He didn't tweet about the Academy Awards, as host Jimmy Kimmel tried to goad him into doing during Sunday's live broadcast, but in an “exclusive” Oval Office interview with—who else?—Breitbart, President Trump officially weighed in on the awkward Best Picture fiasco that ended the night. And somehow, he managed to make the whole thing about himself. “I think they were focused so hard on politics that they didn’t get the act together at the end,” Trump said of the envelope snafu that led La La Land to be announced as “Best Picture” instead of actual winner Moonlight. “It was a little sad. It took away from the glamour of the Oscars. It didn’t feel like a very glamorous evening. I’ve been to the Oscars. There was something very special missing, and then to end that way was sad.” Trump’s sycophantic interviewer, Matt Boyle, noted how the show’s politics consisted of “hours of Trump-bashing.”
In a subsequent interview set to air on Fox & Friends Tuesday morning, Trump added, “Look, it just seems like the other side, whenever they’re losing badly, they always pull out the race card. I’ve watched it for years. I watched it against Ronald Reagan, I’ve watched it against so many other people. And they always like pulling out the race card. In fact I did much better than many other… Republicans in the last election. I did much better with Hispanics, I did much better with African Americans.” During his opening monologue Kimmel thanked Trump before saying, “Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist?”
A Navy SEAL raid on an al Qaeda compound in Yemen in January has yet to yield any significant information, military officials told NBC News. The raid, the first of the Donald Trump presidency, resulted in the death of one SEAL and a number of Yemeni civilians including some children, one of whom was the daughter of a U.S. citizen, officials say. Despite the unusual act of ordering U.S. ground troops into Yemen, a senior official told NBC that little of value had been obtained from the property seized from the al Qaeda compound. This report contradicts White House claims about the nature of the operation. After the father of the slain SEAL refused to meet with Trump, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told press on Monday that "I can tell [the father] that on behalf of the president, his son died a hero and the information that he was able to help obtain through that raid, as I said before, is going to save American lives ... The mission was successful in helping prevent a future attack or attacks on this nation."
The White House has described the raid as primarily an information-gathering operation, despite reports that its primary goal was to capture or kill Qasim al-Raymi, a leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Al-Raymi was apparently not killed or captured, and later seemingly released recordings mocking Trump. Other reports described dysfunction during the raid's planning stages. The operation, which was initially discussed during the Obama administration, was reportedly greenlit just five days into the Trump administration, with what intelligence officials described as insufficient information or support. Al Qaeda fighters reportedly became aware of the operation before the SEALs struck, leading to crossfire that killed one SEAL and injured six others. Speaking to NBC, Pentagon officials reportedly did not dispute claims that at least 25 Yemeni civilians were killed.
The White House is reviewing whether to cut a series of State Department jobs as part of its new defense budget, Bloomberg reports, including positions that entail monitoring and combating anti-Semitism around the world. The preliminary budget plan, which will reportedly increase defense spending to the tune of $54 billion, would also entail cuts to foreign aide and humanitarian initiatives. Administration officials told Bloomberg that the White House is considering cutting some State Department positions, including envoys who work with Muslim communities or specialize in combatting anti-Semitism or climate change. While administration insiders say some current State employees will be reassigned to new desks, these envoy positions to Muslim and Jewish communities are reportedly being considered for elimination.
At least one person was killed after a plane crashed into homes in a Riverside, California neighborhood around 5 p.m. local time. The small plane was carrying four passengers when it crashed into a suburban home, less than a mile from the airport from which it had just taken off. The plane reportedly damaged nearby homes as it landed, and the resulting explosion set multiple houses on fire. Emergency responders rescued two people from the house next to where the plane landed. Officials have not confirmed the status of the plane's remaining passengers, or of others in the neighborhood.
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Juliet Evancho, the sister of a performer at President Donald Trump's inauguration, must be allowed to use school bathrooms that correspond with her gender, a Pennsylvania judge ruled Monday. Evancho and two other transgender classmates at Pennsylvania's Pine-Richland High School were allowed to use school bathrooms that matched their gender identity until last year, when a classmate's parent reportedly complained to the school. The students were then made to use bathrooms corresponding with the sex listed on their birth certificate. A U.S. District Court judge ruled that the school's bathroom policy infringed on the students' constitutional rights to equal protection. "The Plaintiffs have shown a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that the District’s enforcement of Resolution 2 as to their use of common school restrooms does not afford them equal protection of the law as guaranteed to them by the Fourteenth Amendment," Judge Mark Hornak wrote. The ruling follows Trump's decision last week to remove a policy that required schools to allow students to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity. Evancho expressed interest in meeting with Trump to discuss his policies for transgender people.
President Trump reportedly signed off on a search of White House staffers’ phones, CNN reported on Monday. According to sources, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer called staffers to a meeting last week and asked to check their phones for evidence that they might have leaked information to reporters. “I am told the president signed off personally that meeting last week with Sean Spicer deciding to ask some staffers to see their phones, to see if anyone of them were using apps like Signal and Confide, which basically allow you to send messages and they disappear," CNN’s Jeff Zeleny reported. “I am told that was sanctioned by the president, he knew about this, and it was a design to send a signal across this governement entirely, not just in the White House, that they do not want leaks to happen... The bottom line is that the president is frustrated by this. And Sean Spicer, his role, among many, is to enforce what the president wants on these press reports here. So that’s why he had the meeting last week.”
President Donald Trump is considering former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman for deputy secretary of state, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. Huntsman, previously Utah's governor and ambassador to China under Barack Obama, would become Rex Tillerson's second-in-command. Trump reportedly considered former deputy national security advisor Elliot Abrams for the role, until it was revealed that the candidacy was nixed over Abrams having staunchly opposed Trump’s candidacy. Huntsman initially endorsed Trump during the election, then walked back his endorsement after the Washington Post released audio in which Trump boasted to Billy Bush about sexually assaulting women. “In a campaign cycle that has been nothing but a race to the bottom—at such a critical moment for our nation—and with so many who have tried to be respectful of a record primary vote, the time has come for Governor Pence to lead the ticket,” Huntsman told the Salt Lake Tribune after the tape was released in October. Huntsman, a billionaire himself, has since praised Trump as a “classic deal-maker” after the election.
Amit Singhal, Uber's senior vice president of engineering, has left the company after it was revealed that he did not disclose a sexual harassment allegation against him at Google, where he was previously employed, Recode reported on Monday. Singhal left Google last year, following a sexual harassment allegation from an employee. A Google investigation found the allegation to be "credible," according to Recode. Singal disputed the allegations while at Google, but resigned from the Google post shortly thereafter, ending his 15-year career with the company. He reportedly did not inform Uber of the allegations when he applied for his new job, and the allegations did not surface during a background check. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick reportedly asked Singhal to resign Monday morning. Uber is currently undergoing an internal investigation into alleged sexism at the company, after a female former engineer published an essay detailing a culture of harassment and inequality earlier this month. Uber has hired former attorney general Eric Holder to lead the investigation, alongside Uber board member Arianna Huffington, Uber human-resources chief Liane Hornsey, and Uber Associate General Counsel Angela Padilla. Critics have suggested that the team, composed mostly of Uber stakeholders, could be biased in Uber's favor.
A Kansas man who allegedly shot two Indian men and one bystander last week bragged of shooting “Iranians,” the Associated Press reported on Monday. Adam Purinton of Olathe, Kansas allegedly opened fire on the two Indian men after shouting "get out of my country,” and injured a white male who attempted to intervene. Purinton then drove to a Applebee’s in Missouri and told the bartender that he needed a place to hide. “He asked if he could stay with me and my husband, and he wouldn’t tell me what he did. I kept asking him, and he said that he would tell me if I agreed to let him stay with me,” the bartender told the AP. “Well, I finally got him to tell me and he said, like, that he shot and killed two Iranian people in Olathe.” Two of the shooting victims survived the shooting, while Srinivas Kuchibhotla died. Purington is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder. The shooting is being investigated as a hate crime. The White House has rejected any link between President Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and the shootings.