5 things for March 23: White House, Sacramento protests, government funding

The Dalai Lama’s slowing down. He’s cutting out foreign travel for the rest of this year because of his age and exhaustion. Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

White House

Another whirlwind day of comings and goings in Donald Trump’s world. Trump dumped national security adviser H.R. McMaster and will replace him with John Bolton, an ex-US ambassador and Fox News analyst whose hawkish views align more closely with the President’s. But that wasn’t the only big shakeup for Team Trump. Earlier in the day John Dowd — Trump’s lead personal lawyer in the Russia investigation — quit, reportedly after clashing with the President over strategy. Yes, it’s hard to keep up with who’s in and who’s out of the Trump White House. Luckily for you we’ve updated this chart.

And then to top everything off, ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal sat down with CNN’s Anderson Copper for an exclusive interview where she alleged having an affair with Trump a decade ago. Don’t forget that Stormy Daniels’ potentially blockbuster “60 Minutes” interview airs Sunday. CNN’s Stephen Collinson says this “gathering storm of televised allegations” is testing the President’s vow to stay silent on the subject.


Sounds like the much-feared trade war is on between the US and China. After President Trump announced new tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, China’s Commerce Ministry said it might slap tariffs on $3 billion worth of US imports. The financial markets don’t like any of this. The Dow plummeted 724 points after Trump’s announcement, and Asian stock markets were down sharply this morning as well.

Sacramento protests

The Sacramento Kings beat the Atlanta Hawks in an NBA game, but they did it in front of an almost-empty arena, after Black Lives Matter protests blocked entrances. They were protesting the death of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed by police in his grandmother’s backyard. Police thought Clark had a gun, but only a cell phone was found on him. Police and the team made the decsion to stop admitting people into the game as hundreds of demonstrators linked arms and chanted “Join us or go home” at basketball fans.

Government funding

Looks like lawmakers have avoided yet another government shutdown. The Senate passed a $1.3 trillion spending bill early this morning; the House passed it earlier on Thursday. President Trump is expected to sign it before a midnight Friday deadline. The legislation keeps the government open through the end of September. It increases funding for the military and domestic priorities. Lots of conservative Republicans complained about the price tag, and Democrats fumed about the lack of a DACA fix, but the bill had enough bipartisan support to get over the finish line.

School shootings

A teen girl injured in this week’s Maryland high school shooting will be taken off of life support. Jaelynn Willey was one of two students hurt when a fellow student — who had a prior relationship with Willey — opened fire in a hallway at Great Mills High School. The shooter was shot by a school resource officer and later died.

Meanwhile, when students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School return to class after spring break, they’ll have to wear clear backpacks. It’s all part of an effort to ramp up security at the school where a gunman killed 17 people last month. Many students from the school will be in Washington tomorrow for the March for Our Lives protest.

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