Trump After Dark: Know When to Fold ‘Em edition

In the end it was less a shutdown then a kind of bizzaro weekend furlough.

With little leverage, and a fig-leaf promise from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold a vote on immigration legislation, Senate Democrats joined Republicans to vote to end a partial government shutdown that began at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday morning. The House swiftly followed suit on a continuing resolution that funds the government through Feb. 8.

President Donald Trump said he was thankful Democrats “have come to their senses.” Thus ended a short, furious, sound-bite filled government shutdown. The White House put a finer point on it: Democrats “blinked” they said.

Democrats portrayed the swift u-turn and vote for short-term funding as faith in McConnell to keep his word. It was hard to portray that rhetoric as much more than though, POLITICO’s Seung Min Kim and Rachael Bade report.

“Democrats lost the shutdown Continue reading “Trump After Dark: Know When to Fold ‘Em edition”

Trump After Dark: Now it’s a Hole Deal edition

In the vaguest terms, President Donald Trump seemed to deny using an incendiary, profane term to describe African nations, Haiti and El Salvador.

No matter. The, uh, hole had already been dug.

The White House felt the full ramifications of “shithole”-gate today, POLITICO’s Annie Karni and Ben White report. It was an embarrassing episode that reverberated around the globe, with a demoralized White House once again thrown off-kilter by President Trump’s mouth — or rumors, at least, of what he’d said.

“The episode was just the latest example of the president pulling off a pivot — just not the one his aides had been hoping for … Instead, Trump’s “shithole” remark — one he half-heartedly tried to walk back on Twitter more than 12 hours after it was first reported by The Washington Post — replaced a national conversation about whether or not the president is mentally stable Continue reading “Trump After Dark: Now it’s a Hole Deal edition”

Trump After Dark: Digging a Hole edition

Say what now?

President Donald Trump asked why the United States wanted to admit immigrants from “shithole nations” as he grew frustrated during a negotiating session with lawmakers, POLITICO’s Seung Min Kim and Matthew Nussbaum report. The comment came as lawmakers explained how immigrants from Africa could still get access to some visas under their compromise plan.

“Then, Trump asked, why does the United States want ‘all these people from shithole countries?’”

Trump added, ““We need more people from Norway,” according to the people familiar with the meeting.

The White House didn’t deny the remarks, originally reported by The Washington Post.

It’s the second time in about a month that has been accused of making racially-tinged comments. The White House denied a New York Times report that Trump declared immigrants from Nigeria would be forced to “go back to their huts.”

As has often been the case with Continue reading “Trump After Dark: Digging a Hole edition”

Trump After Dark: He’ll Muell It edition

“We’ll see what happens.”

And, just like that, President Donald Trump — who has previously indicated he’d cooperate with Russia special counsel Robert Mueller — cast doubt on his participation. Trump, as has become a refrain, also denied there had been any collusion with Russia, POLITICO’s Cristiano Lima reports.

Earlier in the day, Trump stressed, via Twitter, that Republicans should “take control” of investigations into Russia and called Sen. Dianne Feinstein “sneaky” for releasing a transcript of senators’ hearing with the co-founder of Fusion GPS, the firm that compiled a controversial dossier about Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.

“When they have no collusion and nobody’s found any collusion at any level, it seems unlikely that you’d even have an interview,” Trump said.

(No matter: Trump’s attorneys are almost certainly, at a minimum, prepping him for an interview with Mueller as this POLITICO Magazine piece explains.)

Continue reading “Trump After Dark: He’ll Muell It edition”

Trump After Dark: Dream On edition

President Donald Trump focused on immigration today at the White House — a display meant to showcase his dealmaking ability and his mental acuity.

But it was sort of a mixed bag, POLITICO’s Seung Min Kim, Heather Caygle, Ted Hesson and Rachael Bade report: “a freewheeling, televised — and, at times, incoherent” event. It ended with participants agreeing what they would try to agree on.

“Yet even that tentative outline is prompting pushback from other members who want to tug a final deal on Dreamers to the right or left — further complicating prospects for an agreement that can be signed into law before the young undocumented immigrants begin losing legal protections en masse in March.”

Yet the event, which featured Trump negotiating for an hour live on television, may have accomplished something the White House wanted, POLITICO’s Louis Nelson reports.

“The meeting gave Trump a chance to Continue reading “Trump After Dark: Dream On edition”

Trump After Dark: Fitness Test edition

Everyone — President Donald Trump included — seems to be talking about the president’s mental fitness.

On a day when an Oprah Winfrey boomlet grabbed headlines, Trump’s continued assertions about his mental fitness spurred by a new book continued to dominate the news. Coverage of author Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” continued today, with an emphasis on its look at Trump’s fitness for office.

But President Trump’s annual physical, scheduled for this week, is unlikely to shed any light on the topic. Trekking to Walter Reed Medical Center for his physical continues a presidential tradition,POLITICO’s Dan Diamond and Adam Cancryn report. But the White House says that a test of Trump’s mental fitness won’t be be a part of the exam.

“The White House is neither required to perform a regular physical exam of the president, nor required to release all of the details unless the president consents. The exam Continue reading “Trump After Dark: Fitness Test edition”

Trump After Dark: Out of Office Messages edition

President Donald Trump’s on vacation, but — surprise, surprise — he takes no vacation from Twitter.

As he took in a round of golf in Florida, President Trump also fired off tweets that started a new Internet brawl with Vogue editor and Conde Nast’s artistic director Anna Wintour, POLITICO’s Nolan D. McCaskill reports. Trump did so after the Vanity Fair, a Conde Nast-owned magazine, posted, then apologized for, a video that suggested Hillary Clinton should stay out of the spotlight and take up knitting in 2018.

Trump wasn’t done.

The president, or someone with access to his account, anyway, tweeted a sarcastic New Year’s themed tweet about global warming tonight: “In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS Continue reading “Trump After Dark: Out of Office Messages edition”