President Trump and the Trump Organization are “seeking a court order to prevent his accounting firm from complying with what his lawyers say is an illegitimate use of congressional subpoena power by congressional Democrats,” the Washington Post reports.
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First Read: “The Mueller report makes a damning case about Trump’s dishonesty: One of the unmistakable takeaways after reading the Mueller report is how the president of the United States wasn’t honest with the American public when it came to Russia and the entire Russia probe.”
“Almost every step of the way – during the campaign, during the investigation itself – the president and his allies weren’t being honest with the American people.”
“And outside of the questions about obstruction of justice and conspiracy/coordination/collusion, isn’t this dishonesty one of the biggest storylines out this entire Russia episode?”
“There’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians.”
— Rudy Giuliani, in an interview on CNN, defending the 2016 Trump campaign.
“Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) unveiled a new plan on Monday that would offer free public college for future students while cancelling up to $50,000 in student debt for over 40 million Americans,” NBC News reports.
“Warren said her proposal was designed to confront a recent surge in student loans, now totaling $1.5 trillion nationally. She blamed insufficient funding in higher education in favor of lower taxes for the mounting student debt.”
New York Times: “Ms. Warren’s sweeping plan has several planks. She would pay for it with revenue generated by her proposed increase in taxes for America’s most wealthy families and corporations, which the campaign estimates to be $2.75 trillion over 10 years. In addition to eliminating undergraduate tuition at public colleges and universities, she would expand federal grants to help students with nontuition expenses and create a $50 billion fund to support historically black colleges and universities.”
A new CBS News poll finds 62% of Americans think the environment will be worse for the next generation of Americans, up six points from a year ago.
“When asked to grade the U.S. on protecting the environment, few Americans give the U.S. high marks. Most give the country a ‘C’ at best, including 22% who give a failing grade of ‘F.’ Back in 2009, just 6% said the U.S. deserved an ‘F’ for the progress it had made in protecting the environment.”
Monkey Cage: “The Trump administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census reaches the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Thus far, three federal judges have ruled against the Trump administration, most recently in Maryland. The Supreme Court will consider not only whether the administration violated administrative law, but also whether its attempt violated the Constitution.”
“A crucial issue in the case is whether adding this question for the first time since 1950 will hurt the ability of the census to accurately count the American population. In particular, critics of the administration fear the question will dissuade some U.S. residents, especially immigrants, from answering the census.”
“Research suggests these fears are justified. Working separately, we have used surveys and experiments to show that the citizenship question would make people less likely to respond to the census and provide complete information if they do respond. This is particularly true for Latinos and immigrants.”
A new Harvard Institute of Politics poll of voters between 18 and 29 years old finds that 43% say they will likely vote in their party’s presidential primary or caucus.
At this stage in 2015, just 36% said the same.
Former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara told CNN that President Trump could be prosecuted when he is out of office and that the Mueller report made it clear the Mueller team believes there is “future legal jeopardy.”
Politico: “A quintet of Ronald Reagan appointees — Larry Kudlow, Art Laffer, Steve Forbes, Stephen Moore and David Malpass — united by undying affection for each other and for laissez-faire economics, have the run of Washington once more. Members of the tight-knit group have shaped Trump’s signature tax cut, helped install each other in posts with vast influence over the global economy, and are working to channel Trump’s mercantilist instincts into pro-trade policies.”
“Blasted by their critics as charlatans and lauded by their acolytes as tireless champions of prosperity, there’s no denying the quintet has had an enduring impact on decades of economic policy.”
“The State Department is set to announce that all countries will have to completely end their imports of Iranian oil or be subject to U.S. sanctions,” the Washington Post reports.
“On Monday morning, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will announce to the media that, as of May 2, the State Department will no longer grant sanctions waivers to any country that is currently importing Iranian crude or condensate.”
Associated Press: “There are no policy positions on his website. He has virtually no paid presence in the states that matter most. And his campaign manager is a high school friend with no experience in presidential politics.”
“Welcome to the campaign of Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old Indiana mayor who has suddenly become one of the hottest names in the Democrats’ presidential primary season. Yet there is an increasing urgency, inside and outside of the campaign, that his moment may pass if he doesn’t take swift action to build a national organization capable of harnessing the energy he’ll need to sustain his surge in the nine months or so before the first votes are cast.”
Politico: “Deep-pocketed Republicans who snubbed Donald Trump in 2016 are going all in for him in 2020, throwing their weight behind a newly created fundraising drive that’s expected to dump tens of millions into his reelection coffers.”
“The effort involves scores of high-powered businessmen, lobbyists and former ambassadors who raised big money for George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney — and who are now preparing to tap their expansive networks for Trump after rebuffing his first presidential bid.”
Playbook: “Off the campaign trail on on Capitol Hill, where this is a reality, not a theoretical exercise for people looking to curry favor with a narrow electorate, this issue will come to the fore today when Speaker Nancy Pelosi gathers House Democrats on a conference call to discuss the Mueller report. Inevitably, whether it’s brought up directly or not, their impeachment dilemma will be top of mind for many Democrats.”
“Of course, Pelosi has been exceedingly cautious about the prospect of impeachment, partially as a tool to help her lawmakers fend off endless questions — and pressure — about removing the president.”
“Politically, impeachment would be a messy, all-consuming process that would grind legislation to a halt. Democrats have said on repeat that they were elected not to impeach the president, but rather to lower prescription drug prices and enact other policies to help working Americans. All of that would go nowhere if Democrats were impeaching Trump.”
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) officially launched his 2020 presidential campaign on Monday., Axios reports.
“President Trump glanced around the room and noticed Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, then his national security adviser, with his head bent over a notebook, scribbling something down,” the New York Times reports.
“General McMaster was a prolific note-taker, recording details for later reference, a practice that hardly seemed unusual to someone in charge of a sprawling national security apparatus. But it enraged Mr. Trump, who one day, according to people in the room, finally snapped at his adviser.”
Demanded Trump: “‘Why are you always writing in that book?”
In a closed-door meeting with Iranian-American community leaders last Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration is “not going to do a military exercise inside Iran” to expedite a regime change, Axios reports.
“Pompeo also sought to distance the Trump administration from a controversial Iranian resistance group that has welcomed John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani as speakers in a private capacity.”
The Atlantic: “Trump’s reelection seems implausible to many people, as implausible as his election did before November 2016. But despite the scandals and chaos of his presidency, and despite his party’s midterm losses, he approaches 2020 with two factors in his favor. One is incumbency: Since 1980, voters have only once denied an incumbent a second term. The other is a relatively strong economy (at least as of now). Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory University who weights both of those factors heavily in his election-forecasting model, gives Trump close to an even chance of reelection, based on a projected 2 percent GDP growth rate for the first half of 2020.”
“So far, much of the concern about the long-term effects of Trump’s presidency has centered on his antidemocratic tendencies. But even if we take those off the table—even if we assume that Trump continues to be hemmed in by other parts of the government and by outside institutions, and that he governs no more effectively than he has until now—the impact of a second term would be more lasting than that of the first.”