March, 2018

Trump Unleashed

Washington Post: “Nowhere to be seen was John F. Kelly, the beleaguered White House chief of staff and overall disciplinarian — nor were the handful of advisers regarded as moderating forces eager to restrain the president from acting impulsively, who have resigned or been fired.”

“The gatherings neatly illustrated an inflection point for the Trump presidency. Fourteen months into the job, Trump is increasingly defiant and singularly directing his administration with the same rapid and brutal style he honed leading his real estate and branding empire.”

“Trump is making hasty decisions that jolt markets and shock leaders and experts — including those on his own staff. Some confidants expressed concern about the situation, while others, unworried, characterized him as unleashed.”

Trump Says Washington Post is a Lobbyist for Amazon

President Trump claimed in a tweet that the Washington Post is a “lobbyist” for Amazon.

The Washington Post and Amazon are both owned by Jeff Bezos.

Washington Post: “In a pair of morning tweets… the president argued that Amazon costs the U.S. Postal Service billions of dollars in potential revenue. Trump has repeatedly advanced this theory, even though officials have explained to him that Amazon’s contracts with the Postal Service are profitable.”

Trump’s Business Is Under Siege

“The carefully maintained secrecy around President Trump’s finances is under unprecedented assault a year into his presidency, with three different legal teams with different agendas trying to pry open the Trump Organization’s books,” the Washington Post reports.

“On one side is special counsel Robert Mueller, who has subpoenaed Trump Organization documents as part of his wide-ranging investigation into the 2016 campaign. On another is Stormy Daniels, the adult-film actress seeking internal correspondence as part of her effort to be freed from a nondisclosure agreement centering on an alleged affair with Trump.”

“And in the most direct assault, the District and Maryland have sued Trump, alleging that he is improperly accepting gifts, or “emoluments,” from foreign or state governments through his businesses, including his hotels.”

Inside the Decline of Fox News

Ralph Peters: “You could measure the decline of Fox News by the drop in the quality of guests waiting in the green room. A year and a half ago, you might have heard George Will discussing policy with a senator while a former Cabinet member listened in. Today, you would meet a Republican commissar with a steakhouse waistline and an eager young woman wearing too little fabric and too much makeup, immersed in memorizing her talking points.”

“This wasn’t a case of the rats leaving a sinking ship. The best sailors were driven overboard by the rodents.”

“As I wrote in an internal Fox memo, leaked and widely disseminated, I declined to renew my contract as Fox News’s strategic analyst because of the network’s propagandizing for the Trump administration. Today’s Fox prime-time lineup preaches paranoia, attacking processes and institutions vital to our republic and challenging the rule of law.”

Trump Ally Served Mueller Subpoena at Airport

“A controversial London-based academic with close ties to Nigel Farage has been detained by the FBI upon arrival in the US and issued a subpoena to testify before Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin,” the Guardian reports.

“Ted Malloch, an American touted last year as a possible candidate to serve as US ambassador to the EU, said he was interrogated by the FBI at Boston’s Logan airport on Wednesday following a flight from London and questioned about his involvement in the Trump campaign.”

‘The Best $50 We Will Spend’

A reader received an automated email that her credit card was about to expire:

Thank you for this reminder. I already had a note on my calendar for today to check my credit card so that I would not lose a moment of Political Wire. Your reminder was an extra push for me on one of my busy days to get it done!

Your website has been a huge godsend in the past year. Political Wire has allowed me to focus on key issues without wading through Apple News or individual news sites. But it gives me the links and resources to follow up on those details, should I want. Best of all, my husband has even become a huge fan — each morning he “snatches” my iPad and prefers drinking his coffee and reading through your site, before we chat.

So thank you for the short reminder to update our card. We look forward to utilizing your insights and assessments in the coming year. The best $50 we will spend in the next 12 months, I am sure.

It’s emails like this that keep me going. Thanks to everyone who supports the site!

If you’re not yet a member, join for just $5 a month or $50 year.

Pruitt’s Security Detail Broke Down Door

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s protective detail “broke down the door at the Capitol Hill condo where he was living, believing he was unconscious and unresponsive and needed rescue, in a bizarre incident last year that the EPA has for months refused to discuss,” ABC News reports.

“The EPA eventually agreed to reimburse the condo owner for the damage to the door… Pruitt declined medical attention, and a police report was never filed.”

Trudeau’s Ill-Fated Trip to India

“Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau no longer looks invincible,” the Washington Post reports.

CBC’s Poll Tracker reported in late March that the opposition Conservative Party is now in the lead, at 37.7% of voting intentions, compared with Trudeau’s Liberals, at 33.7%. The left-of-center New Democratic Party was third at 18.5%.”

“Some observers say it’s just a question of midterm blues, with a Canadian election not scheduled until the fall of 2019. But the real culprit seems to have been Trudeau’s visit to India in February. During the week-long trip, Trudeau was widely mocked for wearing traditional Indian garb as he crossed India with his wife and three children.”

Barack Obama put it best: “You don’t put stuff on your head if you’re president. That’s politics 101. You never look good wearing something on your head.”

Office that Vets Trump Appointees Is a Mess

“An obscure White House office responsible for recruiting and vetting thousands of political appointees has suffered from inexperience and a shortage of staff, hobbling the Trump administration’s efforts to place qualified people in key posts across government,” the Washington Post reports.

“At the same time, two office leaders have spotty records themselves: a college dropout with arrests for drunken driving and bad checks and a lance corporal in the Marine Corps reserves with arrests for assault, disorderly conduct, fleeing an officer and underage drinking.”

Young People Really Don’t Like Trump

A new Associated Press-NORC-MTV poll finds that just 33% of Americans between the ages of 15 and 34 approve of Trump’s job performance. That’s 9 points lower than all adults.

“The survey is the first in a series of polls designed to highlight the voices of the youngest generation of voters. The respondents, all of whom will be old enough to vote when Trump seeks re-election in 2020, represent the most diverse generation in American history.”

How Antonin Scalia Was the Trump of the Supreme Court

Rick Hasen, author of The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption, joins Chris Riback for a discussion of Scalia’s complex legacy as a conservative legal thinker and disruptor of the nation’s highest court.

Subscribe via iTunes or Google Play to get new episodes automatically downloaded to your phone.

Thanks to the Cook Political Report for sponsoring this podcast.

Conway’s Husband Deletes Tweets Critical of Trump

“Kellyanne Conway’s husband has begun deleting a series of tweets he posted in the last month that are critical of President Trump,” CNN reports.

“George Conway, a conservative lawyer Trump once considered nominating as solicitor general, deleted several tweets that called attention to Trump’s legal woes, his difficulty in finding his next communications director and the White House’s later debunked denials of staff shakeups.”