“President Trump spent more than two hours at Walter Reed National Medical Center on Saturday for what the White House said were medical tests as part of his annual physical,” NBC Washington reports.
“The appointment wasn’t on Trump’s weekend public schedule, and his last physical was in February. Press secretary Stephanie Grisham said the 73-year-old president was ‘anticipating a very busy 2020’ and wanted to take advantage of ‘a free weekend’ in Washington to begin portions of his routine checkup.”
“She did not specify which tests he’d received or explain why the visit had not been disclosed in advance.”
He added: “Will complete next year.”
NBC’s Saturday Night Live took a barely-veiled shot at NBC News in the first moments of its cold open sketch this week when a C-SPAN voiceover noted that “some people” felt the first impeachment hearings were “lacking in pizzazz,” the Daily Beast reports.
With that in mind, the show presented a soap-opera version of the proceedings called “Days of Our Impeachment.”
“President Trump campaigned hard in three conservative Southern states this fall, aiming for a string of gubernatorial wins that would demonstrate his political strength heading into impeachment and his own reelection effort,” Politico reports.
“The plan backfired in dramatic fashion.”
“The latest black eye came on Saturday, when Trump’s favored candidate in Louisiana, multimillionaire businessman Eddie Rispone, went down to defeat. The president went all-in, visiting the state three times, most recently on Thursday. Earlier this month, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin lost reelection after a similar presidential effort on his behalf. Of the candidates Trump backed, only Tate Reeves in Mississippi won.”
Denver radio host Craig Silverman says his conservative station fired him in the middle of his show because he played a clip that was critical of President Trump, the Denver Post reports.
Silverman later tweeted: “I cannot and will not toe strict Trump party line. I call things as I see them. I see corruption and blatant dishonesty by President and his cronies.”
The report into possible Russian interference that British prime minister Boris Johnson’s government is refusing to publish said that the Kremlin may have affected the 2016 Brexit referendum, the Times of Londonreports.
The report also criticized British intelligence services for not devoting enough resources to combating the threat of the Russian government.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told CBS News that she warned President Trump that he’s in her “wheelhouse” when he attempts to “intimidate” the government whistleblower who helped spark the House impeachment probe.
Said Pelosi: “I will make sure he does not intimidate the whistleblower. I told the president you’re in my wheelhouse when you come after the whistleblower.”
President Trump “is demanding that South Korea pay roughly 500% more in 2020 to cover the cost of keeping US troops on the peninsula,” CNN reports.
“The price hike has frustrated Pentagon officials and deeply concerned Republican and Democratic lawmakers, according to military officials and congressional aides. It has angered and unnerved Seoul, where leaders are questioning US commitment to their alliance and wondering whether Trump will pull US forces if they don’t pay up.”
“Jared Kushner and other senior Trump administration officials are planning to set up web cameras to live-stream construction of President Trump’s border wall, going against objections from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and senior U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials,” the Washington Post reports. Said one senior official: “There will be a wall cam, and it’ll launch early next year.”
Top House Republican sources tell Axios that one impeachment survival strategy will be to try to distance President Trump from any Ukraine quid pro quo, with Rudy Giuliani potentially going under the bus. Said one: “This is not an impeachment of Rudy Giuliani, it’s not an impeachment of Ambassador Sondland. It’s an impeachment of the president of the United States. So the point is as long as this is a step removed, he’s in good shape… If it’s a step removed from the president, he doesn’t lose any Republicans in the House.”
President Trump intervened in three military justice cases involving war-crimes accusations Friday, issuing at least two pardons that will prevent the Pentagon from pursuing future charges against the individuals involved, the Washington Post reports.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) condemned the “moral degeneration” of Republicans in a CBS News interview in his assessment of their conduct during the impeachment inquiry of President Trump.
Said Raskin: “One of the critical components of this story is the absolute moral degeneration of the Republican Party. They’re behaving like members of a religious cult.”