syria

Appeals Court Upholds Block on Trump’s Travel Ban
Administration seeks to bar foreign travelers from 6 Muslim-majority nations

Demonstrators rally for and against the Trump administration’s first travel ban in Los Angeles on Jan. 29. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld Monday a nationwide block on the Trump administration’s revised travel ban, a decision that adds to the executive order’s legal setbacks as the Supreme Court considers a similar ruling from another federal appeals court.

Travelers From Six Muslim Countries Drop Without Travel Ban
U.S. also sees marked decline in admission of Syrian refugees

Demonstrators rally in Los Angeles on Feb. 4 in support of a judge’s restraining order against President Donald Trump’s first temporary travel ban. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

Even though President Donald Trump’s travel ban has run afoul of the courts, the number of visas issued to people from six majority-Muslim countries targeted by the executive order appears to be slowing down dramatically.

Separately, refugee resettlement in the U.S. from February through May has also plummeted, according to CQ Roll Call’s review of data released by the State Department.

Trump Takes Travel Ban Fight to Supreme Court
The DOJ asked the justices to consider its application faster than usual

Members of the US Supreme Court are photographed on Thursday. (Rex Features via AP Images)

The Trump administration turned to the Supreme Court late Thursday in its effort to implement its revised travel ban, asking the justices to quickly reverse an appeals court ruling that is “wrong” to conclude the national security policy move was likely unconstitutional in how it treats Muslims.

The Justice Department requested that the justices consider the Trump administration's application faster than is typical — before the Supreme Court takes a three-month summer recess starting at the end of June. Five of the nine justices would have to vote to grant the request and lift the stay immediately, which would be without oral arguments and out of the view of the public.

Trump’s ‘Total Authorization’ to Military Gives Some ‘Deep Concerns’
But GOP lawmakers say president remains involved in strategic decisions

President Donald Trump’s deference to military commanders to make “tactical decisions” has been partly attributed to his trust in Defense Secretary James Mattis. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump says he has given U.S. military commanders “total authorization” to make complex combat decisions, a move that alarms some senior Democratic members and national security experts.

The commander in chief revealed a major policy shift from the Obama administration, which was heavily involved in strategic and tactical decisions, on a late Thursday afternoon in mid-April. The news dominated the cable airwaves for a few hours, then was quickly overshadowed by self-inflicted wounds and eventually, an ever-escalating series of bombshells related to possible ties between Moscow and Trump’s campaign and transition teams.

White House Middle East Victory Lap Draws Skepticism
Aides pushing a win, but headaches await return from region

President Donald Trump delivers a statement with Israeli President Reuven Rivlinon on Monday in Jerusalem. The White House says its first Middle East visit was a big success, but some Democrats are skeptical. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

The White House is describing President Donald Trump’s first dose of Middle East diplomacy as a “historic” success, but some lawmakers are skeptical that the optimistic rhetoric will become policy, and at least one is looking to block a major announcement from the trip. 

Trump spent all or parts of four days huddling with Muslim and Israeli leaders before heading to Europe on Tuesday afternoon. So confident was the White House that the first leg of Trump’s overseas diplomatic debut had gone well that they did not wait to land in Italy to declare victory.

No Apology for Israel Over Trump’s Disclosure to Russians
Tillerson: ‘I don’t know that there’s anything to apologize for’

President Donald Trump (L) speaks during a joint statement with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem on Monday. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump does not plan to apologize to Israeli leaders for disclosing sensitive intelligence provided by the Jewish country to senior Russian diplomats.

Asked by reporters Monday on Air Force One if Trump will apologize to Israeli leaders for sharing password-only classified intelligence about an Islamic State plot to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson replied: “I don’t know that there’s anything to apologize for.”

Cloud of Scandals Follow Trump Overseas
Lawmakers warn of stalled domestic agenda

President Donald Trump exits Air Force One on Feb. 6 at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. On Friday, he leaves on a five-country swing amid several domestic scandals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ned T. Johnston via Wikimedia Commons)

A cloud of scandal and uncertainty will follow Donald Trump to five countries on his first overseas trip as president beginning this weekend. And it could only grow more ominous by the time he returns.

When Trump boards Air Force One on Friday, he will leave behind a growing pile of smoldering scandals, mostly of his own creation.

With Turkey’s Erdogan, Transactional Trump on Display
U.S. president talks deeper ties on trade, countering ISIS

President Donald Trump welcomes Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan outside the White House on Tuesday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By midafternoon Tuesday at the White House, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had already spent several hours there in a visit largely overshadowed by Capitol Hill’s grappling with the consequences of President Donald Trump’s recent interactions with Russian officials.

The bilateral meeting between the two heads of state was mostly background music amid a new controversy White House officials scrambled to tamp down: Trump’s apparent disclosure of a classified Islamic State plot to Russian officials last week in the Oval Office. But when the two leaders appeared together, the U.S. president made clear he has no intention of distancing himself from a Middle Eastern leader many lawmakers and experts warn is a dictator-in-the-making.

Despite Campaign Pledges, Trump Plans Active Foreign Policy
Official: May trip signals America re-engaging in world affairs

President Donald Trump is seen through a window speaking on the phone with King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, in the Oval Office of the White House, January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Trump’s coming swing through Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican is a signal that the United States is moving away from “disengagement” in world affairs, a senior administration official said Thursday.

The official’s comment marks another change from Trump’s campaign rhetoric.

Trump Administration Ponders Demands of Wartime Footing
Steel, aluminum sector studies pegged to national security concerns

U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II fighter jets perform an aerial refueling mission off the coast of northwest Florida in 2013. The Lockheed Martin-made jets contain specialty aluminum products the Trump administration is concerned as it studies the needs a wartime military buildup would bring. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen/via Wikimedia Commons)

The Trump administration, swept into office by its inward-focused “America First” message, is rattling its saber. President Donald Trump’s tough talk about North Korea and missile strikes in Syria get most of the attention, but his team is suddenly openly discussing what it would take to put key U.S. industries on a war footing.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus describes his boss’s foreign policy as a mix of America First isolationism that helped him win the presidency, and a willingness to stand up to harsh dictators such as those in Syria and North Korea. At first glance, that definition of Trump’s foreign policy seems disjointed.