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All the Bits of News Sprinkled Into Trump's First-Month-In Press Conference


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Getty - Nicholas Kamm

Nestled between complaints about the news media in President Donald Trump's wide-ranging but not particularly shocking, last-minute press conference on Thursday afternoon were multiple announcements concerning major policy activity.

Here are six key announcements from Thursday's press conference:

1. Discipline for those leaking classified information.

Trump alluded to pursuing discipline for government officials who have leaked classified information to the media.

“I've gone to all of the folks in charge of the various agencies. And I've actually called the Justice Department to look into the leaks. Those are criminal leaks. ... It's a criminal act.”

2. A new immigration executive order.

Trump announced the administration will roll out a new immigration executive order to restrict citizens of certain countries, while it simultaneously pursues a victory in the court battle over the original one.

“We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban, but we had a bad court. We had a bad decision. … We’re going to keep going with that decision. We’re going to put in a new executive order next week some time. ... The new executive order is being tailored to the decision we got down from the court.”

3. A plan to replace Obamacare.

Trump said his team will recommend a plan to replace Obamacare in March, although he said he believes it would be easier to push through a plan to reform the tax code. He said tax reform will come quickly after.

“Tax reform’s going to happen fairly quickly. We’re doing Obamacare. We’re in final stages. We should be submitting the initial plan in March, early March. … For budgetary reasons we have to submit the health care sooner.”

4. Russia's recent provocations.

Such provocations include: launching a cruise missile that violated an arms treaty, moving a spy ship 30 miles away from a U.S. naval base, and buzzing a U.S. Navy destroyer. Trump said each of the three actions are “not good.”

Although he has in recent days suggested he is tough on Russia, he said Thursday that while that would be an easier approach, he'd prefer to have a friendly relationship with the Russians. He said he has counseled Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on commentary to give his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. But he did not indicate what the response will be, and he included two other countries in his pronouncement:

“The greatest thing I could do is shoot that ship that’s thirty miles offshore right out of the water. Everyone in this country’s going to say, ‘Oh, it’s so great.’ That’s not great. That’s not great. I would love to be able to get along with Russia. ... I don’t have to tell you what I’m going to do in North Korea, and I don’t have to tell you what I’m going to do with Iran. You know why? Because they shouldn't know. And eventually you guys are going to get tired of asking that question. So when you ask me what am I going to do with the ship, the Russian ship as an example, I’m not going to tell you. But hopefully I won’t have to do anything, but I’m not going to tell you.”

5. Dismissal of Mike Flynn.

He personally addressed the dismissal of his first national security adviser, General Mike Flynn.

“I fired him because of what he said to Mike Pence.”

6. Plans for a border wall.

The wheels are in motion for a border wall on the country's southern border with Mexico.

“It's going to be a wall negotiated by me. The price is going to come down just like it has on everything else I've negotiated.”

And he announced that Alexander Acosta is his pick to lead the Department of Labor following Andrew Puzder's withdrawal from consideration on Wednesday.

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