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David Kurtz

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

Articles by David

Could the White House have been unprepared for the backlash to the "extreme vetting" executive order? It beggars belief, but the tone of this new statement directly from the President is defensive (I do too have "compassion" for the "suffering"), wounded ("This is not about religion"), self-justifying (Obama did the same thing!), lashing ("this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting"), and bewildered (Why doesn't the media recognize my good intentions?).

Here's the full statement:

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The first big initiative of the Trump administration will apparently be to contest the crowd-size estimates for his inauguration. Trump himself just went down that bizarre path at CIA headquarters, in front of the memorial to fallen CIA officers. And now we're awaiting a White House press briefing, where photos of the crowd, blown up to poster size, have been set out as props:

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One of the outside groups supporting Jeff Sessions nomination as attorney general is running a TV ad in DC titled "Champion" that calls him a "civil rights champion" and associates him in images with Barack Obama, Joe Biden and John Lewis. It's a remarkable re-write of Sessions' life and career:

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Secretary of state when he awoke yesterday morning, and now just walking the dog down Pennsylvania Avenue during the women's march:

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Trump's apocalyptic inaugural address was pure Steve Bannon, and a White House official now confirms that it was written by Bannon and Stephen Miller. In another of those weird recent attempts to draw historic parallels between Trump and Andrew Jackson, Bannon is quoted as saying, “I don’t think we’ve had a speech like that since Andrew Jackson came to the White House. It’s got a deep, deep root of patriotism.”

But if you read Jackson's first inaugural address, it is full of the modesty, humility, self-deprecation and traditional appeals to our better nature that are historically associated with presidential inaugural addresses. There is nothing in it on par with Trump's "American carnage."

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In one of his first official acts as President, Donald Trump issued an executive order taking his first swing at Obamacare. The order, signed in the Oval Office this evening, directs the federal government "to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens" of the Affordable Care Act. But beyond its general emphasis on easing the burden and giving the states more flexibility, it doesn't offer specific guidance or direction.

The full text of the executive order:

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