President Trump today
Our live coverage has ended. Scroll through the posts below to see how the day unfolded.
President Trump said the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles are no longer coming to the White House tomorrow because a number of players disagreed with him over the National Anthem controversy and wouldn’t come.
"The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow," Trump said in a statement.
"They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country."
The President is referring to a number of players who kneeled during the National Anthem at NFL games. The controversy started in 2016 by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to protest of the treatment of black Americans, particularly by police.
He was joined by a number of players. The issue was amplified in 2017 after Trump called on team owners to fire kneeling players. After his comments, scores of players joined the protest.
Trump said he still plans to hold a "different type of ceremony" for Eagles fans who had planned to attend the event.
The ceremony, he said, "will honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem."
"I will be there at 3:00 p.m. with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus to celebrate America," Trump said.
A person inside a White House event tonight told CNN that President Trump made a light-hearted joke about first lady Melania Trump’s extended absence from public view, saying the media was asking: “Where’s Melania?”
He went on for a minute or so, saying the media was speculating where she has been. The President asked at one point, “Did she leave him?” before pointing out that Melania Trump was, in fact, sitting in the front row.
The riff was playful, but a bit awkward considering the event was being held to honor Gold Star families who have lost loved ones at war.
The President also talked about the strong economy during the closed-press event, a person inside the room said.
Sen. Ted Cruz would not say whether he thinks the President can pardon himself.
Cruz told reporters he had not studied the issue so he would not weigh in, following an 18-second pause.
"That is not a constitutional issue I've studied, so I will withhold judgement," Cruz said after being asked a second time whether he agreed with the President that he could pardon himself."
Stephanie Grisham, spokesperson for first lady Melania Trump, told CNN the first lady feels confident about her role despite speculation surrounding her absence.
“Mrs. Trump has always been a strong and independent woman who puts her family, and certainly her health above all else, and that won't change over a rabid press corps," Grisham said.
"She's confident in what she is doing and in her role, and knows the rest is just speculation and nonsense.”
The first lady will attend a White House event this evening to honor Gold Star families, Grisham said.
The attendance of the first lady at this year's reception will mark the first time she has participated in an official event, either alone or by her husband's side, since May 10 when the first couple greeted freed American prisoners upon their return to Andrews Air Force Base following captivity in North Korea.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins says that if President Donald Trump pardoned himself it would have "catastrophic implications" for him, but she declined to say whether she viewed it as an impeachable offense.
"It may well be an open question debated by constitutional scholars, but there's no doubt that if the president were ever to pardon himself it would have catastrophic implications for him and our country," she said.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders repeatedly told reporters that Trump, who tweeted this morning that he has the authority to pardon himself, wouldn't need to do that because he hasn't done anything wrong.
Here are nine times she said the phrase during the White House press briefing.
- Does Trump agree with Rudy Giuliani that a self-pardon would be unthinkable? "Thankfully the President hasn't done anything wrong and wouldn't have any need for a pardon."
- Does he rule out issuing a pardon for himself? "Once again, the President hasn't done anything wrong and therefore wouldn't need one."
- If Trump thinks the special counsel is unconstitutional, why is his DOJ allowing it to continue? "The President knows that the special council isn't needed because once again he hasn't done anything wrong."
- Does the President believe he is above the law? "Certainly not. The President hasn't done anything wrong."
- Does the President believe the framers envisioned a system where the president could pardon himself? "Once again the President hasn't done anything wrong, and we feel very comfortable in that front."
- Is it appropriate for Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to hypothetically talk about the President shooting James Comey? "Thankfully the President hasn't done anything wrong."
- Does Trump assume that special council will find him guilty of something? "No, because he hasn't done anything wrong."
- Trump tweeted he could pardon himself, so there seems to be an assumption that Robert Mueller will find him guilty of something. What would that be? "It seems to be a completely wrong assumption, the president hasn't done anything wrong."
- Has Trump asked for a new opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel on his pardoning powers? "I'm not aware of an ask or recommendation, but certainly would reiterate the fact that the President hasn’t anything wrong."
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders repeatedly refused to account for the discrepancy between contradictory statements she and the President's lawyers made about Trump's role in dictating the Trump Tower meeting response last summer.
"You’re referencing a letter that came directly from outside counsel and I would refer you to them," Sanders said Monday during the White House briefing. "I'm not going to get into a back and forth."
Trump's personal attorneys said in a January letter to special counsel Robert Mueller obtained by the New York Times last week that Trump "dictated a short but accurate response to the New York Times article on behalf of his son, Donald Trump, Jr."
Sanders, meanwhile, said last August that Trump "certainly didn't dictate" the initial misleading statement Trump Jr. released about his meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign.
"He weighed in, offered suggestion like any father would do," Sanders said in August.
Sanders was pressed by three different reporters Monday about the contradictory statements and each time she referred questions to the President's personal attorneys.
Asked how the public can trust her comments from the podium, Sanders demurred.
"Once again I can’t comment on a letter from the President's outside counsel," she said.
House Democrats are asking Monday to subpoena records that they think will show that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt used his staff to run personal errands, including trying to buy a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel in Washington during his controversial apartment search.
Press secretary Sarah Sanders said the White House is looking into the matter.
"Certainly looking into the matter, I couldn't comment on the specifics of the furniture used in his apartment," she said.