Sean Hannity opened his show tonight with a segment on… Hillary Clinton.
Archives for February 2018
The firm run by Jared Kushner’s family reportedly received a $184 million from Apollo Global Management after founder Joshua Harris made “regular” visits to the White House, the New York Times reports.
Kushner’s firm also received a $325 million loan from Citigroup after Kushner met with Citigroup’s CEO Michael Corbat.
“There is little precedent for a top White House official meeting with executives of companies as they contemplate sizable loans to his business… Mr. Kushner has reported owning hundreds of partnerships, limited liability companies and other entities, but he is not required to disclose the lifeblood of any real estate firm’s business: its lenders and outside investors.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions had dinner tonight with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Solicitor General Noel Francisco, Axios reports.
“The symbolism was unmistakable: the three top ranking officials in the Justice Department appearing together in a show of solidarity on the same day Trump is publicly and privately raging about Sessions.”
An ally close to President Trump told CNN that President Trump berated White House communications director Hope Hicks after her testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in which she admitted she sometimes told “white lies” to protect the president.
Said the source: “She was his last emotional crutch.”
Special counsel Robert Mueller “has been investigating a period of time last summer when President Trump seemed determined to drive Attorney General Jeff Sessions from his job,” the Washington Post reports.
“In recent months, Mueller’s team has questioned witnesses in detail about Trump’s private comments and state of mind in late July and early August of last year, around the time he issued a series of tweets belittling his ‘beleaguered’ attorney general… The thrust of the questions was to determine whether the president’s goal was to oust Sessions in order to pick a replacement who would exercise control over the investigation into possible coordination between Russia and Trump associates during the 2016 election.”
Also interesting: “Behind the scenes, Trump has derisively referred to Sessions as ‘Mr. Magoo,’ a cartoon character who is elderly, myopic and bumbling.”
A new AP-NORC poll finds that 57% of Americans, including more than 8 in 10 blacks, three-quarters of Hispanics and nearly half of whites, said they think President Trump is racist.
Eighty-five percent of Democrats consider Trump racist, but just 21% of Republicans agree.
“More than 30 aides to President Trump have been stripped of access to top secret intelligence,” Bloomberg reports.
“The officials have been notified that they will be downgraded to a lower-level ‘secret’ interim security clearance while their background investigations continue… None of the officials have been asked to leave the administration and their portfolios on top secret matters will be distributed to other staff members.”
CNN: “Kushner, whose business dealings and wide portfolio have been the subject of intense scrutiny, told people that he suspected the timing of the story about his foreign contacts was coordinated to be released when issues surrounding his security clearance were in the news, according to a source familiar with his thinking, who described his demeanor in recent days as paranoid.”
“He is under the impression that officials from the intelligence and national security communities were aware of this information beforehand, the person said, but waited until his clearance issues were in the spotlight to make it public.”
Hope Hicks said that she was resigning as White House communications director, the New York Times reports.
“Ms. Hicks, 29, a former model who joined Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign without any experience in politics, became known as one of the few aides who understood his personality and style and could challenge the president to change his views.”
“She told colleagues that she had accomplished what she felt she could with a job that made her one of the most powerful people in Washington, and that there would never be a perfect moment to leave… She did not say what her next job would be, and it was unclear what the departure date is, although it is likely to be in the next few weeks.”
Jonathan Swan: “Trump will miss her in the same way he misses former bodyguard Keith Schiller. Hicks is family and has been part of his routine for nearly three years now. Trump increasingly finds himself working in a building populated by people he doesn’t know and doesn’t trust; Some of whom did not even vote for him.”
President Trump voiced support for confiscating guns from certain dangerous individuals, even if it violates due process rights, The Hill reports.
Said Trump: “I like taking the guns early like in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida … to go to court would have taken a long time. Take the guns first, go through due process second.”
“New York’s state banking regulator asked Deutsche Bank AG and two other lenders for information on their relationships with President Trump’s son-in-law and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and his family’s real estate company,” Reuters reports.
“How many Jews were put in the ovens because they were unarmed?”
— Rep. Don Young (R-AK), quoted by Alaska Public Media.
“Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is asking witnesses pointed questions about whether Donald Trump was aware that Democratic emails had been stolen before that was publicly known, and whether he was involved in their strategic release,” NBC News reports.
“Mueller’s investigators have asked witnesses whether Trump was aware of plans for WikiLeaks to publish the emails. They have also asked about the relationship between GOP operative Roger Stone and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and why Trump took policy positions favorable to Russia.”
Gallup: “More than one year into Donald Trump’s presidency, Americans’ satisfaction with their national government shows no signs of improving. About a third of U.S. adults (34%) say they are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ satisfied with the size and power of the federal government, down six percentage points from 2017 but on par with most readings since 2011. Thirty-eight percent of Americans are satisfied with ‘our system of government and how well it works,’ essentially unchanged from 2017 and much lower than it was between 2001 and 2008.”
Said Sessions: “We have initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against this department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary. As long as I am the attorney general, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution.”
Former White House strategist Steve Bannon told GQ about his plans to launch a new political group sometime this spring or this summer.
Said Bannon: “In the modern digital age—and David Axelrod saw this very early on, and we a little bit copied it—there’s three things that are important: It’s authenticity of candidate. The one thing the Internet has done is blown through phonies. Number two is the importance of actionable ideas. Obama had a series of actionable ideas. Donald Trump had a series of actionable ideas. It’s the reason my office was called the war room. Number three is—and this is also an Obama and Trump characteristic — a volunteer army of dedicated people.”
He added: “We know from the studies, the most powerful thing in a digital world — in an isolated world, in a fractured world — is somebody ringing a doorbell and coming up to you and telling you from their heart about a candidate. The most powerful thing to this women’s movement is not Oprah Winfrey. The most powerful thing is a million people in the streets on a Saturday. That’s power.”
“This rumor that I have resigned is completely unfounded and untrue.”
— West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R), on Twitter.
The Atlantic: “The most basic criticism of the GOP’s tax cut was that the boons for corporations and their shareholders would far outweigh the benefits for ordinary workers. That’s exactly what seems to be happening. Stock buybacks announced between January 1st and February 15th reached historically high levels, totaling about $170 billion in that period.”
“That’s 28 times larger than the total value of end-of-year bonuses that were credited to the corporate tax bill—some of which had been announced months earlier and had nothing to do with the tax cuts. Companies might be advertising new bonuses. But they’re quietly reaping the benefits of higher profits.”