Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) writes in the Washington Post that Congress must return to “regular order” and compromise. “That has never been truer than today, when Congress must govern with a president who has no experience of public office, is often poorly informed and can be impulsive in his speech and conduct.”
He adds: “We must respect his authority and constitutional responsibilities. We must, where we can, cooperate with him. But we are not his subordinates. We don’t answer to him. We answer to the American people. We must be diligent in discharging our responsibility to serve as a check on his power. And we should value our identity as members of Congress more than our partisan affiliation.”
Mueller has the letter Trump wrote to justify firing Comey, a letter his WH counsel wouldn't let him send https://t.co/2nNYW1q5D1 pic.twitter.com/LFfae6Cfma
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) September 2, 2017
Special counsel Robert Mueller “has obtained a letter that President Trump and a top political aide drafted in the days before Mr. Trump fired FBI director James Comey which explains the president’s rationale for why he planned to dismiss the director,” the New York Times reports.
“The May letter had been met with opposition from Donald McGahn, the White House counsel, who believed that some of its contents were problematic… Mr. McGahn successfully blocked the president from sending Mr. Comey the letter, which Mr. Trump had composed with Stephen Miller, one of the president’s top political advisers.”
“A different letter, written by the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, and focused on Mr. Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, was ultimately sent to the FBI director on the day he was fired.”
Mediaite: “So, remember that one time when President Donald Trump held a Cabinet meeting and everyone at the table outdid themselves when it came to heaping praise on POTUS? Well, we got a similar situation today during a signing ceremony in the Oval Office in which Trump had a bunch of religious leaders surround him and profusely thank the president for his response to Hurricane Harvey.”
“With the president proclaiming that this coming Sunday will be a day of prayer for Harvey victims, he began going around the room and calling on different faith leaders to give remarks. And, wouldn’t you know, they all tripped over each other to express their gratitude for all the president had done so far.”
“After he was finished going around the room to get his praise, Trump turned it over to Pastor (and Fox News contributor) Robert Jeffress to lead the room in prayer, with some placing their hands on the president.”
NYT must-read: Russian election hacking more extensive than previously disclosed, but there have been few inquiries. https://t.co/855ySFt1H1
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 1, 2017
New York Times: “After a presidential campaign scarred by Russian meddling, local, state and federal agencies have conducted little of the type of digital forensic investigation required to assess the impact, if any, on voting in at least 21 states whose election systems were targeted by Russian hackers, according to interviews with nearly two dozen national security and state officials and election technology specialists.”
“The assaults on the vast back-end election apparatus — voter-registration operations, state and local election databases, e-poll books and other equipment — have received far less attention than other aspects of the Russian interference, such as the hacking of Democratic emails and spreading of false or damaging information about Mrs. Clinton. Yet the hacking of electoral systems was more extensive than previously disclosed.”
(THREAD) Trump Tower Moscow sits at the heart the Trump-Russia scandal. This thread reveals the REAL story behind it. Please share widely. pic.twitter.com/tQXIYcZTRQ
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017
Click on the Tweet to read it all.
Presiden Trump’s longtime aide and current director of Oval Office operations Keith Schiller has told people he intends to leave the White House, CNN reports.
“Schiller has told associates within the last two weeks that he plans to leave the White House at the end of September or in early October, the sources said. Schiller has told people his primary reason for leaving was financial, the sources said. Schiller earns a $165,000 annual salary at the White House — a downgrade from his annual earnings before he followed Trump to the White House.”
Shane Savistky: “If Schiller departs, Trump would lose a decades-long confidant — and one of the few remaining Trump Organization holdovers — at one of the most tumultuous times in his presidency.”
A new Fox News poll finds that 53% of those surveyed think President Trump is a “bully” while 43% say he’s “unstable.” Fewer voters, about one-third, assign the clearly positive terms “competent” (35%), “strong leader” (35%), and “problem solver” (32%).
The Gallup daily tracking poll finds President Trump’s approval rate at 34% to 61%, for a new low net approval rate of -27 points.
Parliamentarian closing door. Senate GOP almost out of time to repeal #Obamacare https://t.co/fBLGQvk9Rs via @voxdotcom
— Bill Manzi (@billmanzi) September 1, 2017
“The White House has signaled to congressional Republicans that it will not shut down the government in October if money isn’t appropriated to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, potentially clearing a path for lawmakers to reach a short-term budget deal,” the Washington Post reports.
Speaker Paul Ryan “gave a major boost to legislative efforts to preserve protections for young undocumented immigrants — and urged President Trump to not tear up the program,” CNN reports.
“The popular Obama administration program — which gives protections from deportation to undocumented immigrants that were brought to the US as children to work or study — has long been targeted by Republicans as an overreach of executive authority. Nevertheless, a number of moderate Republicans alongside Democrats support the program and have offered legislation that would make the protections permanent.”
Mick Mulvaney brags that he tricked Trump into proposing Social Security cuts https://t.co/5LfM2EHPgv
— Vox (@voxdotcom) September 1, 2017
New York Times: “Gone are the confrontational talk of a government shutdown and the brinkmanship over the debt limit. Instead, both Mr. Trump and his putative allies in Congress — many of them professed fiscal hawks — are promising an outpouring of federal aid to begin a recovery and rebuilding effort that will last for years and require tens of billions of dollars, if not substantially more, from Washington.”
“The storm has utterly transformed the federal fiscal picture.”
If Trump wants to suggest that Iran isn’t living up to their part of the nuclear weapons agreement, he’ll have to content with this: “Iran is honoring the terms of the landmark 2015 nuclear accord, the UN atomic watchdog said in its latest quarterly assessment today, according to news agencies that obtained the confidential six-page report. The latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) assessment puts the agency charged with overseeing compliance with the nuclear accord at odds with members of the Donald Trump administration who have signaled that they want to declare Iran in breach of the deal. IAEA officials said they would not help the Trump administration make a false case for abandoning the agreement.”
White House walks back promise about Trump donating his ‘personal money’ to Harvey victims https://t.co/rGsFN9580M pic.twitter.com/rSCO5LsAZ2
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) September 1, 2017
“Lawyers for Donald Trump have met several times with special counsel Robert Mueller in recent months and submitted memos arguing that the president didn’t obstruct justice by firing former FBI chief James Comey,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“One memo submitted to Mr. Mueller by the president’s legal team laid out the case that Mr. Trump has the inherent authority under the constitution to hire and fire as he sees fit and therefore didn’t obstruct justice when he fired James Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Another memo outlined why Mr. Comey would make an unsuitable witness, calling him prone to exaggeration, unreliable in congressional testimony and the source of leaks to the news media.”
Politico: “As soon as Hurricane Harvey hit, Mexico — a country described by President Trump as a source of rapists and drugs — stepped up to offer boats, food and other aid to the United States. Another offer of help came from Venezuela, a country in severe political and economic crisis that has been repeatedly sanctioned by the Trump administration; it said it could give $5 million in aid. The European Union has proudly noted that it is sharing its satellite mapping with U.S. emergency responders dealing the Harvey’s devastation. This despite Trump’s chastisement of European countries he views as overly dependent on the U.S. military. Then there’s tiny Taiwan, which has reportedly offered $800,000 in aid — a number likely calculated to annoy China as much as to curry favor with Trump.”
“But compared to past crises, the list of foreign governments lining up to help the United States this time is relatively short for the time being. And the few countries that have raised their hand may get more out of it – politically, at least – than the U.S. The relative dearth of global goodwill, some analysts say, may stem from anger at Trump over his ‘America First’ approach to the world, which has irked even staunch U.S. allies.”
Cobb County, Georgia police officer Greg Abbott to nervous white woman at traffic stop: "We only kill black people." pic.twitter.com/Pe9MbjWKfY
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 31, 2017
A new Rutgers-Eagleton poll finds New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) approval rate at just 16%. “The governor has long lost the support of the state’s Democrats and unaffiliated voters, which make up a majority of New Jersey’s voting bloc. But making matters worse for the Republican governor, 50 percent of the state’s GOP residents have an unfavorable view of him.”
Paramedic with DACA status spent six days straight rescuing Harvey victims. https://t.co/RQimoUbXrv
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 2, 2017
I think that McCain is by and large right — Congress needs to get to its regular order of business, but wonder why he cares about this now? The GOP has been in the business of breaking Congress for decades now. You can’t just call for some return to some normalcy when your own party has been chipping away at that normalcy. Asking for normal operations when you specifically need Democrats to help with that seems like too little too late to me. And Congress *should* work better than it does. Time for the GOP to man up and fix its shit.