Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told CBS News he “didn’t see” specific evidence that top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani was planning attacks on four U.S. embassies, but said he believed such attack would have occurred.
Said Esper: “The president didn’t cite a specific piece of evidence. What he said was he believed. I didn’t see one, with regard to four embassies. What I’m saying is that I shared the president’s view that probably — my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies. The embassy is the most prominent display of American presence in a country.”
HuffPost: “Lev Parnas, a Donald Trump contributor indicted on campaign finance charges, is seeking to release even more records that are ‘essential’ to the president’s impeachment inquiry, Parnas’ attorney argued in a letter Saturday to a judge.”
“I don’t like to spend too much time on his crazy tweets because everything he says is a projection. When he calls somebody crazy, he knows that he is.”
— Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in an interview with ABC News, responding to President Trump’s tweets calling her “Crazy Nancy.”
“A Republican senator wants to bar schools from teaching sex education before seventh grade,” the Arizona Capitol Times reports.
“The bill from Sen. Sylvia Allen(R) also deletes ‘homosexuality’ from acts constituting ‘sexual conduct’ in a section of the statutes, a move that appears to ban any discussion of homosexuality during sex ed courses.”
Politico: “Jim Messina predicted that Trump would exploit Sanders’ stamp of socialism in battleground states needed to defeat Trump, keep control of the House and have a shot at winning the Senate.”
Said Messina: “If I were a campaign manager for Donald Trump and I look at the field, I would very much want to run against Bernie Sanders. I think the contrast is the best. He can say, ‘I’m a business guy, the economy’s good and this guy’s a socialist.’ I think that contrast for Trump is likely one that he’d be excited about in a way that he wouldn’t be as excited about Biden or potentially Mayor Pete or some of the more Midwestern moderate candidates.”
Rick Wilson: “Get ready for Donald Trump Jr., a man who speaks the fluent asshole dialogue of the own-the-libs Trump Party, to rise to the top of the 2024 GOP primary ranks. The dynastic talk that was once treated as a joke (even by me) is already growing around both Don Jr. and Ivanka. Poor Eric is left out, but then again, he always has been.”
“The Trump family—including the creepy automaton Jared Kushner—will continue to view the American government not as a sacred trust but as an ATM for their crapulous enterprises and nation-state-level grifting. While Kushner’s ambitions don’t appear to be especially political, his exploitation of his high office as Grand Vizier to Emir Donald has been spectacularly profitable for his companies. As for Trump personally, his hotels, golf courses, and clubs were miraculously both popular and profitable for unknown reasons. (Pardon me while I recover from that epic eye-roll.)”
New York Times: “The textbooks cover the same sweeping story, from the brutality of slavery to the struggle for civil rights. The self-evident truths of the founding documents to the waves of immigration that reshaped the nation.”
“The books have the same publisher. They credit the same authors. But they are customized for students in different states, and their contents sometimes diverge in ways that reflect the nation’s deepest partisan divides.”
“Hundreds of differences — some subtle, others extensive — emerged in a New York Times analysis of eight commonly used American history textbooks in California and Texas, two of the nation’s largest markets.”
“A nearly yearlong run of good will between two of the leading progressives in the 2020 presidential race, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders, appears to be evaporating in the run-up to the Iowa caucuses,” the New York Times reports.
“Ms. Warren said on Sunday she was ‘disappointed’ that Mr. Sanders’s campaign had been using a script for volunteers that suggested she was appealing mainly to highly educated voters and would not be able to expand the Democratic Party coalition.”
Said Warren: “I was disappointed to hear that Bernie is sending his volunteers out to trash me. I hope Bernie reconsiders and turns his campaign in a different direction.”
During an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday morning, Schiff said that Trump’s assertion that U.S. embassies were under threat by Iran shows that “he is fudging the intelligence.”
“When you hear the President on Fox, he is fudging the intelligence. And when you hear the secretary say ‘that wasn’t what the intelligence said, that’s my personal belief,’ he is fudging,” Schiff said.
Schiff added that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also “fudging” on CBS last week when he claimed that intelligence analysis shows that killing Soleimani “would improve our security.”
“That is also fudging — that is not an intelligence conclusion,” Schiff said. “That is Pompeo’s personal opinion.”
When asked if he’s saying that the Trump administration is lying, Schiff responded that “you could certainly put it that way, but frankly I think what they’re doing is they are overstating and exaggerating what the intelligence shows.”