The White House on Friday stood behind its chief of staff, despite video showing definitively that he lied when he attacked a Democratic congresswoman on Thursday. Sarah Huckabee Sanders told a journalist who asked about errors chief of staff John Kelly made Thursday that it would be “highly inappropriate” to “get into a debate with a four-star Marine general.” Ah, fascism. The last refuge of a lying Trumpian General.
Though John Kelly originally attacked Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) on Thursday for bragging about securing funding for an FBI building at a dedication ceremony in 2015, video published by the Sun Sentinel Friday of that 2015 event shows that Wilson did no such thing. As video published Friday by the Sun Sentinel showed, the congresswoman, Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), never claimed to have secured funding for the building. She did mention during her speech that she had led a congressional effort to name the building after two fallen FBI officials.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was asked whether he agreed with the fascist opinion that it was highly inappropriate to get in a debate with a four-star general. “No, not in America,” Graham said.
John Kelly has become a field commander in Trump’s culture war https://t.co/lVuVHyyIYZ
— Vox (@voxdotcom) October 20, 2017
President Trump “called three Republican senators this week and expressed support for their 2018 re-election bids, aligning with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the senator’s intra-party feud with Steve Bannon,” Politico reports.
“Trump dialed GOP Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming, Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Roger Wicker of Mississippi … He promised to help the three senators against any insurgent challengers … and said he hoped they would be reelected. The calls are expected to eventually be followed by formal endorsements.”
Democratic mega-donor Tom Steyer is funding a television and social media ad campaign to “demand that elected officials take a stand” on impeaching President Trump.
President Trump “has personally interviewed at least two potential candidates for U.S. attorney positions in New York, according to two sources familiar with the matter — a move that critics say raises questions about whether they can be sufficiently independent from the president,” Politico reports.
Ed Kilgore on why its inappropriate and unethical: “Donald Trump is taking an unusual, and some would say inappropriate, direct interest in certain candidates for certain U.S. attorney positions, including two in New York and one in Washington. In all three cases, he has personally interviewed prospective chief federal prosecutors who could be dealing with cases involving Trump properties or allegations of misdeeds by the 2016 Trump campaign. And in two cases, Trump has connections with the interviewees or their employers.”
Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “put the finishing touches on a bicameral budget deal allowing Congress to swiftly move to tax reform, multiple sources in both chambers said. The Senate approved the budget 51-49 Thursday night, clearing the way to cut as much as three weeks out of the process,” Politico reports.
“GOP leaders, as well as House Budget Chairman Diane Black and Senate Budget Chairman Mike Enzi, have been ironing out their difference and crafted a Senate amendment full of House-requested tweaks. Because the Senate adopt the amendment during its marathon ‘vote-a-rama’ Thursday, the House could clear the fiscal blueprint as soon as next week.” Said one House GOP aide: “Members know how high of a priority tax reform is, and so that’s how it will be sold.”
New York Times: “The swift pace to complete, release and quickly vote on a tax cut is aimed at leaving little time for the type of dissent that has scuttled previous tax proposals.” “The speed is striking — and strategic — for tax legislation that lobbyists believe could span 1,000 pages. Republicans hope the breakneck pace will help hold their narrow Senate majority together against what will almost certainly be a deluge of lobbying and Democratic criticism.”
Gallup finds the percentage of U.S. adults lacking health insurance rose in the third quarter of 2017 to 12.3%, up 0.6 percentage points from the previous quarter and 1.4 points since the end of 2016.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) unleashed some of his strongest criticism of President Trump, saying the exchange the commander-in-chief had with the family of a fallen soldier and the follow-up “was incredibly disgraceful and discouraging and depressing,” the Boston Globe reports.
How People Inside Facebook Are Reacting To The Company’s Election Crisishttps://t.co/UnqOTZA1ri
— Katherine Miller (@katherinemiller) October 20, 2017
“A federal judge shot down former sheriff Joe Arpaio’s bid to sweep his criminal record clean,” the Washington Post reports. “In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton said the pardon only freed Arpaio from possible punishment. In a four-page order offering a check on the president’s executive power, Bolton wrote that a pardon could not erase the facts of the case.”
To declare Kelly immune from questions due to his service after he unfairly disparaged *a member of congress*? Nuts. https://t.co/E1sXLL7AaR
— Philip Bump (@pbump) October 20, 2017
President Trump “overrode his own advisers when he promised to deliver an emergency declaration next week to combat the nation’s worsening opioid crisis,” Politico reports.
“Blindsided officials are now scrambling to develop such a plan, but it is unclear when it will be announced, how or if it will be done, and whether the administration has the permanent leadership to execute it.”
“Trump’s off-script statement stunned top agency officials, who said there is no consensus on how to implement an emergency declaration for the drug epidemic.”
Republicans have Stockholm Syndrome and it’s getting worse, the latest from Max Boot. https://t.co/mcmfdmV24K
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) October 19, 2017
Georgia state Rep. Betty Price (R), the wife of former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, asked in a hearing this week “what are we legally able to do” to limit the spread of HIV throughout the state, Statreports.
Said Price: “I don’t want to say the quarantine word — but I guess I just said it. Is there an ability, since I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in prophylaxis and treatment of this condition, so we have a public interest in curtailing the spread. … Are there any methods legally that we could do that would curtail the spread?”
— Ariel Edwards-Levy (@aedwardslevy) October 19, 2017
“The California Republican Party’s decision to invite right-wing provocateur and former presidential advisor Stephen Bannon to address its convention Friday created an unsettled concoction of excitement, dread and rubbernecking curiosity for GOP loyalists in the state,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
“Bannon will appear before a California GOP desperate to reverse its deteriorating influence in a state where it has been losing members and where Republican victories in statewide political races have been nonexistent for a decade. His admirers hope his speech will invigorate the GOP base and lure Trump supporters outside of the party into its fold. But Republican critics worry he’ll undercut efforts to rekindle the party in a state where Trump and his policies remain widely unpopular.”
The GOP & right wing media continue to attack Clinton because they literally don't know what else to do. https://t.co/arXQtRLaEl
— Nate Lerner (@NathanLerner) October 19, 2017
“If President Trump prevails in shutting down a major Obamacare health insurance subsidy, it would have the unintended consequence of making free basic coverage available to more people, and making upper-tier plans more affordable,” the AP reports.
“The unexpected assessment comes from consultants, policy experts, and state officials, who are trying to discern the potential fallout from a Washington health care debate that’s becoming even more complicated and volatile.”