What Now?! – 8/9/19

“Major Wall Street banks have given congressional committees investigating President Trump thousands of pages of documents related to Russians who may have had dealings with Mr. Trump, his family or his business,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Some banks are also giving documents related to Mr. Trump’s business, the Trump Organization, to New York state investigators.”

“It was intended to be a day for President Donald Trump to pay his respects to the victims of two deadly mass shootings, thank first responders and serve as consoler-in-chief,” NBC News reports. “But before he even left the White House on Wednesday for El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, the president used his bully pulpit to settle political scores and lash out against slights.”

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman told CNN that aides to President Trump think he behaved disastrously yesterday while he was supposed to be consoling the victims of the El Paso and Dayton shootings.

Said Haberman:  “Most people – while they would I suspect not say that publicly – will privately admit that yesterday was something of a debacle. These are not the headlines they wanted to see. They wanted him to go in and behave differently. The goal was to go in and get out with as little news as possible.”

Daily Beast: “It underscored a reality that’s become obvious to anyone who has ever worked for or even casually observed Trump: He’ll find a way to make nearly any national tragedy into an airing of his personal grievances, and neither he nor nearly anything else will change in the process.”

While visiting shooting victims and medical personnel at a hospital in El Paso, a video shows President Trump started bragging about the size of the crowd at his rally before attacking Beto O’Rourke.

“A 41-year-old Detroit man deported to Iraq in June died Tuesday,” Politico  reports. “The man, Jimmy Aldaoud, spent most of his life in the U.S., but was swept up in President Trump’s intensified immigration enforcement efforts.” His death “appeared to be linked to the man’s inability to obtain insulin in Baghdad to treat his diabetes.”

“President Trump has repeatedly told lawmakers and aides in private conversations that he is open to endorsing extensive background checks in the wake of two mass shootings, prompting a warning from the National Rifle Association and concerns among White House aides,” the Washington Post reports.

“NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre spoke with Trump on Tuesday after the president expressed support for a background check bill and told him it would not be popular among Trump’s supporters.”

Facing mounting controversy for declaring the very real problem of white supremacy in America to be a “hoax,” Tucker Carlson announced at the end of his Wednesday night Fox News show that he will be taking a vacation, CNN reports.

“Andrew McCabe, the acting FBI director who authorized an investigation into President Trump for ties to Russia and possible obstruction of justice, filed a lawsuit against the bureau and the Justice Department on Wednesday, alleging he was illegally demoted and fired as part of a plot by Trump to remove those who were not politically loyal to him,” the Washington Post reports.

“President Trump had hoped to head into the 2020 campaign season as the world’s consummate dealmaker. He may instead enter his reelection campaign not just empty-handed, but vulnerable to the charge that his policies have helped sow chaos across the globe,” Politico reports.

“Some of Trump’s own advisers have expressed particular concern over his desire to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan before the 2020 election. And allies outside the administration have likened the move to the 1972 election deadline set by Richard Nixon for the withdrawal of American troops from South Vietnam. Trump aides, including national security adviser John Bolton, worry that a premature withdrawal of American troops could leave the Afghan government in a weakened position, according to four administration officials and congressional aides.”

In a sobering new report, the Pentagon’s independent watchdog concludes that the remnants of the Islamic State militant group have been capitalizing on President Trump’s drawdown in Syria, the Washington Post reports.

From the report: “Despite losing its territorial ‘caliphate,’ the Islamic State solidified its insurgent capabilities in Iraq and was resurging in Syria. The reduction of U.S. forces has decreased the support available for Syrian partner forces at a time when their forces need more training and equipping to respond to the ISIS resurgence.”

Trump, just three weeks ago: “We did a great job. We have 100 percent of the caliphate, and we’re rapidly pulling out of Syria. We’ll be out of there pretty soon.”

“The White House is circulating drafts of a proposed executive order that would address allegations of anti-conservative bias by social media companies, according to a White House official and two other people familiar with the matter — a month after President Trump pledged to explore ‘all regulatory and legislative solutions’ on the issue,” Politicoreports.

“None of the three would describe the contents of the order, which one person cautioned has already taken many different forms and remains in flux. But its existence, and the deliberations surrounding it, are evidence that the administration is taking a serious look at wielding the federal government’s power against Silicon Valley.”

“President Trump said on Wednesday night that he was ‘strongly considering’ commuting the 14-year prison sentence of Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor who was convicted of trying to essentially sell President Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat for personal gain,” the New York Times reports.

“In remarks aboard Air Force One, Mr. Trump described the incriminating phone call in which Mr. Blagojevich, a Democrat, was taped discussing selling the seat as mostly a minor offense and something ‘many’ politicians have done.”

Washington Post: “None of the eight patients still being treated at University Medical Center in El Paso agreed to meet with Trump when he visited the hospital, UMC spokesman Ryan Mielke said. Two victims who already had been discharged returned to the hospital with family members to meet with the president.”

“South Koreans were left flustered on Wednesday after President Trump asserted that he had made their government pay $500 million more to help cover the cost of maintaining American troops in the country,” the New York Times reports.

“The claim contradicted the terms of a cost-sharing deal South Korea and the United States signed on Sunday after months of contentious negotiations. Under the one-year deal, this year South Korea will pay $925 million, an increase of $70 million from last year’s $855 million.”

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

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