November, 2016

Petraeus Would Have to Notify Probation Officer

If David Petraeus is picked as the next Secretary of State, he’ll have three days to notify his probation officer, The Hill reports.

From his court judgment after being sentenced to two years: “The defendant shall not leave the Western District of North Carolina without the permission of the Court or probation officer. Travel allowed for work as approved by U.S. probation office.”

“In addition to those guidelines, Petraeus could also be subject to warrantless searches if he was appointed to Trump’s cabinet. His probation officer would be able to access and review his computer and phone data at any point in time until the end of his sentence.”

Democrats Will Try to Force Picks to Disclose Taxes

Washington Post: “On Thursday, the top Democrats on Senate committees that will hold confirmation hearings for Trump’s Cabinet nominees will announce plans to require the picks to release three years of tax information before being referred to the full Senate for a final confirmation vote.”

“It’s unclear whether such a rule could pass in Republican-controlled committees that will hold confirmation hearings, but it’s the opening salvo of Democratic attempts to put GOP colleagues on the record of either siding with or bucking Trump, especially on the unpopular aspects of his personal background and policy positions.”

GOP Leaders Will Repeal Obamacare By Inauguration

House and Senate budget leaders are teeing up a vote to repeal most of ObamaCare by Jan. 20, The Hill reports.

“The leaders of the House and Senate Budget committees are planning the vote for the first week of January, to deal an immediate blow to Obamacare after President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration… Another source off Capitol Hill said the Trump transition team has signed off on the plan, and that the traditional vote-a-rama process could take place as early as Jan. 5.”

Trump Has Just One Transition Official on Spy Agencies

“Only one member of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team is dealing with the CIA and the 16 other offices and agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community,” Reuters reports.

“Geoffrey Kahn, a former House intelligence committee staffer, is the only person named so far to Trump’s intelligence community ‘landing team,’ they said. As a result, said one senior career intelligence officer, briefing books prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Agency, the National Counterterrorism Center, and 13 other agencies and organizations are ‘waiting for someone to read them.'”

Romney Proves Trump Right All Along

Rick Klein: “Mitt Romney may or may not be selected as Donald Trump’s secretary of state. But Romney has already performed a valuable service for Trump – by proving him right, about Romney, and about the broader political class. Romney is according extraordinary deference and respect to a man he famously labeled ‘a phony, a fraud’ just months ago…. Trump can now be nice to a man he once said wasn’t very smart, now that Romney has eaten crow along with his frog legs. But it leaves Romney where Trump suggested he belonged from the start: as a politician whose words don’t really matter.”

“If Romney’s words from the campaign had meaning, how could he be swayed by the words Trump has uttered, or even his early actions, now? Trump’s rise was powered by his big called bluff on the political process – that he always knew voters think politicians’ words had no real meaning. Romney surely has the best of intentions in wanting to help and to serve the next president. But he is making Trump seem more right by the day.”

Trump Considers Palin for Veteran’s Affairs

Donald Trump is considering tapping Sarah Palin as his secretary of Veterans Affairs, Politico reports.

“Palin was an early endorser of Trump, throwing her support to him before the Iowa caucuses, making her one of his highest profile backers at the time… Palin, who, like Trump, has been a lightning rod for liberal criticism, campaigned for Trump through the campaign’s final days, including in Michigan.”

Trump Has 4 Finalists for Secretary of State

President-elect Donald Trump’s drama-ridden selection process for secretary of state has narrowed to four finalists, including Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, the Washington Post reports.

“It was the first time that Trump’s transition team has publicly confirmed that Romney and Giuliani are competing for the highest ranking Cabinet position… Transition team officials would not name the other two finalists, but other leading candidates include retired Army Gen. David Petraeus — a former commanding general of the U.S. Central Command and CIA director — and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”

Warner Says He Won’t Run for President

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) told the Wall Street Journal that he won’t run for president.

“Mr. Warner, who as Virginia’s governor in 2006 laid groundwork for a potential 2008 presidential campaign, including visits to New Hampshire, said the time for him to be a national candidate has passed and he is not considering a White House campaign in 2020.”

Said Warner: “I think that window is probably shut.”

Trump’s Takeover of the GOP Is Complete

Washington Post: “One by one, Republicans who stood up to Trump or questioned his statements and antics have made a pilgrimage to Trump Tower to kiss the president-elect’s ring, or joined his administration, or decided uncharacteristically to just keep their mouths shut.”

“And at long last Tuesday night, the figurehead of the “Never Trump” movement also capitulated. After an intimate dinner with Trump of frog legs and diver scallops at a fine Manhattan restaurant (in a Trump-owned building, naturally), Romney publicly acquiesced.”

“In an apparent attempt to secure Trump’s trust in him as a possible secretary of state, Romney lavished praise on the president-elect… Romney’s turnabout illustrates the power that comes with winning — the ability to reshuffle the political hierarchy.”

McAuliffe Says Clinton Is Done with Politics

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) told the Washington Post that the Clintons were done with politics.

Said McAuliffe: “I think so, sure. I don’t think Hillary has any interest in running again. I’ll let her speak for herself. I haven’t asked her that. I think the president’s probably going to go back, working on all the good deeds he’s done before in helping people around the globe. You know, there are elections. We’ve got to move forward.”

Why Is Mitt Romney Doing This?

Chris Cillizza: “The terrific answer is that Romney still feels a call to public service. That the same motivation that drove him to run for governor or take over the failing Salt Lake City Winter Olympics or even run for president — a desire to make things better and a belief he can do so — is what compels him to make nice with someone that, from a personal perspective, he clearly holds in utter contempt. Under this theory, Romney believes the best way to preserve his vision for the country and its role in the world — and protect those things from potentially harmful decisions by Trump — is to insert himself between the president-elect and the world. That only by going into the Trump administration can he keep really bad things from happening.”

“The terrible answer for Romney is that this willingness to subjugate his personal views about Trump is all in service of an overarching ambition for power that has defined his life. Romney critics — and those are the people pushing this theory — point to his past flip-flops on such issues as abortion and gay marriage as evidence that when a deeply held belief comes up against Romney’s ambition, ambition always wins. So, Romney wants to be secretary of state more than he hates Trump. It’s that simple a calculation.”