President Trump is continuing his efforts to save coal country. The administration is reportedly getting ready to give the flagging coal industry a big boost by rolling back another Obama-era environmental regulation requiring all new coal plants to be outfitted with carbon capture technology, according to The New York Times. The 2015 Obama mandate sets a limit on how much carbon dioxide a new coal plant can emit per megawatt hour of energy produced—Trump’s EPA plans to raise that limit. Saying it makes building new coal plants more difficult, the coal industry hates the rule. Instead of the strict Obama rule, Team Trump plans to allow new coal plants to open if they install more efficient boilers and other technology.
George W. Bush eulogized his late father on Wednesday in a speech filled with tears and laughter. Family, friends, and world leaders from around the globe gathered at the National Cathedral on Wednesday to mourn President George H.W. Bush, the nation’s 41st president, who died on Friday at age 94. In his eulogy, the younger Bush shared memories of his father’s sense of humor and about how his dad and mom, Barbara liked to hold hands. She died earlier this year. He ended by tearfully saying his father is back with daughter Robin, who died at age 3 from leukemia, and Barbara—and that the two are holding hands again.
—QUOTABLE: “After mom died, dad was strong, but all he really wanted to do was hold mom’s hand again…We’re going to miss you. Your decency, sincerity, and kind soul will stay with us forever…So through our tears, let us enjoy the blessings of knowing and loving you, a great noble man. The best man a son or father could have,” Bush continued, choking up. “And in our grief, let us smile knowing that dad is hugging Robin and holding mom’s hand again.” -George W. Bush
ALSO—President Trump and First Lady Melania also attended the Bush memorial service. They sat in the pew next to former President Barack Obama and Michelle. In a showing that the moment goes far beyond petty politics, Trump shook both their hands. He also tweeted before the service a tribute to Bush, which was praised by Trump nemesis Sen. Jeff Flake—“Well said, Mr. President,” Flake replied.
—QUOTABLE: “Looking forward to being with the Bush family. This is not a funeral, this is a day of celebration for a great man who has led a long and distinguished life. He will be missed!” -Trump on Twitter
There’s no doubt that the Saudi Crown Prince was deeply involved in the murder of a journalist living in the U.S., according to top CIA officials who briefed senators on Tuesday. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was definitely deeply involved in the killing of Kamal Khashoggi, intelligence officials insist, even though President Trump’s administration says there is no “smoking gun” tying the key U.S. ally directly to the October murder and dismemberment. Sen. Lindsey Graham, for one, says there is indisputable evidence and that the Crown Prince and his behavior poses a threat to the critical alliance between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
—QUOTABLE: “There’s not a smoking gun, there’s a smoking saw (in reference to the dismemberment of Khashoggi)…It is zero chance — zero — that this happened in such an organized fashion without the crown prince.” -Graham
Robert Mueller is sparing the whip when it comes to Michael Flynn. The special counsel is recommending no prison time for Flynn, the former national security adviser to President Trump. Mueller cited Flynn’s “substantial assistance” with his investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 elections. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI last year about his conversations with a former Russian ambassador, but agreed to fully cooperate with the Mueller probe.
NASA is ready to go where only a few men have gone before. The space agency administrator Jim Bridenstine says the U.S. is now within 10 years of having a continuous, manned presence on the moon—laying the groundwork for exploration of the planet Mars. Bridenstine says NASA plans to parter with nine private American companies to travel to the moon again and develop a permanent human presence there, and do it within a decade. This is part of President Trump’s Space Policy Directive, which calls for new Moon exploration.
—QUOTABLE: “Right now we’re building a space station, we call it ‘Gateway,’ that’s going to be in orbit around the moon — think of it as a reusable command module where we can have human presence in orbit around the moon. From there we want reusable landers that go back and forth to the surface of the moon…We think we can achieve this in about 10 years, the idea being prove the capability, retire the risk, prove the human physiology and then go on to Mars.” -Bridenstein
Democrats plan to sue President Trump over his America First, “energy dominance” agenda. And they plan to use a report put out by the Trump administration on global warming to do it, a report using cherry picked information to paint an ugly picture about the future if so-called climate changes continues. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said he plans to use every piece of the National Climate Assessment report that he can. Becerra alone has filed nearly two dozen lawsuits to thwart the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back Obama-era energy and environmental policies that hurt U.S. energy production. They’re also suing the oppose the border wall on the basis of environmental concerns. For Becerra and the coalition of liberal states he leads in lawsuit after lawsuit, the climate report is one more tool.
—QUOTABLE: “We’ll use every piece of that report that we can…It is not a matter of resisting, It is a matter of doing what we are doing. and as long as we are doing it according to the law, don’t get in our way.” -Becerra
Right wing conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi explains in a new book why he has a legal arrangement with President Trump. Corsi, who is a target of Robert Mueller’s probe, says he entered into a legal defense deal with Trump because he wanted the president to have a feel for what special council Mueller was up to. The joint defense agreement with Trump means Corsi gives the Trump legal team inside information about how Mueller is operating—possibly giving the president’s lawyers an edge. Corsi, who is suspected of being a middleman between Trump aides and WikiLeaks in 2016, denies that he struck the bargain with Trump’s lawyers because he’s angling for a pardon. He will continue supporting the president regardless of whether he gets a pardon, Corsi said.
—ON A PARDON: “I don’t expect one. I’m not angling for one. I’m not strategizing for one. I’m not asking for one…A pardon was not the objective of the talks. It was not the anticipation of the pardon, and I still do not anticipate a pardon.” -Corsi
—ON THE JOINT DEFENSE AGREEMENT: “I felt the information would be beneficial to the president’s attorneys in preparing their defense of Donald Trump.” -Corsi
Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer for President Trump, pleaded guilty to one charge in the Robert Mueller investigation Thursday. Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress about his efforts to build a Trump property in Moscow, and working on it through June 2016, much later than he’d previously admitted. Cohen has also pleaded guilty to tax evasion and campaign finance violations as a result of the Mueller probe. Cohen’s plea puts a dent in Trump’s claims he has no financial ties in Russia.
MEANWHILE—President Trump is lashing out at Cohen. While denying his longtime lawyer’s claim Thursday that he was pursuing a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, Trump said Cohen is weak and not very smart. Cohen pleaded guilty Thursday to lying to Congress about his involvement in the development project.
—QUOTABLE: “He’s a weak person, and not a very smart person…He’s lying about a project that everybody knew about.” -Trump
Failed former president Barack Obama is not only taking credit for the booming economy, but he’s also touting his climate legacy…while taking even more credit for the boom in U.S. oil and natural gas production. In a moment of irony only a former president could get away with, Obama bemoaned President Trump pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords, but said “that was me, people” about the doubling of U.S. oil production during his time in office. That production boom almost exclusively took place on private and state-controlled lands where Obama’s administration had precisely zero say-so.
—QUOTABLE: ““I was extraordinarily proud of the Paris accords because — you know, I know we’re in oil country and we need American energy, and by the way, American energy production…You wouldn’t always know it but it went up every year I was president…That whole, suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer and the biggest gas — that was me, people.” -Obama
President Trump retweeted a fan account’s meme showing all his political rivals behind bars. The photoshopped pic showed failed former president Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Robert Mueller, John Podesta, and others in goofy poses behind bars. The tweet was part of a twitter storm where the president fumed about the Mueller investigation. Let the liberal outrage begin.
—QUOTABLE: “The Mueller Witch Hunt is a total disgrace. They are looking at supposedly stolen Crooked Hillary Clinton Emails (even though they don’t want to look at the DNC Server), but have no interest in the Emails that Hillary DELETED & acid washed AFTER getting a Congressional Subpoena!” -Trump twitter rampage
President Trump is keeping the option of pardoning Paul Manafort on the table. While he never discussed it with his former campaign chairman, the president told the New York Post there is no reason he would take the option off the table and expressed his displeasure with special counsel Robert Mueller. Anyone who tells Mueller the truth gets thrown in jail, while those who lie in plea deals are rewarded, Trump complained. He compared the Mueller probe with the McCarthy witchhunts.
—QUOTABLE: “It was never discussed, but I wouldn’t take it off the table. Why would I take it off the table?” -Trump to the New York Post
—QUOTABLE: “While the disgusting Fake News is doing everything within their power not to report it that way, at least 3 major players are intimating that the Angry Mueller Gang of Dems is viciously telling witnesses to lie about facts & they will get relief. This is our Joseph McCarthy Era!” -Trump tweet
A top Hillary Clinton adviser and talking head had a behind the scenes meltdown after a TV appearance Tuesday night. Philippe Reines was debating President Trump adviser Harlan Hill on Fox Business Network, when afterward he charged toward Hill calling him a “jackass,” following Hill through the newsroom screaming…and he wasn’t wearing pants, according to Twitter pictures posted by Hill. It’s not that uncommon when all they show on TV is your head, but combined with the rant…Reines was kinda asking for it.
—QUOTABLE: Hill told The Daily Caller that Reines said, “You’re just as much of a jackass on TV as you are online” and that Hill needs to “stop hiding behind [FBN anchor Trish Regan’s] skirt…We chirped back and forth, and he said, ‘You’re not half the debater you think you are.’ To which I said, ‘That’s probably the lamest, most D.C. diss I’ve ever heard.” -Excerpted from The Daily Caller
President Trump is denying any knowledge of two key events being investigated by Robert Mueller. In written answers submitted to Mueller’s Russia probe on November 20, Trump said he did not know about his son’s infamous meeting with Russians at Trump Tower in June of 2016, and he was not told by longtime confidant Roger Stone that WikiLeaks planned to dump unflattering information about the Hillary Clinton campaign. Both events are important if Mueller is going to prove that the Trump campaign was working with outside players like WikiLeaks and the Russians to influence the election’s outcome.
Robert Mueller is a “conflicted prosecutor gone rogue,” President Trump said Monday in a Twitter storm. Mueller’s horrible treatment of people will eventually come out, Trump said. The comments were apparently in response to Mueller’s team accusing former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort of violating his plea agreement by lying to investigators—an accusation that could terminate the plea deal and worsen the charges against him. Jerome Corsi, a right wing conspiracy theorist with ties to former Trump adviser Roger Stone, also claims Mueller has been trying to get him to sign onto a plea deal containing lies.
—QUOTABLE: “Wait until it comes out how horribly & viciously they are treating people, ruining lives for them refusing to lie…He is doing TREMENDOUS damage to our Criminal Justice System, where he is only looking at one side and not the other.” -Trump tweet
House Democrats are gearing up to investigate the supposed connection between President Trump’s proclamation to be a “nationalist” and the rise of hate crimes. Incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jerrold Nadler said he’s concerned about what he sees as the rising threat of white supremacists, which he links to nationalism. Trump has said he’s a nationalist, but supporters say he meant “nationalist” more in the sense of supporting the nation, not the European interpretation linking more to pride in one’s race.
—QUOTABLE: “He calls himself a nationalist. He falsely claims that ‘foreigners’ are the primary sources of domestic terror. He famously claimed that there were ‘some very fine people on both sides’ of the riot in Charlottesville — where a neo-Nazi demonstration ended in the death of one counter-protestor and two officers of the Virginia state police.” -Rep. Jerrold Nadler
President Trump is downplaying the use of tear gas on members of the migrant caravan who stormed the border over the weekend. Describing some of the caravan’s adults as “grabbers” who grabbed children and are using them for optics, Trump said the tear gas is a “very minor form” and not particularly dangerous. He also questioned the motives of people who would bring children into that kind of environment in the first place—the migrants, most of them adult men, know that having a child will help them with obtaining status in the U.S. The Washington Times has reported on adults abducting children as they made their way north, he told reporters.
—QUOTABLE: “In some cases, you know, they’re not the parents…These are people, they call em grabbers. They grab a child because they think they’ll have a certain status by having a child. You know, you have certain advantages in terms of our crazy laws that frankly Congress should be changing.” -Trump
MEANWHILE—The shine is off the administration of failed former president Barack Obama when it comes to tear gas. While many on the left are critical of President Trump’s administration for using tear gas on the migrants who charged the border over the weekend, they conveniently forget that that same gas was used monthly by the Obama administration, according to Department of Homeland Security data. Pepper spray was also used a decade-high 151 times in 2013.
In the wake of GM’s downsizing announcement, President Trump is threatening to pull the plug on electric car subsides to the automaker. GM recently announced its plan to shed 14,000 salaried workers and shutter several plants in a global re-structuring. That was met with the threat by Trump to axe a $7,500 per car federal subsidy the automaker gets to defray the consumer price for each electric vehicle. GM isn’t planning on shuttering plants in Mexico or China, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said, echoing a tweet by the president, adding there is disappointment and anger over the company’s decision.
—QUOTABLE: “Nothing being closed in Mexico & China…The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get! General Motors made a big China bet years ago when they built plants there (and in Mexico) – don’t think that bet is going to pay off. I am here to protect America’s Workers!” -Trump tweet
—QUOTABLE: “There’s great disappointment there…It seems like GM would rather build its electric cars in China than in the U.S.” -Kudlow
Jerome Corsi says he has a joint defense agreement with President Trump and was given limited immunity by Robert Mueller. The right wing author and associate of Trump adviser Roger Stone is a target of the Mueller probe for allegedly brokering deals with the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, which he has denied. But in a new book, Corsi details a cover story he hatched with Stone to explain a 2016 tweet Stone sent out saying it would soon be Podesta’s “time in the barrel.” Not long after, WikiLeaks dumped hacked emails from the Hillary Clinton campaign manager’s account. Mueller gave Corsi limited immunity for describing that under oath, testimony which undercuts Stone’s claims that he did not collude with WikiLeaks to release the emails.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Sunday compared the migrant caravan to Jews fleeing the Holocaust, denouncing President Trump’s order that migrants who bypass the legal process for entering the country not be granted asylum. Asking for refugee status and asylum “isn’t a crime,” she tweeted. She made the comment as the migrants were making a run at the border in an effort to storm the gate, throwing rocks and bottles at U.S. border agents.
—QUOTABLE: “Asking to be considered a refugee & applying for status isn’t a crime…It wasn’t for Jewish families fleeing Germany. It wasn’t for targeted families fleeing Rwanda. It wasn’t for communities fleeing war-torn Syria. And it isn’t for those fleeing violence in Central America.” -AOC
MEANWHILE—Sen. Lindsey Graham isn’t having any of it. In a Twitter reply, the South Carolina Republican suggested Ocasio-Cortez takes tour of the Holocaust Museum in D.C. “Might help her better understand the differences between the Holocaust and the caravan in Tijuana,” he wrote. “Americans will not be played for fools.”
ALSO—Despite the insistence of liberals, the majority of migrants arrested as they tried to illegally cross the border Sunday are adult men, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. 42 migrants were arrested after clashes with border officials—just 8 were females. And according to NBC the majority of migrants camped out in Tijuana are men seeking work, not women and children fleeing persecution.
Rep. Adam Schiff still believes in the discredited Trump-Russia dossier, and he’s prepared to use his new position of power to investigate it. Also known as the Steele Dossier, the document contained salacious allegations against President Trump, but was discovered to be little more than a smear job commissioned by the Democrat Party in a desperate bid to push Hillary Clinton over the finish line in 2016. Schiff, who will soon take the reins of the House Intelligence Committee, says he will continue the investigation into the dossier’s claims, including a theory that Trump and Russia colluded in money laundering schemes. Republicans say that allegation and others are nothing more than conspiracy theories.
—QUOTABLE: “Throughout the investigation, committee Republicans chose not to seriously investigate — or even see, when in plain sight — evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, instead adopting the role of defense counsel for key investigation witnesses.” -Schiff
Caravan migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. should be able to enter the country immediately, Rep. Elijah Cummings said on Sunday. In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the Maryland Democrat challenged President Trump’s assertion that the thousands of would-be illegal immigrants will not be allowed to cross the border except through a legal port of entry. Cummings said the law is that they should be immediately allowed in, contrary to Trump’s recent executive order requiring asylum seekers to enter legally and be processed in an orderly manner. The system as it was, was working, he said.
—QUOTABLE: “I think we have a system that has worked for a long time…This president’s come in, wants to change it. That’s up to him. But now the Congress has got to stand up, and hopefully they will.” -Cummings
Barbra Streisand says women who voted for President Trump because they “don’t believe enough in their own thoughts.” In promoting her new anti-Trump protest album, the has-been Hollywood icon echoed Hillary Clinton’s earlier comments that women voted for Trump because their husbands told them to. Hillary was just too experienced and too fit for the presidency because she intimidates women, Streisand added.
—QUOTABLE: “Perhaps [Mrs. Clinton] made women feel unsuccessful…All of this was so devastating to me and I was heartbroken, so I wanted to write about it, sing about it and deliver an album. It was perfect timing, so I just did it.” -Streisand
President Trump on Monday threatened to permanently close down the U.S. border with Mexico. Amid growing chaos as thousands of migrants descend on the border, with some throwing rocks and debris at border patrol agents, Trump called for the deportation of the migrant mobs back to their home countries or he’ll close the border for good. The escalating tensions includes U.S. agents’ use of tear gas, which officials said was necessary as agents face down hundreds of would-be illegal immigrants trying to jump the border fence near Tijuana.
—QUOTABLE: “Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries. Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A….We will close the Border permanently if need be. Congress, fund the WALL!” -Trump tweet
—QUOTABLE: “…[O]ur agents were being assaulted. A large group approached the area and they were throwing rocks and bottles at my men and women, putting them in harm’s way as well as other members of the caravan.” -Carla Provost, chief of U.S. Border Patrol
MEANWHILE—The problem isn’t getting any better. As some 5,000 migrants have congregated in Tijuana, just across the U.S. border between Mexico and California, there are reports of thousands more en route. That’s according to reporter Jean Guerrero, who spoke with a group of 200 mostly young adult males who had just arrived to join the 5,000.
Democrats will probe President Trump’s financial dealings to try determining if they were have anything to do with as-yet unproven claims his campaign colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election. It would be “irresponsible” not to find out if Trump’s personal financial interests in the Persian Gulf are wagging the dog of his foreign policy approach, particularly as it relates to the murder of a Saudi journalist, said Rep. Adam Schiff on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. Schiff is the incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
—QUOTABLE: “I think others will also have responsibility of looking at: Are there financial entanglements with the Gulf? Are there financial inducements that the president has to not want to cross the Saudis? That cannot be allowed to drive US policy.” -Schiff
A judge on Sunday ordered George Papadapoulous back to jail. U.S. federal judge Randolph Moss dismissed the former Trump campaign aide’s request to postpone his sentence pending a separate case that could lead to Papadapoulous’s conviction being overturned. Papadapoulous pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents investigating possible ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russia. He will report to jail on Monday.