Morning Briefing: Business As Usual Under Trump, Except for that Part Where He Threw His Attorney Under the Bus
The morning news was a lot of the same this morning: Donald Trump is increasingly ignoring John Kelly; EPA Head Scott Pruitt continues to be in trouble (the latest: He actually fell behind on those $50 a month payments, plus he apparently sidelined EPA officials who raised questions about his ethics); the President kind of sort of still has faith in Pruitt and even considered replacing Sessions with him last week; the economy added fewer than expected 103,000 jobs in March (193,000 were expected); Donald Trump actually will not attend the White House Correspondent’s Dinner; and Trump plans to cruelly rescind an Obama-era program that allowed the spouses of skilled workers in the United States on HB-1 Visas to work. The Treasury Department has applied sanctions to several more Russian officials and entities, which is good, but you know Trump won’t even mention it for fear of upsetting Putin. Meanwhile, Trump is threatening to deepen the trade war with China, and China is like, “Cool. Whatever,” because you don’t play a game of chicken with China.
Trump also illustrated his cruelty again, here:
The CIA showed Trump video of a drone strike in which they had waited until the target wasn’t at home with his family.— Eric Umansky (@ericuman) April 6, 2018
The president’s response: “Why did you wait?”https://t.co/d5zl332R5z pic.twitter.com/GMdkWlNEwB
— I did kind of appreciate this Vice Interview with outgoing Representative Trey Gowdy, although folks will give me shit for it (“oh now he’s speaking out!”) because we live in a hyper-partisan environment, which is exactly what Trey Gowdy is complaining about here (while definitely conceding that he was part of it). But I do appreciate these come-to-Jesus moments, even when they come a year, two, or seven years too late:
On his tenure in Congress: “To the extent men judge themselves based on what they do for a living, I don’t have a lot to show for the last seven years.”
On Benghazi and his prosecutorial style of questioning during hearings (which briefly made him a hero of the right): “I think it’s effective at raising questions; I don’t think it’s effective at resolving them.” (Accurate)
He thinks he’s seen as a “RHINO” and a “squish” by conservatives now because he defends Mueller.
On the GOP Party in 2018: “The goal is to win. The goal is to win … the end justifies the means. You gotta win. And we’ve convinced ourselves that the country will go to Hades in a handbasket if my side doesn’t win.”
On whether he liked the job: “No, I didn’t like the job.”
— What’s not exactly business-as-usual for the Trump Administration today, however, is that Trump finally spoke about Stormy Daniels during a presser on Air Force One yesterday, and what he said was that he didn’t know Michael Cohen made the payment to Stormy Daniels, which is maybe the best thing he couldhave said for Stormy Daniels’s legal case. If he didn’t know about the NDA, how could he be a party to it? And if he wasn’t a party to it, then it is void. Not only that, Trump threw his own attorney, Michael Cohen, under the bus by making that statement, because it suggests that Trump’s attorney acted without his client’s permission, which could get Michael Cohen disbarred for fraud. Wouldn’t that be beautiful?
Good (actually GREAT) things come to those who wait!!! The strength of our case just went up exponentially. You can't have an agreement when one party claims to know nothing about it. #nodiscipline #thanksforplaying #basta— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) April 5, 2018