Sen. Jeff Flake Goes Off on Trump Again: The Presidency Has ‘Been Debased’

Senator Jeff Flake, one of President Trump‘s toughest Republican critics, unloaded on him again today in remarks to Harvard Law grads. CBS News reports that Flake unloaded not just on the Commander-in-Chief but also Congress for not doing enough to conduct proper oversight:
“Our presidency has been debased. By a figure who has a seemingly bottomless appetite for destruction and division. And only a passing familiarity with how the Constitution works,” Flake said, according to prepared remarks obtained by CBS News ahead of the speech. “And our Article I branch of government, the Congress (that’s me), is utterly supine in the face of the moral vandalism that flows from the White House daily.”
He called Congress “willing accomplices to this calamity” and at one point he even said, “We may have hit bottom.” Flake has made a few speeches on the Senate floor in the past Continue reading "Sen. Jeff Flake Goes Off on Trump Again: The Presidency Has ‘Been Debased’"

After Saying Trump Shouldn’t Do Mueller Interview, Giuliani Changes His Mind

Literally yesterday Rudy Giuliani was saying that he doesn’t think President Trump should speak to Robert Mueller. He told The Wall Street Journal in no uncertain terms:
Rudy Giuliani, one of the president’s outside lawyers, said in an interview Tuesday that he is currently opposed to letting Mr. Trump field questions from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Noting the perils of talking to prosecutors, Mr. Giuliani said that were the president to testify he could “talk himself into becoming a target.”
He added, “If they said, you have to do it now, the answer would have to be no.” Well, guess what. In an interview just one day later with The Washington Post, Giuliani has changed his mind:
“I guess I’d rather do the interview. It gets it over with it, it makes my client happy,” he said. “The safe course you hear every lawyer say is Continue reading "After Saying Trump Shouldn’t Do Mueller Interview, Giuliani Changes His Mind"

ICE Director Tells Trump Calling MS-13 ‘Animals’ Is Kind: ‘Animals Kill for Survival, MS-13 Kills for Sport’

President Trump held a roundtable today on immigration and the brutal MS-13, and he stood by the “animal” language he used last week. And the acting director of ICE backed him up on it. Thomas Homan spoke at the roundtable event today along with a few other officials (most notably Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein days after his meeting with Trump about his DOJ “demand”). Homan––who has overseeing the immigration and deportation crackdown under Trump––started out by thanking the President for his leadership and for taking border security so seriously. At one point during his remarks about cracking down on MS-13, Homan said this directly to Trump:
“I know you’ve been taking a hit on your comments about animals and MS-13, but I think you’re being kind. Animals kill for survival, MS-13 kills for sport.”
Last week after media coverage of the President’s initial remark, he responded in a tweet: Continue reading "ICE Director Tells Trump Calling MS-13 ‘Animals’ Is Kind: ‘Animals Kill for Survival, MS-13 Kills for Sport’"

Reporters Barred from Covering EPA Summit Again, After Alleged Shoving Incident on Tuesday

After reporters were barred from covering an EPA summit yesterday, the same thing happened today. Politico revealed that one of their reporters, as well as reporters for CNN and E&E News, were not allowed to enter the event: CNN is reporting the same regarding the toxic chemicals summit. Their report contains this quote from a security guard:
“Oh, you’re not allowed today,” a uniformed security guard told a CNN reporter when the journalist presented his credentials. “They ain’t doing the CNN stuff. What’s this, the press?”
Politico editor Carrie Budoff Brown responded to the decision by saying they “would much rather be writing about the agency’s efforts to address this health problem than about reporters being excluded.” An EPA spokesperson provided this statement today:
“The National Leadership Summit on PFAS scheduled is not a federal advisory committee event. The purpose of this event is for EPA’s state, tribal, Continue reading "Reporters Barred from Covering EPA Summit Again, After Alleged Shoving Incident on Tuesday"

Pompeo: ‘I Don’t Believe There’s a Deep State at the State Department’

During his congressional testimony today, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he doesn’t agree with the notion of a “deep state.” Congressman Ted Lieu (D- CA) brought up President Trump‘s tweet railing against the “criminal deep state” from this morning: Trump has tweeted a few times about the Continue reading "Pompeo: ‘I Don’t Believe There’s a Deep State at the State Department’"

CNN’s Zeleny: When Trump Says ‘We Now Call It Spygate,’ He Means His Advisers and Fox Newsers

During his brief remarks to reporters this afternoon, President Trump not only stood by his labeling of this FBI informant controversy “Spygate,” but he said, “We now call it Spygate.” He also told the press, “You’re calling it Spygate.” This comes on the heels of Trump himself calling it that on Twitter this morning after his initial “demand” on Sunday to the DOJ regarding this issue, saying, “SPYGATE could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!” After the President’s remarks ended this afternoon, CNN’s John King brought on Jeff Zeleny and rather pointedly rebutted Trump’s claim: “No, we’re not.”
Zeleny said of course not, but noted what Trump’s “we” actually refers to:
“When the President says ‘a lot of people are saying,’ he’s true in Continue reading "CNN’s Zeleny: When Trump Says ‘We Now Call It Spygate,’ He Means His Advisers and Fox Newsers"

Michael Cohen Reportedly Received Secret $400k Payment to Fix Talks Between Ukraine President and Trump

So it turns out the extent of Michael Cohen‘s financial dealings may be a smidge bigger than previously thought. The BBC is exclusively reporting this morning on $400,000 Cohen received to “fix talks between the Ukrainian president and President Trump”:
The payment was arranged by intermediaries acting for Ukraine’s leader, Petro Poroshenko, the sources said, though Cohen was not registered as a representative of Ukraine as required by US law… Shortly after the Ukrainian president returned home, his country’s anti-corruption agency stopped its investigation into Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.
An anonymous senior Ukrainian intel officer said President Poroshenko “decided to establish a back channel to Trump” and a former aide of his got a Ukrainian MP to help out and they eventually found Cohen. Trump had met with Poroshenko last June and the report says there’s “no suggestion” he was aware of this payment. However, they Continue reading "Michael Cohen Reportedly Received Secret $400k Payment to Fix Talks Between Ukraine President and Trump"