03-20-2017, 04:01 PM
03-20-2017, 06:28 PM
03-21-2017, 10:59 AM
Trump’s Weary Defenders Face Fresh Worries....LT Fan downright exhausted
WASHINGTON — President Trump began Monday as he has started so many other presidential mornings — by unleashing a blistering Twitter attack on critics who suggested his 2016 campaign colluded with the Russians.
By the afternoon the director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, had systematically demolished his arguments in a remarkable public takedown of a sitting president. Even a close ally of Mr. Trump, Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California and the House Intelligence Committee chairman, conceded that “a gray cloud” of suspicion now hung over the White House by the end of the day’s hearings.
The testimony of Mr. Comey and that of Adm. Michael S. Rogers, his National Security Agency counterpart, will most likely enervate and distract Mr. Trump’s administration for weeks, if not longer, overshadowing good news, like the impressive debut of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, his Supreme Court nominee, on the first day of his confirmation hearings Monday.
But it’s the obsessiveness and ferocity of Mr. Trump’s pushback against the Russian allegations, often untethered from fact or tact, that is making an uncertain situation worse.
Mr. Trump’s allies have begun to wonder if his need for self-expression, often on social media, will exceed his instinct for self-preservation, with disastrous results both for the president and for a party whose fate is now tightly tied to his.
“The tweets make it much more difficult for us as we try to build a case against these leakers,” said Representative Peter T. King, a New York Republican who sits on the Intelligence Committee. “We always have to be answering questions about the tweets — it puts us on defense all the time when we could be building a case for the president.”
And Mr. Trump’s fixation on fighting is undermining his credibility at a time when he needs to toggle from go-it-alone executive action to collaborative congressional action on ambitious health care, budget and infrastructure legislation.
“I don’t always like what the president is saying,” the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, told The Washington Examiner last month. “I do think he frequently, by wading into other matters, takes attention away” from “the very substantial things we’re already accomplishing.”
A Gallup poll released Monday found Mr. Trump with an abysmal 37 percent approval rating; other recent polls place his popularity in the mid-40s, but even that level is among the lowest ever recorded for a president this early in his first term.
Over the past several weeks, Republicans in Congress and members of their staffs have privately complained that Mr. Trump’s Twitter comment on March 4 — the one where he called Barack Obama “sick” and suggested that the former president had ordered a “tapp” on his phone — had done more to undermine anything he’s done as president because it called into question his seriousness about governing.
The problem, from the perspective of Mr. Trump’s beleaguered political fire brigade, is that the president insists on dealing with crises by creating new ones — so surrogates, repeating talking points the president himself ignores, say they often feel like human shields.
Within the White House, a number of Mr. Trump’s advisers — including the press secretary, Sean Spicer, who has himself repeated unsubstantiated claims of British spying on Mr. Trump — have told allies that Mr. Trump’s Twitter habits are making their jobs harder, said administration officials interviewed over the past week. Mr. Spicer said he has no problem with his boss’s tweeting. “It’s just not true. I have not commented on the tweets to anyone including my wife,” he said in an email.
Most politicians, perhaps any other politician, would have backed away from the Russia story, and left the defense to surrogates or unexpected validators like Mike Morrell, the former acting director of the C.I.A., who said last week that “there is smoke, but there is no fire at all” in the allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.
But this president, a proponent of do-it-yourself crisis communications with boundless self-confidence in his capacity to shape the story, seems determined to hug his Russian hand grenade.
Monday morning began not with praise of Judge Gorsuch — or an exhortation of House Republicans to quickly pass a revamped Obamacare repeal — but with six protective-crouch tweets about the Russia investigation.
“The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!” Mr. Trump wrote shortly after dawn, using his private Twitter account.
Then, a few minutes later: “The real story that Congress, the FBI and all others should be looking into is the leaking of Classified information. Must find leaker now!”
People close to the president say Mr. Trump’s Twitter torrent had less to do with fact, strategy or tactic than a sense of persecution bordering on faith: He simply believes that he was bugged in some way, by someone, and that evidence will soon appear to back him up.
Plus he just likes to mix it up. He fired off his ill-fated Saturday tweet complaining of “tapps” of his phones after railing to aides about how poorly Attorney General Jeff Sessions had responded to reports that he had surreptitiously communicated with the Russians, the way Mr. Trump’s former National Security Council adviser, Michael T. Flynn, did.
The president, people close to him have said over the last several weeks, has become increasingly frustrated at his inability to control the narrative of his action-packed presidency, after being able to dominate the political discourse or divert criticism by launching one of his signature Twitter attacks.
“I think that maybe I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Twitter,” Mr. Trump told a sympathetic interviewer, Tucker Carlson of Fox News, last week.
Still, there’s some evidence that the president’s magic medium is losing its effectiveness, in part because Mr. Trump’s Twitter persona seems to have shifted from puckish to paranoid.
Focus groups and polls conducted by two Democratic strategists this month have shown that many voters, even some who support Mr. Trump, have grown weary of his tweets as president. That was also borne out by a Fox News poll last week, showing that a mere 35 percent of Trump voters approve of his Twitter habits, and that only 16 percent of all voters approve of them. Some 32 percent said they “wish he’d be more careful” with his feed.
“His tweeting defines him, and not in a good way,” said Geoff Garin, a veteran Democratic pollster. “Voters not only think Trump’s use of Twitter is unpresidential, they also see the tone and content of his tweets as an indication that he is lacking in self-control.”
Mr. Comey seemed to tacitly agree.
In midafternoon came a tweet from Mr. Trump’s official @potus account: “FBI Director Comey refuses to deny he briefed President Obama on calls made by Michael Flynn to Russia.”
A dour and disapproving Mr. Comey instantly fact-checked the tweet when it was read out loud to him. “No,” he said. “It was not our intention to say that today.”
03-21-2017, 11:29 AM
Did you or anyone think that Trump was going to take office like a regular politician? If so the the naivety level is pretty high. Being a rebel got him elected. Don't expect him to change. The establishment is constantly pissed off but he doesn't give a crap nor does a lot of the people who supported him. He is too busy trying to fullfill campaign promises. When is the last time that happened?
Originally Posted by BipolarFan
Last edited by L.T. Fan; 03-21-2017 at 02:55 PM.
Since Day One
03-21-2017, 11:40 AM
Originally Posted by L.T. Fan
03-21-2017, 11:42 AM
The following 2 users like this post:
03-21-2017, 11:47 AM
So now as long as you are a rebel and trying to get stuff done it's alright to accuse the last president of a felony and accuse a foreign nation of being a vehicle to accomplish the felony.
Oh yeah and not a peep about Trump being under FBI investigation, should he not be held to the same standard as Clinton?
03-21-2017, 12:00 PM
Yeah, his campaign promises arent looking good at all:
Originally Posted by L.T. Fan
Mexico isn't paying for the wall
his travel ban is unconstitutional
he is taking a salary
he hasn't divested
he hasn't released his tax returns
he hasnt drained the swamp
he doesn't have a plan to defeat Isis
he doesn't have a solution to healthcare
government is not being run "like a business" (it's hardly being run at all)
This isn't a "rebel" getting stuff done, he's a guy who has no idea how to build an administration, work with legislators, impliment foreign policy, or work past 5pm (or at all). He's a member of the peanut gallery that's been brought on stage, and he's still trying to throw peanuts.
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03-21-2017, 12:06 PM
Trump, critic of Obama's golfing, regularly hits the links
President Donald Trump, once a critic of his predecessor's golfing, has visited one of his golf courses in Florida -- seemingly to play the sport -- five of the last seven weekends.
A president's golf play is far from controversial: In fact, it's the most common pastime of the country's leaders. But before he ran for office, Trump was the most fervent critic of the fact that President Barack Obama regularly hit the links with friends, aides and advisers, arguing that it showed the president was unserious about fixing America's problems.
Now that Trump is President, the comments are coming back to complicate his golf habit.
Trump has visited the two courses near his Mar-a-Lago estate -- Trump International Golf Course in West Palm Beach and Trump National Golf Course in Jupiter -- 10 times in the first two months of his presidency.
Trump's top aides would rather obscure that fact, especially considering the President's past comments about the sport and the White House.
"I'm going to be working for you; I'm not going to have time to go play golf," Trump said during a 2016 event in Virginia.
For the most part, aides have declined to confirm that Trump was playing golf on weekends in Florida, instead repeatedly telling reporters that the President "may" hit a few balls at his course but that they didn't know for sure.
On multiple occasions, though, Trump's games have been made public. CNN has seen Trump golfing -- driving up the 12th hole on his championship course at Trump International Golf Course -- multiple times during the former reality star's first two months in office.
Asked about playing golf before Air Force One took off from Florida, Trump said he played "very little" over the weekend.
It has also been revealed -- through golf blogs and media reports -- that Trump has played with top professional golfers such as Rory McIlroy, one of the top-ranked golfers in the world. While hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Palm Beach last month, Trump also played a full round with the foreign leader and professional golfer Ernie Els.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer defended Trump's golfing habit by citing the one day he hosted the Japanese leader, arguing that Trump utilized golf to "foster deeper relations."
"How you use the game of golf is something that he has talked about," Spicer said.
During his presidency Obama also golfed with foreign leaders, including Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, British Prime Minister David Cameron and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.
Trump's preferred course by far is the one closest to his Florida home: Trump International Golf Club. He has visited the course all 10 times he has golfed since becoming President. Only one time -- while hosting Abe -- did the President also visit Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter.
Trump also visited his course in Sterling, Virginia, on March 11 for a meeting. It is unclear whether he played.
Trump made critiquing Obama for golfing a part of his 2016 message.
"I love golf, I think it's one of the greats, but I don't have time," then-President-elect Trump said during a December 2016 rally in Michigan. "He played more golf last year than Tiger Woods. We don't have time for this. We don't have time for this. We have to work."
And before he ran for president, Trump would tweet about Obama's golfing.
"Can you believe that, with all of the problems and difficulties facing the US, President Obama spent the day playing golf," Trump tweeted in October 2014. "Worse than Carter."
Now, citing the President's privacy, Trump's aides are left trying to conceal the President's frequent golfing.
03-21-2017, 12:31 PM
Nixon counsel during Watergate: Trump WH 'in cover-up mode'
The former White House council to Richard Nixon who was charged for helping cover up Watergate says he thinks President Trump's White House is "in cover-up mode."
"In fact [the White House] is in cover-up mode," John Dean told MSNBC's Chris Hayes on Monday night when asked about the administration's response to ongoing investigations of Russia ties and Trump's wiretapping accusations.
FBI Director James Comey earlier Monday testified that his agency is investigating links between Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government.
He also stated flatly that he had "no information" to support Trump's assertion, first made on Twitter, that former President Obama had wiretapped him at Trump Tower.
Dean said the White House's decision to distance itself from the testimony signals a "cover-up."
"There's just never been any question in my mind about that. I've been inside a cover-up. I know how they look and feel. And every signal they're sending is: 'we're covering this thing up'," Dean said.
"Experienced investigators know this. They know how people react when they're being pursued, and this White House is not showing their innocence, they're showing how damn guilty they are, is what we're seeing."
Dean, who was charged with obstruction of justice during Watergate, said he is concerned Trump is getting close to obstructing justice, and could do so in the future.
"There's also the question of whether this White House will obstruct essentially, an investigation. You now have the head of the FBI with a target painted on its back, the front-line investigators with targets painted on their backs; you have a U.S. attorney the president said he was going to retain who has been summarily fired in Preet Bharara, and it strikes me that there is in some ways a kind of obstruction land-mine ... that the entirety of the White House now has to tip-toe through," Dean said.
Trump last week fired Bharara, a U.S. attorney for New York, after previously saying he could stay on during his administration. Reports later emerged that Bharara was investigating Trump's Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price prior to being fired.
Since the election, a bipartisan group of lawmakers have called for thorough investigations of Russian election interference, after Russia was linked to hacking of the Democratic National Committee.
In December, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security released a joint report detailing how federal investigators linked the Russian government to hacks of Democratic Party organizations. The Trump administration has said it did not collude with Russia to encourage such hacking efforts.