Politico: “A firm co-founded by Donald Trump’s original campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appears to have been pitching clients around the world by offering not only policy and political advice, but also face time with President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and senior members of their administration, according to documents and interviews.”
Archives for April 2017
Matthew Yglesias: “Yet since his ascension to the White House, conventional wisdom has developed an odd tendency to describe his inability to make major legislative changes as an indication that his presidency is failing. It’s certainly true that Paul Ryan’s speakership of the House is failing, arguable that Mitch McConnell’s tenure as majority leader of the Senate is failing, and indisputably true that the Koch brothers’ drive to infuse hardcore libertarian ideological zeal into the GOP is failing.”
“But Trump isn’t failing. He and his family appear to be making money hand over fist. It’s a spectacle the likes of which we’ve never seen in the United States, and while it may end in disaster for the Trumps someday, for now it shows no real sign of failure.”
From President Trump’s interview with Reuters:
More than five months after his victory and two days shy of the 100-day mark of his presidency, the election is still on Trump’s mind. Midway through a discussion about Chinese President Xi Jinping, the president paused to hand out copies of what he said were the latest figures from the 2016 electoral map.
“Here, you can take that, that’s the final map of the numbers,” the Republican president said from his desk in the Oval Office, handing out maps of the United States with areas he won marked in red. “It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us.”
Byron York: “Republicans have 237 seats in the House. Repealing Obamacare will require 216 votes. Even with unanimous Democratic opposition, Republicans could lose 20 votes and still prevail on repeal. Why haven’t they done it?”
“By this time, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Republicans have not repealed Obamacare because a lot of Republicans do not want to repeal Obamacare. They don’t even want to sorta repeal Obamacare. The bill currently on the table, like the bill pulled in March, falls far short of a full repeal of Obamacare. And yet Republicans still cannot agree on it.”
Rick Klein: “Quick – who’s excited about the Republicans’ health care bill? Hint: It’s not Republicans. House leaders’ decision to delay a vote on their modified legislation is an acknowledgement of political realities, since they just don’t have the votes. But it also puts off a day that a growing number of Republicans view with dread, as House members are being asked to be put on record on a flatly unpopular bill that almost certainly won’t become law even if it passes the House. ”
David Nather: “The votes aren’t there yet. If more than 22 Republicans oppose the bill, it will fail. So far at least 15 have come out against it and many more are undecided.”
Charles Stile: “Outgoing governors tend to fade into the background as they round the final lap of their tenure. And as a general rule, they tend to lend at least tacit support for the next standard bearer of their own party or refrain from making overt criticism.”
“Not Christie so far. The self-anointed truth teller is vowing to suit up in a referee’s zebra stripes and call out the candidates if he believes they are trying to ‘hoodwink’ the public with reckless or unrealistic promises.”
Said Christie: “I’m going to referee this stuff and if people are making irresponsible claims, I’m going to let the public know what to expect as a result.”
“I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”
— President Trump, in an interview with Reuters.
Michelle Obama hit the paid-speaking circuit yesterday and spoke about leaving the White House, the Washington Post reports.
“She shared a story about her emotional final day at the White House. Her daughters were in tears as they said goodbye to the staff, and she felt herself choke up, too — but she resolved to keep her emotions hidden before the Inauguration Day cameras.”
Said Obama: “I didn’t want to have tears in my eyes because people would swear I was crying because of the new president.”
Former President Obama “made another $400,000 on Thursday when he appeared at the A&E Networks advertising upfront at The Pierre Hotel. He was interviewed over 90 minutes at the Midtown Manhattan event by presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin in front of the cable network’s advertisers,” the New York Post reports.
“Goodwin asked Obama how, while president, he handled frustrating moments. She mentioned Lincoln would write angry letters and then put them in a desk and not mail them.”
Responded Obama: “For starters, by not having a Twitter account.”
Financial Times: “Sitting across from Donald Trump in the Oval Office, my eyes are drawn to a little red button on a box that sits on his desk. ‘This isn’t the nuclear button, is it?’ I joke, pointing. ‘No, no, everyone thinks it is,’ Trump says … before leaning over and pressing it to order some Cokes. ‘Everyone does get a little nervous when I press that button.'”
New York Times: “In January, Politico reported that President Trump was considering Sean Reyes, the Utah attorney general, to lead the Federal Trade Commission. Since then, donations to his political campaign have poured in from out-of-state donors and businesses that are regulated by the F.T.C.”
“Mr. Reyes, who is not up for re-election and won handily last year, received more than $113,000 in donations in the first three months of the year, far more than he received during the same period last year, an election year. Half of the new contributions came from out-of-state donors, and more than $43,000 came from first-time donors.”
“There is nothing illegal about the donations, but their timing reveals the power of the political shortlist in a city where lobbyists and businesses often place protective bets.”
President Trump “was set to announce Saturday, on the 100th day of his presidency, that he was withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement — the sort of disruptive proclamation that would upend both global and domestic politics and signal to his base that he was keeping his campaign promise to terminate what he once called ‘a total disaster’ and ‘one of the worst deals ever,'” the Washington Post reports.
Said Trump: “I was all set to terminate. I looked forward to terminating. I was going to do it.”
“There was just one problem: Trump’s team — like on so many issues — was deeply divided.”
“I’m pro-environment, I’m pro-trade, I’m anti-debt, I’m pro-immigration, I’m pro-NATO. And when I look at the party, I see it moving in a different direction. But I’ve always said I have the right to define what it means to be a Republican and a conservative.”
— Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), in an interview with BuzzFeed, when asked if he’s still a Republican.
President Trump told Reuters that a major conflict with North Korea is possible in the standoff over its nuclear and missile programs, but he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute.
Said Trump: “There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely.”
“House Democrats are going to extreme lengths to conceal a report on the party’s problems,” Politico reports.
“After nearly five months, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) will present his investigative report to lawmakers during a members-only gathering at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee headquarters Thursday night. But members are not allowed to have copies of the report and may view it only under the watchful eyes of DCCC staff.”
“Senate Democrats are exploring a lawsuit against President Trump on the grounds that his vast business empire has created conflicts of interest that violate the Constitution,” The Hill reports.
“The effort is being led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), who has had preliminary discussions with several senators about the idea.”
“The tide is quickly turning against the new Obamacare repeal legislation,” The Hill reports.
“At least 21 Republicans have said they would vote no on the revised GOP healthcare bill negotiated by centrist Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) and conservative Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC)… Twenty-three GOP defections would be enough to kill House Republicans’ Obamacare repeal-and-replacement plan, assuming every House Democrat votes against it.”
Washington Post: “House Republican leaders scrambled Thursday evening to muster enough votes to bring a health-care bill to the floor this week, even though the latest changes have intensified resistance among some moderates and key industry players.”
Former first lady Michelle Obama said she would never run for political office because she “wouldn’t ask my children to do this again,” CNN reports.
Said Obama: “It’s good to not have the weight of the world upon your shoulders.”
“Despite a positive public front, congressional Republicans are quietly voicing frustration that President Trump’s big tax announcement Wednesday emanated from a disjointed process — and lacked crucial components necessary in the push to secure the first major tax reform in more than 30 years,” CNN reports.
Said one senior GOP aide: “It’s not tax reform. Not even close.”