Politico

45 After Dark: Gaggle Gag edition

Written by Lisa

First, President Donald Trump unleashed a public attack — and then White House press secretary Sean Spicer made some private omissions.

The White House escalated a simmering feud with the media on Friday, with Trump repeating to a group of conservative activists his most incendiary attacks on the press.

“I want you all to know that we are fighting the fake news. It’s fake, phony, fake,” Trump said in his remarks at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. “A few days ago, I called the fake news ‘the enemy of the people,’ and they are. They are the enemy of the people. Because they have no sources. They just make them up when there are none.”

Then, when Trump was finished, Spicer selectively barred a number of media outlets — POLITICO among them — from an off-camera “gaggle.”

“The episodes Friday mark the latest chapter in the Trump administration’s attacks on the mainstream media — long a talking point of conservatives that has gone to drastic new levels since Trump’s ascension,” POLITICO’s Matthew Nussbaum and Nolan D. McCaskill report. “White House chief strategist Steve Bannon regularly refers to the media as the ‘opposition party’ and told the crowd at CPAC on Thursday that the “corporatist, globalist media” opposes Trump’s agenda out of self-interest.”

Trump didn’t just pick a fight with the press on Friday, though: He picked a fight with the FBI for not containing leaks to the press. Earlier in the day, Trump sent the White House into damage control after he “chastised the FBI Friday morning for being ‘totally unable’ to locate the source of media leaks, even as the White House scrambled to contain fallout from new reports of the White House asking the FBI to knock down damaging stories,” POLITICO’s Matthew Nussbaum and Louis Nelson report.

Elsewhere in Donald Trump’s orbit:

HANDLE WITH CARE: A leaked GOP Obamacare replacement plan shrinks subsidies and the Medicaid expansion.

DT PHONE HOMELAND: A Homeland Security report suggests that the nations targeted by President Trump’s travel ban do not pose a disproportionate terror threat.

NORM CORE: Reince Priebus’ interactions with the FBI seemed to violate norms, if not laws, when it comes to the White House working with the Justice Department.

TRUMP BUMP: Wall Street is bracing for a reality check after Trump’s election sent markets soaring.

MADE IN CHINA?: Top Democrats want more information about a trademark for the Trump Organization in China.

MAIS OUI! C’EST INCROYABLE!: The mayor of Paris engaged in some furious trolling of President Trump. (The Intercept)

And there you have it, you’re caught up on the the Trump administration. It’s Friday. Some of you are on to greener pastures. Just remember, life is always filled with important decisions.

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Lisa

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