“President Trump’s press secretary Sarah Sanders fielded reporters’ questions in the James S. Brady press briefing room just 13 times during all of June, July and August. An ABC News analysis found Sanders spent a combined three hours and 58 minutes behind the podium.”
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un requested a second meeting with President Trump, and U.S. diplomats are already working to set up the summit, Bloomberg reports.
“The request is the latest direct communication between the two leaders, who held a summit in Singapore in June and agreed that North Korea would abandon its nuclear weapons program. But Kim’s regime has shown little sign it’s moving toward denuclearization, and Trump canceled a planned trip to Pyongyang by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month citing a lack of progress.”
NBC News: “The newest intelligence shows Kim’s regime has escalated efforts to conceal its nuclear activity, according to three senior U.S. officials. During the three months since the historic Singapore summit and Trump’s proclamation that North Korea intends to denuclearize, North Korea has built structures to obscure the entrance to at least one warhead storage facility.”
“The U.S. has also observed North Korean workers moving warheads out of the facility, the officials said, though they would not speculate on where the warheads went.”
— Daily Intelligencer (@intelligencer) September 10, 2018
“After Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) was indicted last month, the Republican from western New York seemed to leave no doubt about his immediate political future: There was none,” the New York Times reports.
“Mr. Collins abandoned his re-election bid in the ‘best interests’ of his district, ‘the Republican Party and President Trump’s agenda,’ after he was accused of insider trading and lying to federal agents.”
“Yet even as local Republican leaders have interviewed a slate of replacement candidates for the seat, there is a real possibility that Mr. Collins could stay on the November ballot and represent the party.”
Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman played an audio recording on The View of President Trump in a private meeting talking about Hillary Clinton’s ties to Russia, The Hill reports. Said Manigault Newman: “When Donald Trump got bored, which was very often because his attention span was very short, he would sometimes try to figure out what meetings were taking place in the White House and he would crash those meetings. This was a meeting with the entire communications staff and the press shop. We were meeting to talk about tax reform or his trip to North Korea.”
She added: “He came into the meeting, he sat down, and he starts rambling from topic to topic, none of it makes sense. And this is in October of last year, so this is … twelve months after the election, and he’s still talking about Hillary Clinton.”
Omarosa told MSNBC that she’s not the only White House staffer that was recording conversations. Said Manigault Newman: “I know that for a fact, yes.”
She added: “I don’t want to expose the person, but I had an exchange with a reporter last year. And we had a – a tape of that exchange. It was in the press secretary’s office. And someone, another staffer had recorded it for me, I didn’t know that they did, just to push back on that reporter who lied and said certain things happened and didn’t. But there was another staffer who actually recorded that exchange, not me.”
Why Trump's demand for credit on the economy is getting more desperate: https://t.co/7bwVsT3T2U
— Paul Waldman (@paulwaldman1) September 10, 2018
Nathaniel Rakich: “All good things must come to an end. After six months, 19 election days and seven live blogs, it’s time to say goodbye to primary season. But before you grieve, a parting gift: three consecutive nights of electiony goodness. On Tuesday, New Hampshire goes to the polls; on Wednesday, Rhode Island follows suit; and on Thursday, New York picks its nominees for state office.”
“I leave you with this thought: This is the last primary preview you’ll read until the 2020 Iowa caucuses.”
Maria Butina, the alleged Russian agent who stands accused of developing a covert influence operation in the United States, boasted of connections to high-ranking Kremlin officials and even shopped access to Russian President Vladimir Putin, ABC News reports.
New: Democrats are going public with their fear that if Trump fires Jeff Sessions, his replacement could suppress Mueller's findings.
It's a legit possibility. And that has put Dems in the position of wanting Sessions to stay.
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) September 10, 2018
The Goldman Sachs Bull/Bear Index, which was designed to provide a “reasonable signal for future bear-market risk,” has risen to the highest in almost 50 years, Bloomberg reports.
“Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), a gubernatorial nominee who recently was accused of using racially tinged language, spoke four times at conferences organized by a conservative activist who has said that African Americans owe their freedom to white people and that the country’s ‘only serious race war’ is against whites,” the Washington Post reports.
Said DeSantis in a 2015 video: “I just want to say what an honor it’s been to be here to speak… I’ve been to these conferences in the past but I’ve been a big admirer of an organization that shoots straight, tells the American people the truth and is standing up for the right thing.”
In a new ad, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) shoots a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act that’s backed by his opponent, playing off his well-known 2010 spot shooting a climate change bill.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told Fox News that the anonymous New York Times op-ed serves as proof that the deep state — “somebody high in government that will hide behind media to work against the voters of America” — really exists.
Said McCarthy: “We have a Constitution. We have a responsibility to uphold. This individual thinks they are smarter than the voters of America.”
Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News that it was “un-American” for an anonymous author to write a New York Times op-ed last week critical of President Trump and vowed that he would take a lie-detector test to prove he did not write it.
Said Pence: “I would agree to take it in a heartbeat and would submit to any review the administration wanted to do.”
Judicial nominees famously conceal their views about the law, but what Kavanaugh has done for more than decade is try to conceal what kind of person he is.
Me on his disqualifying lack of candor. https://t.co/pTpo4raIli
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) September 10, 2018
Bob Woodward spoke to CBS News about his new book, Fear, and offered an anecdote about when economic Adviser Gary Cohn was upset over President Trump’s reluctance to condemn white supremacists for the violence in Charlottesville and went into the Oval Office to resign.
According to Woodward, “Trump said, ‘You can’t resign. I need you to do tax reform. If you leave, this is treason.’ And Trump talked him out of resigning.”
Afterwards, Chief of Staff John Kelly, who had been in the room, pulled Cohn aside: “Cohn wrote this down, quote from General Kelly: ‘If that was me I would have taken that resignation letter and shoved it up his ass six different times.’”
New York Magazine: “Republican pros have, in recent weeks, quietly settled on new conventional wisdom: If Donald Trump is not impeached first, he is likely to face a primary challenge — of some sort — in 2020. The matter was regarded as an open question for most of 2018, but a new emergent consensus among the party’s consultants and strategists has taken root after Paul Manafort’s conviction and Michael Cohen’s implication of the president in federal court.”
“And New Hampshire — fertile ground historically for political insurgencies — is likely to be the place were we see the first clues about who the candidate will be, and what form exactly the challenge will take.”
Politico: “There’s every reason to believe this is the beginning of the end for Scott Walker. His presidential bid crashed and burned. He’s running for a third term as governor in what figures to be a hostile midterm for the Republican Party. Polling shows that the independent voters who were so critical to Walker’s wins in the 2012 recall and 2014 reelection are breaking away from him.”
“After years of futility, Democrats here are convinced they finally have him cornered.”
NBC News: “A majority of Democratic voters want President Donald Trump impeached, and, in at least one poll, a plurality of all Americans want the impeachment process to begin. And, regardless of their own opinion on the matter, nearly three out of four voters expect that Democrats will move to impeach Trump if they take back the House this fall.”
“But, of course, Democratic leaders want nothing to do with this conversation, even as Trump and his allies frantically try to bait them into it.”
“Each party’s posture is understandable when you consider the earth-shaking upheaval that ensued the last time a full-fledged impeachment drive was launched on the eve of an election.”