DC Daily: First Lady has first event, Sanders slams Trump

Leaders of U.S., Japan spending the day in Florida
Posted at 6:47 AM, Feb 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-11 15:42:08-05

A day after welcoming the Prime Minister of Japan to the White House, President Donald Trump and the First Lady with host the prime minister and his wife in Mar-a-Lago this weekend.

What's happening today:

Trump transition team limits EPA at environmental forum

-- The EPA limited the number of workers attending an annual forum in Anchorage on issues like climate change, in response to a request from the Trump Administration.

"This is one small example of how EPA will be working cooperatively with our staff and our outside partners to be better stewards of the American people's money," Trump transition official Doug Ericksen told Alaska's Energy Desk in an email.

Alaska Forum on the Environment Director Kurt Eilo told the Associated Press he was concerned with what the limitation foreshadows.

"There's concern about the tribal programs, there's concern about how we're going to address things like climate change in the next upcoming administration," Eilo said.

President and First Lady host Japanese Prime Minister and wife in Mar-a-Lago

-- President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and his wife Akie Abe, in Florida this weekend.

The First Lady will also hold her first solo event with Mrs. Abe during the visit, where the two will visit the Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden and have a private lunch.

"Both our countries histories and cultures are steeped in the nurture and nature of gardening," Melania Trump said in a statement. "Having knowledge of different cultures and customs is a wonderful way to learn and to explore."

President Trump and PM Abe will play golf at the president's golf club in Jupiter.

The events come a day after the president welcomed Abe to the White House, where he pledged his commitment to strong U.S.-Japanese relations.

"We are committed to the security of Japan and all areas under its administrative control. ... It is important that both Japan and the United States continue to invest very heavily in the alliance," President Trump told reporters.

Bernie slams President Trump: "This guy lies all the time"

-- Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders slammed President Donald Trump Friday, calling the president "a total hypocrite" and a "pathological liar."

The former Democratic presidential candidate told CNN's Erin Burnett on "OutFront" that President Trump, "does not understand what our Constitution about, what democracy is about. And I think there is a fear in this country of this nation under Trump moving into a more authoritarian mode."

Sanders called the president's claim that 3 to 5 million illegal immigrants voted in the last election "delusional."

The White House did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

Reports claim Russia is considering turning over Snowden as "gift"

-- Reports surfaced late Friday that officials in Russia are considering turning over NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, as a "gift" to President Donald Trump.

The CNBC report, which quotes two sources within the U.S. intelligence community, stated that Russia hopes the move would "curry favor" with President Trump. The sources said conversations regarding the gesture began around the time of Pres. Trump's inauguration.

The president said during his 2016 campaign, and multiple times since, that he considers Snowden a "traitor," and would harshly punish the former NSA official.

Many expected former President Barack Obama to pardon Snowden before leaving office, but he did not.

Trump Administration will not - immediately - seek appeal to travel ban ruling

-- On the heels of a three-judge appellate court's ruling to maintain a nationwide halt on the president's travel ban, the Trump Administration will reportedly wait to appeal the ruling - if at all.

The president lashed out on Twitter Saturday, regarding the ruling against his executive order on immigration.

Quoting the Washington Times, President Trump called the judicial system "broken," and said, "77 percent of refugees allowed into U.S. since travel reprieve hail from seven suspect countries...SO DANGEROUS!" 

The White House did not immediately indicate what they plan to do next, but sources close to the administration's national security team said the president is considering "possible tweaks" to his executive order.

A new version could be rolled out as soon as next week.

Mark Saunders is a KGTV digital producer. Follow him on Twitter at @10NewsSaunders.