President Donald Trump this week abruptly dropped the nation’s commitment to a two-state solution for Middle East peace — without reviewing the specifics of his new strategy with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
State Department officials and Tillerson’s top aides learned about the president’s comments in real time, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation. Tillerson himself was in the air when Trump announced the change in the longstanding U.S. position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the White House, there was little thought about notifying the nation’s top diplomat because, as one senior staffer put it, “everyone knows Jared [Kushner] is running point on the Israel stuff.”
For a president who declared on Thursday he had assembled “one of the great Cabinets in American history,” sidelining Tillerson was an unorthodox way to utilize one of his top-tier picks. But it follows a pattern from Trump’s first month in office, where the president is operating without seeking much input from his more experienced Cabinet secretaries — including Defense Secretary James Mattis and Tillerson, as well as Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and CIA Director Mike Pompeo — a group one GOP source called “the grownups.”
Trump’s West Wing, a team of rivals marked by seemingly endless infighting, leaking and inexperience, has helped unify the partially formed Cabinet into an actual team, according to interviews with more than a dozen senior staffers inside the agencies and the White House who were not authorized to speak on the record.
In their first weeks on the job, the heads of these sometimes competitive departments and agencies are working together, fighting to staff the agencies they lead and to maximize their collective influence over an administration struggling to find stability. Their shared hope: that things will get better.
Valentines Day. Two words that can strike fear into the hearts of many of us. What do we give? What can we offer? Relax rad folk. I am here to help: my friends @abramsbooks and I made these Love Notes postcard packs, that are designed to be given away, torn out, left in public places, tucked under pillows, slipped into unsuspecting coat pockets or whatever else you can think of, for those you love. You can give the entire pack filled with 30 poems on gold-rimmed paper, or tear them out and scatter them wildly. Your call. Head to bit.ly/TKGLoveNotes to snag some for those You love, and spread that love all around. @anthropologie and local bookstores also have these on hand!
Following their collaboration on 11.22.63, J. J. Abrams is re-teaming with Stephen King for another Hulu limited anthology-series based on King’s works titled CASTLE ROCK. It’s named after SK’s fictional area in Maine that serves as the setting for a number of his novels, novellas, and short stories. The series will weave together characters and themes from novels that use the Castle Rock location. Each season will follow a different set of character and story lines while interjecting themes and specific characters from previous seasons.
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) dir. J.J.Abrams (2/3)
“There will always be those who mean to do us harm. To stop them, we risk awakening the same evil within ourselves. Our first instinct is to seek revenge when those we love are taken from us. But that’s not who we are… When Christopher Pike first gave me his ship, he had me recite the Captain’s Oath. Words I didn’t appreciate at the time. But now I see them as a call for us to remember who we once were and who we must be again.”