Annals of the Trump Administration

Latest in Annals of the Trump Administration

International Law

International Law and the Trump Administration

The Trump administration has conspicuously—and surprisingly—complied with international law during its first months. For example, yesterday’s climate order notably does not announce a withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, despite campaign promises to do so. Perhaps the Trump administration realizes that international law supports its policy positions on the South China Sea, North Korea, Iran, and on other vitally important issues.

Donald Trump

McMaster Named National Security Advisor

President Donald Trump has named Army Lieutenant General Herbert Raymond “H.R.” McMaster, 54, as his new National Security Adviser, calling McMaster a “man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience.” McMaster, who is widely respected military strategist and has been praised as a “good choice” by former military officials, will replace General Keith Kellogg, who has been act

The Russia Connection

Despite Denials, Michael Flynn Discussed Sanctions on Calls with Russian Ambassador

This evening the Washington Post reported that, National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn discussed sanctions during his December phone calls with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Previously both Flynn and the White House had repeatedly denied the accusation.

Donald Trump

Draining the Valley Instead of the Swamp

Yesterday, most of the U.S.’s biggest technology firms joined the legal fight in the 9th Circuit over the President’s immigration ban, filing a brief arguing that the ban imposes “significant harm” to U.S. businesses. Over ninety firms signed the brief, including Airbnb, Apple, Box, Citrix, Dropbox, eBay, Facebook, Google, Intel, Lyft, Microsoft, Netflix, PayPal, Snap, Twitter, and Uber, and many more.


Calm Down, Trump Did Not Just Relax Russia Sanctions

For sanctions-watchers, the familiar rhythm of responding to new general licenses issued by Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is typically uneventful. You receive an email from OFAC announcing the measure, you momentarily consider its impact, and then return to whatever you were doing before. The era of Donald Trump, however, has injected “observe Twitter have a complete meltdown” into the cycle. I admire the passion and welcome new devotees to the exciting world of sanctions, but for today, a deep breath is required.


How the Courts Could See Their Way to Striking Down the Trump Travel Ban

The Trump executive order banning nationals of seven Muslim states and suspending refugee admissions is, as a matter of policy, monumentally stupid. It is malevolence tempered only by incompetence, as Ben Wittes puts it. That may ultimately prove its constitutional undoing, but the result is hardly foreordained. Beyond this weekend’s initial skirmishes, legal challenges to the order face an uphill battle.

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