Week In The News: Trump And Security, Nuclear Arms Deal Suspended, Polar Vortex

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference at the State Department in Washington, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that the U.S. is pulling out of a treaty with Russia that's been a centerpiece of arms control since the Cold War. (Andrew Harnik/AP)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference at the State Department in Washington, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that the U.S. is pulling out of a treaty with Russia that's been a centerpiece of arms control since the Cold War. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

With Jane Clayson

Trump rebukes his intelligence chiefs over Iran — and then denies discord. The U.S. suspends its nuclear arms deal with Russia. A deadly polar vortex. The roundtable takes up the week that was.


Julie Mason, host of "The Press Pool" on SiriusXM's POTUS Channel. (@juliemason)

Caitlin Huey-Burns, CBS News digital political reporter. (@CHueyBurns)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@jackbeattynpr)

From The Reading List

New York Times: "Trump, in Interview, Calls Wall Talks ‘Waste of Time’ and Dismisses Investigations" — "A defiant President Trump declared on Thursday that he has all but given up on negotiating with Congress over his border wall and will proceed without lawmakers even as he dismissed any suggestions of wrongdoing in the investigations that have ensnared his associates.

"In an interview in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump called the talks 'a waste of time' and indicated he will most likely take action on his own when they officially end in two weeks. At the same time, he expressed optimism about reaching a trade deal with China and denied being at odds with his intelligence chiefs.

"'I think Nancy Pelosi is hurting our country very badly by doing what she’s doing and, ultimately, I think I’ve set the table very nicely,' Mr. Trump said. He made no mention of closing the government again, a move that backfired on him, but instead suggested he plans to declare a national emergency to build the wall. 'I’ve set the table,' he said. 'I’ve set the stage for doing what I’m going to do.' "

CNN: "Schumer asks intel chiefs to educate Trump after 'extraordinarily inappropriate' criticism" — "Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called President Donald Trump's criticism of US intelligence leaders' security assessments a threat to the public's trust in national security in a letter to Trump's intelligence chiefs Wednesday.

"Trump, in a rebuke that was reminiscent of his past criticisms of law enforcement officials, said earlier Wednesday on Twitter that the intel chiefs who contradicted him at a congressional hearing on Tuesday were 'extremely passive and naive' on the matter.

"'The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong!' Trump tweeted. 'When I became President Iran was making trouble all over the Middle East, and beyond. Since ending the terrible Iran Nuclear Deal, they are MUCH different, but a source of potential danger and conflict. They are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very close to the edge. There economy is now crashing, which is the only thing holding them back. Be careful of Iran. Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!'

"Trump's reaction 'was extraordinarily inappropriate and will undermine public confidence in the US government's efforts to protect our national security and preserve US power and influence abroad,' Schumer wrote in a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats."


CBS News: "Medicare for All emerges as first litmus test for 2020 Democratic contenders" — "On Monday, Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris expressed her support for eliminating private health insurance under a Medicare for All system, provoking a flurry of criticism from Republicans who have long accused Democrats of wanting to orchestrate a government takeover of the health care system.

"'The idea is that everyone gets access to medical care, and you don't have to go through the process of going through an insurance company, having them give you approval, going through the paperwork, all of the delay that may require,' Harris said Monday during a televised CNN town hall. 'Who of us has not had that situation, where you've got to wait for approval, and the doctor says, well, I don't know if your insurance company is going to cover this? Let's eliminate all of that.'

"But her underlying comments also underscored how quickly a once-fringe position is now squarely in the mainstream of the party. Support for a variation of a single-payer-type approach to health care is emerging as a litmus test for the 2020 Democratic candidates, and the debate over the specifics is shaping up to be one of the defining policy battles of the campaign."

NBC News: "Trump 'very disappointed' by FBI arrest of Roger Stone; Graham demands briefing" — "President Donald Trump said he will 'think about' asking the FBI to review its tactics and Sen. Lindsey Graham has demanded a briefing from the agency after its early morning arrest of Trump's longtime associate Roger Stone at his Fort Lauderdale, Florida, home last week.

"In an interview with The Daily Caller on Wednesday, Trump blasted the arrest of Stone by armed federal agents in the pre-dawn hours on Friday.

"'I’m speaking for a lot of people that were very disappointed to see that go down that way,' Trump said. 'To see it happen, where it was on camera, on top of it, that was a very, very disappointing scene.'

"Trump's comments come after Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray questioning the manner in which Stone was arrested, including 'the number of agents involved, the tactics employed' and the timing."

New York Times: "Polar Vortex Updates: Bitter Cold Weather Spreads East" — "A bitter, biting cold landed on the Midwest, and then it stayed.

"As the middle of the nation awoke on Thursday, the deep freeze seemed to have settled in for a long, unwanted visit, disrupting life across an entire region for much of a week, contributing to deaths and injuries, and leaving residents impatient to emerge from their homes and get back to normal.

"The grim temperatures and gusty winds lingered in the Midwest, and had spread to the Northeast."

Tania Ralli produced this hour for broadcast.

This program aired on February 1, 2019.



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