president trump
November 17, 2016

Americans have their fingers crossed that Donald Trump will address health care within his first 100 days in office, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Thursday has found. The priority tops the list of Americans' concerns that they want to see addressed as soon as Trump moves into the White House.

While 21 percent of Americans want health care fixes, employment was the second-most popular priority of respondents, at 16 percent. Fourteen percent of Americans picked immigration, and 11 percent said race relations. The poll did not account for what Americans want Trump to actually do, though; for example, only 37 percent of people want to repeal ObamaCare entirely and start all over.

Finally, 63 percent of respondents said they support Trump's presidency now that he has been elected. The poll, conducted online in English, reached all 50 states and 1,783 Americans and has a margin of error of 3 points. The full results can be read at Reuters. Jeva Lange

November 11, 2016

A database containing personal information of thousands of undocumented immigrants living in New York City could be destroyed in order to keep it from the hands of Donald Trump and his administration, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.

The data was collected originally for New York's IDNYC cards, which serve as free and official proof of identification but can be received without a legal immigration status, CNN reports. The resulting database contains the names of cardholders as well as their addresses and dates of birth, although applicants aren't required to disclose their immigration status to get a card.

Trump has threatened to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants with a "deportation task force," although de Blasio waved off the threat. "[Trump] can change some federal laws but the Constitution protects a lot of the rights and powers of localities," de Blasio said. As an additional safeguard, the ID law allows for the database to be "destroyed" at the end of the year in case a "Tea Party Republican" won the White House, one of the law's sponsors told CNN.

"We're not going to tear families apart. So we will do everything we know how to do to resist that," de Blasio said.

New York City is home to almost half a million residents who do not hold legal immigration status. Jeva Lange

November 10, 2016

Donald Trump will not be the only winner to visit the White House on Thursday. Following President Obama's invitation earlier this year, LeBron James and the 2016 NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers will be swinging by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in what some are predicting could be the last time athletes visit the president's residence for at least four years:

Former NBA player Jalen Rose also speculated that the tradition of athletes visiting the White House could soon be coming to an end. "Now that Donald Trump will be the commander in chief, don't be surprised when multiple athletes decline the opportunity to visit the White House," he said on his show, Jalen & Jacoby. "The opportunity for him to be in the Oval Office is going to be a magnet for a lot of people, but it's going to represent something that's really divisive for a lot more."

Rose explained further on ESPN's NBA Countdown: "Unlike Tom Brady, when his team won the championship and he chose not to go to the White House, saying it was a scheduling conflict while Barack Obama was in office, what we're going to see in professional sports, NBA and/or NFL, mark my words, will be players who decline to visit the White House under [Trump's] presidency."

At least one thing remains certain in these uncertain times: Tom Brady probably won't have any scheduling conflicts if President Trump invites him to D.C. Jeva Lange

November 10, 2016

Russia has confirmed it was speaking with members of Donald Trump's campaign before the election, The Washington Post reports. "Obviously, we know most of the people from [Trump's] entourage," Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. "Those people have always been in the limelight in the United States and have occupied high-ranking positions. I cannot say that all of them but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives."

Donald Trump and his campaign staff have repeatedly denied rumored ties to Russia. After it came out that one of Trump's foreign policy experts allegedly met with Russian officials in attempts of making diplomatic negotiations, Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway responded by saying, "If he's doing that, he's certainly not doing it with the permission or knowledge of the campaign." Trump has repeatedly said himself, "I don't know Putin," but that it would be "great" if they got along.

While it is unclear what Ryabkov meant exactly when he said "there were contacts" with Trump, members of Trump's campaign did formally meet with Russian embassy staff, a "normal practice" according to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who spoke with Bloomberg. Hillary Clinton was also invited to such meetings, although she declined.

As for Ryabkov, he added: "We continue this work [with Donald Trump], of course." Jeva Lange

November 10, 2016

World leaders at odds with the United States are using Donald Trump's election as proof that liberal democracy is a failure, The New York Times reports. "America is terribly ill," wrote Yuan Peng, the vice president of the state-run China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations. Russia's state-owned media also trumpeted Trump's win as their own kind of victory, Maria Lipman of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University said it "proved Russia right."

The election of Mr. Trump on Tuesday has presented an unexpected gift to leaders — political, spiritual and ideological — who resent the encroachment of the West and now rejoice at a result that in their eyes shows how liberal democracy produces nothing but an angry populace and wild unpredictability.

Mr. Trump has openly questioned some of the basic tenets of America's role in the world. Now his election has stirred confidence in America's biggest rivals, Russia and China, that they will have more room to assert their own strategic interests, whether in Ukraine, the Baltics, or the South China Sea. [The New York Times]

There is a particular kind of schadenfreude surrounding Trump's win too: "The election is being viewed as a comeuppance for a country that lectures others about the superiority of American values," the Times added.

Or, as Lipman paraphrases for Russia: "Our democracy might not be perfect, but look at theirs. It stinks." Jeva Lange

November 9, 2016

Trump Tower now requires security fit for a president-elect. And apparently that means concrete barriers — lots and lots of concrete barriers:

The barriers are meant to "stop vehicles from ramming into the location and blowing it up with explosives," an NYPD spokesman told Gothamist.

Isaac, 23, who works across the street from the Tower and declined to use his last name, added to Gothamist that while he often sees Donald Trump walking with his security, things have noticeably changed. "It's much, much different this time," Isaac said. "It usually is just federal agents in suits, but now we have counterterrorism agents." Jeva Lange

November 9, 2016

Remember the Keystone XL pipeline? It could be coming back big time.

President Barack Obama vetoed the pipeline legislation in February 2015 and the Republican-backed bill failed to achieve an override quorum in the Senate. The controversial project would have linked Hardisty, Alberta, in Canada to Port Arthur, Texas, and transported roughly 800,000 barrels of heavy crude oil. Its critics had cited the environmental consequences as a major problem with the project.

Now, with Donald Trump the hours-old president-elect, pipeline builder TransCanada is reportedly already eyeing its new opening:

Trump is no enemy of Keystone XL: During his campaign, he bragged the pipeline was "how we're going to make our country rich again" because "I want a piece of the profits."

But "Trump's plan could run into legal trouble as a taking of oil industry property, and would probably violate World Trade Organization agreements and Congress' exclusive constitutional authority to make decisions on taxes," Politico reports, citing experts who have weighed in. "It has also ruffled some feathers north of the border, with Globe and Mail columnist Jeff Jones writing that the likely Republican nominee's 'kooky' proposal 'sounds uncomfortably like nationalization.'" Jeva Lange

November 7, 2016

Donald Trump's team is reportedly looking at former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus for top spots in his cabinet, aides revealed to NBC News.

Trump is reportedly too superstitious to make such plans himself ahead of the actual election, for fear of jinxing the results. His campaign nonetheless is allegedly eyeing Giuliani for attorney general, Gingrich for secretary of state, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn for either defense secretary or national security adviser, RNC finance chair Lew Eisenberg for commerce secretary, and Priebus for chief of staff. If Priebus left his position at the RNC as chairman, Corey Lewandowski or Trump's deputy campaign manager David Bossie would reportedly be considered as replacements.

Energy right now, of course, is mainly being pumped into winning the election and plans are still very much up in the air. "It's become a lot more real," an adviser told NBC. Trump, for his part, frowned upon Mitt Romney's decision in 2012 to start considering a cabinet before he won the election.

Trump's campaign spokesman also said "none of this is accurate" when asked for comment about the names, and that Trump has been "entirely focused on the campaign and the American people."

But a veteran of the George W. Bush White House who spoke with Trump's transition team begged to differ. "They're reaching out to people with experience, they're listening to them, they're taking their counsel," the former official told NBC. "I was very impressed." Jeva Lange

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