Trump Boots Comey

President Trump has given James Comey the boot. Trump fired him per the recommendation of Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein.

Here is a transcript of Trump’s letter to Comey:

Dear Director Comey:

I have received the attached letters from the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General of the United States recommending your dismissal as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I have accepted their recommendation and you are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately.

While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.

It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.

I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

Donald J. Trump

#DrainTheSwamp

Trump to Sign Religious Liberty Executive Order

Or, should I say, the next executive order to get halted by some big shot judge who feels like legislating from the bench.

The Hill:

President Trump has reportedly invited conservative leaders to visit the White House on Thursday for the signing of an executive order on religious liberty.

Politico reported Tuesday that two senior administration officials confirmed the plan. One source noted that the language of the order has not yet been finalized by the White House lawyers, but a draft leaked in February would give businesses and individuals the ability to claim broad religious objections.

Reassuring Words From the President

I’ll be honest, I was concerned with the U.S.’ airstrike in Syria last week. I thought Trump had caved in to what Pat Buchanan calls “the War Party” and that we were surely on the road to greater conflict.

Ultimately I gave our president the benefit of the doubt. And I’m glad I did. New York Post:

Amid complaints that his aides are saying different things about Syria and his policy is confusing, President Trump emphatically cleared the air.

“We’re not going into Syria,” he told me yesterday in an exclusive interview. “Our policy is the same — it hasn’t changed. We’re not going into Syria.”

No, Steve Bannon Wasn’t Booted From the NSC

You thought Donald Trump kicked Steve Bannon off of the National Security Council, didn’t ya?

Well, you’d be wrong!

New York Times:

Mr. Trump removed Mr. Bannon, his chief strategist, from the National Security Council’s cabinet-level “principals committee” on Wednesday. The shift was orchestrated by Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, who insisted on purging a political adviser from the Situation Room where decisions about war and peace are made.

Mr. Bannon resisted the move, even threatening at one point to quit if it went forward, according to a White House official who, like others, insisted on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Mr. Bannon’s camp denied that he had threatened to resign and spent the day spreading the word that the shift was a natural evolution, not a signal of any diminution of his outsize influence.

More clarification:

What Trump is Like Outside the Media Limelight

trumpdinner

Thanks to a “tip from a trusted source,” Benny Johnson of the Independent Journal Review reserved a table at the BLT Steakhouse inside the Washington D.C. Trump Hotel on Saturday, where President Trump would be having a private dinner. No media allowed; the event didn’t even appear on the President’s official schedule. What a perfect opportunity for Johnson to see firsthand what Trump is like without the presence of cameras and dishonest journalists!

Read the whole account here. Much of the beginning relates to the Secret Service sweep (which I am definitely familiar with, given all the Trump rallies I worked at as an intern) and the preparation by restaurant staff, all of which is fascinating in its own right. But these are my favorite parts concerning The Don himself:

8:17 PM: Without any announcement or indication, President Trump enters the hotel lobby which bears his name, flanked on all sides by the Secret Service. Shock and astonishment fill the guests in the room. The woman next to me screams “Is it him? It’s really him! Oh my God! This is like a dream!” Trump is rushed by fans in the lobby as he makes his way to the steakhouse. Secret Service makes a barrier for him, and the President waves and shakes hands on his way. The young crew are the first in line. Also waiting in line as the President arrives is Nigel Farage.

One woman shouts at him “Donald, it’s my birthday!” Trump stops and says “Happy birthday,” as he hugs the elated woman. “How about a birthday present? Let’s take a photo,” he says to her, afterward telling the woman she looks very young and has great skin.

Trump eventually sits precisely where I expected he would hours earlier. He is joined by Farage, Governor Rick Scott of Florida, and his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner. My party sits just a table away, outside the president’s security barrier. Trump’s table is surrounded by agents facing outward, creating a barrier between the president and other diners. Waiters can be seen carrying large jumbo shrimp and sparkling water to the table to start the service. We are eventually, but politely, asked to sit back down at our respective tables.

8:45 PM: Trump is served his entree. According to a waiter, who wished to remain anonymous:

“The President ordered a well-done steak. An aged New York strip. He ate it with catsup as he always does. The sides and appetizers on the table were shared. Three jumbo shrimp cocktails were delivered before the meal. At one point, the President looked at his watch and remarked ”They are filming ‘Saturday Night Live’ right now. Can’t wait to see what they are gonna do to me this week.“ It was hard to serve him because he is so funny and relaxed, it makes you laugh.”

Trump talks jovially with his guests for the next two hours. His iconic hand motions fill the space as dinner is served.

10:14 PM: Trump and his party get up to leave. The president is stopped momentarily for selfies and handshakes. Discreetly, Trump can be seen handing cash to one of the latino busboys for his table. The president handed the young man a $100 bill.

The President exits the restaurant and addresses a long line of adoring visitors waiting for him in the hotel lobby.

Trump signs some items, takes some photos and pauses just before leaving, joining in on a “USA” chant while pumping his fist.

Trump is just what you’d expect: personable, humorous, considerate, and warm. I certainly felt that vibe when I met him—when I looked into his eyes, shook his hand, made some small talk, and posed for this picture. I wrote in my journal later that day that he’s a “very genuine” man, and indeed, this dinner confirms it.

Props to Benny Johnson for getting a table reserved next to the President and writing such a wonderful piece. Again, click here to read the entire thing.

Scott Adams on Trump’s “Sweden” Comment

I first started following Scott Adams when he began writing articles analyzing Donald Trump’s world class persuasion skills. Then I read his book “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big.” And now I’m a devoted consumer of his work.

Whenever there’s an outcry over something Trump says (or doesn’t say), people turn to Adams to explain Trump’s comments. Saturday’s “look what’s happening last night in Sweden” remark was no exception.

So Adams addressed it through a persuasion lens in this eleven minute YouTube video. Do watch it: