Evening Briefing: Gary Cohn Resigns, Stormy Daniels Sues, and Another Trump Ally Spills to Mueller
National Economic Advisor Gary Cohn, a Jew who many of you will recall wrote a resignation letter but didn’t submit it after Trump’s “both sides” statements last summer, resigned today. Over tariffs. Apparently, Trump asked him if he’d support him on tariffs; Cohn said no, and two hours later, he resigned.
There was a common refrain among those reacting to Cohn’s resignation on Twitter today:
Trump assures us that there is a line of people climbing over each other to get the job.
He’s dead wrong.
In fact, one of those being considered a replacement is Andy Puzder, the fast-food billionaire who had to withdraw his nomination as Labor Secretary last year over domestic abuse violations.
Meanwhile, Republican Senators Roy Blunt, John Boozman, Mike Enzi, Deb Fischer, David Perdue, Thom Tillis, Todd Young and John Thune all gave Chief of Staff John Kelly an earful today over their opposition to the tariffs. I have no idea why Kelly remains on the job when Trump is literally sending The Mooch out to cable news talk shows to shit talk Kelly:
The President has emboldened Anthony Scaramucci, the boisterous former communications director who was fired after just 10 days, to continue attacking White House chief of staff John Kelly during his cable news appearances, a source familiar with the situation told CNN.
In multiple television segments, Scaramucci has faulted Kelly for the “terrible morale” in the West Wing, at times referring to him as “General Jackass” and suggesting he apologize for his handling of the Rob Porter resignation. According to this source, the President is aware of Scaramucci’s criticisms and has not discouraged him from making them. Sources familiar with his thinking say Scaramucci is frustrated with Kelly because he has limited the former communications director’s White House access.
Cohn’s resignation brings the number of resignations among Trump’s White House staff to all of them.
As if there weren’t already enough chaos at the White House today, Stormy Daniels has decided to sue Donald Trump, arguing that the nondisclosure agreement is invalid because Donald Trump never actually signed it.
The “hush agreement,” as it’s called in the suit, refers to Trump throughout as David Dennison, and Clifford as Peggy Peterson. The side letter agreement reveals the true identities of the parties as Clifford and Trump.
Each document includes a blank where “DD” is supposed to sign, but neither blank is signed.
Daniels is asking the court to nullify the agreement.
The above stories are going to get all the press tonight and well into the morning, but none are as important as this one from the NYTimes:
An adviser to the United Arab Emirates with ties to current and former aides to President Trump is cooperating with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and gave testimony last week to a grand jury, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Mr. Mueller appears to be examining the influence of foreign money on Mr. Trump’s political activities and has asked witnesses about the possibility that the adviser, George Nader, funneled money from the Emirates to the president’s political efforts. It is illegal for foreign entities to contribute to campaigns or for Americans to knowingly accept foreign money for political races.
Read the article in full. It puts a lot of the puzzle pieces together.