We Now Know Why There Have Been So Few Press Briefings In The White House Press Room

Ken AshfordTrump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

ABC News reports: President Trump said in a Tuesday tweet that he’s directed White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders “not to bother” with press briefings because “certain members of the press” cover her “rudely” and “inaccurately.” The current 35-day streak without a press briefing from the White House podium is the longest on record since the tradition started during President Bill … Read More

“If You Lie, If You Lie Even A Little…”

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Thoughts on last night’s Buzzfeed bombshell (1) “Cautiously optimistic” is the optimal response. No other news outlet has confirmed it through their own sources. On the other hand, the Buzzfeed reporters (Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold) have had Trump-Russia scoops before which panned out as true, way before other news organizations. “I am rock solid. My sourcing on this goes … Read More

Breaking: Trump Suborned Perjury According To Buzzfeed Report

Ken AshfordBreaking News, Courts/Law, L'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

A bombshell from Buzzfeed, which, if true, is grounds for impeachment: President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter. Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during … Read More

Trump Responds To SOTU Postponement With Petty Tit-For-Tat

Ken AshfordCongress, Gubmint Shutdown, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

After Nancy Pelosi opted yesterday to un-invite Trump to give a State of The Union speech because of the shutdown, Trump responded just now with this: Hah! That’ll show her!  I triple-dog cancel your trip https://t.co/7bzgwNe2uF — Michael Bitzer (@BowTiePolitics) January 17, 2019 He’s capitalizing shutdown in official letters. As well as “Southern Border Security”. Congresspeople use Air Force aircraft … Read More

The Sound Of Goalposts Moving Again

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Polls, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Rudy Giuliani on Cuomo last night: Rudy Guiliani to @ChrisCuomo tonight: “I never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign… I have not. I said” no collision with, “the President of the United States.” pic.twitter.com/Smb0OuNzL9 — andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) January 17, 2019 According to Giuliani, what Trump meant in the sixty tweets in which he’s … Read More

“We Are Getting Crushed”

Ken AshfordGubmint Shutdown, Immigration and Xenophobia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Maggie Halberman writes in the NY Times about the pressures inside the White House: President Trump has insisted that he is not going to compromise with Democrats to end the government shutdown, and that he is comfortable in his unbendable position. But privately, it’s sometimes a different story. “We are getting crushed!” Mr. Trump told his acting chief of staff, … Read More

Trump Doesn’t Like Plans

Ken AshfordGubmint Shutdown, Immigration and Xenophobia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

From Axios’ Jonathan Swan: When a frustrated adviser once tried to convince President Trump to consider a strategic plan, the president launched into a story about his friend Mike Tyson, the former world heavyweight boxing champion. What he’s saying: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” Trump said, echoing a famous Tyson quote. I had asked the adviser whether … Read More

Update On Nastya Rybka

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

About a year ago, I pointed to a curious story about Nastya Rybka, a Russian escort and sex trainer being held in Thailand and being charged with prostitution and related offenses. She had made curious claims about Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska (having spent time on his yacht) and the whole Trump-Russia connection. Deripaska is an ex-business associate of former Trump … Read More

ISIS Not Defeated

Ken AshfordMiddle East, Syria, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

NBC News reports: U.S. service members were among those killed by an explosion in Syria on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the coalition fighting the Islamic State group said. Earlier, a senior Kurdish security official told NBC News that members of the U.S.-led coalition were caught up in a blast at a market in the northern city of Manbij. The official could … Read More

Country REALLY Divided on Day 26 of Shutdown

Ken AshfordGubmint Shutdown, Immigration and Xenophobia, Polls, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

From Gallup today, the country is more divided on Trump than with any other president in polling history. The average 79-percentage-point difference between Republicans’ and Democrats’ job approval ratings of President Donald Trump during his second year in office is the largest Gallup has measured in any presidential year to date.  But Trump still polls at historical lows. Overall, an … Read More

Pelosi Rescinds “Invite” For Trump’s State Of The Union

Ken AshfordCongress, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

What Pelosi does in this letter is rescind Trump’s invitation to speak in the House chamber during the shutdown and then suggest some alternatives he could pursue. The press is saying that she is “asking” to postpone the SOTU, but framing it as “asking” for a postponement is misleading because it wrongly implies Trump has power to say yes or … Read More

Exhausting Futility Continues

Ken AshfordGubmint Shutdown, Immigration and Xenophobia, L'Affaire Russe, Polls, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Shutdown Day Number 23 and there is no sign of movement. Trump apparently has little to do but tweet all day — childish attacks on Elizabeth Warren (racist attacks there) and on Jeff Bezo’s personal life. But that is kind of the point that Trump wants to make — he’s ready to work on a deal and Dems are off … Read More