The Atlantic Daily: The Ban and Bannon

While reaction to Trump's immigration order reverberated, he reshaped the National Security Council and signed a new order to cut back on regulations, and more.

Steve DiPaola / Reuters

What We’re Following

Trump’s Travel Ban: Stating that she is “not convinced the executive order is lawful,” Acting Attorney General Sally Yates has instructed the DoJ not to defend Trump’s new changes to U.S. refugee and immigration policy in court. It’s the latest in a dramatic series of developments: Over the weekend, border officials began to detain people in airports following the president’s order that suspends all refugee admissions for 120 days and severely restricts immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. In the middle of massive protests and confusion over how the order was to be implemented, four federal courts ordered a stay on the restrictions and State Department officials prepared a dissent. Critics of the ban argue that it ignores humanitarian concerns; that it will deny Americans hundreds of doctors; that it will harm science in the U.S.; and that it effectively imposes an unconstitutional religious test (true to Trump’s infamous campaign call for a “Muslim ban”). Here’s what to know about what exactly the order does and doesn’t do.

National Security: One irony of the controversial new policy is that while its refugee ban and visa suspensions are purported to combat terrorism, the seven countries affected have not been the source of deadly attacks on U.S. soil. On top of that, the travel ban risks fueling ISIS propaganda that casts the Muslim world as America’s enemy. Elsewhere in national-security news, Trump raised even more eyebrows this weekend by appointing former Breitbart executive chair Steve Bannon to the National Security Council—while limiting the presence of the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It’s the first time a political strategist will get a seat at that table.

What Could Be Next? This morning President Trump signed yet another executive order—the 18th during his scant 11 days in office. It’s aimed to deregulate the U.S. economy by requiring federal agencies to cut two rules each time they implement a new one. Trump also pushed up the announcement of his Supreme Court nominee—a move that might, amid criticism from all sides on the travel ban, be calculated to remind conservatives to stand with Trump. The announcement is set for tomorrow night at 8 p.m. And after that? One possible path: “illiberalism, institutional subversion, and endemic graft.” David Frum explores those dangers in depth in the newly published Atlantic cover story, “How to Build an Autocracy.”


Protesters demonstrate against Trump’s travel ban at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on January 28. See more photos from the weekend’s protests here, and read our reports on demonstrations at JFK and at the White House. (Andrew Kelly / Reuters)

Who We’re Talking To

Mirriam Seddiq, a Maryland immigration attorney, explains why she came to help travelers being detained at Dulles Airport. “If people have lost faith in America … come here,” said Seddiq. “If you feel hopeless, just come here. You won’t feel hopeless anymore.”

Mark Hetfield, the director of a refugee resettlement organization, discusses America’s long history of openness to refugees—and why Trump’s restrictions mark a sharp departure.

Eric Metaxas, a conservative evangelical talk-show host, defends Trump’s first week of executive orders.

Dan P. McAdams, a psychology professor and author of our June cover story “The Mind of Donald Trump,” shares his predictions for the presidency ahead.

Evening Read

Alana Semuels reports from Connersville, Indiana:

A few decades ago, Ashley Gabbert’s hometown of Connersville was a manufacturing powerhouse. Known as “Little Detroit” for the volume of cars and automotive parts it produced, it was a key link in the Midwest’s automotive supply chain, and was at one time the world’s top producer of dishwashers. At its peak in 1980, Fayette County, of which Connersville is the county seat, had around 28,000 people and 12,000 manufacturing jobs.

Connersville today is a small hamlet of single-family homes interspersed with boarded-up buildings, fast-food restaurants, and low-cost chains like Family Dollar. Fayette County’s population is now 18 percent smaller than it was in 1980. Its unemployment rate is 6.1 percent, one of the highest rates in the state of Indiana. … Like many of Indiana’s more rural regions, Fayette County is facing a growing opioid epidemic. “What’s happened to Connersville is that the jobs came out and heroin came in,” Ron Corbin, a longtime resident, told me.

Keep reading here, as Alana examines how Connersville illustrates the growing divergence between urban and rural America. More on divergence: An Atlantic analysis finds that House Democrats and Republicans seem to represent two different Americas. As for opioids, doctors in Massachusetts think the drugs may be the cause behind a group of unusual amnesia cases.

What Do You Know?

1. The surface of the moon is dusted with a layer of the element ____________.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

2. Published in ____________, the Statenbijbel—an official Bible published by the Dutch Republic—helped to unify Dutch dialects into a common language.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

3. In the 2015-2016 school year, over 12,000 students came from the country of ____________ to study at U.S. universities.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Answers: oxygen, 1637, Iran

Look Back

On this day in 1933, Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany. In our March 1932 issue, just a month after Hitler acquired German citizenship and began a presidential campaign, Nicolas Fairweather published a 10-point summary of the Nazi leader’s core beliefs:

1. His violent racial nationalism, which springs from his conviction that the Aryan stocks in general, and the Germans in particular, are a chosen people in whose victorious survival the divine purposes are bound up.

2. His violent animosity to Marxian Socialism as in essence opposed to his ideal of a nationally minded people and a racial state. He condemns the Socialism of Marx as a poisonous teaching which by its humanitarianism, its internationalism, and its pacifism … operates to undermine the clean ideal of Aryan (that is, German) overlordship.

3. His violent hatred of the Jews as the racial enemies of all Aryans, the subtle corrupters of pure Aryan states. These parasites, says Hitler, have made Marxian Socialism, which they invented, the principal tool by which they insinuate themselves into healthy, pure blooded, racial states in order to debase simultaneously the national ideals and the national blood. Destroyers of Aryan civilizations, they remain impotent to create a civilization of their own.

Read the rest here, including Fairweather’s analysis of Hitler’s dictatorial goals and use of propaganda. And read Deborah Lipstadt’s discussion of how denying the way Hitler’s regime targeted Jews amounts to a form of “softcore Holocaust denial.”

America by Air

Reader Jason Rojas saw that our America by Air series needed a picture from Connecticut:

It’s my hometown, East Hartford, a quintessential American town—built around the manufacturing of airplane engines. That large field is Pratt & Whitney, which is somewhat of a shell of its former self: tens of thousands less blue-collar jobs that built our middle class and made East Hartford a place of the American Dream. We are still a proud hard-working community, but growing suburban poverty, a housing stock that doesn’t match what you see on HGTV, and the decline of manufacturing has led to some tough times. Took the picture flying back from Virginia. Was so excited to get a pic of my hometown.

See many more photos here, and send us your own via (We’re still looking for submissions from GA, MS, NM, ND, RI, VT, and WV.)

Reader Response

A longtime Atlantic reader wants to hear from others:

Dear lovely curators of Notes,

As someone who had to deal with the U.S. immigration system, I really want to hear from citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen who have been affected by Trump’s executive order suspending their visas.

As a former holder of an F-1 student visa, I want to hear from the students who are just now finding that they may have to drop out of college. I want to hear from the students who are still in the U.S. and can (probably, at the moment) finish their degrees, provided they never going home for the holidays until graduation. I want to know how they’re dealing with the uncertainty of future policies.

As part of an international marriage, I also want to hear from the families dealing with separation. It often feels like an outrage that our love is routinely questioned in the immigration process. When my husband was applying for a work visa in my home country, for example, we sent them 800 pages of inane and probably occasionally obscene Gmail chats.

If you are a spouse or a student affected by Trump’s executive order, or personally affected in some other way, we’d like to hear from you: (We would have to confirm your identity over email, but you would certainly have the option to be anonymous if we posted your story in Notes.)


Eye spins, senators stall, outsider scorned, rangers go rogue.

The Atlantic Daily is written by Rosa Inocencio Smith. To contact us, email