This Is an Outrage: Even by Neoconservative Standards, This Is an Outrage
January 31, 2017
NBC Evening News & Julie Pace and Eric Tucker / The Associated Press & GrabYourWallet.com
Thousands of protesters flooded into airports in many US cities to protest the president's order, and to support the detainees and their families, who are waiting anxiously to see what happens next. Iraqi translator who risked their lives for the US, now find themselves stranded by Trump's Travel Ban. Overnight, Trump's ill-considered iimmigration vetting order has dashed the hopes and dreams of desperate families from around the world who were hoping to build a better life for themselves in the United States.
Families: Relatives in Limbo After Pres. Trump's Travel Ban
NBC Nightly News
(January 30, 2017) -- Thousands of protesters flooded into airports in many US cities to protest the president's order, and to support the detainees and their families, who are waiting anxiously to see what happens next.
Translator Risked Life for US,
Now Stranded By Trump Travel Ban
big>NBC Nightly News
(January 30, 2017) -- Pres. Trump's immigration vetting order has dashed the hopes and dreams, at least temporarily, of many around the world who are hoping to make a better life in the United States.
Trump Fires Justice Dept. Head
Over Executive Order Defiance
Julie Pace and Eric Tucker / The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (January 31, 2017) -- Accusing her of betrayal and insubordination, President Donald Trump on Monday fired Sally Yates, the acting attorney general of the United States and a Democratic appointee, after she publicly questioned the constitutionality of his controversial refugee and immigration ban and refused to defend it in court.
The dramatic public clash between the new president and the nation's top law enforcement officer laid bare the growing discord and dissent surrounding Trump's executive order, which temporarily halted the entire US refugee program and banned all entries from seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days.
The firing came hours after Yates directed Justice Department attorneys not to defend the executive order, saying she was not convinced it was lawful or consistent with the agency's obligation "to stand for what is right."
Trump soon followed with a statement accusing Yates of having "betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States."
He immediately named longtime federal prosecutor Dana Boente, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, as Yates' replacement.
Boente was sworn in privately late Monday, the White House said. He promptly order Justice Department lawyers to "do our sworn duty and to defend the lawful orders of our President."
Boente said Trump's executive order was "both lawful on its face and properly drafted."
Yates' refusal to defend the executive order was largely symbolic given that Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump's pick for attorney general, will almost certainly defend the policy once he's sworn in. He's expected to be confirmed Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee and could be approved within days by the full Senate.
The chain of events bore echoes of the Nixon-era "Saturday Night Massacre," when the attorney general and deputy attorney general resigned rather than follow an order to fire a special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal. The prosecutor, Archibald Cox, was fired by the solicitor general.
Yates's abrupt decision reflected the growing conflict over the executive order, with administration officials moving Monday to distance themselves from the policy. As protests erupted at airports over the weekend and confusion disrupted travel around the globe, even some of Trump's top advisers and fellow Republicans made clear they were not involved in crafting the policy or consulted on its implementation.
At least three top national security officials -- Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Rex Tillerson, who is awaiting confirmation to lead the State Department -- have told associates they were not aware of details of the directive until around the time Trump signed it. Leading intelligence officials were also left largely in the dark, according to US officials.
Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations committee, said that despite White House assurances that congressional leaders were consulted, he learned about the order in the media.
Trump's order pauses America's entire refugee program for four months, indefinitely bans all those from war-ravaged Syria and temporarily freezes immigration from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
Federal judges in New York and several other states issued orders that temporarily block the government from deporting people with valid visas who arrived after Trump's travel ban took effect and found themselves in limbo.
Yates, who was appointed deputy attorney general in 2015 and was the No. 2 Justice Department official under Loretta Lynch, declared Monday she was instructing department lawyers not to defend the order in court.
"I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution's solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right," Yates wrote in a letter announcing her position. "At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the Executive Order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the Executive Order is lawful."
Trump said the order had been "approved" by Justice Department lawyers. However, the department has said the Office of Legal Counsel review was limited to whether the order was properly drafted, but did not address broader policy questions.
Other parts of Trump's administration also voiced dissent Monday. A large group of American diplomats circulated a memo voicing their opposition to the order, which temporarily halted the entire US refugee program and banned all entries from seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days. White House spokesman Sean Spicer challenged those opposed to the measure to resign.
"They should either get with the program or they can go," Spicer said.
The blowback underscored Trump's tenuous relationship with his own national security advisers, many of whom he met for the first time during the transition.
Mattis, who stood next to Trump during Friday's signing ceremony, is said to be particularly incensed. A senior US official said Mattis, along with Joint Chiefs Chairman Joseph Dunford, was aware of the general concept of Trump's order but not the details. Tillerson has told the president's political advisers that he was baffled over not being consulted on the substance of the order.
US officials and others with knowledge of the Cabinet's thinking insisted on anonymity in order to disclose the officials' private views.
Despite his public defense of the policy, the president has privately acknowledged flaws in the rollout, according to a person with knowledge of his thinking. But he's also blamed the media -- his frequent target -- for what he believes are reports exaggerating the dissent and the number of people actually affected.
After a chaotic weekend during which some US legal permanent residents were detained at airports, some agencies were moving swiftly to try to clean up after the White House.
Homeland Security, the agency tasked with implementing much of the refugee ban, clarified that customs and border agents should allow legal residents to enter the country. The Pentagon was trying to exempt Iraqis who worked alongside the US and coalition forces from the 90-day ban on entry from the predominantly Muslim countries.
"There are a number of people in Iraq who have worked for us in a partnership role, whether fighting alongside us or working as translators, often doing so at great peril to themselves," said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers in Trump's party sought to distance themselves from the wide-ranging order.
While Spicer said "appropriate committees and leadership offices" on Capitol Hill were consulted, GOP lawmakers said their offices had no hand in drafting the order and no briefings from the White House on how it would work.
"I think they know that it could have been done in a better way," Corker said of the White House.
AP writers Matthew Lee, Lolita C. Baldor, Erica Werner, Jonathan Lemire and Vivian Salama contributed to this report.
Anti-Trump Protests Inspire Boycotts of Trump-related Businesses
The #GrabYourWallet boycott began October 11, 2016 in the wake of the Trump Tapes when a brand strategist and a grandmother simultaneously realized they could no longer, in good conscience, shop at retailers that do business with the Trump family.
Never having met, Shannon Coulter and Sue Atencio immediately joined forces and announced on Twitter they'd be boycotting any retailer that carried Trump products, publishing a short list of such retailers later that same evening. On October 14th, Shannon introduced the #GrabYourWallet hashtag as a rejoinder to Donald Trump's infamous hot-mic remark and a reference to women's epic consumer power.
The hashtag and the movement exploded on social media and has been viewed over 500 million times. Since then, #GrabYourWallet has evolved into a movement and central resource for the flexing of consumer power in favor of a more respectful, inclusive society. It's been reported on by The New York Times, Vogue, The Guardian, Cosmopolitan, CNN, MSNBC, Nightline, and BBC among dozens of other media outlets.
Notable figures who have amplified or supported the movement include Don Cheadle, Greg Louganis, Lucy Lawless, Roseanne Cash, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Reich, Pam Grier, Ben Cohen, and Joy Reid.
Since its first humble incarnation as a screenshot on October 11th, the #GrabYourWallet boycott list has expanded to include more than 50 companies. On November 23rd, the official #GrabYourWallet boycott list moved from a public Google doc to grabyourwallet.org, where it receives up to 100,000 unique visits per week.
A small GYW team carefully monitors the inventory of the companies on the list such as Amazon, Nordstrom, and Lord & Taylor and immediately drops companies from the boycott list once it's been verified that official Trump products are no longer available -- either online or in brick and mortar locations.
To date, seven companies (including five retailers) have been dropped from the #GrabYourWallet list, starting with Shoes.com on November 12, 2016. To see the other companies that have been dropped from the #GrabYourWallet boycott, visit the "Which Companies Have Been Dropped" section of the site.
In February, the eighth company -- The Honest Company -- will likely be dropped from the list, as it has reached out to us and committed to not being a sponsor on future seasons of the Celebrity Apprentice.
To get in touch, send an email to Shannon@grabyourwallet.org.
Here's a sample of what to say / write when contacting any of these retailers:
"Hi. I'm a customer / fan of your brand. Unfortunately I'll no longer be able to shop there because you do business with the Trump family. If you were to no longer do so I would consider returning as a customer. Please communicate my feedback to store management."
A Partial List of Retailers to Boycott
Bed Bath & Beyond
Burlington Coat Factory
Century 21 Dept. Store
Lord & Taylor
Saks Off Fifth
Additional Entities To Consider Boycotting
The New Celebrity Apprentice
Trump Golf Courses
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Universal Studios Hollywood