President Trump had more than one thorny issue to address in his first solo press conference, from the controversy over a former aide’s ties with Russia, to the withdrawal of his first nominee for Labor secretary, Andrew Puzder. However, during a back and forth with the press that went over one hour, Trump’s focus shifted to the media itself, which he said was now ‘out of control.’
More from Trump’s press conference:
In a heated moment, a reporter asked Trump: ‘Why should Americans trust you?
On the Russia ties controversy, Trump said: ‘The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake’
The president insisted his administration is a fine-tuned machine
Thanks, but no thanks: Trump’s choice to replace Michael Flynn as national security adviser, retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, turned down the offer. Harward cited family and financial reasons, but some insiders think he said no to the job because he wanted to bring in his own team.
In other politics news, the Supreme Court will set guidelines that could help or hinder Trump's efforts to ramp up border security and accelerate deportations of illegal immigrants. Trump and Republicans said they will soon unveil plans to repeal and replace Obamacare. And the administration will introduce a revised travel ban next week.
Bark at the Moon
Around the world
- With its show of military force, Russia changed the tide of the Syrian civil war. It is finding the next phase - brokering an end to the fighting - a tougher proposition.
- Malaysian police said it will not release the body of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un until it receives DNA samples from his next-of-kin. Kim Jong Nam, the eldest son of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, died after being assaulted at Kuala Lumpur International Airport with what was thought to be a fast acting poison.
- Islamic State is grooming child soldiers to become "cubs of the caliphate” -- a network of child informers and fighters used by the jihadists to support their military operations. Where? At an orphanage in Iraq’s Mosul. How? With the help of textbooks like "English for the Islamic State," which includes ordinary words like apple and ant beside army, bomb and sniper.
Quote of the day
"It's badly thought out. It's a chain of stupidities, complicities and errors from the legislative power to the executive."
- Economist Manuel Molano on Mexico’s Papantla facility, a very costly prison with no inmates
Around the country
- Businesses shut their doors, students skipped class and thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in cities across the United States to protest President Donald Trump's immigration policies.
- U.S. officials have initiated deportation proceedings against a Mexican immigrant with a work permit who was arrested near Seattle last week, alleging he has gang ties.
- The California man accused of buying assault rifles used by the married couple who massacred 14 people at a San Bernardino office party in December 2015 pleaded guilty of conspiring with one of the killers in previous plots.
Around Wall Street
- Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee was arrested over his alleged role in a corruption scandal rocking the highest levels of power in South Korea, in another blow to the technology giant.
More coverage on scandal engulfing the Samsung dynasty:
Mattress on cell floor, toilet in the corner for Samsung scion
Mentor of Samsung scion seen stepping up after Lee’s arrest
- In the coming months, Apple will start assembling its lower-priced iPhone SE models at a contract manufacturer's plant in the southern Indian technology hub of Bengaluru, a source told Reuters.
- Rock-bottom interest rates hurt more big European banks in 2016 than in the previous year, but the worst could soon be over with the prospect of rising borrowing costs rippling from the United States to Europe.