Politics in review: February 9–22

-February 10: Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Oval Office. The two spent the weekend at Trump’s resort at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. National Security Adviser nominee Michael Flynn was refused his required security clearance by the Central Intelligence Agency, amid reports that Flynn had been involved improperly with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. Trump’s counselor, Kellyanne Conway, maintained that the Trump administration had “full confidence” in Flynn.

-February 13: Steven Mnuchin was confirmed by the Senate as Secretary of the Treasury. David Shulkin was also confirmed as Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs, with all 100 senators voting in favor of his appointment to the post. Shulkin, formerly an undersecretary of health in the Veterans’ Affairs bureau under the Obama administration, is the first person to hold the position without military experience.

-February 14: Michael Flynn resigned his post as National Security Adviser amid rumors of his involvement with Russian diplomats. Sources claim that Flynn discussed sanctions placed on Russia by former president Barack Obama prior to Trump’s inauguration.

-February 15: Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office. The two held a joint press conference, in which they answered questions from the media and discussed topics such as Iran and the proposed two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

-February 16: Trump held an impromptu 80-minute news conference in the White House, lashing out at his critics and calling his administration a “fine-tuned machine,” despite recent controversies and scandals, such as Michael Flynn’s resignation. Trump also attacked the media, claiming that the media produce “fake news” in order to discredit him. Retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward turned down Trump’s offer to replace Flynn as National Security Adviser.

-February 21: The Department of Homeland Security released new guidelines, allowing immigration agents more leniency to arrest and detain undocumented immigrants, as well as legal immigrants with criminal backgrounds.

-February 22: Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray denounced Trump’s current immigration policies ahead of a visit from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly.

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