President Trump lashed out at U.S. intelligence officials, calling them “extremely passive and naive” about the “dangers of Iran” and pushing back on their assessments of the Islamic State and North Korea during a congressional hearing, the Washington Post reports.
“In tweets, Trump offered what amounted to a rebuttal of testimony on global threats provided to the Senate on Tuesday by a panel of top officials from his administration.”
“Trump was most pointed in his pushback on the assessment of Iran. During testimony, officials said that Iran was not trying to build a nuclear weapon and was in compliance with an agreement forged during the Obama administration from which Trump subsequently withdrew the United States.”
Chris Cillizza: “This is, of course, shocking.”
Why did he do this? Because the Intelligence community directly contradicted him. The Washington Post has more on U.S. intelligence officials directly contradicting President Trump before Congress yesterday: “None of the officials said there is a security crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, where Trump has considered declaring a national emergency so that he can build a wall.”
Stripes: “Their analysis stands in sharp contrast to Trump’s almost singular focus on security gaps at the border as the biggest threat facing the United States.”
“The intelligence assessment, which is provided annually to Congress, made no mention of a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, which Trump has asserted as the basis for his demand that Congress finance a border wall. The report predicted additional U.S.-bound migration from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, with migrants preferring to travel in caravans in hopes of a safer journey.”
The Dem field for 2020 is actually amazing on policy — many of the contenders are offering serious, smart proposals to limit inequality, reduce poverty, and expand health coverage. Too bad political pundits will only talk about whether they're likable https://t.co/aaPpkIhnZ7
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) January 30, 2019
Politico: “If Stone is gagged, his contingency plan is already in place. He’s got a well-known First Amendment attorney on his legal team who represented the rap group 2 Live Crew against obscenity charges in the early 1990s. And Stone has designated a pair of close friends as spokesmen in the event he and his lawyers are told to stop talking. Until then, Stone won’t stop chattering.”
Gallup: “As the longest government shutdown in U.S. history came to an end, Gallup polling suggests that the Republican Party’s image has suffered more than the Democratic Party’s. The GOP’s favorability rating fell to 37% from 45% in September. At the same time, Americans’ favorable views of the Democratic Party remained stable at 45%.”
A new Quinnipiac poll finds Americans trust Democrats more than President Trump on border security, 50% to 41%. That is up from a 49% to 44% Democratic advantage two weeks ago. “Both findings are rare since the issue has almost always favored the GOP.”
A new Morning Consult poll finds just 31% of voters support shutting the government down again to force Congress to appropriate money for the wall, while nearly twice that many, 58%, oppose another shutdown.
Meanwhile, President Trump has suggested that he could declare a “national emergency” to avert a shutdown but still build the wall — but that, too, is unpopular. A narrow, 51% majority opposes declaring an emergency, which is supported by 38%.
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll released on Tuesday found that 56 percent of Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents, when asked whom they would support for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, didn’t offer up any name at all. In other words, the field right now appears to be pretty wide open. Of those who stated a preference….
Biden 9, Harris 8, Sanders 4, O’Rourke 3, Warren 2, Booker 1, Klobuchar 1.
The question right now is whether Trump can accept a compromise that addresses the actually-existing humanitarian crisis at the border — and gives both sides some of what they want — even if it means enraging President Ann Coulter:https://t.co/zlsnJ6mQ7i
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) January 30, 2019
Washington Post: “Before announcing his presidential ambitions this week, former Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz secretly undertook a months-long effort to prepare an independent presidential campaign against the nation’s two-party political system, deploying more than six national polls and laying the groundwork for paid advertising that could debut in the next two months.”
However, given the rocky start of his book tour, Schultz aides now say he may not make a decision on running until summer or fall.
The biggest beneficiary of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s decision not to run for president may be Sen. Kamala Harris, who is the only high-profile presidential candidate from California, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
“Since California’s primary will be held on March 3, 2020 — far earlier in than in many past election cycles — it could have an outsized impact on whom the party’s nominee will be.”
House Democrats' first oversight hearing of 2019 wasn't about Trump. It was about skyrocketing drug prices. https://t.co/krPviUdxRY
— The New Republic (@newrepublic) January 30, 2019
First Read: “Right now, we have seven candidates who have declared or who have filed paperwork, and it already feels a bit, well, crowded. Part of that is due to Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand announcing early, and staking claims to their lanes.”
“And part of it is due to the fact that Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke have the name ID, potential resources and ability to wait on a decision, thus freezing the rest of the field.”
“If you’re not in early, and if you’re not Biden, Sanders, O’Rourke or a billionaire like Mike Bloomberg, it becomes harder and harder to differentiate yourself and your candidacy.”
Washington Examiner: “From the outside, Texas appears troubling for President Trump in 2020 because of demographic changes that have featured a steady climb in the population of Hispanic voters.”
“But actually, the leftward drift, first evident in 2016 when Trump won Texas by less than 10 percentage points, is a byproduct of sharp opposition to the president in Texas’ burgeoning upscale suburbs that are dominated by whites, according to Texas Republican strategists.”
When Trump tells voters to reelect him because he makes the best deals, are they going to believe him? https://t.co/QTGddk7gry
— Paul Waldman (@paulwaldman1) January 30, 2019
Financial Times: “The discussions between the US and Russian presidents occurred at the 19th-century Colón theatre in the Argentine capital, as world leaders and their spouses or guests were streaming out of the building. Mr Trump was accompanied by Melania Trump, his wife, but no staff, while Mr Putin was flanked by his translator. The four of them sat at a table and were among the last to leave.”
“Mr Trump’s aides characterized the Putin encounter as one of several ‘informal’ conversations that Mr Trump had with his counterparts that evening… The accounts of people familiar with the conversation said it appeared longer and more substantive than the White House has acknowledged.”
“Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is currently quoting $200,000 and the use of a private jet for domestic speaking engagements,” CNBC reports.
“Engagements outside the United States could cost considerably more.”
“Haley’s lucrative fee propels her into a league populated by U.S. presidents, former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, former first lady Michelle Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”
How a handful of relatively intelligent conservatives manages to explain away every damning revelation in the Russia investigation https://t.co/sMc2ysfDGV
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) January 30, 2019
“Tulsi Gabbard’s presidential campaign hasn’t officially launched yet but it’s already melting down,” Politico reports.
“Two-and-a-half weeks after she told CNN she had decided to run for the White House—an announcement that even her own staff didn’t know was coming, after weeks of debating the timing of the rollout—the 37-year-old congresswoman has struggled to contain the chaos.”
Politico: “Democrats are ruling out the idea of negotiating on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, skeptical that Trump would actually provide a permanent fix for the young undocumented immigrants after he previously rejected just such a deal. Meanwhile, top Republicans also doubt an expansive agreement could be put together in the next three weeks.”
“The fading prospects of the negotiation mean Trump is likely to receive only a fraction of the $5.7 billion he’s been seeking for his southern barrier in any deal, if one can be put together at all by Feb. 15. Then he would have to decide whether to unilaterally move funds around by declaring a legally dubious national emergency or embrace another debilitating shutdown.”
Washington Post: “Republicans intent on averting another government shutdown sought Tuesday to expand border security talks to dealing with U.S. debt and other issues as lawmakers operated with no clear signal from President Trump on what he would accept.”
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) January 30, 2019
“Senate Republicans are signaling they will do just about anything to prevent a second shutdown after the White House was widely seen as badly losing the political fight over the closure that ended with President Trump’s retreat on Friday,” The Hill reports.
“Republicans are in no mood to be dragged back into another partial closure in mid-February, the deadline to get a deal on spending for roughly a quarter of the government.”
Said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), modifying a well-known quote: “There certainly would be no education in the third kick of the mule.”
“Michael Bloomberg looked alot like a traditional presidential hopeful on Tuesday with a well-attended speech in New Hampshire, a factory visit and a walking tour of local businesses. But he didn’t sound much like a Democratic candidate,” Politico reports.
“Other than his sharp criticisms of Donald Trump on climate change, the government shutdown and the president’s governing style, the New York billionaire seemed intent on testing the limits of how far he could deviate from Democratic Party orthodoxy.”
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) January 30, 2019