As we predicted yesterday, in his primetime speech last night, Donald Trump said nothing new, he moved no needles, and changed no minds. It was a massive waste of time that screwed with a lot of DVRs, as the networks ran with regular programming, only delayed (I have 10 minutes of a Black-ish episode on my DVR now. Thanks, Trump!) The Democratic response, also as we predicted, was just as pointless, but also kind of terrifying. This looks like the next Jordan Peele movie.
They totally would have voted for Obama for a third term.
This would have been a better response.
What the President didn't talk about tonight. pic.twitter.com/dskGnfd8tl— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) January 9, 2019
The irony is that Donald Trump didn’t want to give the damn speech to begin with, and at least he understood that it was useless. From the NYTimes:
Yet privately, Mr. Trump dismissed his own new strategy as pointless. In an off-the-record lunch with television anchors hours before the address, he made clear in blunt terms that he was not inclined to give the speech or go to Texas, but was talked into it by advisers, according to two people briefed on the discussion who asked not to be identified sharing details.
“It’s not going to change a damn thing, but I’m still doing it,” Mr. Trump said of the border visit, according to one of the people, who was in the room. The trip was merely a photo opportunity, he said. “But,” he added, gesturing at his communications aides Bill Shine, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway, “these people behind you say it’s worth it.”
Those people were wrong. Moreover, also as we predicted yesterday, GOP support for the shutdown will continue to deteriorate. Republican Senators Shelley Capito and Lisa Murkowski have joined Cory Gardner and Susan Collins in expressing a desire to end the shutdown. In fact, Capito called the shutdown “useless.” The Democrats are now blocking legislation on the floor until the shutdown ends, and several Republicans are signaling their willingness to re-open the Treasury Department, the Transportation Department and the National Park Service, even as the shutdown continues.
I suspect the shutdown is on its last legs. Unfortunately, idiotic headlines like these do not help.
AP FACT CHECK: Democrats put the blame for the shutdown on Trump. But it takes two to tango. Trump's demand for $5.7 billion for his border wall is one reason for the budget impasse. The Democrats refusal to approve the money is another. https://t.co/9IWnqUgl2d— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) January 9, 2019
There are not many options left for Trump, but also as we predicted yesterday, Axios is reporting that a declaration of a national emergency at the border remains the most likely option.
In other news, the Mueller probe is making news again. Yesterday, we learned that Paul Manafort’s lawyers accidentally revealed in their filings that Manafort had shared political polling data with a business associate tied to Russian intelligence, Konstantin V. Kilimnik. That sounds collusion-y!
The Russian lawyer in the Trump Tower meeting, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, was also charged in an unrelated crime, but charges revealed just how close Veselnitskaya was with senior Russian government officials.
This does not come from a legitimate news outlet, and there is no new reporting to back this, but hey! It’s fun.
Don Trump Jr is telling friends that he will be indicted. #BOOM— Touré (@Toure) January 8, 2019
That indictment cannot come soon enough.
Immigrants as caged animals, from the First Son pic.twitter.com/nsAJRASvnM— Emily Jane Fox (@emilyjanefox) January 9, 2019
House Democrats are also slowly beginning to open up investigations into the White House. Not on the immediate agenda: Subpoening Trump’s tax returns.
Meanwhile, this morning, it was reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would leave the DOJ after new attorney general William Barr is confirmed (if he is confirmed). Reportedly, he’s not being forced out. Dude’s just done, and honestly, I don’t blame him.
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