×
FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
March 20, 2017
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

While she won't have an official position in her father's administration or take a salary, Ivanka Trump will be getting an office in the West Wing in order to better serve as President Trump's "eyes and ears," her attorney said Monday.

"Having an adult child of the president who is actively engaged in the work of the administration is new ground," the attorney, Jamie Gorelick, told Politico on Monday. "Our view is that the conservative approach is for Ivanka to voluntarily comply with the rules that would apply if she were a government employee, even though she is not." Ivanka Trump is in the process of obtaining a security clearance, and will also receive communications devices issued by the government. In a statement, Trump's eldest daughter said she will "continue to offer my father my candid advice and counsel, as I have for my entire life. While there is no modern precedent for an adult child of the president, I will voluntarily follow all of the ethics rules placed on government employees."

Trump has her own fashion and jewelry line, and Gorelick said that while she will distance herself from day-to-day operations, it's impossible for Trump to shut down the business because of outstanding contracts with third-party venues. She also can't sell it, Gorelick said, because that would give other people the right to license her name. While Trump has divested her common stock, tech investments, and investment funds, her attorney said Trump does have "conflicts that derive from the ownership of this brand. We're trying to minimize those to the extent possible." Catherine Garcia

5:16 a.m. ET
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump hosted Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Chris Wray, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly on Monday for a meeting about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian collusion and the Trump campaign. Specifically, the group discussed the demand by Trump allies in the House for highly classified documents tied to Mueller's investigation and Trump's demands that the Justice Department investigate the president's unsubstantiated suggestion there was improper political spying on his campaign. Everybody walked away with something, but it isn't clear what exactly anyone got.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the group agreed that "Kelly will immediately set up a meeting with the FBI, DOJ, and DNI together with congressional leaders to review highly classified and other information they have requested," probably by the end of the week.

"It was not clear after Monday's meeting how much of that information will now be shared with lawmakers and in what form, or who it will be shared with and in what venue," The New York Times notes. The FBI and CIA had "strenuously resisted" the request by House Republicans to see the documents about a covert intelligence source who met with members of the Trump campaign, warning it could cost lives and burn allies. It is already significant that "the president effectively requested, and apparently received, a review of the investigation into his campaign," The Washington Post adds, though the Kelly-brokered meeting could either be "a concession from the Justice Department" or "a bureaucratic maneuver to buy time and shield actual documents."

Trump's personal lawyer "Rudy Giuliani made it clear today that he wants these documents for the Trump legal defense team," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Monday. "That is not appropriate, and I have a concern about anyone from the White House being present for review of these sensitive documents," including Kelly. Peter Weber

3:52 a.m. ET
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump is raising a fuss and crossing some perilous lines over an American academic in Britain who met with three Trump campaign foreign policy advisers in the summer and fall of 2016 and passed some information about those interactions to the FBI. After Trump was elected, his top trade adviser, Peter Navarro (pictured), recommended naming Stefan Halper, widely reported to be the FBI source, as ambassador to an unidentified Asian country, Axios reports. "A White House official said Halper visited the Eisenhower Executive Office Building last August for a meeting about China," too.

Navarro put forward Halper's name, as well as several other candidates, because Halper is a fellow China hawk who worked with Navarro on an anti-China book and movie, Axios says. Halper, who taught international affairs, American studies, and intelligence seminars at Cambridge University from 2001 to 2015, is also a veteran of three Republicans administrations. "Most friends describe him as a moderate Republican who is hawkish on China and deeply committed to U.S. institutions, having worked for years inside and around the federal government," The Washington Post reports.

So Halper, 73, may not have been a perfect fit with the Trump administration, allegedly informing on the Trump campaign notwithstanding. "During classes at Cambridge, he often raised questions about [President George W.] Bush's decisions and embraced a traditional Republican approach to foreign policy that emphasized long-standing Western alliances and limited foreign intervention," the Post reports. Peter Weber

2:48 a.m. ET

With President Trump incensed about leaks, "West Wing aides are instructed to drop their personal phones into small storage lockers when they come to work, periodically checked up on by a scanning device that detects nongovernment phones," The New York Times reports. But Trump himself uses no less than two iPhones, one for Twitter and the other for making calls, and at least one of them "isn't equipped with sophisticated security features designed to shield his communications," two senior administration officials tell Politico, adding that Trump "has rebuffed staff efforts to strengthen security around his phone use."

Since Trump won't give up his cellphones, aides have urged him to swap them out on a monthly basis, burner phone–style, but Trump has refused, saying it's "too inconvenient," a senior administration officials said. Trump has reportedly gone as long as five months without having his phone examined by security experts. Former President Barack Obama had his secure and feature-disabled phone checked every 30 days, Politico says, adding:

Trump's call-capable cellphone has a camera and microphone, unlike the White House-issued cellphones used by Obama. Keeping those components creates a risk that hackers could use them to access the phone and monitor the president's movements. The GPS location tracker, however — which can be used to track the president's whereabouts — is disabled on Trump's devices. [Politico]

Security experts were baffled and alarmed at Trump's seemingly cavalier attitude about cybersecurity, given that he is trying to negotiate a trade feud with China, peace with North Korea, and, presumably, a strategy for handling Russia and other high-tech adversaries. A West Wing official told Politico that Trump's Twitter phone is secure and that "due to inherent capabilities and advancement in technologies, these devices are more secure than any Obama-era devices." Below, you can watch white-hat hacker Jayson Street explain at last October's DEFCON Conference how he would compromise Trump's phone. Peter Weber

2:00 a.m. ET
Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

When she was 19, Pauline Clayton helped embroider the 15-foot-train on Queen Elizabeth II's wedding dress, and now, at 89, she's linked to another royal union.

Flowers from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding on Saturday were donated to different charities and hospitals. A bouquet was sent to St. Joseph's Hospice in Hackney, where Clayton currently resides. "With my royal connections it's such a lovely coincidence to be at St. Joseph's and receive those wedding flowers," she said. "They are beautiful and very special."

In 1947, Clayton was working for Norman Hartnell, the designer behind Queen Elizabeth's wedding gown. Along with three other women, she embroidered the train, and earned "49-and-a-half hours overtime," she said. Clayton worked for Hartnell for several years, and went on to make other outfits for the royal family, including dresses for the Queen Mother. Catherine Garcia

1:29 a.m. ET
AP Photo/Mark Thiessen

On Monday, the National Park Service announced it intends to allow hunters on some public lands in Alaska to lure brown bears with bacon and use spotlights to shoot mother black bears and cubs while they are hibernating in their dens.

In 2015, the Obama administration outlawed such hunting methods on federal lands, much to the dismay of big-game hunting organizations like the Safari Club. In March, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke appointed several members of the Safari Club and other trophy hunters to a board that is advising him on how to conserve threatened and endangered wildlife. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Maria Gladziszewski told The Associated Press that her agency is "pleased to see the National Park Service working to better align federal regulations with state of Alaska hunting and trapping regulations."

Wildlife advocates like Collette Adkins, a lawyer and biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity, said these are "cruel and harmful hunting methods" that "have no place on our national preserves," and Anna Frostic, a lawyer for the Humane Society of the United States, said "this proposed rule, which would allow inhumane killing of our native carnivores in a misguided attempt to increase trophy hunting opportunities, is unlawful and must not be finalized." Beginning Tuesday, the public has 60 days to provide comment on the proposed rules, and can do so by visiting this website and submitting a comment on "RIN (1024-AE38)" that includes the words "National Park Service" or "NPS." Catherine Garcia

1:05 a.m. ET

"Donald Trump is obsessed with his staff leaking information," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. "You know how I know that? His staff leaked that information to The New York Times. And now Trump is determined to stop it at all costs — in fact, West Wing aides are instructed to drop their personal phones into a small storage locker when they come to work. Wait a second! They're taking away the phones of everyone except Donald Trump? That's like saying, 'No one can bring knives to work — except you, O.J.'"

"Now if this sounds paranoid, it's only because it is," Colbert said. "Here's the thing: During the campaign, Trump aides were afraid that whatever they said to him would end up in the press, and behind his back they called him 'leaker in chief.'" He made a show of resisting the inevitable joke that just couldn't be contained: "More like 'leaker on sheets' — damn you, Satan!" Colbert had another faux-illicit pee-pee joke and ended up talking to an imaginary Trump on a banana, Trump-style. Watch below. Peter Weber

12:59 a.m. ET
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

When President Trump welcomed someone named Melanie Trump home from the hospital this weekend, there was never any doubt that the tweet was composed by the man himself — but maybe there should have been.

Trump is known for firing off tweets at all hours of the day, and they often have misspellings, typos, and other errors. It's been assumed that he crafted most of his more colorful messages, with the rambling sentences and random capitalization a sure sign of authentic authorship, but two White House staffers told The Boston Globe that aides are drafting tweets that are indistinguishable from posts written by Trump.

When someone wants Trump to tweet about a specific issue, they write him a memo and include three or four sample tweets that follow Trump's style down to the excessive exclamation points. Trump chooses the one he likes best, the staffers told the Globe, and while he sometimes will tweak it a bit, he often tweets messages as is. While aides do try to channel their inner Trump when drafting the tweets, they draw the line at misspelling words and names on purpose.

There are other clues, too. The staffers said that if there are photos attached to a tweet or hashtags, assume that an aide tweeted for Trump, and even if the tweet is difficult to decipher, that doesn't mean anything — the staffers are becoming experts at mimicking Trump's distinctive style of tweeting, and think typos and errors appeal to the average American. As Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, noted to the Globe, "Grammatical conventions tend to be elitist and always have been." Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads