Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) was removed from her leadership position in the House Republican caucus today because she refused to promote the idea that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump.
“We must be true to our principles and to the Constitution,” Cheney, R-Wyo., told fellow House Republicans before the closed-door vote, according to a source in the room. “We cannot let the former president drag us backward and make us complicit in his efforts to unravel our democracy. Down that path lies our destruction, and potentially the destruction of our country.”
After the vote, Cheney said that if Trump tries to run again, “I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office.”
According to reports, Cheney addressed her colleagues before the vote this morning and was booed by some in the room.
Last night, in advance of the impending vote, Cheney gave a full-throated speech defending her choice to speak truth to power.
While Cheney and I would probably disagree on practically everything in terms of political policy, I admire and respect her holding fast to the truth here.
Trump took a ‘victory lap’ of sorts after her ouster today calling her “a bitter, horrible human being” in a statement.
“I watched her yesterday and realized how bad she is for the Republican Party,” said Trump. “She has no personality or anything good having to do with politics or our Country.”
And Rep. Madison Cawthorn, the newly-elected 25-year-old from North Carolina, demonstrated what happens when you elect a 12-year-old to office:
“Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again,” Trump said in the statement.
“He will never do what needs to be done, or what is right for our Country. Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First. We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and compassionate leadership.”
Trump concluded, “This is a big moment for our country, and we cannot let it pass by using third rate ‘leaders’ to dictate our future!”
Donald Trump is super-angry because Fox News contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano penned this for Fox News last week which doesn’t quite ‘exonerate’ Trump of obstruction of justice:
Obstruction is a rare crime that is rarely completed. Stated differently, the obstructer need not succeed in order to be charged with obstruction. That’s because the statute itself prohibits attempting to impede or interfere with any government proceeding for a corrupt or self-serving purpose.
The president’s job is to enforce federal law. If he had ordered its violation to save innocent life or preserve human freedom, he would have a moral defense. But ordering obstruction to save himself from the consequences of his own behavior is unlawful and condemnable.
In retribution, Trump tweeted an angry retort claiming Napolitano turned on him because the Trumpster refused to nominate the judge to the Supreme Court.
Note how the Donald also puts the word “pal” in quotes in referring to openly gay Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, who has also been critical of the president.
Thank you to brilliant and highly respected attorney Alan Dershowitz for destroying the very dumb legal argument of “Judge” Andrew Napolitano….
….Ever since Andrew came to my office to ask that I appoint him to the U.S. Supreme Court, and I said NO, he has been very hostile! Also asked for pardon for his friend. A good “pal” of low ratings Shepard Smith.
Napolitano clapped back over the weekend during an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business clarifying the SCOTUS comment and asked out loud of the Donald, “This is the way you treat your friends?”
Andrew Napolitano accused Donald Trump of mischaracterizing their conversations together when the president swiped at him over the weekend. Maria Bartiromo asked Napolitano about this when he joined her on Fox Business, but he shrugged it off and asked “This is the way you treat your friends? How do you treat your enemies?”
Napolitano said that when he described how Neil Gorsuch had the judicial qualities Trump was looking for, the president-elect supposedly turned to him and said: “sounds like you’re describing yourself.”
“I said ‘no, no, I’m not describing myself,’” Napolitano recalled. “‘I’m describing Neil Gorsuch because you have this list of people from which you want to choose, and Judge Gorsuch is the person that I think most of your advisers are going to point to.’”
Incoming freshman US Senator Mitt Romney of Utah penned a scathing op-ed for the Washington Post criticizing Donald Trump up and down.
From the essay:
It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination. After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not. When he won the election, I hoped he would rise to the occasion. His early appointments of Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Nikki Haley, Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster, Kelly and Mattis were encouraging. But, on balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions last month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.
To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation. A president should unite us and inspire us to follow “our better angels.” A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.
Predictably, Trump clapped back wondering aloud if Romney plans to be a ‘Flake,’ meaning now-retired Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who was a sometime-thorn in Trump’s backside.
Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he a Flake? I hope not. Would much prefer that Mitt focus on Border Security and so many other things where he can be helpful. I won big, and he didn’t. He should be happy for all Republicans. Be a TEAM player & WIN!
Fox News anchor Shepard Smith says opinion programming on his network doesn’t “really have rules” and exists “strictly to be entertaining,” in an interview published Thursday.
“Some of our opinion programming is there strictly to be entertaining,” Smith told Time Magazine’s Daniel D’Addario in a piece titled, “Shep Smith Has the Hardest Job on Fox News.”
“We serve different masters,” Smith, 54, added when discussing the difference between the opinion side of Fox News, including shows such as “The Sean Hannity Show,” and the network’s news division. “We work for different reporting chains, we have different rules. They don’t really have rules on the opinion side. They can say whatever they want. If it’s their opinion.”
The interview comes as the network announced today it is re-signing the veteran anchor to a multiyear contract as Fox’s chief news anchor and managing editor of breaking news.
And then Sean Hannity slapped back on Twitter:
While Shep is a friend with political views I do not share, and great at breaking news, he is clueless about what we do every day. Hannity breaks news daily-Warrant on a Trump assoc, the unmasking scandal, leaking intel, Fisa abuse, HRC lawbreaking, dossier and more REAL NEWS! 9p https://t.co/zJpnnyFTtP
However, Hannity has pointedly said many times in the past that he is NOT a journalist, he’s a pundit. So – which is it, Sean?
Nutjob Fox News pundit Laura Ingraham also chimed in:
Always liked Shep, but his comments were inconsiderate & inaccurate. The hard working team at the Ingraham Angle does real reporting, develops impt sources and scores big interviews. Very proud of them. https://t.co/3aR1EHAK3Z
Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party.
Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look. Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country. Yet Steve had everything to do with the loss of a Senate seat in Alabama held for more than thirty years by Republicans. Steve doesn’t represent my base—he’s only in it for himself.
Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was. It is the only thing he does well. Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books.
We have many great Republican members of Congress and candidates who are very supportive of the Make America Great Again agenda. Like me, they love the United States of America and are helping to finally take our country back and build it up, rather than simply seeking to burn it all down.
Multiple people told me this morning Trump is infuriated beyond belief at Steve Bannon’s comments about Don Junior. Saying that Trump thinks Bannon is the traitor. They’ve never seen Trump this angry. The sound of their voices? Absolutely terrified. Expect an unhinged response.
After Donald Trump called for possible actions to be taken against networks like NBC and CNN for what he calls “fake news,” Sen. Ben Sasse took to Twitter to remind the president that a free press is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.
“Disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write,” wrote the president.
“No president should play with censoring news they dislike,” Sasse fired back.
And thus began a Twitter feud between Sasse and conservative Fox News douche / Trump butt boy Sean Hannity.
File this under “infighting is fun.”
Are you recanting of the Oath you took on Jan. 20 to preserve, protect, and defend the 1st Amendment? pic.twitter.com/XLB7QXM3bQ
Not a good day in Donald Trump’s world as a string of stories from multiple sources describe a White House in daily turmoil.
First, a stunning report via Vanity Fair that describes the situation so tense insiders in the Trump administration have begun wondering if Chief of Staff John Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis might have to “tackle” the president if he ordered a nuclear strike.
At first it sounded like hyperbole, the escalation of a Twitter war. But now it’s clear that Bob Corker’s remarkable New York Timesinterview—in which the Republican senator described the White House as “adult day care” and warned Trump could start World War III—was an inflection point in the Trump presidency. It brought into the open what several people close to the president have recently told me in private: that Trump is “unstable,” “losing a step,” and “unraveling.”
In recent days, I spoke with a half dozen prominent Republicans and Trump advisers, and they all describe a White House in crisis as advisers struggle to contain a president who seems to be increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods. Trump’s ire is being fueled by his stalled legislative agenda and, to a surprising degree, by his decision last month to back the losing candidate Luther Strange in the Alabama Republican primary. “Alabama was a huge blow to his psyche,” a person close to Trump said. “He saw the cult of personality was broken.”
According to two sources familiar with the conversation, Trump vented to his longtime security chief, Keith Schiller, “I hate everyone in the White House! There are a few exceptions, but I hate them!” (A White House official denies this.) Two senior Republican officials said Chief of Staff John Kelly is miserable in his job and is remaining out of a sense of duty to keep Trump from making some sort of disastrous decision. Today, speculation about Kelly’s future increased after Politico reported that Kelly’s deputy Kirstjen Nielsen is likely to be named Homeland Security Secretary—the theory among some Republicans is that Kelly wanted to give her a soft landing before his departure.
One former official even speculated that Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have discussed what they would do in the event Trump ordered a nuclear first strike. “Would they tackle him?” the person said. Even Trump’s most loyal backers are sowing public doubts. This morning, The Washington Postquoted longtime Trump friend Tom Barrack saying he has been “shocked” and “stunned” by Trump’s behavior.
(John) Kelly, the retired Marine general who is Trump’s second chief of staff, has sought to tighten the flow of information and visitors to the president, to bring order to an unruly White House and to the way that Trump makes his decisions. But he is often thwarted by one man: Trump.
The president by many accounts has bristled at the restrictions and continues — usually alone on mornings, nights and weekends — to act on his own gut sense, using his own lines to contact allies outside the White House and, using Twitter, to reach those millions of supporters he calls “my people.”
After a wild weekend of attacks by Twitter and off-the-cuff comments, including against a senior Republican senator, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Trump kept it up on Tuesday. He tweeted a schoolyard taunt about Corker’s height — “Liddle’ Bob Corker — and said the senator “was made to sound like a fool” in a New York Times interview in which Corker warned that Trump could provoke World War III.
Trump challenged his own secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, to an IQ test, even as he dismissed as fake news last week’s reports that Tillerson had called him a moron. ”And I can tell you who is going to win,” Trump added, according to a Forbes interview published Tuesday.
Allies see signs that Trump is frustrated with Kelly and increasingly unwilling to be managed, even just a little. The person close to the White House said the two men had engaged in “shouting matches” in recent days.
And finally, things are definitely not going well when Fox News hosts like Neil Cavuto take to the airwaves to address Trump directly with a message like, “It’s not that some of your ideas aren’t sound, it’s that increasingly this erratic behavior is making me wonder whether you are.”
“Now I know that you say that Senator Corker started all this bad mouthing you, but last time I checked, you are the President of the United States, so tweeting out these tacky insults just seems beneath you,” Cavuto continued.
And then, “You are running out of friends faster than you are running out of time. You might not like Bob Corker, but a lot of senators do, and you need those senators, sir.”
In a stunning interview with the New York Times, Republican Sen. Bob Corker shared that he has grave concerns about Donald Trump who acts “like he’s doing The Apprentice or something.”
In an extraordinary rebuke of a president of his own party, Mr. Corker said he was alarmed about a president who acts “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ or something.”
“He concerns me,” Mr. Corker added. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”
Mr. Trump poses such an acute risk, the senator said, that a coterie of senior administration officials must protect him from his own instincts. “I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him,” Mr. Corker said in a telephone interview.
Without offering specifics, he said Mr. Trump had repeatedly undermined diplomacy with his Twitter fingers. “I know he has hurt, in several instances, he’s hurt us as it relates to negotiations that were underway by tweeting things out,” Mr. Corker said.
All but inviting his colleagues to join him in speaking out about the president, Mr. Corker said his concerns about Mr. Trump were shared by nearly every Senate Republican.
“Look, except for a few people, the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here,” he said, adding that “of course they understand the volatility that we’re dealing with and the tremendous amount of work that it takes by people around him to keep him in the middle of the road.”
As for the tweets that set off the feud on Sunday morning, Mr. Corker expressed a measure of powerlessness.
“I don’t know why the president tweets out things that are not true,” he said. “You know he does it, everyone knows he does it, but he does.”
That last line is actually quite amazing. A sitting senator from the president’s own party acknowledging his guy lies on a regular basis.
And apparently every Republican Senator thinks Trump is a serious threat to the country but stays silent because of politics or something.
Corker was fairly close to Trump during and right after the 2016 election. According to reports, he was considered for such high ranking positions in the Trump administration as Vice President and Secretary of State, but withdrew his name from consideration after conversations with Trump on foreign policy made him uneasy.
Corker announced recently that he will not seek reelection in 2018. Clearly, having no concerns about campaigning for votes has imbued him with a new sense of freedom to express himself.
It’s worth noting that with a slim two-vote margin in the Senate, Corker has 13 months left as a U.S. Senator. Trump hurts himself and his policy proposals by attacking a member of his own party.
It's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.— Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker) October 8, 2017