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 “vacationing”.
Here’s the Elizabeth Warren tweet (since deleted):
Anyway, Trump’s tactic of “I’m ready to fix this — where are the Dems?” is not working, as most everyone outside of Fox News world knows that Trump walked out of the last meeting he had with Democrats. Democrats are in not in any hurry to come back to the table. Polls show that Trump, not Democrats, are painted into a corner and looking bad, as TSA agents call in sick for work.
The public generally is more apt to blame the President, with 55% saying he is more responsible for the shutdown than are Democrats in Congress, while 32% say the blame rests mostly with the Democrats. Another 9% say both are responsible. Democrats are more unified in their blame for the President (89% blame Trump) than are the Republican rank-and-file in blaming the Democrats (65% of Republicans blame the Democrats in Congress, 23% blame Trump). Independents are more apt to blame Trump (48% to 34%), and are most likely to say both sides are responsible (14%).
This stood out to me in the new Quinnipiac poll: "Did President Trump's recent televised address to the nation change your mind about building a wall along the border with Mexico, or not?" 89% NO, 2% YES (Whites w/college ed=1%). Margin of error: 3.3%.— Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato) January 14, 2019
Oh, and while all that is going on, we are talking—seriously, mind you—about whether the president of the United States is an asset of Russian intelligence.
In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.
The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.
The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice.
Agents and senior F.B.I. officials had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude. But the president’s activities before and after Mr. Comey’s firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.
Trump responded by Tweet of course:
Yeah, you need proof BEFORE you open an investigation. *sarcasm*
And so on. No denial though. And he didn’t deny it here either:
“Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?”— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 13, 2019
Trump doesn’t directly answer: “I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked. I think it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written.” Via Fox pic.twitter.com/b91KHzmiFK
And that’s been the course of the political dialogue for a few days, with the additional note that, of the five times Trump met privately with Putin, there exists no record of what was said.
On Saturday, The Washington Post’s Greg Miller reported new details of the extreme things done by Trump to conceal his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin from even the senior-most members of Trump’s own administration. Trump even reportedly seized the interpreter’s notes after one of his meetings, the Trump-Putin sit-down at the Hamburg G20 meeting in July 2017. Even more disturbingly, Trump and Putin met privately a second time at Hamburg—with no American present. In an act of astonishing recklessness, Trump relied entirely on the Russian interpreter, preventing any U.S. record-keeping at all.
So you see, Trump’s own determination to defy normal presidential operating procedures to keep secret his private conversations with Putin only lends credibility to the worst suspicions: that he is an Russian asset and/or dupe.
At the VERY least, you could agree that Trump is hiding something. Maybe something to do with his financial entanglements with Russia.
So here we are:
I don’t live in Nihilist Nation, but right now… I’m fucking exhausted.
UPDATE: Well, this morning Trump did straight out say he wasn’t working for Russia, but then, when it comes to the wall/shutdown, he floats another obvious lie:
Trump, offering no evidence, claims “many” Democrats are “calling” and telling him, “we agree with you.”— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 14, 2019
“Many of them are breaking,” he adds. pic.twitter.com/mhFCbUbjYE
Must See TV — Max Boot gives 18 Reasons Why Trump May Be a Russian Asset