August, 2017

Christie Won’t Appoint Himself to Senate Seat

Gov. Chris Christie (R) said he probably wouldn’t appoint himself to the U.S. Senate if Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) were to resign following his federal corruption trial, Politico reports.

Said Christie: “I don’t see that happening. I really do believe that some of us are built for executive positions and some of us are built for legislative positions. I think I’m much more of an executive branch kind of guy.”

For members: Democrats Have a Lot Riding on a Corruption Trial

Trump Son to Testify Before Senate Panel

“President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., has agreed to sit down for a transcribed interview with the Senate judiciary committee, as investigators continue to dig into his attendance at a 2016 meeting where he was promised Russian dirt on the Clinton campaign,” CNN reports.

“After weeks of discussions, Trump Jr. has agreed on a date to be interviewed by the panel in private.”

Judge Throws Out Palin Case Against NYT

A federal judge dismissed Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against the New York Times, CNN reports

Wrote Judge Jed Rakoff: “Nowhere is political journalism so free, so robust, or perhaps so rowdy as in the United States. In the exercise of that freedom, mistakes will be made, some of which will be hurtful to others.”

Mueller Subpoenas Manafort Attorney and Spokesman

Special Counsel Robert Mueller “has issued subpoenas to a former lawyer for Paul Manafort and to Manafort’s current spokesman, an aggressive tactic that suggests an effort to add pressure on the former Trump campaign chairman,” CNN reports.

“The subpoenas seeking documents and testimony were sent to Melissa Laurenza, an attorney with the Akin Gump law firm who until recently represented Manafort, and to Jason Maloni, who is Manafort’s spokesman… It’s unclear what specific information the Mueller investigators believe Laurenza and Maloni may have. But issuing subpoenas to a lawyer of someone under investigation is unusual, in part because it raises potential attorney-client privilege issues that prosecutors tend to try to avoid. Maloni, as a public relations representative, doesn’t have the same attorney-client privilege protections.”

Republicans Increasingly Divided on Trump

A new Pew Research survey finds that just 31% of Republican voters say they agree with President Trump on all or nearly all issues, while an additional 38% agree with him on many, but not all, issues.

In contrast, 77% of Democrats report virtually no agreement with Trump on issues.

In views of Trump’s conduct as president, 46% of Republicans express mixed feelings, while 19% say they do not like his conduct; 34% say they like the way he conducts himself as president. Among Democrats, 89% have a negative view of Trump’s conduct.

Overall, Trump’s approval rate is a dismal 36% to 63%.

How Trump Kills the Republican Party

David Brooks: “Conservative universalists are coming to realize their party has become a vehicle for white identity and racial conflict. This faction is prior to and deeper than Trump.”

“When you have an intraparty fight about foreign or domestic issues, you think your rivals are wrong. When you have an intraparty fight on race, you think your rivals are disgusting. That’s what’s happening. Friendships are now ending across the right. People who supported Trump for partisan reasons now feel locked in to support him on race, and they are making themselves repellent.”

“It may someday be possible to reduce the influence of white identity politics, but probably not while Trump is in office. As long as he is in power the G.O.P. is a house viciously divided against itself, and cannot stand.”

White House Won’t Say If It Will Accept Mexican Help

“The Trump administration has not decided whether it will accept aid from Mexico to help victims of the hurricane that has devastated swaths of Texas and overwhelmed emergency responders,” HuffPost reports.

“Asked if the Trump administration’s assessment is that there is no need for assistance from Mexico, the White House referred HuffPost to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which punted to the State Department, which directed questions back to FEMA.”

Ethics Panel Reviewing Charges Against Collins

The House Ethics Committee is reviewing allegations that Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) “engaged in misconduct, four months after his personal investment practices came under scrutiny in the media,” the Washington Post reports.

“The New York Republican, who has denied wrongdoing, received a barrage of negative headlines in April and May after the Daily Beast reported that he wrote legislation that would benefit a pharmaceutical company in which he held a substantial interest.”