POLITICS

HuffPost Ticker: January 25, 2017

Our collection of the best stories from around the web today.

Trump to sign executive orders to cut funding to the U.N. and other international organizations. 

4:15 p.m. ET― Donald Trump is preparing to sign executive orders that would greatly reduce U.S. funding to the U.N. and other international organizations, according to The New York Times.

The move would also begin the process of repealing various multilateral treaties, with significant implications for climate change.

The orders aim to decrease U.S. funding to international organizations by “at least a 40 percent.”

― Paul Vale

Trump spending his evenings watching cable news and tweeting from unsecured phone

12:41 p.m. ET ― President Donald Trump is spending his evenings in his new home, the White House, watching cable news and tweeting about it on an unsecured Android phone ― much to the dismay of some aides, The New York Times reports. In an interview with the paper, Trump described his days as beginning and ending with cable news:

That was the case after 9 p.m. on Tuesday, when Mr. Trump appeared to be reacting to the Bill O’Reilly show on Fox News, which was airing a feature on crime in Chicago.

At 9:25 p.m., Mr. Trump tweeted:

If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible “carnage” going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!

When asked if it was difficult to spend weeknights away from his family ― his wife and youngest son are still living in Trump Tower in New York City ― the new president did not answer.

― Chloe Angyal

Chelsea Manning argues for uncompromising progressive leadership in first column since presidential commutation

11:15 a.m. ET — Chelsea Manning, the U.S. soldier jailed for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, is out with a new column in The Guardian. It’s her first since having her sentence commuted by former President Barack Obama.

In the piece, Manning argues that what is needed urgently in the Trump era is uncompromising progressive leadership:

The one simple lesson to draw from President Obama’s legacy: do not start off with a compromise. They won’t meet you in the middle. Instead, what we need is an unapologetic progressive leader.

We need someone who is unafraid to be criticized, since you will inevitably be criticized. We need someone willing to face all of the vitriol, hatred and dogged determination of those opposed to us. Our opponents will not support us nor will they stop thwarting the march toward a just system that gives people a fighting chance to live. Our lives are at risk – especially for immigrants, Muslim people and black people.

— Adam Goldberg

Washington Post chief correspondent: Trump’s ‘illegal’ vote lie undermines democracy, his presidency

11:03 a.m. ET ― Longtime Washington Post journalist Dan Balz is raising the alarm about President Donald Trump’s repeated and inaccurate assertion that millions of people voted illegally in November, costing him the popular vote.

“It is either a deliberate attempt to undermine faith in the democratic process, an exhortation to those who favor new restrictions on access to the ballot box or the worrisome trait of someone with immense power willing to make wild statements without any credible evidence,” Balz wrote, noting that the president has “almost no elected allies” in his conspiracy theory about mass voter fraud.

 — Chloe Angyal

White House writes draft executive order on reopening CIA black sites (UPDATE)

10:44 a.m. ET — The Trump administration has penned a draft executive order that could reopen the hugely controversial CIA “black sites,” according to The New York Times.

Intelligence officials plan to “recommend to the president whether to reinitiate a program of interrogation of high-value alien terrorists to be operated outside the United States and whether such program should include the use of detention facilities operated by the Central Intelligence Agency,” The Associated Press reports.

The draft order would also sanction the continued use of the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. Should President Donald Trump sign the order, the Red Cross would be denied access to detainees in U.S. custody.

UPDATE: During his daily briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday that the draft was “not a White House document.” A follow-up question about the document was not answered.

— Paul Vale

Trump team teases executive orders on border wall, Muslim ban and CIA black sites

10:02 a.m. ET — Five days into his presidency, Donald Trump is poised to sign executive orders that would bring two of his most infamous campaign promises one step closer to reality: a ban on Muslims entering the United States, and a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. He’s also reportedly considering reopening CIA black sites, which were closed at the beginning of the Obama presidency.

The specific language of the orders remains unclear. According to HuffPost’s Jessica Schulbeg and Sharaf Mowjood, the following elements are under consideration for the so-called Muslim ban:

  • Blocking refugees from war-torn Syria from entering the U.S. indefinitely.
  • Suspending all refugee admissions for 120 days while the administration determines which countries pose the least risk.
  • Temporarily suspending visa issuances to people in countries where the administration considers security screening inadequate ― meaning people from those countries couldn’t enter the U.S. at all.
  • Capping total refugee admissions for fiscal year 2017 at 50,000 ― less than half of the 110,000 proposed by the Obama administration.

Meanwhile, details on the border wall remain vague. Trump has continued to insist that Mexico will pay for the structure, a point the country’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has strenuously denied. Wednesday’s executive action is expected to coincide with a related order cracking down on “sanctuary cities,” according to The Washington Post

On Twitter, Trump teased a “big day... on NATIONAL SECURITY,” including but not limited to “build[ing] the wall.” According to The New York Times, the administration is also considering actions redefining how the U.S. conducts its war on terror.

In the draft of a separate executive order now being circulated inside the administration, Mr. Trump would examine the question of whether the Central Intelligence Agency should reopen its so-called black sites, secret interrogation and detention centers that it operated overseas. Former President Barack Obama ordered the closings of all in the first week of his presidency in 2009.

The black sites were a highly classified program, so their mention in an executive order would be highly unusual.

The draft of a second executive order would also order a review of the Army Field Manual to determine whether to use certain enhanced interrogation techniques.

Trump is expected to sign at least one of these orders at the Department of Homeland Security Wednesday afternoon.

— Peter Finocchiaro

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