A new CBS News poll finds Americans overwhelmingly opposed to President Trump’s suggestion that he would declare a national emergency in order to bypass Congress and build a border wall, 66% to 34%.
“If government funding runs out on Feb. 15 and there’s still an impasse over wall funding, Americans don’t want either side to force another shutdown. Seventy-three percent of Americans want Mr. Trump to continue negotiating while keeping the government open, rather than demand wall funding if that forces a shutdown.”
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) February 3, 2019
President Trump on Saturday named Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson as chief medical adviser and assistant to the president, Politico reports.
He was also nominated on Friday for a promotion to a two-star admiral in the Navy. The dual announcements came ahead of Trump’s annual physical, which is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 8, at Walter Reed.
“I am who I am. I’m good with it. You might need to figure it out, but I’m fine with it.” — Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), telling the Washington Post that she doesn’t define herself by race or ethnicity, just as “an American.”
Representative Kevin McCarthy of California has a thankless job leading an out-gunned minority, but says, “We gotta try harder," writes Todd S. Purdum: https://t.co/brvxF4KPPw
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) February 3, 2019
Washington Post: “Trump dealt himself a political defeat with the 35-day government shutdown. He has secured no funding to construct a border wall and is preparing to declare a national emergency to fulfill his campaign promise. He is newly at odds with the nation’s intelligence chiefs and some senators in his own party. The Russia investigation, which has ensnared several of the president’s allies, appears to be nearing its conclusion. New congressional oversight investigations will start soon. And the race to defeat him at the ballot box has kicked off in earnest.”
“The challenges mount at a moment when Trump is as unencumbered and isolated as ever. Inside the White House, aides describe a chaotic, freewheeling atmosphere reminiscent of the early weeks of Trump’s presidency.”
“Power has consolidated around presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, a senior adviser who is functioning as a de facto White House chief of staff. With counterweights like ousted chief of staff John F. Kelly now gone, some advisers say the West Wing has the feel of the 26th floor of Trump Tower, where an unrestrained Trump had absolute control over his family business and was free to follow his impulses.”
An ignorant question leads Dr. King to offer a strong lesson in black history in two minutes flat. I can tell that he’s slightly irritated, but also determined to break it ALL the way down. Which he does brilliantly. A king. #MLK90 pic.twitter.com/YJvvv4X22N
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) January 21, 2019
“Facing clear political peril, President Trump will deliver his second State of the Union address at a moment when his bully pulpit is uncertain and his negotiating skills in question after a monthlong government shutdown that exposed fractures in his party and sent his poll numbers tumbling,” the AP reports.
“Trump hopes to use his Tuesday speech to reset his agenda and begin to gear up for his 2020 re-election campaign. But even as the president promises a theme of unity, his performance is likely to draw cheers from one side of the deeply divided Congress and stony silence from the other.”
I have never understood how McConnell has managed to dodge this photo. Look at that smile. pic.twitter.com/hwQyaH65an
— Adam Jentleson 🎈 (@AJentleson) February 2, 2019
A White House source leaked President Trump’s private schedules since the midterm elections to Axios, showing that Trump has spent around 60% of the last three months in “Executive Time.”
Jonathan Swan: “Trump, an early riser, usually spends the first 5 hours of the day in Executive Time. Each day’s schedule places Trump in ‘Location: Oval Office’ from 8 to 11 a.m. But Trump, who often wakes before 6 a.m., is never in the Oval during those hours, according to six sources with direct knowledge.”
“Instead, he spends his mornings in the residence, watching TV, reading the papers, and responding to what he sees and reads by phoning aides, members of Congress, friends, administration officials and informal advisers.”
WATCH: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) tells @chucktodd “this country hasn’t dealt well with issues of race.”@SenSherrodBrown: “We have a president who’s a racist.” #MTP #IfItsSunday pic.twitter.com/a8WzyoM51o
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) February 3, 2019
“This country hasn’t dealt well with issues of race. We have a president who’s a racist.” — Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), in an interview with NBC News.
Senior intel briefers are breaking their silence to warn that Trump is endangering U.S. security with what they say is a stubborn disregard for their assessments.
Citing multiple episodes, officials say Trump displays what one called "willful ignorance." https://t.co/cCddJz1q0J
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 3, 2019
Charles Pierce says the US ending the INF is a huge victory for Vladimir Putin. “I’m not sure how giving Vladimir Putin everything he wants is supposed to hurt him, but I am not the Secretary of State. This is an odds-on decision to start another nuclear arms race in Europe, which can only hype up the ambitious Russian ganglord’s dreams of a gangster-capitalist new USSR. The INF Treaty was one of the Reagan Administration’s shining accomplishments, and one of the first indications that Mikhail Gorbachev was a real reformer.
It was the first arms-control agreement that required a reduction in nuclear weapons rather than simply freezing the number of them in place. It brought Europe out from under a dark shadow. (These were the days in which nuclear war was again thought to be feasible, if not imminent.) It allowed people in Europe to breathe a little easier. For all his faults, Reagan made the INF Treaty a landmark in nuclear diplomacy, and it led directly to President George H.W. Bush’s START treaty which cut in half the nuclear arsenals of both countries.
If your partner in a treaty cheats, you use the mechanisms of the treaty to hold the partner to account. You don’t simply abandon the treaty—unless, of course, you want to start arming up in Europe all over again and (maybe) don’t mind much if Russia does the same thing. Were I an ordinary Czech, say, I might wonder if two oligarchs weren’t actually working together to dominate the European landscape.”
Here’s everyone calling on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to resign https://t.co/qws9DwdKR8
— Vox (@voxdotcom) February 3, 2019
“Let’s call it Trump Remorse. It’s a new literary genre — books by former staff members and aides who now want to dish about the awfulness of Donald Trump or his White House. Last week, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie debuted the latest book in that field, “Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics.”
Christie thus joins Omarosa Manigault Newman, whose “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House,” came out in August, and Cliff Sims, whose “Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days In The Trump White House” also was released last week. Granted, Trump Remorse is just a literary trickle now. But given the extraordinary rate at which the man burns through personnel, it’s reasonable to think the trickle may soon become a flood.
After all, the only thing these authors really have to offer is the gratification that comes of hearing some true believer finally admit what you already knew. And with Christie, you barely even get that. To judge from media coverage, his book concentrates its fire on the circus Trump surrounds himself with, while the ringmaster himself escapes relatively unscathed.”
President Trump's preference for acting Cabinet secretaries, which he explained in a new interview on Sunday, puts him at odds with the U.S. Constitution, @GrahamDavidA writes: https://t.co/4st9Vj4nCC
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) February 3, 2019
Dana Milbank on the painful inadequacy of Northam’s latest press conference. “Ralph Northam is soon to be the former governor of Virginia. And that is how it should be. His governorship ended, as a practical matter, on Friday night, when he acknowledged he was in a just-surfaced 1984 photograph from his medical school yearbook of one man in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood.
The Democratic governor attempted to apologize in written and video statements Friday, and then, bizarrely, attempted Saturday to retract his admission and his assumption of responsibility. At an afternoon news conference, he implausibly claimed he wasn’t in the offending photo (which contained what he called “blackfacing”) because “I so vividly don’t remember this” and didn’t know where it came from, even though other students chose the photos for their pages.
Yet he proceeded to acknowledge that he wore dark shoe polish on his face another time that same year while impersonating Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk in a dance contest — which he won! He allowed, in a rare moment of sense, that others “will find this difficult to believe.”
But his flailing serves only to compound his disgrace, because he has been denounced and disowned by his fellow Democrats; his only path forward as governor is as pariah and laughingstock.”
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) February 3, 2019
President Trump declined to say whether he wants the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation made public, the Washington Post reports.
“Totally up to the attorney general. That’s up to the attorney general. I don’t know. It depends. I have no idea what it’s going to say.”
“President Trump has dismissed the prospect of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leaving his post to run for a Senate seat, even as Pompeo has signaled that he is open to the possibility,” the Washington Post reports.
Trump said Pompeo told him he was not leaving his current position and voiced confidence that he would not bolt to pursue a Senate seat in Kansas: “I asked him the question the other day. He says he’s absolutely not leaving. I don’t think he’d do that. And he doesn’t want to be lame duck.”
In a phone call with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last month, Pompeo “had not shut the door on the possibility of a run.”