What Now?! – 6/6/2019

Although Senate Republicans believe they have the votes to override a veto preventing President Trump from putting tariffs on Mexico, the president tweeted a quote from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying House Republicans will sustain a veto-proof majority for Trump’s tariffs on Mexico no matter what the Senate does.

But, it looks like Trump made up the McCarthy quote. Playbook: “We cannot find McCarthy saying that anywhere. His office pointed us to his interview with Laura Ingraham. Nothing he said there resembles what Trump quoted McCarthy as saying. The White House did not immediately reply to a request for comment.”

Washington Post: “[Trump’s] promise to punish Mexico with escalating tariffs unless it controls what he calls the ‘invasion’ of migrants across the southern border is premised on a law that has never been used either as a tool of immigration policy or tariffs. The International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) mentions neither.”

Meanwhile, Trump called Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) “a creep” after the Democratic leader predicted the president would back down from slapping new tariffs on Mexico, The Hill reports. Schumer, speaking from the Senate floor, characterized the new tariffs as another example of Trump’s “whimsical and erratic proposals.”

He added: “President Trump has a habit of proposing asinine and dangerous policies before backing off. And President Trump has a habit of pretending that the very act of not following through on a misguided policy is somehow a victory. So, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if President Trump doesn’t follow through on these tariffs either.”

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told administration officials that President Trump should delay imposing tariffs on Mexico until he can personally make his argument to Republicans in Congress,” Bloomberg reports. “McConnell has also warned the White House that Trump can’t take GOP support for granted.”

“For the backdrop to his first official visit to Ireland, President Trump wanted to promote his golf course on the nation’s rocky west coast. The Irish government countered with the grand staging of an ancient castle,” the AP reports.

“In the end, neither side got what they wanted. The compromise location for Trump’s meeting Wednesday with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar was the VIP lounge at Shannon Airport, just down the hallway from the food court and duty-free shop.”

“And the meeting itself was more than just a warm handshake for the cameras, as the two broke sharply on what would be best for Ireland if the United Kingdom were to leave the European Union.”

“The House passed legislation Tuesday to provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers brought to the United States as children,” Politico reports.

“The bill — dubbed the Dream and Promise Act, H.R. 6 (116) — was approved, 237-187, along largely partisan lines. Nearly all Democrats voted for the legislation, with five not voting. The Democratic majority was joined by seven Republicans.”

“The US government has obtained intelligence that Saudi Arabia has significantly escalated its ballistic missile program with the help of China, a development that threatens decades of US efforts to limit missile proliferation in the Middle East,” CNN reports.

“The Trump administration did not initially disclose its knowledge of this classified development to key members of Congress… infuriating Democrats who discovered it outside of regular US government channels and concluded it had been deliberately left out of a series of briefings where they say it should have been presented.”

President Trump has said he “would not have minded” at all serving in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War, CBS News reports. Mr. Trump avoided the U.S. military draft in place during the war by getting a medical deferment for bone spurs.

Said Trump: “I would not have minded that at all. I would’ve been honored, but I think I make up for it right now. I think I’m making up for it rapidly because we’re rebuilding our military at a level that it’s never seen before.”

Marketwatch: “Private-sector employers hired just 27,000 people in May, payroll processor ADP said Wednesday. That badly missed the forecast of 175,000 jobs from economists surveyed by Econoday.”

“ADP’s report can be used as an early read on the closely-watched Labor Department jobs report that’s released two days later, but its track record is imperfect.”

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) is the only Democrat allowed by a pending New York state law to ask for President Trump’s state tax returns, but so far he has said he won’t do it, Accounting Today reports.

“Neal has said he fears that getting the state returns would bolster Trump administration arguments that Congress is on a political fishing expedition — and not, as Neal has claimed, overseeing the Internal Revenue Service’s annual audits of the president.”

“Yet some of Neal’s colleagues have little interest in legal nuance and say the state tax returns are better than none at all.”

“President Trump plans to address the nation from the Lincoln Memorial on July 4 as part of an overhauled celebration of the nation’s Independence Day,” the Washington Post reports.

“The president had previously floated the idea of speaking at the nationally televised event, but his participation had not been confirmed. Trump’s appearance is likely to bring with it a host of new security and logistical challenges and reshape a decades-old, nonpartisan celebration that annually draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city’s monumental core.”

Washington Post: “The National Association for Business Economics’s most recent survey, released on Monday, also found that private sector economists put the odds of a recession starting by the end of 2020 at 60 percent. That’s nearly double the 35 percent odds respondents gave when surveyed in March.”

“Like the latest manufacturing data, this survey was also conducted before Trump announced his Mexico tariffs, which suggests it actually may be understating economists’ present levels of pessimism.”

“The Trump administration is canceling English classes, recreational programs, and legal aid for unaccompanied minors staying in federal migrant shelters nationwide, saying the immigration influx at the southern border has created critical budget pressures,” the Washington Post reports.

“The Trump administration announced Wednesday that the federal government would sharply curtail federal spending on medical research that uses tissue from aborted fetuses,” the New York Times reports.

“The move fulfills a top goal of anti-abortion groups that have lobbied hard for it, but scientists say the tissue is crucial for studies that benefit millions of patients.”

Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent behind the Trump dossier. has agreed to be questioned by U.S. officials over his relationship with the FBI, the London Times reports.

“A federal judge reversed course on Tuesday and absolved the Justice Department of a demand to make public transcripts of recorded phone calls between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and a Russian official,” Politico reports.

“U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan said he accepted the argument recently made from federal prosecutors who defied his earlier request to release any recordings from December 2016 between Flynn and Sergey Kislyak, who at the time was the Russian ambassador to the U.S.”

new study finds Russia’s infamous troll farm “conducted a campaign on Twitter before the 2016 elections that was larger, more coordinated and more effective than previously known,” Politico reports.

“The Internet Research Agency campaign may not only have had more sway — reaching large numbers of real users — than previously thought, it also demonstrated ample patience and might have generated income for some of the phony accounts.”

NBC News: “The IRA’s basic strategy was to use a small core of Twitter accounts to push out new content. And they harnessed a wider pool of automated accounts to amplify those messages. The operation was carefully planned, with accounts often registered months before they were used — well in advance of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

“Former Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who as recently as last month cautioned Democrats about the perils of pursuing President Trump’s impeachment, now says the House should open an impeachment inquiry that might or might not lead to a formal effort to remove him from office,” USA Today reports.

Said Reid: “It’s not the right thing to do nothing. It’s not the right thing to jump into impeachment without doing an inquiry.”

He added: “Why make Trump a hero by saying ‘they couldn’t impeach me?’”

“Electronic communications made public show Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) office was a driving force in the state’s program to purge nearly 100,000 suspected non-U.S. citizens from Texas’ voter rolls,” the San Antonio Express News reports.

“The program was scrapped in April after the state settled lawsuits challenging it, and after Secretary of State officials publicly admitted they included flawed data showing tens of thousands of naturalized citizens were on the purge list.”

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

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