100 Days of Trump: Week 5

Story by Matthew Parks, Staff writer, and Connor Jaschen, Editor-in-Chief

The Department of Homeland Security released two memos Feb. 21, on border security and illegal immigrants.

The memos follow President Donald Trump’s executive orders last month, three of which were specified in DHS memos.

The memos detail the government’s expansion of those eligible for expedition and the beginning stages of a southern border wall. The memo’s reference President Barack Obama’s catch and release policy, in which undocumented immigrants detained at the border were released into the U.S. for a later court hearing.

The memo, “Implementing the president’s border security and immigration enforcement improvements policies,” said many undocumented immigrants released never return for their scheduled removal hearings.

On Monday, Trump picked Lt. Gen. Herbert McMaster to lead the National Security Agency, though he will have to be confirmed by the Senate because of his three-star ranking as a general. McMaster is a veteran of both the Persian Gulf War and the second Iraq War.

McMaster

Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary, addressed Obama’s controversial stance on transgender bathroom policies in school.

“The president has maintained for a long time that this is a state’s rights issue,” Spicer said.

However, during the campaign, then-candidate Trump said “People go, they use the bathroom they feel appropriate,” in an interview with the Today show. The discrepancy between the two statements has not been addressed.

Trump was initially slow to address the situation regarding former national security adviser Michael Flynn. He avidly defended him during his first full-length news conference Feb. 16.

He said Flynn was “just doing his job,” by contacting Russia to discuss lifting sanctions.

The president also said while he did not direct the adviser to contact Russia, he would have – although it wasn’t clear whether or not Trump knew that he would have been issuing an illegal directive.

“I didn’t direct him,” Trump said. “But I would have directed him to because that was his job.”

During the press conference, Trump claimed that what he referred to as the “fake media” was responsible for the scandal, and he said the real problem in the White House is the leaking of classified intelligence – “a big problem.”

On Twitter, Trump defended Flynn, tweeting, “The real scandal here is that classified information is given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy. Very un-American!”

He continued to say he had no connections with Russia and “no idea” if any other communication had taken place with Russian officials, about sanctions or other topics.

“The Democrats had to come up with a story as to why they lost the election, and so badly (306), so they made up a story – RUSSIA,” Trump tweeted after the conference. “Fake news!”