President Trump “essentially blamed the terrorist attack in New York City on what he characterized as soft immigration policies promoted by Democrats, singling out Senator Chuck Schumer, the state’s senior lawmaker and the party’s leader in the upper chamber,” the New York Times reports. He also made clear in a tweet that he was getting his information from Fox News, as he often does in the morning.
Trump then called for “quick” and “strong” justice for terror suspects in the wake of the deadly New York City attack, saying that it is not surprising terror attacks happen because the way the United States punishes terrorists is “a laughing stock,” CNN reports.
Trump also said he would consider sending the attacker to the controversial prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Paul Ryan says that checking an out-of-control president would "derail" Congress from it's important work. Checking out-of-control presidents IS Congress's important work. https://t.co/0mz93N6bAT
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) October 31, 2017
BuzzFeed News: “The threat of serving hard time for failing to disclose foreign lobbying work is rattling Washington’s multi-billion dollar influence industry following Monday’s 12-count indictment against Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates.”
“And although the charges have largely been seen as a blow to the White House, Monday’s actions by special prosecutor Robert Mueller also sent shivers down the spines of Washington’s lobbyists, both Democrats and Repulicans.”
Good. Maybe, ironically, Mueller will drain the swamp.
President Trump’s longtime aide and current communications director, Hope Hicks, is scheduled to speak with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team in mid-November, following the president’s trip to Asia, multiple people familiar with the schedule told Politico.
Mueller’s team is also expected to interview three or four other current White House officials as early as this week.
“Sam Clovis, the former top Trump campaign official who supervised a man now cooperating with the FBI’s Russia investigation, was questioned last week by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team and testified before the investigating grand jury,” NBC News reports.
“George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in July and began cooperating with agents… The court documents unsealed Monday describe emails between Papadopoulos and an unnamed ‘campaign supervisor.’ The supervisor responded ‘Great work’ after Papadopoulos discussed his interactions with Russians who wanted to arrange a meeting with Trump and Russian leaders.
David Drucker: “The current debate over Confederate symbols cuts to the central, existential question hanging over the G.O.P. The Republican Party today is an amalgam of upscale white suburbanites who are moderate on social issues but conservative on fiscal and national-security issues, and exurban and rural populist working-class whites, who are quasi-liberal on economic matters and foreign policy, but conservative on politically charged social issues.”
“But the key demographic in this coalition is ‘white.’”
“The Republicans becoming the guardians of the Confederacy is a function of the G.O.P. becoming so predominantly white, and yes, the predominant party in the South. The Republican project to take over the South was completed in 2010, when the red wave that swept Republicans into power in Congress and state capitals across the country ejected the last remnants of white Democratic authority. So by the time Trump responded to Charlottesville with vows to protect ‘our culture’ and ‘our history,’ and protect Confederate monuments from being relegated to some museum’s dusty storeroom, there were few sympathetic voters left in the Democratic Party to cheer him on. But there were plenty of Republicans.”
Gabriel Sherman: “The first charges in the Mueller probe have kindled talk of what the endgame for Trump looks like, according to conversations with a half-dozen advisers and friends of the president. For the first time since the investigation began, the prospect of impeachment is being considered as a realistic outcome and not just a liberal fever dream. According to a source, advisers in the West Wing are on edge and doing whatever they can not to be ensnared. One person close to Dina Powell and Gary Cohn said they’re making sure to leave rooms if the subject of Russia comes up.”
“The consensus among the advisers I spoke to is that Trump faces few good options to thwart Mueller. For one, firing Mueller would cross a red line, analogous to Nixon’s firing of Archibald Cox during Watergate, pushing establishment Republicans to entertain the possibility of impeachment.”
“Trump, meanwhile, has reacted to the deteriorating situation by lashing out on Twitter and venting in private to friends. He’s frustrated that the investigation seems to have no end in sight… According to two sources, Trump has complained to advisers about his legal team for letting the Mueller probe progress this far.”
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) October 31, 2017
President Trump called the New York Times to insist that he was not “angry at anybody” and that investigations into his campaign’s links to Russia had not come near him personally.
Said Trump: “I’m not under investigation, as you know.”
After noting his “fantastic poll numbers” he said: “I’m in the office early and leave late; it’s very smooth. Honestly, I’m really enjoying it.”
Associated Press: “In his three months on the job, John Kelly has been credited with bringing order to a chaotic West Wing, but don’t call him a moderate. President Trump’s chief of staff was the enforcer of Trump’s controversial immigration policies, has frequently criticized the president’s enemies, and this week echoed his boss’ defense of Confederate monuments. It all suggests that ‘The Chief,’ as he is known among aides, may have instilled order, but he is more ideologically aligned with Trump than many believed.”
“Much has been made of the imagery of Kelly silently lurking on the sidelines of presidential addresses, seeming to cringe when Trump gets out of line. But it may be wishful thinking by Trump’s critics to believe that he’s tugging the president in another direction. White House officials and Kelly allies say he is not so much partisan as he is ideological, holding hawkish views on issues like immigration and national security.
The fight to stop Obamacare repeal is won. The fight against sabotage will be much harder. https://t.co/sr6OoUF0W5
— Vox (@voxdotcom) November 1, 2017
“House Republicans are scrambling to release their tax bill on Thursday after being forced to postpone the roll-out because of resistance from GOP lawmakers from Democratic states,” Politico reports.
“Tensions are running ‘very high,’ said a source familiar with the 11th-hour talks… In fact, Republican tax writers could be heard speaking in raised voices during a more than two-hour meeting at the Capitol Tuesday night. Sources say there is some unhappiness among rank-and-file members who feel the plan has been written largely by party leaders without their input.”
“White House economic adviser Gary Cohn told GOP senators during a closed-door lunch Wednesday that House Republicans need to release their tax bill before Friday, when Trump is leaving for Asia.”
David Frum: “You need to wonder whether the avoidance of blowback from Fox News in November 2017 is worth the risks hurtling at you in the weeks ahead. The Trump administration’s authoritarian moment is on the verge of materializing. The president seems likely to openly stake a claim to use his position as head of the executive branch to exempt himself from all law enforcement. If the president can never obstruct justice, he can use the pardon power to protect himself and his associates from any investigation into criminal wrongdoing.”
“By speaking out today, you may dissuade the White House from staking the whole Republican Party to an authoritarian, anticonstitutional position. At a minimum, you protect yourself from answering for it. Nobody’s asking you to be a hero. Just think ahead beyond the next 10 minutes and 10 days to your own interests and future.”
As a campaign manager faces charges, the Trump-Nixon parallel gets stronger https://t.co/BebuS63Lp0
— Vox (@voxdotcom) November 1, 2017
“Some employees at Fox News were left embarrassed and humiliated by their network’s coverage of the latest revelations in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling,” according to conversations CNN had with several individuals placed throughout the network.
Said one: “I’m watching now and screaming. I want to quit.”
Bloomberg: “Almost two-thirds of Americans, or 63%, report being stressed about the future of the nation, according to the American Psychological Association’s Eleventh Stress in America survey… The ‘current social divisiveness’ in America was reported by 59% of those surveyed as a cause of their own malaise.”
“A majority of the more than 3,400 Americans polled, 59%, said ‘they consider this to to be the lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember.’ That sentiment spanned generations, including those that lived through World War II, the Vietnam War, and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.”