President Trump accused Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein of an attempted coup in a Monday morning tweet. Rosenstein allegedly had conversations when Trump took office about invoking the 25th Amendment to declare the new president unfit for office, according to former FBI flack Andrew McCabe. “This was an illegal coup attempt on the President of the United States!” Trump tweeted. Rosenstein has long insisted invoking the 25th was just a joke, but McCabe refuted that in recent interviews.
President Trump blasted Venezuela’s socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro in a speech Monday before an audience of Venezuelan-Americans. The president urged the country’s population and military leaders to ditch Maduro, who most of the world regards as an illegitimate leader. And he repeated his State of the Union line that America will never be a socialist country. “Let your people go!” Trump later tweeted, a message for members of the Maduro regime.
The national debt topped $22 trillion for the first time late last week.
- That’s $300 billion more than the combined market value of the entire Fortune 500.
- Just the interest on the debt, $383 billion in 2019, is more than the entire budget of either Canada or Mexico.
- Interest payments on the debt will be more expensive than the defense budget by 2023.
- The $8.75 trillion added to the debt during Obama’s time as president is worth more than all the gold ever mined.
- The $4 trillion expected to be added during President Trump’s first term could finance World War II all over again.
- The world’s richest man is Jeff Bezos. But his entire net worth of $136 billion would only cover about 34 days of debt accumulation.
Joe Biden is following in his former boss’s footsteps—the former vice president under failed former president Barack Obama blasted President Trump at a defense summit before our European allies. His coup de grace was to declare America “an embarrassment” at the NATO Munich Security Conference on Saturday, suggesting the U.S. had abandoned its commitments to Europe. The speech sounded a lot like Obama’s infamous “apology tour,” which shockingly failed to garner any added respect for the United States.
Democrat politicians eager to pin the assault of an African American gay actor on supporters of President Trump rushed to judgement. Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris—both running for president—and Reps. Maxine Water, Nancy Pelosi, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex all have egg on their face as evidence builds that “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett made it all up. Harris and Booker bemoaned the incident as a “modern-day lynching,” and AOC unquestioningly rushed to declare it “a racist and homophobic attack.” >> More in Cell Block.
Sen. Lindsey Graham is promising to hold a hearing to investigate whether top Justice Department officials discussed what he calls a “bureaucratic coup” to try unseating President Trump. On CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman said he plans to subpoena former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein to ask them about an alleged discussion they had about invoking the 25th Amendment to declare Trump unfit for office.
President Trump on Friday ordered an emergency declaration over the problem of illegal immigration. At the White House on Friday, Trump said the declaration was necessary to protect the country against border crossings and drugs, but many Republicans are hesitant to support the decision and the precedent it would create. While a government funding deal he also signed provides just over $1 billion for the wall, that’s just a down payment, Trump said.
MEANWHILE, Democrats are signaling they’re already prepared to challenge President Trump’s declaration. Chief among them is California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who on ABC’s “This Week” said he plans to “definitely and imminently” sue the Trump administration over the move.
AND top Trump adviser Stephen Miller defended the national emergency declaration on “Fox News Sunday.” Past presidents have chosen to ignore the problem at the southern border, but Trump will not do that, he told host Chris Wallace.
President Trump on Thursday said he would sign a bipartisan deal that keeps the government open while providing some funding for the border wall. At the same time as Trump signs the bill, though, he will also sign an order declaring a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border. The 1,200 page compromise bill was released last Wednesday and provides $1.375 billion for the border barrier.
MEANWHILE, the bill passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 83 to 16 Wednesday afternoon. It went on to a vote in the House later last night.
ALSO, Trump’s decision to use his emergency powers isn’t sitting well with many Republicans concerned it sets a dangerous precedent and is an over-reach. One of them, GOP Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, tweeted she doesn’t support the move because it “would open the door for future presidents to call national emergencies on any topic.”
Former FBI director Andrew McCabe claims there were serious discussions about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from power. The New York Times first reported the rumor last year, which current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein dismissed as a joke. But in an interview with 60 Minutes, McCabe now says those discussions did happen at the Justice Department. In a tweet, Trump called McCabe a “disgrace to the FBI and a disgrace to our country.”
President Trump announced at a Monday rally in Texas that work had already begun on a portion of the border wall, and he’s right. According to Washington Examiner correspondent Eddie Scarrie, six miles of a combination of steel and concrete wall was just begun near the area along the Texas-Mexico border. Funding for it was included in the Customs and Border Patrol budget for 2018.
President Trump is leaning to “yes” on a border wall deal struck between congressional negotiators, sources told the Daily Caller. while Trump said he’s “not happy” with the deal, he also has few options to avoid another government shutdown over the border wall, which will happen tomorrow if no agreement is reached. The deal falls far short of the president’s $5.7 billion for a border wall, allocating instead $1.375 billion and more beds for those detained by ICE.
President Trump isn’t thrilled with a bipartisan deal struck in Congress over wall funding. The deal, struck late Monday night, includes $1.375 billion funding for a U.S.-Mexico border barrier and funding for 40,000 ICE detention beds. “I’m not happy,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday, but he added that he doesn’t believe there will be another government shutdown over the issue of border wall funding. Money keeping the government open thanks to a temporary deal several weeks ago runs out on Friday.
A man in a “Make America Great Again” hat was arrested at a rally for President Trump in El Paso, Texas Monday night for allegedly attacking a BBC cameraman while shouting “f—the media.” Trump stopped the rally to ask if the cameraman was OK—no one was hurt, and another MAGA hat wearing attendee restrained the attacker until security could drag him out.
MEANWHILE, back at the White House, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders condemned the attack and any form of violence. “We ask that anyone attending an event do so in a peaceful and respectful manner,” she said.
A report from the Senate Intelligence Committee on Russian interference in the 2016 elections is wrapping up, and it finds no collusion between the campaign of President Trump and Russians. The report cites politicians of both parties, all confirming that no collusion has been found after two years of investigating. The report will also state that anonymous Democrat sources in the Senate concede that such evidence will not be found.
Democrats and Republicans on a bipartisan commission to address border security and border wall funding reached an “agreement in principle” late Monday. Republican Sen. Richard Shelby told Fox News he thinks and hopes the negotiators struck a deal that President Trump would approve—“I think so, I hope so,” Shelby said. Any potential deal would have to pass both houses of Congress and be signed by Friday, which is the deadline to avoid another government shutdown.
A new Rasmussen daily tracking poll found President Trump’s approval rating up a few more ticks among likely voters—52 percent now approve of the president’s job performance, the poll found. That’s his best showing in 23 months. 47 percent disapprove. Monday’s numbers were from polling conducted in the weekdays following Trump’s state of the union address last Tuesday.
More of President Trump’s presidential schedules have been leaked to the press. Last week D.C. news outlet Axios obtained three months of the president’s schedules, generating headlines about how much “executive time” Trump has been taking. The White House launched an investigation to find the leaker, but Axios has obtained four of the president’s private schedules from last week, the news site reports, schedules that are not generally shared with even senior staff.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says tabloid National Enquirer is blackmailing him over nude photos. In a blog post titled “No thank you, Mr. Pecker” (you can’t make this up) the world’s richest man says he was threatened with the publication of nude pics of him and suggestive photos of news anchor Lauren Sanchez, his mistress. Bezos alleges the threats are an attempt to blackmail him into silence over the tabloid’s investigations into his personal life, which Bezos believes are motivated by the parent company’s connections to President Trump.
A new Rasmussen poll shows an uptick in President Trump’s job approval. As of the Thursday poll, taken days after the State of the Union address, 49 percent said they approve of the president’s job performance, up from 48 percent just before the speech.
Rep. Adam Schiff has President Trump and White House staff irate after hiring a former West Wing staffer to work for his House Intel Committee. Trump tweeted that the hiring of former National Security Council aide Abigail Grace amounts to “stealing people” from the White House, but Schiff said it’s common for the intel committee to hire people from the intel community.
House Intel Committee Chairman Adam Schiff announced a broad new investigation his committee would undertake that goes “beyond Russia” and into whether President Trump’s financial interests are influencing his actions. As Robert Mueller prepares to wrap up his 21-month probe, Schiff said the new investigation would carry on the investigation into the Russia connection but also examine whether foreign agents have financial leverage over the president.
Reactions to President Trump’s State of the Union speech were positive—big league. CBS and CNN both conducted instant polls immediately after the speech—both finding 76 percent of those who watched approved of the speech. CBS found 72 percent approved of Trump’s immigration ideas and 82 percent of independents approved of the speech as a whole, while CNN found 59 percent had a “very positive” overall reaction.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered a muddled response to President Trump’s call for legislation banning late-term abortion at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address. It’s a “sad thing” that the president turned the conversation to late-term abortions and that he hopes his family “never has to face that crisis and apply his attitude toward it,” she told The Daily Caller. Trump called for federal legislation banning the abortion of children in the womb who can feel pain.
Railing against the “politics of revenge” and presenting a bipartisan agenda, President Trump’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday night amounted to a dare to Democrats to oppose it. Trump began and ended the speech by appealing to American greatness. He discussed the upcoming 75th anniversary of the Normandy invasion during World War II—he invited a war veteran and a Holocaust survivor to attend the speech.
He challenged an often stone-faced Democratic Congress to join in supporting objectives like ending HIV, enacting a federal ban on late-term abortions, fighting childhood cancer, requiring paid family leave, ending wars in Asia, and—of course—funding a border wall.
Above all he sought to inspire unity and closed with a call for greatness; anyone who may have gone to bed early would be remorse not to spend the 90 minutes to rewatch the whole speech in its entirety:
“We do the incredible.
We defy the impossible.
We conquer the unknown.
This is the time to reignite the American imagination.
This is the time to search for the tallest summit and set our sites on the brightest star. This is the time to rekindle the bonds of love and loyalty and memory that link us together as citizens, as neighbors, as patriots.
This is our future. Our fate. And our choice to make.
I am asking you to choose greatness. No matter the trials we face. No matter the challenges to come.
We must go forward together.
We must keep America first in our hearts.
We must keep freedom alive in our souls.
And we must always keep faith in America’s destiny that one nation under God must be the hope and the promise and the light and the glory among all the nations of the world.”
MEANWHILE, former speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives and failed candidate for governor Stacey Abrams delivered the Democratic response. While Trump was a tough act to follow, Abrams faithfully cracked open the can of liberal talking points, focusing on the plight of federal workers during the government shutdown.
ALSO, at least six House Dems boycotted the State of the Union, most of them the loudest pushers of impeachment. Rep. Maxine Waters attended, but before the speech she called for Americans to turn off their TVs.