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May 26, 2017
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On May 11, the Director of National Intelligence's office declassified some rulings by a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court, explaining why the National Security Agency had limited its surveillance of emails and text messages from American citizens. Most of the ruling concerned the NSA's apparently since-corrected use of Section 702 of the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, but, as Circa notes, 83 pages into the 98-page ruling, the FISA court reserved some criticism for the FBI, too.

The FBI has access to certain FISA data from the NSA, but it's required to follow privacy "minimization procedures" and it can't share the FISA data with anyone outside the government, among other restrictions. But on at least two occasions, the FBI shared raw FISA data with private contractors (whose names and functions are redacted), apparently for analytical purposes, and the court notes that the government acknowledged in October that it's "investigating whether there have been similar cases in which the FBI improperly afforded non-FBI personnel access to raw FISA-acquired information on FBI systems."

The contractors were trained on FBI minimization procedures and "stored the information only on FBI systems, and did not disseminate it further," the court said, and though the FBI has correct its identified violations involving contractors, "the court is "nonetheless concerned about the FBI's apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI is engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported."

In a statement to Circa, the FBI said that "as indicated in its opinion, the court determined that the past and current standard minimization procedures are consistent with the Fourth Amendment and met the statutory definition of those procedures under Section 702." Congress has to renew the FISA Amendments Act this year, or it expires, and lawmakers are trying to figure out where to draw the line between privacy rights and legitimate counterterrorism and law enforcement. Peter Weber

2:46 a.m. ET

There was a lot of speculation as to why President Trump abruptly pulled out of a June 12 summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un that he had agreed to attend and was evidently excited about. Tony Schwartz, a Trump critic who shadowed the real estate developer for a year in the 1980s to ghostwrite Trump's bestseller The Art of the Deal, had a theory. "Trump has a morbid fear of being humiliated and shamed," Schwartz told The Washington Post on Thursday. The summit was all about "showing who’s the biggest and the strongest, so he is exquisitely sensitive to the possibility that he would end up looking weak and small. There is nothing more unacceptable to Trump than that." Schwartz elaborated on Twitter:

Negotiating with Trump based on logic or rational argument is a dead end, Schwartz explained on MSNBC's The Beat with Ari Melber.

Still, there is an advantage of sorts to Trump's negotiating style, at least for Trump, he added. Watch below. Peter Weber

2:00 a.m. ET
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Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) has lost the support of the National Association of Realtors after he told a delegation last week that homeowners shouldn't have to sell their properties to people whose lifestyles they don't agree with.

Members of the Orange County Association of Realtors met with Rohrabacher while lobbying for H.R. 1447, which expands the Fair Housing Act of 1968 to include anti-discrimination protections based on a person's sexual orientation and gender identity. One attendee told The Orange County Register that Rohrabacher said to the group, "Every homeowner should be able to make a decision not to sell their home to someone [if] they don't agree with their lifestyle."

On Thursday, Rohrabacher confirmed to the Register that he said this, questioning why homeowners can't "choose who they do business with. We've drawn a line on racism, but I don't think we should extend that line. A homeowner should not be required to be in business with someone they think is doing something that is immoral." He said he's not "anti-gay" personally, but "there are some fundamental Christians who do not approve of their lifestyle. I support their rights."

The National Association of Realtors pulled its support of Rohrabacher after getting a letter from the founder of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals. The NAR had recommended that members send Rohrabacher campaign donations. Rohrabacher, now in his 15th term and up for re-election, told the Register it was "sad to see" that the real estate group's priority is "standing in solidarity with making sure a stamp of approval is put on somebody's private lifestyle." Catherine Garcia

1:54 a.m. ET

"Only Donald Trump could cancel a summit with Kim Jong Un in the morning and then have a meeting with Sylvester Stallone later in the day — soak it up, we'll probably never see anything like this again," Jimmy Kimmel said on Thursday's Kimmel Live. Trump broke off the summit with a "Dear John letter" that "was the nuclear nonproliferation equivalent of 'You break up with me? I break up with you!'" Kimmel said. The most interesting part of the letter, which was "not exactly what you would call Lincolnesque," was the juxtaposition of threats and outreach, he said. "See, that's Trump diplomacy in a nutshell: I look forward to our friendship, but if not, I will kill you."

Trump left the door ajar to future talks, Kimmel said, and if you want to be optimistic, this "feels kind of like we're at the part of the movie where the couple breaks up but then they realize they can't live without each other, and one of them has to run through the airport to stop the other one from getting on a flight."

As it turns out, The Late Show imagined such a "rom bomb" on Wednesday night.

Trump pulling out "shouldn't surprise anyone," Seth Meyers said on Late Night. "He earned backslaps from a media desperate to praise him for something, but he repeatedly made clear he had no idea what he was doing," like "a teenager who didn't prepare his oral report and is now stalling for the bell to ring." He went on to dig into the latest in the Trump-Russia investigation, focusing on Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Rudy Giluiani, and the role of the media, both mainstream and right-wing. Watch below. Peter Weber

1:00 a.m. ET
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The president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing 15,000 Border Patrol agents, said that the deployment of National Guard troops ordered by President Trump has had "no benefit" and is a "colossal waste of resources."

The union endorsed Trump when he was running for president, and union president Brandon Judd told the Los Angeles Times that his members "generally support the administration, but we're not going to be cheerleading when things are not going well." In April, Trump directed that National Guard troops be deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border to assist agents, but "they're not allowed to be in the public eye," Judd said. "They're not allowed to be in our lookout and observation posts, even in Texas."

There are about 1,600 National Guard troops at the border, and they have been operating surveillance cameras and offering air support; Border Patrol Acting Chief Carla Provost said officials decided that was a better use of their time. In some cases, Border Patrol agents have to leave their posts to assist National Guard troops who aren't familiar with the area, the Times reports, and it has become a burden on the agents. The deployment is expected to cost $220 million to $252 million through end of the year, a Defense Department spokesman said. Catherine Garcia

12:50 a.m. ET
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President Trump decided to pull out of his June 12 summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un while talking with advisers Thursday morning from 7-9 a.m., then dictated his Dear Kim letter — to hawkish National Security Adviser John Bolton, according to Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) — and released it to the public at 9:43 a.m. without warning allies, members of Congress, or North Korea, all of whom seemed blindsided and upset by the sudden cancelation. Trump and his advisers had only started discussing canceling the meeting less than 12 hours earlier, NBC News reports.

What made up his mind? "The president, fearing that the North Koreans might beat him to the punch, wanted to be the one to cancel first," NBC News says, citing "multiple officials." At 10 p.m. Wednesday, Bolton told Trump about North Korea's public pushback against "political dummy" Vice President Mike Pence and threat to cancel, The Washington Post reports. "Bolton advised that the threatening language was a very bad sign, and the president told advisers he was concerned Kim was maneuvering to back out of the summit and make Americans look like desperate suitors, according to a person familiar with the conversations. So Trump called it off first."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. who met with Kim twice in Pyongyang and was working to set up the meeting, publicly blamed North Korea, telling the Senate Thursday that his negotiators "received no response to our inquiries from them. ... We got a lot of dial tones." Privately, Pompeo "blamed Bolton for torpedoing the progress that had already been made," NBC News reports, citing several administration officials. "One person familiar with the summit preparations said it was Bolton who drove the decision to cancel and that he had convinced Trump to make the move." Bolton's threat of "the Libya model," and Pence's parroting that line on Monday, angered the North Koreans. Peter Weber

May 24, 2018
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On Friday, voters in Ireland will head to the polls for an abortion referendum, deciding whether or not to lift the country's constitutional ban on the procedure.

Abortion was already illegal in the heavily Catholic nation before the constitutional ban was adopted 35 years ago, and in 2013, it was partially repealed, only for instances when the life of the mother is in danger. Deputy Prime Minister Simon Covenay said that more than 3,000 women leave Ireland for Britain every year for abortions, while countless others order pills online.

Polls suggest that there is enough support to repeal the ban, and many Irish expats have returned home because they can't vote by mail or in embassies, and they want to have their voices heard. If the amendment is repealed, the government will then introduce a bill on abortion that would be debated in parliament. Catherine Garcia

May 24, 2018
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David MacNeil, a Chicago-area businessman who has donated more than $1 million to President Trump, told Politico Republican candidates can expect nothing from him until they take action on an immigration bill.

MacNeil owns the WeatherTech automotive company, and employs more than 1,100 people. MacNeil told Politico that if Congress doesn't come up with a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) deal, one of his employees could be deported. "I'm saying this as a political donor who's donated seven figures in the last couple of years: I will not donate any more money to anyone who doesn't support DACA, period," he said. "I'm putting my money where my mouth is."

The "critically important" employee was brought to the United States as a toddler, and "it would be a disaster if I were not able to legally employ her," MacNeil told Politico. "They should not be playing political football, political blackmail with people's lives." Catherine Garcia

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