“Donald Trump has launched an extraordinary tirade against Germany on the opening day of the Nato summit in Brussels, accusing Berlin of being a ‘a captive of the Russians’ because of its dependency on energy supplies,” the Guardian reports.
“NATO officials had been nervously awaiting the first meeting as an indicator of how Trump – who arrived in Brussels on Tuesday night – would behave over the next two days. Within minutes they had their answer.”
“This summit is shaping up to be the most divisive in Nato’s 69-year history. Normally, Nato summits are mostly fixed in advance and proceed in an orderly fashion. Trump’s first words signalled this one was not going to be like that.”
Trump said that Germany gets 60-70% of its energy from Russia. The real figure, according to the Germans, is 9%.https://t.co/ocXcjgM79I
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 11, 2018
Trump seems to think two things about NATO, neither of which are true: 1) that the US pays for it all up front and the other member countries reimburse us; and 2) that NATO is some sort of trade or energy deal.
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) July 11, 2018
Pew Research: “When asked which president has done the best job in their lifetimes, more Americans name Barack Obama than any other president. More than four-in-ten (44%) say Obama is the best or second best president of their lifetimes, compared with about a third who mention Bill Clinton (33%) or Ronald Reagan (32%).”
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) July 11, 2018
Stan Collender: “The specific issue that will trigger yet another federal government shutdown showdown this September will be Donald Trump’s seemingly pathological obsession with building a wall between the United States and Mexico.”
“First, Trump may see this as his last opportunity to get funding for his wall… Second, a Trump-induced shutdown this September over full funding for the wall may be perceived by the White House as the best immigration issue to inflame his base just before the midterm election… Third, Trump may look at the GOP congressional leadership’s strong desire to get its members home to campaign as increased leverage to get the full $25 billion.”
“Fourth, especially if his Supreme Court nominee is confirmed by the Senate and the economy remains strong, Trump may be feeling politically invincible this fall.”
Benjamin Wittes: “If Kavanaugh’s writings on special counsel investigations really influenced Trump’s decision to nominate him, then Trump is a bigger fool than I have imagined. Kavanaugh’s writings on the subject don’t clarify all of his views on the subject of the Mueller investigation. But they clarify certain big things, and those things are really not good for Donald Trump.”
“Noah Feldman writes that ‘Properly understood, Kavanaugh’s expressed views actually support the opposite conclusion’ than the one to which many knees are jerking. Feldman is exactly right. In some respects, he actually understates the case.”
In a statement to The Post, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "[Kelly] was displeased because he was expecting a full breakfast and there were only pastries and cheese." https://t.co/azDbYtgy20
— Robert Costa (@costareports) July 11, 2018
“President Trump escalated his trade war with China Tuesday, identifying an added $200 billion in Chinese products that he intends to hit with import tariffs,” the Washington Post reports.
“The move makes good on the president’s threat to respond to China’s retaliation for the initial U.S. tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods, which went into effect on Friday, and would eventually place nearly half of all Chinese imports under tariffs.”
Why Would Trump So Viciously Attack Angela Merkel? https://t.co/H1hlVdmwR7
— Nancy LeTourneau (@Smartypants60) July 11, 2018
Matt Glassman: “Accepting that they cannot defeat the nominee on the merits, and that a procedural strategy has almost no chance of succeeding and high potential electoral and/or procedural costs, Democratic leaders will instead pursue a strategy of trying to shape the narrative around the nomination and confirmation, in an attempt to extract an electoral benefit in the November elections. They will (correctly) reason that gaining control of the chamber is the surest way to limit SCOTUS confirmations over the next 2.5 years, and that the long shot hope of blocking the current nomination likely decreases the chances of taking control of the chamber, and thus in turn increases the likely number of SCOTUS nominees confirmed during President Trump’s term.”
There was another exchange today at NATO that is also very important.
The Secretary General practically *begged* Trump to take credit for NATO countries boosting spending.
Trump was unsatisfied, suggesting this is all a pretext to rupture our alliances:https://t.co/0f05FRrWqD
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) July 11, 2018
“Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court could very well help Republicans hold or expand their control of the Senate. It could also hurt their efforts to maintain control of the House,” the New York Times reports. “That political oddity illustrates the complexities of this midterm election season, which is actually two very different midterms. One is the fight for the Senate, where Democrats are defending the seats of 10 incumbents in states won by President Trump, and the other is the contest for the House, where Republicans are defending a vast and expanding battleground that is every bit as forbidding, with nearly 60 Republican seats in play.”
“For Senate Republicans, the rejection of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, could foment a political disaster in the midterm elections,” the Washington Examiner reports.
“The conservative grassroots base is cheering Kavanaugh’s selection to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy; they expect the Republican controlled Senate to seal his confirmation before Election Day. Failure to deliver on this vital issue to the GOP base could depress voter turnout and jeopardize the party’s congressional majorities.”
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) July 11, 2018
Wall Street Journal: “Republican officials were finalizing details Tuesday on a deal to bring the party’s 2020 convention to Charlotte, N.C., making a southern city in a battleground state the site for President Trump’s expected nomination for a second term.”
“Republicans familiar with the site-selection process said party officials have moved away from Las Vegas as the convention site and settled on North Carolina’s most populous city as the top choice. Charlotte, one of the nation’s preeminent financial centers, hosted the Democratic convention in 2012, when the party nominated Barack Obama for the second time.”
Will Brett Kavanaugh turn out the Republican base in 2018? Republicans aren’t sure. https://t.co/qhO0RilUW2
— Vox (@voxdotcom) July 11, 2018
A new Civitas poll in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district finds Dan McCready (D) leading Mark Harris (R) by seven points, 43% to 36%. Said pollster Donald Bryson: “This race has all the indications of being a nail-biter into November, but Republicans should be concerned with a negative 7-point spread in a district that has an R+7 rating.” Harris has questioned whether careers were appropriate for women.
The Trump White House hasn't forgotten about its quest to make it harder for Americans to obtain adequate health insurance https://t.co/7jEOMO9XCw
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) July 11, 2018
“The United States is preparing to undertake a review of its strategy in Afghanistan, U.S. officials told Reuters, a year after President Trump begrudgingly agreed to extend America’s involvement in the 17-year-old war,” Reuters reports.
“Officials said Trump has shown signs of frustration over the lack of progress since he unveiled a strategy last August that committed to an open-ended deployment of U.S. military advisers, trainers and special forces and increased air support for Afghan security forces. The goal was to force the Taliban militants to open peace talks with the Kabul government.”
“Trump was opposed to remaining in America’s longest war, but was convinced by his advisers to give it more time.”
In the age of minority rule, a Supreme Court justice appointed by a president who got fewer votes is confirmed by a party in the Senate that got fewer votes, to validate policies opposed by most Americans: https://t.co/HoCoFnXnZV
— Paul Waldman (@paulwaldman1) July 10, 2018
“Vice President Mike Pence begins a campaign swing through the Midwest on Wednesday designed to fire up the base in three battleground House districts. But there’s also a secondary mission: damage control,” Politico reports.
“In the face of a trade war that intensified just four days ago, Pence is quietly setting up one-on-one meetings with major Midwestern donors where he is prepared to blunt concerns over an escalating situation that’s beginning to wreak havoc on markets, farmers and employers across the region.”
— The New Republic (@newrepublic) July 11, 2018