Pence is half a world away from D.C. drama

Vice President Mike Pence was at the Capitol, ready to cast the tie-breaking vote, when the Republican push to repeal the Affordable Care Act collapsed this past July. And he was there presiding when the Senate voted in December 51-48 to pass a massive package of tax cuts, giving President Donald Trump his first major domestic victory.

But now, as Trump faces his first major legislative crisis, Pence is half a world away.

He left Washington on Friday night for a trip to the Middle East, hours before the government shut down amid an impasse between Democrats and Republicans over extending protections to young undocumented immigrants.

On Saturday, as Trump worked the phones at the White House, the vice president was being welcomed to Egypt by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, kicking off a trip that will also include stops in Israel and Jordan.

“He is always in the right place Continue reading “Pence is half a world away from D.C. drama”

Today in Trumpworld — Jan. 16


12 p.m.: President Donald Trump will welcome President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan to the White House.

12:05 p.m.: Trump and Nazarbayev will meet in the Oval Office.

12:15 p.m.: Trump and Nazarbayev will deliver joint press statements.

12:30 p.m.: Trump will participate in a working lunch with Nazarbayev.

DAILY BRIEFING: Press secretary Sarah Sanders will brief the press at the White House at 3:30 p.m.

TRUMP’S TWITTER THIS MORNING: “We must have Security at our VERY DANGEROUS SOUTHERN BORDER, and we must have a great WALL to help protect us, and to help stop the massive inflow of drugs pouring into our country! … The Democrats want to shut down the Government over Amnesty for all and Border Security. The biggest loser will be our rapidly rebuilding Military, at a time we need it more than ever. We Continue reading “Today in Trumpworld — Jan. 16”

Trump spends Martin Luther King Jr. Day at golf course

President Donald Trump returned to his Florida golf course on Monday, appearing to disregard his own advice that people spend Martin Luther King Jr. Day performing acts of service for others.

Trump arrived at his golf course shortly after 9 a.m., and the White House did not respond to a request for comment about his activity. His public schedule is empty and he is scheduled to return to the White House Monday night.

When signing a proclamation to honor King on Friday, Trump called on all Americans to honor the the late civil rights leader’s birthday “with acts of civic work and community service.”

King’s nephew, Isaac Newton Farris Jr., hit the same theme at the White House event.

“It’s not a day to hang out in the park or pull out the barbecue grill,” he said. “It’s a day to do something to help someone Continue reading “Trump spends Martin Luther King Jr. Day at golf course”

Racism charges swarm Trump as ‘shithole’ debate rattles immigration talks

Days after Donald Trump was accused of using racially charged language during bipartisan immigration talks, charges of bigotry once again threatened the president’s agenda as lawmakers battled Sunday over his choice of words and his intentions.

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a civil rights icon and frequent critic of the president, said Trump was “a racist.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said it was not “constructive” for Trump to have referred to African and other countries as “shitholes” but that it was “unfair” to call him racist.

Meanwhile, lawmakers were still squabbling about what Trump said in the first place. Two Republicans present at the Thursday meeting, Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.), contradicted the accounts of Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), drawing a rebuke from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for attacking Durbin’s integrity.

And Continue reading “Racism charges swarm Trump as ‘shithole’ debate rattles immigration talks”

Pence silent in wake of ‘shithole’ remark

Vice President Mike Pence has nothing to say.

Pence’s office has ignored repeated requests for comment in the wake of President Donald Trump’s explosive comments on Thursday deriding Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” and saying the United States should increase immigration to the U.S. from countries like Norway.

The White House did not deny that Trump made the comments in a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers on immigration, but Trump appeared to cast doubt on the story Friday, denying on Twitter that he derided Haitians, specifically. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who was present for the meeting, said Trump did make the remarks, and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who was also in attendance, confirmed the remarks to him. (Graham issued a statement on Friday that neither confirmed nor denied the vulgarity of the president’s comments a day earlier.)

Continue reading “Pence silent in wake of ‘shithole’ remark”

Today in Trumpworld — Jan. 12


11 a.m.: President Donald Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing in the Oval Office.

11:30 a.m.: Trump will sign a proclamation to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

12:15 p.m.: Trump will depart the White House en route to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for his physical.

12:45 p.m.: Trump will have his annual physical.

4 p.m.: Trump will depart Walter Reed en route to Palm Beach, Florida.

6:55 p.m.: Trump will arrive in Palm Beach.

YESTERDAY’S BOMBSHELL: From the Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey: “President Trump grew frustrated with lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office when they discussed protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to several people briefed on the meeting. ‘Why are we having all these people from shithole countries Continue reading “Today in Trumpworld — Jan. 12”

Dozens of experts urge doctor to examine Trump’s neurological health during physical

A group of more than 70 psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health professionals sent a letter to President Donald Trump’s physician on Thursday imploring him to include an evaluation of the president’s neurological health in a physical examination scheduled for Friday.

The White House has said tests of mental fitness will not be part of the president’s physical. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Thursday that the physician, Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, would put out a statement following the exam and answer questions from the media next week.

Cognitive functions are not typically tested during a presidential physical, though such tests are advised for people Trump’s age — 71 — during annual check-ups.

“Your duty to this patient and the country that employs you as an officer of the United States Navy is to refer your patient to specialist care if any elements of your neurological and psychiatric examination yield Continue reading “Dozens of experts urge doctor to examine Trump’s neurological health during physical”