Day 432: Botched obligations.

1/ The 2020 census will ask respondents if they are United States citizens, despite concerns from the Census Bureau. Inclusion of a citizenship question could prompt immigrants who are in the country illegally not to respond, resulting in an undercount of the population, which would affect government agencies and groups that rely on the census data. The effects could also affect redistricting of the House and state legislatures over the next decade. It's been 70 years since the government has included a question about citizenship on the census. (New York Times)

  • Why putting a citizenship question on the census is a big deal. (CNN)

2/ California has sued the Trump administration, arguing that the question about citizenship in the 2020 Census violates the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution requires a census every 10 years to count the "number of free persons" in each state. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra alleges the change violates the constitutional requirement of "actual Enumeration" of every person in every state, every 10 years, and that "California simply has too much to lose for us to allow the Trump Administration to botch this important decennial obligation." New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he would lead a multi-state lawsuit, which Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said she would join. (Washington Post / Politico)

3/ Trump has privately suggested that the US military could pay for the construction of his border wall. Trump told advisers and discussed the idea in a private meeting last week with House Speaker Paul Ryan, saying the Pentagon could fund his wall by citing a "national security" risk. The latest reports echo Trump's tweet last week: "Build a WALL through M!" (Washington Post / CNN)

4/ The White House is investigating whether two loans – totaling more than $500 million – to Jared Kushner's family business violated federal ethics regulations. A letter from the Office of Government Ethics, made public Monday, revealed that White House attorneys are looking into whether a $184 million loan from Apollo Global and a $325 million loan from Citigroup Inc. violated rules and laws governing the conduct of federal employees. (Wall Street Journal)

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that White House attorneys are "not probing whether Jared Kushner violated the law." She added that "the White House counsel's office does follow up with staff to assist with compliance with various ethics standards." (The Hill)

5/ Trump has been telling some of his advisers that he hopes Rob Porter will return to the West Wing. Porter stepped down after allegations surfaced that he had abused both of his ex-wives, but Trump has stayed in touch with Porter since his departure. (New York Times)

6/ Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens called for a repeal of the Second Amendment, saying the right to bear arms is outdated and misunderstood. (The Hill / New York Times)

poll/ 21% of Americans support a repeal of the Second Amendment. 46% favor modifying the Second Amendment to allow for stricter regulations. (Washington Post)

poll/ 42% of Americans approve of the job Trump's doing as president – up seven points from a month ago. 58% disapprove. (Associated Press)

poll/ 47% of Americans say they approve of how Trump is handling the economy. 46% approve of Trump's tax policy. (Associated Press)

poll/ 58% of Americans want to see the investigation into Russian interference fully investigated, compared to 36% who think it's an effort to discredit Trump's presidency. 55% of Americans don't think Trump is doing enough to cooperate with the investigation. (CNN)

poll/ 62% of Americans approve of Trump's decision to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, while 31% disapprove. Overall, 43% of Americans approve of Trump's handling of the North Korea situation. (CNN)

poll/ 63% of Americans believe the women who have alleged affairs with Trump over the president's denials. 21% say they believe Trump. 16% say they have no opinion. (Politico)


Notables.

  1. Paul Ryan denies that he will resign later this year. Nevada Republican Mark Amodei said there is a rumor going around that Ryan will resign in the next 30 to 60 days. "The speaker is not resigning," a spokesperson for Ryan said. (CNN / The Hill / Washington Post)

  2. Trump is reportedly planning to fire Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin amid several investigations into Shulkin's alleged spending abuses. An unnamed White House official said the chance of Shulkin being pushed out in the next few days is about "50-50." (Associated Press)

  3. Two more attorneys have declined offers to join Trump's legal team. Trump reached out to Tom Buchanan and Dan Webb and asked them to represent him. Both refused the offer. Buchanan and Webb said in a statement that they were "unable to take on the representation due to business conflicts." (The Daily Beast)

  4. The NRA confirmed that it accepts foreign donations but denied that it uses the money for election purposes. The Federal Election Commission is investigating whether a top Russian banker with Kremlin ties illegally funneled money to the NRA to aid Trump's campaign for president. (NPR)

  5. The FBI arrested a man near Seattle after suspicious packages were found at military bases and CIA headquarters in the Washington, D.C. area. The packages contained potential destructive devices. (ABC News)

  6. Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress. Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has invited Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to a hearing on data privacy on April 10. (CNN)

  7. Facebook shares fell 4.9%. The social network has lost nearly $80 billion in market value since March 16th, when it was announced that Facebook would suspend Cambridge Analytica. (CNN Money)

  8. Trump will let the Deferred Enforced Departure status for Liberians expire on March 31st as is scheduled and will not extend legal protection for them to remain in the U.S. (Axios)

  9. The author of the Trump dossier provided a report to the FBI asserting that Putin's former media czar was beaten to death by hired thugs in Washington, DC. The assertion contradicts the US government's official finding that RT founder Mikhail Lesin died by accident. (BuzzFeed News)

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