White House

Mulvaney Wants No Funding for Consumer Bureau

Politico: “Every quarter, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau formally requests its operating funds from the Federal Reserve. Last quarter, former director Richard Cordray asked for $217.1 million. Cordray, an appointee of President Barack Obama, needed just $86.6 million the quarter before that. And yesterday, President Donald Trump’s acting CFPB director, Mick Mulvaney, sent his first request to the Fed.”

“He requested zero.”

Kelly Has a Steve Bannon Moment

Jonathan Swan: “Late last night, a few hours after Fox News aired Bret Baier’s interview with John Kelly, a source close to the president told me Trump would explode when he saw what his chief of staff said. The source — who has spent a lot of time with Trump — predicted the president would hate the interview because Kelly came off as the mature professional who patiently educated an uninformed Trump, and helped him see the light and evolve on The Wall.”

“Sure enough, a few hours later Trump tweets his displeasure.”

Said the source: “Kelly has finally ventured into Steve Bannon territory when it comes to trying to create the perception that he’s the ‘great manipulator,’ saving the country from Trump’s ignorance. The difference is, Steve tried to develop that reputation in off-the-record conversations with reporters. Kelly did it openly on the country’s most-watched cable network. It’s the subtle difference between hubris and arrogance.”

Trump May Try to Keep Parks Open During a Shutdown

“The Trump administration is drawing up plans to keep hundreds of national parks and monuments open to the public if the government shuts down this weekend, a precedent-setting change aimed at blunting anger over the disruption of federal services,” the Washington Post reports.

“The shuttering of iconic parks proved to be a political flash point during two previous government shutdowns, in 1995 and 2013. On both occasions, Republicans controlled Congress and a Democratic president sat in the White House; both times, Republicans shouldered much of the blame for ruining people’s vacations.”

Kushner Still Has No Security Clearance

“It’s been one year since Jared Kushner, senior adviser and son-in-law to the president, assumed office, but he’s yet to receive full security clearance for his role in the White House,” Newsweek reports.

“The unprecedented delay in clearance represents a violation of security norms and suggests that Kushner continues to receive special treatment due to his relationship to President Trump.”

Global Approval of U.S. Leadership Hits New Low

A new Gallup poll finds other nations’ approval of U.S. leadership under President Trump hit a historical low of 30% in 2017.

“The measure, the lowest since Gallup began tracking it worldwide in 2007, signals an 18-point drop from a year earlier, when 48% approved of the national influence under former President Obama. It is the single largest year-to-year drop in approval of U.S. leadership — or of any country examined — to date. The steep decline, researchers said, can be largely attributed to the shift in leadership in the West Wing.”

On the Cusp of Obesity

Slate notes one result from President Trump’s medical exam “was conspicuously abnormal: the president’s body mass index.”

“At 6’3” and 239 pounds, Trump’s BMI is 29.9, exactly 0.1 units shy of one big league distinction: obesity. Remarkably, the president was found to be exactly 1 pound lighter than a weight that would have pushed him over the edge to receive the diagnosis of obesity. Similarly, if he were merely 1/10 of an inch shorter, he would also be considered obese.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I guess they all realized they were going to have to leave it to a president that scored the highest on tests.”

— President Trump, in an interview with Reuters, blaming his three immediate predecessors for failing to resolve the North Korea crisis, a day after his doctor gave him a perfect score on a cognitive test.

What Bannon Told Congress

Jonathan Swan: “Steve Bannon made one conspicuous slip up in his closed-door hearing on Tuesday with the House Intelligence Committee… Bannon admitted that he’d had conversations with Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer and legal spokesman Mark Corallo about Don Junior’s infamous meeting with the Russians in Trump Tower in June 2016.”

“Bannon immediately realized he’d slipped up and disclosed conversations he wasn’t supposed to discuss, because they happened while he was chief strategist in the White House. Throughout the rest of the session, committee members — in particular Republican Trey Gowdy and Democrat Adam Schiff — hammered Bannon over the fact that he’d mentioned those conversations but refused to discuss anything else about his time in the White House.”

“Bannon’s lawyer, Bill Burck, told the committee in his opening remarks that Bannon wouldn’t answer any questions that relate to his time inside the White House or during the presidential transition. The committee caught him in the slip-up inside the first 90 minutes.”

Quote of the Day

“An American president who cannot take criticism — who must constantly deflect and distort and distract — who must find someone else to blame — is charting a very dangerous path. And a Congress that fails to act as a check on the President adds to the danger.”

— Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), in a speech on the Senate floor.

Doctor Says Trump Has Heart Disease

CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said that he believes tests reveal that President Trump has heart disease, The Hill reports.

Gupta said dating back to 2009, President Trump started to have “these tests that are actually looking for the presence of calcium in the blood vessels that lead to the heart.”

Said Gupta: “It was interesting when I spoke to Dr. Jackson at first, he said, he passed all the tests with flying colors. When I asked him specifically about that test, did he then concede that, in fact, the president does have heart disease. They’re going to be increasing the medications, including the cholesterol-lowering medications to try and combat that, but there’s no question, by all standards, by all metrics, anyway a doctor or cardiologist will look at it, the president does have heart disease.”

Porn Star Describes Her Affair with Trump

Porn star Stormy Daniels tells In Touch that she had sex with Donald Trump in his Lake Tahoe, NV, hotel suite in 2006 — a story that was corroborated by her good friend Randy Spears and supported by her ex-husband. She also took a polygraph test.

Said Daniels: “The sex was textbook generic. I actually don’t even know why I did it, but I do remember while we were having sex, I was like, ‘Please, don’t try to pay me.’”

After having sex, Daniels said: “We hung out for a little while and he just kept saying, ‘I’m gonna call you, I’m gonna call you. I have to see you again. You’re amazing. We have to get you on The Apprentice.’”

Daily Beast: “According to a source familiar with the matter, later this week, InTouch is planning to run the entire unedited interview it conducted with Daniels. All 5,500 words of it.”

Trump Has Lost All Credibility on Capitol Hill

Politico: “On the cusp of a deal for the second time with Democrats to enshrine protections for 700,000 young undocumented immigrants, Trump once again destroyed the underpinnings of the potential agreement… So now, instead of securing a bipartisan deal to fund the government and help a large group of immigrants that Trump said deserve compassion, the president and Republican Congress are scrambling, yet again, just to keep the government open.”

“It demonstrates once again to Democrats — and Republicans — that Trump is an unpredictable, unreliable partner who cannot be trusted to keep his word. To lawmakers on Capitol Hill, there may be no greater crime, since all members and senators know their word is their bond. Once you lose that credibility, you’re done as a deal-maker.”