Statecraft in store for Knight Craft?
The Globe and Mail is reporting that the U.S. Department of State is vetting Kelly Knight Craft to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Canada, the only name currently at that stage. She and her billionaire husband are major fundraisers for the Republican Party who’ve forged connections with senior players in Congress. Knight Craft also once served as a senior adviser to the U.S. ambassador at the United Nations in the George W. Bush administration. She would replace Bruce Heyman, who spoke to OpenCanada about his worries about the delays in naming ambassadors in U.S. embassies: “I think in the last four weeks we have unsettled more governments and more people in the world than any four weeks that I can ever imagine in my life.”
Leave Iraq out of it
Donald Trump’s first executive order that enacted a ban on travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries entering the U.S. was denied by the courts, so as the president prepares a new executive order with a similar goal in mind, his foreign policy advisers are reportedly telling him to leave Iraq off the list because of the country’s key role in fighting ISIS. That would still leave Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
About those tax returns
Trump still hasn’t released his tax returns—dumping a decades-long presidential candidate tradition—leaving Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham to get a head start on the 2020 race by trying to enshrine in law that all presidential candidates must release their tax returns. If Trump wants to seek reelection in 2020, the new law—if passed—would force him to cough up the documents.
Good news, bad news for Trump’s TV ratings
Trump’s highly anticipated address to Congress Wednesday scored about 43 million TV viewers, according to Nielsen. Good news: that beats the ratings for his inauguration (30.6 million). Bad news: he still doesn’t come close to Barack Obama’s first address to a joint session of Congress (52 million).
Off the list again
Vice President Mike Pence was making the media rounds on Wednesday, conducting interviews with programs on MSNBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC—as well as a handful of radio hits. But one notable network didn’t make the list: CNN.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 1, 2017