When the current resident of the White House finally releases his tax returns, we are likely to find that he holds a majority stake in Twitter. He and his staff are setting it afire today. From the Associated Press:
A top aide to President Donald Trump has cited a 2011 “massacre” in Kentucky that never happened as a reason why the administration’s temporary ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations is necessary.
During an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that aired Thursday, Kellyanne Conway defended Trump’s executive order on immigration last week by saying that former President Barack Obama instituted a similar policy for Iraqi refugees in 2011.
“President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized, and they were the masterminds between the Bowling Green massacre. Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered,” Conway said.
Conway is referring to a tightening of security checks for entry into the U.S. after the May 2011 arrest of two men on charges of plotting to send weapons and money to al-Qaida operatives waging an insurgency in their native Iraq. Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, were mistakenly admitted to the U.S. as Iraqi refugees in 2009 and resettled in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Calling the Obama administration’s actions a “ban” on Iraqi refugees is misleading. A formal ban wasn’t announced by that administration, though there was a dramatic decline in the number of Iraqis allowed to move the U.S. in 2011. Officials at the time cited an enhanced security clearance process for delaying Iraqi visa applications.
On the other hand, the president himself this morning cited, with some accuracy, an event that indeed happened — though the incident happened near the Louvre, not in it:
Georgia’s premier business magazine is changing hands. From the Georgia Trend website:
Morris Publishing Group has acquired Trend Publications and Georgia Trend magazine. Morris Publishing Group, LLC announced today the acquisition of Trend Publications, LLC, which includes the premiere state-wide monthly business publication, Georgia Trend, several annual publications, georgiatrend.com and other print, digital and event assets. Trend Publications will join the newly formed Morris Business Media, LLC, that is a subsidiary of Morris Publishing Group, LLC…
Trend Publications is co-owned by Tom Cousins of Nonami, LLC, and Young Publications owned by Neely Young and Ben Young, who also serve as co-publishers. The Norcross-based group employs eight full-time employees and more than 30 freelance writers, photographers, and graphic designers.
Former Gov. Sonny Perdue has already earned the endorsement of his Democratic predecessor, Tom Vilsack. He picked up another high-profile Democrat this week as well.
After Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s State of the City address, he was asked in the media scrum if there were any Trump administration policies he so far liked. Our AJC colleague Scott Trubey was there to listen in.
“Not yet,” came the mayor’s response. Then a pause.
“I like his appointment of Governor Perdue as agriculture secretary,” the mayor added.
Speaking of Sonny Perdue endorsements, the former Georgia governor also won the backing of hundreds of agriculture-related organizations on Thursday.
In a letter to the leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee, 669 ag stakeholder groups including farmers, hunters and nutrition organizations called for the “expeditious confirmation” of Perdue, whose selection was announced shortly before Trump’s inauguration. From the letter:
“As the former governor of a state that produces billions of dollars in food, fiber, specialty crops, nursery crops, dairy products, poultry, and livestock each year, Gov. Perdue understands the critical role of feeding our country and the world. He is also keenly aware of the importance of agriculture in powering our nation’s economy, providing jobs from farm to table.”
Perdue recently began making the rounds with key senators on Capitol Hill, but the Agriculture Committee is waiting to receive his paperwork before scheduling a confirmation hearing. Allies are hoping that will occur prior to President’s Day.
The Senate voted yesterday to advance the nomination of Georgia U.S. Rep. Tom Price to be secretary of health and human services.
The chamber’s party line 51-48 vote was to break through a procedural roadblock thrown up by Democrats unhappy with the Roswell Republican’s answers on the timing of his stock purchases.
In the days ahead, the Senate will first cast final votes on two other Cabinet nominees, education and attorney general picks Betsy DeVos and Jeff Sessions, before turning to confirm Price. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t announced when exactly Price’s vote would be held, but if we were betting folk, we’d say it wouldn’t likely occur until late next week or, more likely, the week of Feb. 13.