Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Coleman Saunders
Thursday, May 16, 2019, 2:14 PM

President Trump issued an executive order instructing the Commerce Department to prevent U.S. telecommunications companies from using foreign-made equipment that could pose a national security threat to American networks, reports the New York Times. Although the order did not single out any country or company, it is widely viewed as an attempt to preclude U.S. companies from using equipment from Huawei. The executive order is available here on Lawfare.

The president told Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan that he does not want to go to war with Iran, said the Times.

Trump is expected to announce an immigration proposal on Thursday that prioritizes high-skilled workers above those with family members in the U.S., according to the Washington Post. The Post reports that the plan was developed with support of White House adviser Jared Kushner as an effort to move the U.S. toward a “merit-based” immigration system. The proposal does not appear likely to garner significant support in Congress.

A ship containing Iranian fuel oil unloaded its cargo in a Chinese port in violation of U.S. sanctions on Iran, reports Reuters.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare:

Emmah Wabuke analyzed the national security implications of the maritime dispute between Kenya and Somalia.

Ben Buchanan discussed improvements in Chinese cyber espionage capabilities resulting from failures in operational security at the NSA.

Jen Patja Howell shared a new episode Rational Security, in which Tamara Cofman Wittes, Shane Harris, Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes discussed increased tension with Iran and the appointment of a U.S. attorney to investigate the origins of the special counsel’s probe into Russian election interference.

Margaret Taylor summarized the oral arguments from Trump v. Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Mikhaila Fogel posted a letter from the White House Counsel Pat Cipollone to the House Judiciary Committee regarding its obstruction of justice investigation. Fogel also shared a livestream of experts testifying to the House Judiciary Committee regarding executive privilege.

Matthew Kahn shared President Trump’s executive order on national security threats to the telecom supply chain.