immediately to get Judge Robart's ruling overturned. This is complicated by the entire Republican Senate being down in Florida for a fundraiser with multimillionaires and billionaires who grease the wheels of their reactionary politics. Yesterday was the first day the Senate could have voted to confirm Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary. There's a 50-50 split and Pence will cast the deciding vote for DeVos. But, were Sessions to be confirmed as Attorney General he wouldn't be able top vote and DeVos would't get confirmed. Ergo: another self-inflicted Trumpanzee Regime mess.
Robart has been on the bench since 2004, and was nominated by President George W. Bush."Outrageous" had been inserted by Bannon. Meanwhile Trump was sulking on Twitter, grousing that "certain Middle-Eastern countries agree with the ban," referring to the brutal fascist dictators in the region he admires. "They know if certain people are allowed in it’s death & destruction!"
“This ruling is another stinging rejection of President Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “We will keep fighting to permanently dismantle this un-American executive order.”
Robart granted a request from attorneys for the state of Washington who had asked him to stop the government from acting on critical sections of Trump’s order. Justice and State department officials had revealed earlier Friday that about 60,000-- and possibly as many as 100,000-- visas already have been provisionally revoked as a result of Trump’s order. A U.S. official said that because of the court case, officials would examine the revoking of those visas so that people would be allowed to travel.
The State Department said it is still working with other government agencies and the organizations that process refugees overseas to comply with the judge's order. That means the action does not immediately help those approved for resettlement or those seeking approval.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) hailed the case as “the first of its kind” and declared that it “shuts down the executive order immediately.”
Robart said in his written order that U.S. officials should stop enforcing the key aspects of the ban: the halting of entry by refugees and citizens from certain countries. He did not specifically address the matter of those whose visas already had been revoked.
Following the ruling, government authorities immediately began communicating with airlines and taking steps that would allow travel by those previously barred from doing so.
At the same time, though, the White House said in a statement that the Justice Department would “at the earliest possible time” file for an emergency stay of the “outrageous” ruling from the judge. Minutes later, it issued a similar statement omitting the word “outrageous.”