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Texas Scientists Worry About Research Funding Under Trump

Feb 2, 2017
Texas Tribune

Late one night last month, Rice University climate researcher Daniel Cohan spotted a headline on Twitter that stunned him: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was temporarily freezing all grants and contracts. He immediately worried that the climate change-related grant application his team had been working on for months "was a goner."

Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

President Trump has fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, concluding she has "betrayed the Department of Justice" by refusing to defend his executive order that imposes a temporary ban on refugees and visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries.

In a statement, the White House called Yates, an Obama administration holdover with 27 years of experience prosecuting corrupt public officials and the man who bombed the Atlanta Olympic park, "weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration."

President Trump is set to announce his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, fulfilling a promise he made to social conservatives on the campaign trail to name someone like the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative icon whose seat has been vacant for almost a year.

President Trump's executive order on immigration late Friday ignited nationwide protests — and a slew of legal challenges.

At least four federal judges across the country have blocked part of the order and temporarily ensured refugees and travelers who reached U.S. soil would not be deported.

Here's an explanation of what happened so far and what could come next.

Hundreds were detained at airports around the country Saturday in a chaotic and confusing day following President Trump's Friday night executive order temporarily banning Muslims from seven countries.

It spurred protests and backlash — even from some in Trump's own party, for either mismanagement of the rollout of the order or the values it represents.

Less than 24 hours after White House press secretary Sean Spicer had spouted numerous falsehoods about inauguration crowd size and more, Kellyanne Conway went on NBC's Meet the Press to defend him.

From Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump’s support of imposing a 20 percent tariff on all Mexican imports to the U.S. has some Texans running to the supermarket to stock up on Topo Chico and avocados. The proposal suggested on Thursday is designed by the Trump administration as leverage to get our southern neighbor to pay for a wall extending across the southern border.

From Texas Standard:

The 10th Amendment, the Tea Party and sanctuary cities are three things that one wouldn’t imagine having much in common. But they do – perhaps now more than ever.

A few years ago conservatives pointed to the 10th Amendment, which safeguards states’ rights, as a bulwark against orders from the Obama administration.

President Trump met with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday, his first face-to-face meeting with a foreign leader since he took office a week ago.

With the United Kingdom preparing to leave the European Union, May is looking for a trade deal with the U.S.

Chelsea Beck / NPR

President Trump tweets a lot. With tens of millions of followers on Twitter, Trump proposes policy, shares his latest actions and reacts to the news. 

Carlos Barria / Reuters

President Donald Trump met today with his first world leader since taking office — British Prime Minister Theresa May — and they held a joint press conference Friday afternoon.

Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is considering alternative ways to pay for the border wall, backtracking on the president's oft-repeated promise that Mexico would foot the bill.

A White House spokesman said one idea taking shape is to apply a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico, as well as other countries with which the U.S. has a trade deficit. That would effectively saddle U.S. consumers with a significant portion of the wall's cost, estimated at $15 billion or more.

Mexicans have reacted angrily to President Trump's executive order, which among many things directed the U.S. government to begin immediate construction of a border wall.

Mexican lawmakers are urging President Enrique Peña Nieto to cancel his scheduled visit to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 31.

Peña Nieto has not said whether he will cancel the meeting.

The Logistics of Building Trump's Border Wall

Jan 25, 2017

From Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday authorizing the building of a wall along the United States-Mexico border.

He told ABC News that morning that the U.S. will start building the wall “as soon as we can. As soon as we can physically do it. … I would say in months. Certainly, planning is starting immediately.”

From the start of his campaign, after he descended the golden escalator to give his announcement speech, Donald Trump promised to build a wall along the U.S.' Southern border. Now, Trump is taking the first steps toward keeping that promise, with an executive action that calls for building that wall.

In line with his campaign theme of tightening laws on immigration, that action will call for other measures, such as hiring more Border Patrol agents and expanding detention space.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed two executive orders related to immigration and border security, moving ahead with his plans to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and to deport people who are in the country illegally.

This week, Donald Trump told members of Congress that he would have won the popular vote, were it not for 3 to 5 million votes cast against him by "illegals." And when asked about it at the Tuesday press briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer affirmed that "the president does believe that."

But there is no evidence.

President Trump's inner circle got one more member — CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

The Senate confirmed the former Kansas congressman's nomination to the post Monday night. It came after Trump went to CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., Saturday to laud the spy agency and blast Democrats for delaying a vote on Pompeo's nomination. (That was the same event where the president said he was at "war" with the media and falsely claimed to have 1 million to 1.5 million people in attendance for his inauguration.)

President Trump is now filing the documents needed to remove his name as top executive at his companies, finally making good on a promise to leave management by Inauguration Day.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET.

President Trump acted on Monday to keep a signature campaign promise: withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Trump's action is mostly symbolic.

As he signed the memorandum in the Oval Office, Trump said, "We've been talking about this for a long time," adding it's "a great thing for the American worker."

A top aide to President Donald Trump says he won't release his tax returns, insisting that voters aren't concerned about the issue.

"The White House response is he's not going to release his tax returns," said Trump's senior adviser, Kellyanne Conway, on ABC's "This Week."

"We litigated this all through the election. People didn't care," Conway added.

No evidence exists so far that President Trump or his elder daughter has taken steps to sever ties with their businesses, despite promises to do so by Inauguration Day, ProPublica has reported.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

MOSCOW — While Donald Trump was taking the oath of office in Washington, D.C. Friday, a group of North Texans was getting a long-distance perspective — from the streets and concert halls of Russia.

From Texas StandardThis story originally aired on Nov. 11, 2016, and has been updated throughout.

Most parts of a president’s legacy are murky. It can be hard to identify an administration’s long-term effect on the economy or the environment, but the Supreme Court is a different story.

As Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th U.S. president, protests, demonstrations — and a few celebrations — were underway in cities around the world.

In London, demonstrators holding anti-Trump signs gathered outside the U.S. Embassy on Friday evening. Earlier in the day, huge banners saying "Build Bridges Not Walls" were hung across the city's bridges, part of a U.K. campaign that that began after Trump was elected in November.

Blog: Coverage Of Inauguration Day 2017

Jan 20, 2017
Carlos Barria / Reuters

Hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the Capitol steps and the national Mall for Donald Trump's inauguration Friday.

President-elect Donald Trump plans to hit the ground running. He could sign his first executive orders within hours of taking the oath of office.

"I've asked my transition team to develop a list of executive actions we can take on Day 1 to restore our laws and bring back our jobs," Trump said in a videotaped message in November. "It's about time."

Vice President-elect Mike Pence echoed that message in a meeting with reporters on Thursday.

"Our job is to be ready on Day 1," Pence said. "We are all ready to go to work."

The incoming president has promised to:

President-elect Donald Trump takes office on Friday having largely failed to address concerns about the many conflicts of interest posed by his business interests.

Although Trump has settled a few of the outstanding legal and regulatory disputes hanging over him, he remains in the unusual position of presiding over countless policy decisions that will affect his own businesses.

From Texas Standard:

Before President Barack Obama leaves office, for the final time, the Chicago Tribune reports Obama plans to issue more executive pardons and clemency orders.

The incoming Trump administration will keep more than 50 Obama administration appointees in key government jobs for now, transition spokesman Sean Spicer announced on Thursday. The holdovers include Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work, DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg, and the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Nicholas Rasmussen.