5 things for Friday, February 17, 2017: Trump news conference, Syria, California storms


1. Trump news conference

He also insisted his administration is running “like a fine-tuned machine,” despite early staff turnover and an ongoing problem with anonymous leaks. Asked about his travel ban, Trump called it a “smooth rollout.” Collusion with Russia? “A ruse.” Oh, right, and he announced his new pick for labor secretary, Alexander Acosta. (That was the point of the news conference.)

2. White House changes

In: Crossroads Media founder Mike Dubke is expected to be named White House communications director. Dubke founded the Republican media source in 2001 and is seen by some as an outsider who wasn’t close to the President during his campaign.
Not In: Usually when a president asks you to serve, you say yes. Not retired Vice Adm. Bob Harward. He was supposed to replace Michael Flynn as national security adviser. A Republican official said Harward declined the post because he…



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