What Now?! – 5/4/19

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke Friday and both agreed “there was no collusion” between Moscow and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, NBC News reports.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that the two briefly discussed special counsel Robert Mueller’s report “essentially in the context of that it’s over and there was no collusion.”

She added that she was “pretty sure both leaders were very well aware of (the Mueller report’s finding) long before this call took place” because it was “something we’ve said for the better part of two and a half years.”

Wall Street Journal: “But both sides agree that the eventual outcome of these larger battles—whether Congress can review President Trump’s business records and tax returns, among others—holds sweeping ramifications for the two branches of government and threatens to redefine their relationship and the extent of their powers for years to come.”

“If the president wins any of the legal arguments, it would set a precedent to permanently restrict the oversight ability of Congress. If House Democrats are successful, it would put future presidents on notice that Congress could exhume long-buried tax returns, delve into business relationships that predated their arrival to public office and force their staff to reveal private conversations with the chief executive—potentially just before they run for re-election.”

“A federal court on Friday tossed out Ohio’s congressional map, ruling that Republican state lawmakers had carved up the state to give themselves an illegal partisan advantage and to dilute Democrats’ votes in a way that predetermined the outcome of elections,” the New York Timesreports.

Cleveland Plain Dealer: “This is the latest in a series of decisions across the country striking down partisan maps, including in neighboring Michigan and Pennsylvania. Plus, U.S. Supreme Court rulings are pending for cases out of North Carolina and Maryland.”

Wall Street Journal: “A month before his inauguration, and shortly after he had finished a round of golf with Tiger Woods, Donald Trump was introduced to an adviser of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce… Stanton Anderson stood in the clubhouse of Mr. Trump’s golf course in West Palm Beach, Fla., and extended his hand to the president-elect. Mr. Trump refused it.”

Said Trump: “You guys did everything to stop me. I haven’t forgotten.”

“In the two years since, relations between Mr. Trump and Washington’s biggest lobbying organization haven’t much improved.”

Bloomberg: “Donald Trump doesn’t want anyone to see his tax returns. Not the public. Not Congress. But at least one group has peered into the carefully guarded trove and could provide some insight — a team from Deutsche Bank AG. The bankers got a look before agreeing to lend to the Trump Organization in 2012 — access that was described by two people familiar with the interaction.”

“After a recent subpoena, Deutsche Bank was prepared to begin on May 6 turning over details to Congress about that relationship and its loans to Trump family businesses. Now, Trump and his family have sued to stop the flow of information.”

Media Matters: “Major media outlets failed to rebut President Donald Trump’s misinformation 65% of the time in their tweets about his false or misleading comments… That means the outlets amplified Trump’s misinformation more than 400 times over the three-week period of the study — a rate of 19 per day.”

New York Times: “Employers added 263,000 jobs last month, underscoring the economy’s resilience after some analysts had feared earlier in the year that a slowdown was coming.”

“The unemployment rate was 3.6 percent, the lowest level of the 10-year recovery, down from 3.8 percent in March.”

At her weekly press conference, Speaker Nancy Pelosi likened President Trump to Richard Nixon: “As you probably know, in the Articles of Impeachment for President Nixon, Article 3 was that he ignored the subpoenas of Congress, that he did not honor the subpoenas of Congress. This is very, very serious. But my judgment will spring from the judgment of our committee chairs.”

“Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) is a presidential phone-buddy and White House regular who’s become one of President Trump’s loudest surrogates,” Politico reports.

“He’s also one of the most unpopular governors in the country, facing a treacherous reelection in November. And the White House, fearing that an embarrassing loss in a deep-red state would stoke doubts about the president’s own ability to win another term, is preparing to go all-in to save him.”

Susan Glasser: “In his short time in politics, Trump has managed to shred the careers, professional integrity, and dignity of many of those who worked for him. Rex Tillerson had been an American corporate superstar, the C.E.O. of ExxonMobil, one of the wealthiest oil companies in the world. He became Trump’s Secretary of State and, according to the account given to reporters at an off-the-record session by Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly, learned that he was being fired while sitting on the toilet, an indignity followed up with a Presidential tweet announcing his exit. Trump’s first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, was just leaving Air Force One, oblivious, when Trump tweeted the news of his firing. On Thursday, Trump did it again, with Stephen Moore, his controversial choice for the Federal Reserve, tweeting that he was out of a job soon after Moore told Bloomberg News that Trump had no intention of cutting him loose.”

“Just as striking as Trump’s own crude efforts to humiliate, however, are the numerous examples of those who seem to abase or degrade themselves in their efforts to curry favor with the President.”

“Republican senators said they warned President Trump Thursday against imposing tariffs on auto imports and discussed alternatives that would achieve the White House’s goals,” Bloomberg reports.

“Trump followed with a tweet celebrating his current steel tariffs.”

“More than perhaps any other issue, trade is where Trump has broken with Republican free-market orthodoxy. GOP Senators used a Thursday meeting at the White House to voice their economic and political concerns with Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, the ongoing trade conflict with China and new tariffs the president has threatened to impose on auto imports.”

Washington Post: “For a time, President Trump was reluctant to select William P. Barr as his attorney general. The veteran Justice Department official from the George H.W. Bush administration was not a longtime Trump loyalist, and the president wondered whether one of his own political allies might serve better as a shield, people familiar with the matter said.”

“Trump, who spent a few hours at most with Barr before picking him as attorney general, told people that he was pleased with Barr’s pugnacious performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, though one Trump ally who regularly speaks with the president said his joy was ‘shortsighted’ because Barr lost credibility with some lawmakers who could be useful later.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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