Monday Top News Executive Summary
Kirstjen Nielsen resigns, ICE nominee dumped, Sanders's felon-vote pandering, "nuclear option" dividends, and more.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will be stepping aside and Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will be taking over at DHS. Nielsen stated, “I have agreed to stay on as Secretary through Wednesday, April 10th to assist with an orderly transition and ensure that key DHS missions are not impacted.” According to CBS News, “Her departure is a part of a massive DHS overhaul engineered and directed by top Trump adviser Stephen Miller… It’s unclear whether Nielsen is deciding to leave voluntarily, or whether she has been pressured to resign.”
The Washington Post says, “Trump said Friday that he wants someone ‘tougher’ to lead the country’s top immigration enforcement agency, unexpectedly dumping his own nominee for the job.” U.S. Border Patrol veteran Ronald Vitiello had been slated to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). But “Trump had vacillated on Vitiello for several months after hearing complaints from senior adviser Stephen Miller, ICE union boss Chris Crane and others.”
Taking advantage of the nuclear option: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will be able to get judges and executive branch appointees confirmed much faster now,” the Washington Examiner reports. “The Kentucky Republican wasted no time in advancing his first batch. … Before adjourning the Senate on Thursday, McConnell lined up votes on four district court nominees, a sub-Cabinet pick, and the president’s designee to serve as ambassador to Saudi Arabia. And he plans to bring up more nominations Monday.”
The Examiner also reports that Rep. Devin Nunes this week will be sending the Justice Department eight criminal referrals pertaining to the Democrats’ Russian-collusion witch hunt. According to Nunes, the grounds for the referrals vary from “lying to Congress, misleading Congress, leaking classified information,” “conspiracy to lie to the FISA Court,” and “conspiracy … involving manipulation of intelligence.” He added, “There are about a dozen highly sensitive classified information leaks that were given to only a few reporters over the last two and a half-plus years, so we don’t know if there’s actually been any leak investigations that have been open, but we do believe that we’ve got pretty good information and a pretty good idea of who could be behind these leaks.” As the Examiner notes, “Nunes said … that the people ensnared in his eight-person referral ‘may not be all of them.’”
“Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told ‘Fox News Sunday’ … that Democrats will ‘never’ see President Trump’s tax returns, days after a House Democrat committee chairman made the unprecedented demand that the IRS provide the documents,” according to Fox News. As Mulvaney put it, “That’s an issue that was already litigated during the election. Voters knew the president could have given his tax returns. They knew that he didn’t and they elected him anyway. … If [Democrats] don’t get what they want in the Mueller report, they’re going to ask for the taxes. If they don’t get what they want in the taxes, they’re going to ask for something else.”
According to the Des Moines Register, “Sen. Bernie Sanders said people convicted of felonies should never lose access to the ballot box in the first place.” Sanders opined, “You’re paying a price, you committed a crime, you’re in jail. That’s bad. But you’re still living in American society and you have a right to vote.” Remember, some prisoners are murderers who took away another person’s right to vote.
“A former House Democratic staffer pleaded guilty Friday to five federal offenses related to posting online the personal information of five Republican senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, during hearings for then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. … He is scheduled to be sentenced in Washington on June 13. He could face between two and five years in prison.” (Fox News)
The Daily Caller reveals that “Twitter appears to be one of the only big tech companies to back out of an alliance with the Southern Poverty Law Center after the group’s long-time president was fired for unspecified conduct reasons.” A Twitter employee explained, “The SPLC is not a member of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council or a partner the company has worked with recently,” though the Caller says the source “did not disclose when Twitter distanced itself from the SPLC.” A conservative bloc wants other tech giants to follow suit.
“The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday handed another setback to gun rights advocates challenging President Donald Trump’s ban on ‘bump stock’ devices that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly,” Reuters reports. “With two conservative justices dissenting, the court refused to temporarily exempt from the ban a group of plaintiffs including the Firearms Policy Foundation while their legal challenge continues to be litigated in Washington.”
“President Trump said Friday he will skip this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) dinner and hold a rally instead. ‘The dinner is boring and so negative that we’re going to hold a very positive rally,’ Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a trip to the southern border. … The commander in chief has yet to attend the annual event during his presidency, bucking tradition and instead opting to hold campaign rallies the same night as the dinner.” (The Hill)
Humor: Joe Biden appointed as head of TSA (The Babylon Bee)
Policy: Campuses are broken because of what we teach (Washington Examiner)
Policy: The private sector must lead the way to 5G (National Review)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
- In Our Sights