What Now?! – 5/13/19

Rudy Giuliani told The Guardian that President Trump wants Attorney General William Barr to consider investigating Joe Biden, a potential opponent in next year’s presidential election, over Biden’s ties to Ukraine.

“Giuliani made the remark as fears grew among Democrats that the president will use the US justice department – and even help from foreign officials – to go after his political rivals.”

Giuliani added: “I can’t tell Attorney General Barr what to do. He’s a very, very fine lawyer. My experience with him is that he’s a very honorable man, and he will do the right thing.”

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow admitted to Fox News that the Chinese do not directly pay tariffs on goods coming into the U.S.

Axios: “President Trump has repeatedly claimed, incorrectly, that tariffs are forcing China is paying billions of dollars to the U.S. Treasury. The tariffs are paid by U.S. importers of affected Chinese goods, not by China’s government or by Chinese companies. Importers then either raise costs on consumers, lower their own profit margins or both.”

Saturday Night Live brought three GOP senators together on Meet the Pressto demonstrate just how far the Republican Party will go to defend President Trump.

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) told CBS News that President Trump was the most fiscally reckless president in decades.

Said Bennet: “Donald Trump has shown himself to be the most fiscally irresponsible president we have had in generations. Here’s a guy who’s managed to rack up a $2 trillion deficit at a moment of full employment in the country, it’s almost impossible to do that.”

Politico: “A growing number of Democratic committee members are pushing Nadler to take more aggressive steps to force President Trump and top administration officials to comply with a host of congressional subpoenas. Some lawmakers even want Congress to dust off its little-used authority to fine or even jail witnesses, something that the House hasn’t done in more than 80 years and is ill prepared to execute.”

“But Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team worry that such moves, while pleasing to a party base that loathes the president, would backfire and boost Trump politically. Caught in the middle is Nadler, a 71-year-old Democrat who has long been a thorn in Trump’s side.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff to ABC News: “Look, we are going to have to consider other remedies like inherent contempt, where if the courts take too long we use our own judicial process within the Congress. And look, I think if you fine someone $25,000 a day to their person until they comply, it gets their attention.”

Associated Press: “The release of a redacted version of Mueller’s 448-page report last month offered a long-awaited moment of closure for many — and an utterly unsatisfying cliffhanger for plenty of others.”

“Three weeks of public parsing and analysis have left them wondering just what Mueller was trying to say and what he really thinks, particularly on the question of obstruction, where the document drew no conclusion. That uncertainty has given partisans on both sides an opening to frame Mueller’s findings to their liking and left many Americans, unlikely to read the full report, scratching their heads about what to believe and whom to trust.”

“Enough with the printed page, they say, enough with the punditry: Speak, Bob, speak!”

President Trump tweeted again about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference, saying that this “witch hunt” must “never be allowed to happen again.”

Said Trump: “From long before I ever took office, I was under a sick and unlawful investigation concerning what has become known as the Russian Hoax. This never happened before in American history, and it all turned out to be a total scam, a Witch Hunt, that yielded No Collusion, No Obstruction. This must never be allowed to happen again!”

President Trump tweeted he was “never a big fan of” former White House Counsel Don McGahn.

Said Trump: “I was NOT going to fire Bob Mueller, and did not fire Bob Mueller. In fact, he was allowed to finish his Report with unprecedented help from the Trump Administration. Actually, lawyer Don McGahn had a much better chance of being fired than Mueller. Never a big fan!”

Click on it and read the whole thread from George Conway.

“Three nations that have long defined themselves as bitter adversaries of the United States — North Korea, Iran and Venezuela — decided this week they could take on President Trump,” the New York Times reports.

“Each one is betting that Mr. Trump is neither as savvy a negotiator nor as ready to use military force as he claims. Each also poses a drastically different challenge to a president who has little experience in handling international crises, has struggled to find the right balance of diplomacy and coercion and has not always been consistent in defining his foreign policy.”

“The rising tensions with all three serve as reminders that Mr. Trump’s constant talk about taking care of problems that he has accused his predecessors of aggravating, or failing to confront, is difficult to convert into real-world solutions — as events of recent days have shown.”

“Republican-led states are charging ahead with a spate of restrictive anti-abortion bills designed to trigger a legal battle that lands at the doorstep of the U.S. Supreme Court,” NBC News reports.

“Alabama, poised to pass the country’s toughest limits this week in what would amount to an outright ban on abortion, is just one of two dozen states that has proposed or passed measures restricting abortion this legislative session, an onslaught abortion rights supporters say is both unprecedented and strategic.”

“With the new conservative majority cemented on the Supreme Court, many politicians and anti-abortion rights groups see an opportunity to provoke a case that could finally put a dagger through Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.”

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

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