Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined to criticize President Trump at Normandy earlier today, saying she will not discuss the president while out of the country, CNN reports.
However, in a Fox News interview, against a backdrop of the graves of dead American soldiers, Trump later referred to Pelosi as “Nervous Nancy” and called her a “disaster.” He also told Fox News that former special counsel Robert Mueller made “such a fool out of himself” last week when he made a public statement regarding his Russia investigation and whether Trump obstructed the probe.
Said Trump: “Let me tell you, he made such a fool out of himself . . . because what people don’t report is the letter he had to do to straighten out his testimony because his testimony was wrong.”
He did this during an interview with the Nazi saluting Laura Ingraham with the Normandy cemetry as a backdrop. The interview delayed the start of the D-Day Remembrance Ceremony by at least a half an hour. Everyone sat in their seats, including some 90 year old veterans and the Queen, while Trump could launch false and partisan attacks on his domestic rivals.
“Michael Flynn has fired his legal team as he awaits sentencing for lying to the FBI about his conversations with a top Russian official,” Politico reports.
“The lawyers, Robert Kelner and Stephen Anthony, offered no explanation for their abrupt dismissal in a two-page motion delivered to the federal judge who will mete out Flynn’s punishment stemming from his 2017 guilty plea to Robert Mueller’s prosecutors.”
“Speaker Nancy Pelosi told senior Democrats that she’d like to see President Trump ‘in prison’ as she clashed with House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler in a meeting on Tuesday night over whether to launch impeachment proceedings,” Politico reports.
“Nadler pressed Pelosi to allow his committee to launch an impeachment inquiry against Trump — the second such request he’s made in recent weeks only to be rebuffed by the California Democrat and other senior leaders. Pelosi stood firm, reiterating that she isn’t open to the idea of impeaching Trump at this time.” Said Pelosi: “I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison.”
Ron Brownstein: “It’s become conventional wisdom—not only among Democrats but also among many political analysts—that House Republicans paid a severe electoral price for moving against Bill Clinton in 1998, at a time when polls showed most of the public opposed that action.”
“But that straightforward conclusion oversimplifies impeachment’s effects, according to my analysis of the election results and interviews with key strategists who were working in national politics at the time. While Republicans did lose House seats in both 1998 and 2000, Democrats did not gain enough to capture control of the chamber either time. And in 2000, lingering unease about Clinton’s behavior provided a crucial backdrop for George W. Bush’s winning presidential campaign—particularly his defining promise ‘to restore honor and dignity’ to the Oval Office.”
Walter Shapiro: 1998 was a Seinfeld election—not an impeachment referendum.
“House Democrats are planning to vote next week to empower committees to go to court to enforce their subpoenas, a move that will give committee chairmen a powerful tool to hold officials in contempt while bypassing the House floor,” CNN reports. “The plan is likely to expedite Democrats’ efforts to fight the Trump administration in court over their subpoenas and could also help vulnerable Democratic lawmakers avoid repeated contempt votes on the House floor, although there are also concerns about implications of the precedent that’s being set.”
“House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler told Democratic leaders at a closed-door meeting this week that he could issue a subpoena to Robert Mueller within two weeks if he is unable to reach an agreement to secure the former special counsel’s public testimony,” Politico reports. “Nadler’s comments at the Tuesday meeting were his clearest remarks to date on the possibility of compelling Mueller’s attendance at a public hearing.”
The Defense Department contradicted President Trump’s claim that service-members are “not allowed to take any drugs” and that transgender troops can’t serve because of this, the Washington Post reports.
Said spokeswoman Jessica Maxwell: “The Military Health System covers all approved medically necessary treatments and prescription medications. If a service member has a hormone deficiency for any reason (such as hypogonadism, hypothyroidism, menopause, etc.), he or she would be prescribed hormones.”
Washington Post: “In July, a wealthy Iraqi sheikh named Nahro al-Kasnazan wrote letters to national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging them to forge closer ties with those seeking to overthrow the government of Iran.” Kasnazan wrote of his desire “to achieve our mutual interest to weaken the Iranian Mullahs regime and end its hegemony.”
“Four months later, he checked into the Trump International Hotel in Washington and spent 26 nights in a suite on the eighth floor — a visit estimated to have cost tens of thousands of dollars.”
Laurence Tribe argues that House Democrats could launch an impeachment process that does not necessarily lead to a Senate trial where Trump could claim vindication if not convicted.
“The point would not be to take old-school House impeachment leading to possible Senate removal off the table at the outset. Instead, the idea would be to build into the very design of this particular inquiry an offramp that would make bypassing the Senate an option while also nourishing the hope that a public fully educated about what this president did would make even a Senate beholden to this president and manifestly lacking in political courage willing to bite the bullet and remove him.”
George Conway: “It’s not a modest proposal—it’s brilliant. Nothing in the Constitution dictates the procedure by which the House decides whether to pass a bill of impeachment. No reason why it can’t hold a trial for the American people to see. Let the chips fall where they may.”
“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered a candid assessment of Venezuela’s opposition during a closed-door meeting in New York last week, saying that the opponents of President Nicolás Maduro are highly fractious and that U.S. efforts to keep them together have been more difficult than is publicly known,” the Washington Post reports.
Said Pompeo: “Our conundrum, which is to keep the opposition united, has proven devilishly difficult. The moment Maduro leaves, everybody’s going to raise their hands and say, ‘Take me, I’m the next president of Venezuela.’ It would be forty-plus people who believe they’re the rightful heir to Maduro.”
New York Times: “Initially slow to develop a presence in Washington, the tech giants — Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google — have rapidly built themselves into some of the largest players in the influence and access industry as they confront threats from the Trump administration and both parties on Capitol Hill.”
“The four companies spent a combined $55 million on lobbying last year, doubling their combined spending of $27.4 million in 2016, and some are spending at a higher rate so far this year.”
“A Texas high school teacher who thought she was private messaging anti-immigration tweets to President Trump has been fired for asking the President to deport undocumented students,” CNN reports.
“No president in recent history has started their tenure with as many extended Cabinet vacancies as President Trump,” Axios reports. “Trump has already racked up more than four times as many days with a vacant Cabinet position as any other president since Ronald Reagan at this point in their presidencies.”
“In the past six presidencies: There have been 29 individual cabinet vacancies in the time that Trump has been in office. Thirteen of them have been under Trump. His administration has also had the seven longest vacancies in the comparable timeframe.”
CNN has found audio of White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow ripping Donald Trump’s proposed trade policies during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Said Kudlow: “Lower tariffs equals lower taxes equals growth. In the 1930s high tariffs, Smoot-Hawley tariffs, equals high taxes, equals depression. It’s that simple. Too many Republicans on the campaign trail are flirting with protectionism. Trump is the worst, but he’s not the only one.”
He added: “He wants to stop trading with China. He wants to stop trading with Mexico. Lord knows who else he wants to stop trading with. These are huge trading partners of ours. There are political issues that need to be resolved, but you never cut off your nose to spite your face, do you? That’s what Trump is doing. Too many Republicans are flirting with protectionism. Protectionism is anti-growth, protectionism, protectionism led to the depression of the 1930s.”
Associated Press: “There are two major reasons why the poor face an outsized burden… First, poorer Americans tend to spend all of their income, while wealthier Americans have enough income left over to save and invest. That leaves the poor more exposed to higher prices from import taxes.”
“Second, the wealthy are more likely to splurge on services such as farm-to-table restaurant meals or gym memberships that are not subject to tariffs at all. But poorer Americans spend a higher percentage of their income on basics such as clothing and groceries that are more likely to be imported and subject to tariffs.”