Liz Cheney Removed From GOP House Leadership Over Trump

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) was voted out of her leadership position in the House Republican caucus today

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) was voted out of her leadership position in the House Republican caucus today

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.

From NBC News:

“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:

Trump On McConnell: ‘Mitch Is A Dour, Sullen, Unsmiling Political Hack’

Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell
Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell
L-R Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell

File this under ‘Infighting is funny.’

In case you missed it, immediately AFTER voting to acquit Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a speech throwing the Donald under the bus.

At the time, McConnell said, among other things, that Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for provoking the Capitol riot.

Today, Trump finally clapped back in a public statement calling McConnell “a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack.”

From CNN:

“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!”

At this writing, the U.S. has suffered 487,656 coronavirus deaths. But in his statement, Trump says his only regret was backing Mitch for reelection in 2020.

Trump Feuds With Fox News’ Judge Andrew Napolitano

Donald Trump (L) and Judge Andrew Napolitano (R)

File this under “Infighting is funny.”

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.

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?”

Via Mediaite:

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.’”

Ann Coulter: Donald Trump Is A “Shallow, Narcissistic Con Man”

The Palm Beach Post reports that during an event at the Kravis Center last night, conservative pundit Ann Coulter called Donald Trump "a shallow, narcissistic con man."
Ann Coulter

The Palm Beach Post reports that during an event at the Kravis Center last night, conservative pundit Ann Coulter called Donald Trump “a shallow, narcissistic con man.”

File this under “Infighting is funny.”

Coulter turned on Trump after he moved to end the longest federal government shutdown in history without securing the funds to build his beloved U.S.-Mexico border wall.

Coulter also went after the ‘lying media’ as well at last night’s event.

“Trump may be a shallow, narcissistic con man, but that doesn’t mean the media are not the enemy of the people. Both things can be true,” said Coulter.

The conservative author later added she hopes the legacy of the Trump administration would be the “total destruction of the lying media.”

(h/t JoeMyGod)

Mitt Romney Pens Op-Ed Trashing Trump’s Lack Of Leadership & Character

Incoming freshman US Senator Mitt Romney of Utah penned a scathing op-ed for the Washington Post criticizing Donald Trump up and down.
Donald Trump and Mitt Romney

File under ‘Infighting is funny.’

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.

[sic]

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.

And by the way, just keeping them honest here, Trump didn’t win “big.” He lost the popular vote, and squeezed a win in the Electoral College by just over 85K votes in 3 states.

Fox News’ Shepard Smith: “Our Opinion Programming Is There Strictly To Be Entertaining”

Fox News’ Shepard Smith

File this under “Infighting is funny.”

Fox News’ Shepard Smith told TIME Magazine recently that Fox News’ evening opinion shows are meant to be “entertaining,” not “news.”

Via The Hill:

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:

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:

White House: Steve Bannon “Not Only Lost His Job, He Lost His Mind”

File this under “Infighting is funny.”

The White House has quickly issued this statement regarding Steve Bannon’s quoted statements in Michael Wolff’s upcoming behind-the-scenes look at the Trump presidency, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

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.

From the parody Twitter account of “President Bannon:”

Twitter Fight: Sen. Ben Sasse & Fox News’ Sean Hannity

Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska

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.”

White House Insiders Concerned Donald Trump Is “Unraveling”

President Donald Trump

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.

An excerpt:

At first it sounded like hyperbole, the escalation of a Twitter war. But now it’s clear that Bob Corker’s remarkable New York Times interview—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 Post quoted longtime Trump friend Tom Barrack saying he has been “shocked” and “stunned” by Trump’s behavior.

And this from today’s Los Angeles Times:

(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.”

Watch below.

Sen. Bob Corker: White House Spends Every Single Day Trying To “Contain” Donald Trump

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee

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.

#InfightingIsFun