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Mar 20, 2018

The New York Times | First Draft on March 20, 2018.





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Alexander Nix, head of Cambridge Analytica, speaking in New York City in 2016.
Alexander Nix, head of Cambridge Analytica, speaking in New York City in 2016. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
Good Tuesday morning,
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • As part of a monthslong investigation into the data company with ties to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, a reporter secretly filmed Cambridge Analytica’s chief executive offering to entrap politicians.
  • Facebook’s chief information security officer, Alex Stamos, will leave the company after internal disagreements over how the social network should deal with its role in spreading disinformation.
  • Mr. Trump’s legal team was poised for a shake-up as he openly discussed firing one of his lawyers and another considered resigning. One more joined the roster when Mr. Trump decided to hire Joseph E. diGenova, who has pushed the theory on television that Mr. Trump was framed by F.B.I. and Justice Department officials.
  • The leader of an ill-fated team of American soldiers in Niger last fall warned before the mission that his troops had not been given the equipment or intelligence necessary to carry out a kill-or-capture raid against a local militant.
  • Mr. Trump made his first visit to New Hampshire since the 2016 campaign, unveiling a plan to combat the opioid epidemic that includes a push for the death penalty for drug dealers and a crackdown on illegal immigrants.
— The First Draft Team 
White House Memo
Newly Emboldened, Trump Says What He Really Feels
By MAGGIE HABERMAN
President Trump has developed more self-confidence as he has settled into the job, those close to the president or the White House say.
President Trump has developed more self-confidence as he has settled into the job, those close to the president or the White House say. Doug Mills/The New York Times
For months, President Trump’s legal advisers implored him to avoid so much as mentioning the name of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, in his tweets, and to do nothing to provoke him or suggest his investigation is not proper.
Ignoring that advice over the weekend was the decision of a president who ultimately trusts only his own instincts, and who now believes he has settled into the job enough to rely on them rather than the people who advise him.
A dozen people close to Mr. Trump or the White House, including current and former aides and longtime friends, described him as newly emboldened to say what he really thinks and to ignore the cautions of those around him.
That self-confidence has led to a series of surprising comments and actions that have pushed the Trump presidency in an ever-more-tumultuous direction. Read more >>     

 
Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy director of the F.B.I., was fired last week.
McCabe’s Firing: Here’s What You Need to Know
By MATT APUZZO
A by-the-book dismissal for cause, or part of a White House smear campaign? We sort out the facts on the ouster of Andrew McCabe, the former F.B.I. deputy director.
Justin Verlander started Game 6 of last season’s World Series for the Houston Astros, about two months after arriving in a trade from the Detroit Tigers.
A Curveball From the New Tax Law: It Makes Baseball Trades Harder
By JIM TANKERSLEY
The change of a single word in the new tax law means baseball, basketball and other sports franchises could now face capital gains taxes every time they exchange players.
Amazon, which based its European headquarters in Luxembourg, is among the American technology companies that could be hit hardest by a new digital tax being planned in Europe.
Europe’s Planned Digital Tax Heightens Tensions With the U.S.
By ALAN RAPPEPORT, MILAN SCHREUER, JIM TANKERSLEY AND NATASHA SINGER
A European Union plan would hit Silicon Valley’s technology giants especially hard, further straining relations with the United States over taxes and trade.
President Trump and former law enforcement and intelligence officials traded insults over the weekend, turning a conflict that would have once stayed behind closed doors into a public brawl.
‘You Will Not Destroy America’: A Trump Battle Is No Longer One-Sided
By KATIE ROGERS
The president and former law enforcement and intelligence officials are trading Twitter insults, turning a conflict that would have once stayed private into a public brawl.
Theodore B. Olson, a lawyer for victims of terrorist attacks in and near Jerusalem, called the Trump administration’s position “astonishing” and “disturbingly disingenuous.”
Sidebar
The P.L.O. Has an Unlikely Supreme Court Ally: The Trump Administration
By ADAM LIPTAK
After months of internal wrangling, the administration filed a brief urging the justices to turn down an appeal from victims of terrorist attacks in Israel.
The House speaker, Paul D. Ryan, with President Trump at the Capitol on Thursday.
How Top Republicans Reacted to Trump’s Tweets on Mueller
By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG
Some Republicans warned the president against firing the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, but many had no response. House Speaker Paul Ryan suggested he be allowed to do his job.
Children in Sana, Yemen, after airstrikes this month. Thousands of civilians have died in the Saudi-led air campaign.
Before Saudi Visit, Congress Questions U.S. Support for Yemen Campaign
By ERIC SCHMITT AND THOMAS GIBBONS-NEFF
Even as the State Department weighs approval of more than $1 billion in new arms, lawmakers are pushing for a resolution that they say would prevent Washington from giving the Saudis “a blank check.”
Fourth graders at Lyndale Community School in Minneapolis.
Why Are Black Students Punished More? Minnesota Confronts a U.S. Quandary
By ERICA L. GREEN
The Trump administration is highlighting the disparities Minneapolis and St. Paul face in school discipline, and putting a thumb on the scale.
Representative Louise Slaughter in 2014. Ms. Slaughter, Democrat of New York, had held one of the most partisan posts in Congress when she led the Rules Committee, but managed to win affection and admiration from both sides of the aisle.
On Washington
A Trailblazing Congresswoman Who Held Little Back
By CARL HULSE
Louise Slaughter, a lawmaker from New York who died last week, held one of the most partisan posts in Congress but won affection and admiration from both sides of the aisle.
The sanctions were intended to send a message to Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro, that the United States holds him directly responsible for his country’s economic devastation, the White House said.
White House Expands Sanctions on Venezuela and Bans Its Digital Currency
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS AND NATHANIEL POPPER
The Trump administration also blacklisted four associates of President Nicolás Maduro, pressuring a government it has accused of graft and repression.
Voters at a polling station in April 2016 in Philadelphia.
Supreme Court Won’t Block New Pennsylvania Voting Maps
By ADAM LIPTAK
The court rejected a request from Republican lawmakers unhappy with a court-imposed congressional map said to favor Democrats.
Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm hired by President Trump’s 2016 election campaign, gained access to information on 50 million Facebook users as a way to identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behavior.
How Cambridge Analytica Harvested Facebook Data, Stirring a New Outcry
By KEVIN GRANVILLE
What you need to know about how a political data company tied to the Trump campaign gained access to information on 50 million Facebook users.
The Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976 after a four-year moratorium.
Justices Won’t Hear Challenges to Arizona’s Death Penalty Law
By ADAM LIPTAK
The Supreme Court turned away requests that it reconsider the constitutionality of the death penalty and how Arizona applies it.
South Korean marines during joint exercises with the United States in April 2017.
U.S. and South Korea to Resume Joint Military Exercises
By HELENE COOPER AND CHOE SANG-HUN
On April 1, the countries will resume the annual drills that they suspended during the Olympics and Paralympics, the Pentagon announced Monday.