Today's Headlines and Commentary

Vanessa Sauter
Thursday, November 30, 2017, 1:20 PM

The Trump administration plans to instate Mike Pompeo, the current director of the CIA, as secretary of state within the next few weeks, the New York Times reports. Sen.

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The Trump administration plans to instate Mike Pompeo, the current director of the CIA, as secretary of state within the next few weeks, the New York Times reports. Sen. Tom Cotton, a republican from Arkansas, would replace Pompeo as CIA director. The transition would conclude a contentious year for Tillerson, who has come under public scrutiny for the mass departure of State Department officials during his tenure. Cotton has been regarded as a strong supporter for President Donald Trump in the Senate on issues related to national security and immigration. His departure would open up another seat in the 2018 midterm elections.

On Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council convened for an emergency meeting to address North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, according to the Washington Post. Despite condemnation of Pyongyang’s missile launch, permanent members of the Security Council remain divided. Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., called for tougher actions against Pyongyang. China and Russia both suggested less aggressive action against North Korea, with Russia calling for the United States to halt its scheduled military drill next month in an effort to prevent the crisis from escalating.

Trump announced a plan to implement stricter sanctions against the North following a phone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Post reports. Xinhua, China’s state media outlet, reported that Xi is committed to denuclearizing Pyongyang and establishing a peaceful settlement, though China’s cooperation on sanctions remains unclear as the country continues to be a significant economic partner to the isolated North Korean regime.

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III met with Jared Kushner earlier in November as part of Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, CNN reports. Sources said Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, was a focus of the conversation between Kushner and Mueller’s team. Reports suggest Flynn may be discussing a possible plea deal, as grand jury testimony connected to Mueller’s investigation has been postponed and Flynn’s lawyers have stopped sharing information with Trump’s legal team.

Trump’s retweets of anti-Muslim videos that a British nationalist group published have sparked public tension between Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May, the Post reports. May’s office stated that Trump’s promotion of the videos was “wrong” and supported the “hateful narrative” of a far-right British fringe group. The Dutch government also responded to Trump’s series of tweets, stating that one of the videos, which alleged to show a Muslim migrant injuring a Dutch boy on crutches, was a mischaracterization: “Facts do matter. The perpetrator of the violent act in this video was born and raised in the Netherlands. He received and completed his sentence under Dutch law.” Trump responded to May’s rebuke on Twitter, though he targeted the wrong Twitter account for the British prime minister.

On Thursday, an Israeli settler shot and killed a Palestinian man who the Israeli army says was throwing rocks at a group of hikers in the village of Qusrah in the West Bank, Reuters reports. The incident marks the first fatality in the West Bank in several months. The Israeli military said the shooting was in self-defense; locals said there had been no clash before the shooting.

U.S. special operations fighters will now carry freeze-dried blood plasma in their first-aid kits, according to the Associated Press. Freeze-dried plasma can be quickly used to clot blood following battlefield injuries, potentially reducing the number of casualties. The use of freeze-dried plasma was first seen in World War II, but U.S. forces stopped its use after outbreaks of hepatitis. Special operations forces are temporarily using plasma supplied by the French as Telefex, Inc., an American medical device company partnering with the Army to supply plasma, seeks Food and Drug Administration approval by 2020.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Orin Kerr and Benjamin Wittes hosted a Facebook “live” with initial reactions following oral argument in Carpenter v. United States.

Paul Rosenzweig defended the mosaic theory in light of Carpenter v. United States oral argument.

Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh reviewed Judge David Barron’s Waging War.

Cameron Kerry discussed how the Cyber Diplomacy Act of 2017 could strengthen international cybersecurity efforts.

Yishai Schwartz provided an update on military commission proceedings in United States v. al-Nashiri.

Shannon Togawa Mercer posted the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017.

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Vanessa Sauter is a program associate in the Cybersecurity & Technology Program at the Aspen Institute. She was previously an associate editor at Lawfare and received her bachelor's degree from Columbia University in 2016.

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