Friday in our news wrap, President Donald Trump signed a proclamation that would block immigrants who illegally cross the southern border of the United States from seeking asylum. Also, the president appeared to be attempting to put some distance between himself and Matthew Whitaker, the newly appointed acting attorney general.
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In the day's other news, President Donald Trump signed a proclamation today effectively blocking immigrants who illegally cross the southern U.S. border from seeking asylum, a legal protection for those fleeing violence or persecution in their home countries.
The ban will not apply to unaccompanied minors. The measures take effect at midnight tonight and last 90 days, though they could be extended. This afternoon, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a federal lawsuit challenging the president's proclamation.
Mr. Trump today seemed to try and put some distance between himself and Matthew Whitaker, whom he appointed as acting attorney general earlier this week. Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn before leaving for a World War I ceremony in Paris, Mr. Trump said he hadn't spoken to him about the Mueller investigation.
President Donald Trump:
I didn't know Matt Whitaker. He worked for Attorney General Sessions. But Matt Whitaker is a very smart man. He is a very respected man in the law enforcement community, very respected, at the top of the line.
In an interview last month, Mr. Trump told FOX News that he did know Mr. Whitaker, calling him — quote — "a great guy."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to the president today, saying Whitaker must go through the Senate confirmation process if he is to serve as acting attorney general. Whitaker's public criticisms of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation have also raised concern, since he will oversee the probe in his new role.
A federal judge has temporarily blocked construction of the controversial Keystone oil pipeline. Judge Brian Morris of Montana's U.S. District Court overturned President Trump's permit for the pipeline until the administration conducts a complete assessment of its environmental impact.
The decision is considered a victory for environmental and indigenous activists. President Trump said today the decision was a — quote — "disgrace," and thousands of jobs were on the line.
Mr. Trump continued to criticize journalists in the White House press corps today, insulting one reporter and calling another's question stupid. He also refuted claims that a video tweeted by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders showing CNN reporter Jim Acosta at Wednesday's press conference was altered.
President Donald Trump:
Nobody manipulated it. Give me a break. See, that's just dishonest reporting. All that is, is a close-up. I watched that; I heard that last night. They made it close up. They showed it up close up.
A video expert told the Associated Press that a frame-by-frame comparison shows discrepancies between the original version and the one sent out by Press Secretary Sanders.
In her forthcoming new memoir, "Becoming," former first lady Michelle Obama tackles a range of topics, including President Trump. Mrs. Obama criticized Mr. Trump for leading the so-called birther movement that called into question her husband, former President Barack Obama's nationality.
She wrote — quote — "Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendoes, was putting my family's safety at risk. And for this, I will never forgive him."
The president responded to reporters this morning, suggesting her comments were prompted by the book publisher and attacking her husband's policies.
The Florida man accused of sending pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and critics of President Trump was indicted in New York federal court today. Cesar Sayoc faces 30 charges that include attempted murder. He is being held in New York without bail. If convicted, he could potentially face up to life in prison.
Overseas in Somalia, Islamic extremists set off four car bombs in an apparent suicide attack in the capital of Mogadishu today, killing at least 20 and wounding 17. The bombs went off outside a hotel near a Somali police building. Extremist group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis met with their Chinese counterparts today in Washington. Secretary Pompeo criticized Beijing's maritime policies in the South China Sea, where U.S. and Chinese naval vessels have had close calls.
But Pompeo also said pressure by China on North Korea was critical for ensuring denuclearization. China affirmed that its trade relations with the U.S. can be resolved.
It's back to work for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who returned home today after a brief hospitalization. Justice Ginsburg's nephew said the 85-year-old is working from home and — quote — "cracking jokes" after a fall that fractured three of her ribs this week. Supreme Court sessions resume on late this month.
And on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 202 points to close at 25989. The Nasdaq fell 124 points to close at 7406. The S&P 500 fell 25 points. For the week, however, all indexes were up, the Dow up 2.8 percent, the Nasdaq up 0.7 percent, and the S&P 500 up 2.1 percent.