The White House announced that President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will “travel to Pennsylvania to express the support of the American people and grieve with the Pittsburgh community” after last week’s mass shooting at Tree of Life in Pittsburgh, the Washington Post reports. This despite the fact that the actual victims of the hate crime the President fosters and encourages do not want him there.
#Pittsburgh sources tell me that the @realDonaldTrump WH is FALSELY claiming on #Fox and elsewhere that the PA gov, pgh mayor and county exec will join him at a rally in the city on Tuesday. They all refused as of Mon night. WH also asked #Schumer and #Pelosi; they said no, too.
— Howard Fineman (@howardfineman) October 29, 2018
Meanwhile, in a desperate move to change the subject, Trump will order that some 5,200 additional U.S. troops will deploy to the border with Mexico by the end of the week, as President Trump likened a caravan of Central American migrants who are heading north to “an invasion,” the Washington Post reports.
“The deployments will include three combat engineer battalions, members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and troops who specialize in aviation, medical treatment and logistics.”
New York Times: “The deployment is the first piece of a multistage approach that Mr. Trump has been considering for several weeks, and which also is expected to include executive action to bar entry to Central Americans, including for those seeking asylum.”
A new Gallup poll finds President Trump’s approval rating collapsing after the nine attempted assassinations and the murder of 11 Jewish congregants last week. Last week, the approval rating was 44%-50%. Now it is 40%-56%. That is a negative swing of 10 points.
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) October 29, 2018
A Reuters analysis of election-prediction data by three major political handicappers – Cook Political Report, Inside Elections and the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics – showed that while Republican ratings had improved since early September in seven of 65 competitive races, Democrats had gained in 48 races.
New York Times: “For months, Republican officials have complained privately that President Trump lacks the ability to confront moments of crisis with moral clarity, choosing to inflame the divisions that have torn the country apart rather than try to bring it together. It took the importuning of his Jewish daughter and son-in-law to craft a powerful statement of outrage at anti-Semitism after Saturday’s slaughter at a Pittsburgh synagogue.”
“Then Mr. Trump went back into partisan mode, assailing his enemies. By the evening’s end he was tweeting about baseball, and on Sunday he went after another foe. … Inside the White House, advisers veer between resolve, resignation and resentment — struggling to get Mr. Trump to do and say what a typical president might, frustrated that he does not always heed their guidance and bitter that his critics are piling on. Sometimes they take it upon themselves to do what he will not.”
Shep Smith on the migrant caravan: "There is no invasion. No one is coming to get you. There is nothing at all to worry about." pic.twitter.com/4dLmPuZem0
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) October 29, 2018
“President Trump and his Republican allies remained defiant Sunday amid allegations from critics that Trump’s incendiary attacks on political rivals and racially charged rhetoric on the campaign trail bear some culpability for the climate surrounding a spate of violence in the United States,” the Washington Post reports.
“Trump, who has faced calls to tone down his public statements, signaled that he would do no such thing — berating billionaire liberal activist Tom Steyer, a target of a mail bomb sent by a Trump supporter, as a ‘crazed & stumbling lunatic’ on Twitter, after Steyer said on CNN that Trump and the Republican Party have created an atmosphere of ‘political violence.’”
These tweets are, in effect, a demand to stop reporting critically on the President backed by the threat of violence. What would you say if you saw it in another country? pic.twitter.com/Hp9PHc0pJv
— Brendan Nyhan (@BrendanNyhan) October 29, 2018
Politico: “As a freewheeling president in one of the world’s most regimented jobs, Trump appears to be redefining the nature of the role. Past presidents were disciplined in their scheduled time, squired from meeting to meeting, event to event, from the moment they arrived in the Oval Office until they headed up to the residence at night.”
“Trump, by contrast, enjoys huge blocks of unscheduled time in which he can do as he pleases. He is hardly the first president to have an erratic schedule. Both Clinton and Jimmy Carter were known to make middle-of-the-night phone calls, and every president has kept different hours: George W. Bush was an early bird, Barack Obama a night owl. But even Trump allies who say the president is always working concede that the Trump presidency is uniquely defined by his down time, when his short-term bugaboos become the drivers of his agenda, rather than any long-term vision.”
This is really an amazing chart showing partisanship and age in views of automatic voter registration, making #ElectionDay a national holiday, requiring voter ID, etc.https://t.co/TLyzlsrDuA pic.twitter.com/k3VcqPcWdS
— Carroll Doherty (@CarrollDoherty) October 29, 2018
First Read: “There is a fundamental divide about our current politics — the overheated and demeaning rhetoric, the inability to compromise, partisanship all the time. While most politicians, Democrats and Republicans, see this as a problem, President Trump sees it as an opportunity. Something to exploit. Something to help turn out his voters.”
“But how can the president participate in finding a solution to the division and hatred when he doesn’t see them as problems — but instead conditions to exploit? And while the president views the criticism of his leadership as an opportunity to showcase himself as a victim to fire up his base, the silence of the rest of the GOP is what’s so loud this time.”
“Compare this moment with the aftermath of Charlottesville. There haven’t been any Republicans who have distanced themselves from Trump. It shows just how much of the GOP’s elected leadership fears the divisive tone Trump has set is actually the KEY to stoking the base for the election.”
His refusal to give up the divisiveness, some might say, is simply evidence that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. That may be, but the problem is deeper. If Trump did not divide, lie, boast and incite, what would he possibly have to talk about?https://t.co/PoPiMseVjl
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) October 29, 2018
Former President Jimmy Carter wrote on his official letterhead to his state’s Republican nominee for governor, Brian Kemp, asking him to resign as Georgia secretary of state, the AP reports.
Wrote Carter: “In Georgia’s upcoming gubernatorial election, popular confidence is threatened not only by the undeniable racial discrimination of the past and the serious questions that the federal courts have raised about the security of Georgia’s voting machines, but also because you are now overseeing the election in which you are a candidate. This runs counter to the most fundamental principle of democratic elections — that the electoral process be managed by an independent and impartial election authority.”
“A new lawsuit accuses President Trump, his company and three of his children of using the Trump name to entice vulnerable people to invest in sham business opportunities,” the New York Times reports.
“The 160-page complaint alleges that Mr. Trump and his family received secret payments from three business entities in exchange for promoting them as legitimate opportunities, when in reality they were get-rich-quick schemes that harmed investors, many of whom were unsophisticated and struggling financially.”
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) October 29, 2018
Wall Street Journal: “In the midterm elections of his first term, 28% of all House and Senate ads — fully 50% of all GOP ads — were anti-Obama. This year, less than 7% of the ads carry an anti-Trump message. Trump-opposition commercials make up just 15% of Democratic ads.”
“Former President Obama is heading to Georgia on Friday to campaign for gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and other Democrats mere days before the midterm elections,” The Hill reports. “Georgia Democrats announced Monday that Obama will host a Get Out the Vote rally in Atlanta on Nov. 2 at the Forbes Arena at Morehouse College.”
New Column #1: A look at gov/sec'y of state/state legislative races. Dems could make fairly big gains across the board. Sec'y of state races esp important (they run elections). https://t.co/K8pI0vB1dd via @thedailybeast
— Michael Tomasky (@mtomasky) October 29, 2018
New York Times: “With the kind of dark language usually reserved for true catastrophes like the Sept. 11 attacks, conservative commentators and politicians have led a concerted push to elevate the caravan as an issue. They have called it ‘an invasion.’ ‘a national emergency,’ ‘an illegal alien mob,’ ‘an attack on America,’ and a crisis with implications that are ‘critical to the future of our civilization.’”
“These outcries, which have included unfounded claims about the caravan’s origins and wildly fluctuating estimates of its size, are playing out in a clear pattern. They often start with right-wing commentators, conspiracy theorists and activist groups with large followings; their talk then breaks through more broadly on Fox News, Breitbart News and other outlets that are popular with conservative voters; and ultimately Mr. Trump tweets or remarks about them, acting as an amplifier and a validator.”
Associated Press: “Sensing that Jeff Sessions’ days at the Justice Department may be numbered, some of his supporters want the White House to allow for a graceful exit for an attorney general they believe has dutifully carried out the administration’s agenda even while enduring the president’s fury.”
“A scenario advocated by at least one Sessions ally, former Cincinnati Mayor Ken Blackwell, would allow him to remain on the job until January and be permitted to resign on his own then rather than be fired immediately after the midterms.”