President Trump wants to expand the U.S. nuclear arsenal, make it 'top of the pack', according to an interview he gave Steve Holland at Reuters.
From that interview, we also have news that Trump says a Republican border tax could boost U.S. jobs. Megan Cassella called it, “A boon for House Republicans, if he sticks with it.”
Now for news around Trumpworld
The FBI apparently refused a White House request to knock down recent Trump-Russia stories, according to Jim Sciutto, Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz, Manu Raju, and Pamela Brown at CNN.
Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Pushed to Remove Language Critical of Climate Deal From Executive Order, write Amy Harder and Peter Nicholas in the Wall Street Journal. Steve Kopack tweeted, “NEW: At request of Ivanka & Jared, language critical of Paris climate deal won't be in forthcoming Trump climate EO.” Michael Saul explains, “Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner asked that words against climate deal be nixed from exec order.”
There was also a White House request for a report to back the travel ban that’s prompting dissen and concern among some intel officials, Jake Tapper and Pamela Brown write at CNN. Zach Wolf added, “WH effort to justify travel ban causing growing concern among some intel officials.”
In another part of the Trump White House, Controversial White House Terrorism Adviser Sebastian Gorka Made An Angry Call to a Critic and you can listen to it exclusively from Jeff Stein at Newsweek. Keith Olbermann explains, “Breitbart-trained White House "terrorism expert" threatens to sue over criticism of his credentials...on twitter.” Mia Bloom said, “I'm not a lawyer but threatening a private citizen with WH legal counsel (because of hurt feelings) might be a crime.” Sunny Hundal tweeted, “Wow. Trump advisor Sebastian Gorka sounds completely deranged in this phone-call, threatens to sue terrorism expert.”
Paul Manafort faced a blackmail attempt, hacks suggest, write Kenneth Vogel, David Stern, and Josh Meyer in Politico. Natasha Bertrand wrote, “Ukrainian lawmaker threatened to expose Paul Manafort and Trump relationships with Russia-friendly forces last year.”
Onto Bannon: he said the Trump administration is in unending battle for ‘deconstruction of the administrative state’, writes Philip Rucker for the Washington Post. It’s worth noting that Rucker refers to Stephen K. Bannon as “President Trump's reclusive chief strategist and the intellectual force behind his nationalist agenda.”
And if you Think a Negative Tweet From Trump Crushes a Stock? Think Again, the Wall Street Journal says.
How are people taking all this?
So Merriam-Webster continues trolling the current administration, this time with Conway: 'It's Difficult For Me To Call Myself A Feminist'. They tweeted, “'Feminism' is defined as ‘the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.’” This after KellyAnne called for equal pay for women and said that she didn't identify herself as a feminist at CPAC.
Former House Speaker John Boehner predicted on Thursday that a full repeal and replace of Obamacare is "not going to happen." That report from Darius Tahir in Politico. Ben Weyl wrote, “BOEHNER rains on GOP's Obamacare parade.” Jake Sherman called it, “CLASSIC @SpeakerBoehner.”
Rumana Ahmed told The Atlantic: I Was a Muslim in the Trump White House-and I Lasted Eight Days. Adam Serwer explains, “An American Muslim staffer for the National Security Council quit over Trump's Muslim ban.” Krishnadev Calamur urges, “Do read this piece by Rumana Ahmed.”
For a look into America’s Rowdy Town Halls: More Organic Than Organized, read Byron Tau, Mark Bonifacio, and Natalie Andrews in the Wall Street Journal. Aaron Zitner tweeted, “We went to America’s rowdy town halls and concluded: The protests are far more organic than organized.”
Speaking of the town halls, Louie Gohmert said he won't hold a town hall over fears of violent paid protesters. He invoked Gabby Giffords getting shot in his decision, according to Bradd Jaffy.
So Gabby Giffords responded to Gohmert, saying, "I was shot on a Saturday morning. By Monday morning my offices were open to the public.”
Other things are terrible too
Go Inside Uber’s Aggressive, Unrestrained Workplace Culture with Mike Isaac at the New York Times. Paul Bradley Carr tweeted, “Wow, this Uber company sounds horrible. Who knew?” Sarah Lacy added, “‘Until this week, this culture was only whispered about in Silicon Valley.’ Or written about two years ago on Pando.”
For even more on Uber, there’s A note on our lawsuit against Otto and Uber, via Waymo on Medium. Ross Todd called it, “Quite the nugget in this medium post about what led to Waymo v. Uber.” Howell O’Neill explained it’s about, “How Uber allegedly stole self-driving technology from Google.” Alex Kantrowitz tweeted, “Holy crap. Waymo got Snowden'd. Allegedly.” Benjamin Johnson added, “Alphabet wouldn't sue Uber lightly. Proof of vicious talent competition, & how expensive it is to make LIDAR tech.” Josh Constine said, “It's almost as if Uber breaks the rules in every conceivable way in pursuit of winning at all costs.”
There’s also this report from Matt Stanley and Gregory Zuckerman in the Wall Street Journal: ‘You Have to Stop,’ Renaissance Executive Tells Boss About Trump Support. Leslie Picker explained, “A hedge fund executive clashed with his boss over supporting Trump.” Eddy Elfenbein tweeted, “Very rare look at the internal political fights inside Renaissance Technologies.” Then added, “This article seems to have an agenda. I'll welcome any comments from pro journalists.”
For a take on the trans rights bathroom issue, turn to Janet Mock, who writes in the New York Times, Young People Get Trans Rights. It’s Adults Who Don’t. Mock tweeted, “I wrote about the consequences of adults injecting their politics/ignorance into lives of young folk for @nytimes.”
A clearly exasperated Jake Tapper tweeted, “Freedom of Speech = this person can take Dog the Bounty Hunter's words, lie and say it's me, and some folks are dumb enough to believe it.”
And Fox News Channel's Alan Colmes has passed away at age 66 after a brief illness, the channel announced.