WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump captured the Republican Party and then the presidency in 2016 as an insurgent intent on disrupting the status quo. As he mounts his bid for reelection, Trump is offering himself as the outsider once again — but it’s a much more awkward pitch to make from inside the Oval Office.
Trump is set to formally announce his 2020 bid on Tuesday at a rally in Orlando, Florida, where advisers said he aims to connect the dots between the promise of his disruptive first-time candidacy and his goals for another term in the White House. His promises to rock the ship of state are now more than an abstract pledge, though, complicated by his tumultuous 29 months at its helm.
Any president is inherently an insider. Trump has worked in the Oval Office for two years, travels the skies in Air Force One and changes the course of history with the stroke of a pen or the post of a tweet.
“We’re taking on the failed political establishment and restoring government of, by and for the people,” Trump said in a video released by his campaign Monday to mark his relaunch. “It’s the people, you’re the people, you won the election.”
That populist clarion was a central theme of his maiden political adventure, as the businessman-turned-candidate successfully appealed to disaffected voters who felt left behind by economic dislocation and demographic shifts. And he has no intention of abandoning it, even if he is the face of the institutions he looks to disrupt.
Those involved in the president’s reelection effort believe that his brash version of populism, combined with his mantra to “Drain the Swamp,” still resonates, despite his administration’s cozy ties with lobbyists and corporations and the Trump family’s apparent efforts to profit off the presidency.
“He’s still not viewed as a politician,” said Jason Miller, Trump’s 2016 senior communications adviser. “Voters don’t define him by the party label, they define him by his policies and his message of shaking up the status quo in Washington. That’s the biggest reason he was able to win blue states in 2016.”
Democrats, though, predict Trump won’t be able to get away with the outsider branding.
“How can you say: Forget about the last two years, he is an outsider, he is bashing down doors,” said Karine Jean-Pierre, a former senior Obama campaign official now at MoveOn.org. “People’s lives are harder because of what he has done as president. Voters are paying their attention and are not going to buy it.”
Republicans working with the Trump campaign but not authorized to speak publicly about internal conversations said campaign advisers believe that Trump is still perceived as a businessman and point to his clashes with the Washington establishment — including Congress, the so-called Deep State and members of his own party — as proof that he is still an outsider rather than a creature of the Beltway. Helping further that image, Trump advisers believe, is that his main Democratic foils are all career politicians: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, former Vice President Joe Biden and, yes, Hillary Clinton.
“He promised that he’d go to Washington and shake things up, and he certainly has,” said Trump campaign manager Tim Murtaugh.
Still, it’s not as though Trump is running from Washington. If anything, he’s wrapping himself in the trappings and authorities of his office. Last week, Trump granted behind-the-scenes access to his limousine, Marine One helicopter and Air Force One for an hourlong ABC News special meant to highlight the singular advantage he has over his rivals — that he already has the job they want.
And Trump is eager to use the power of the office to further his case for reelection. Last month in Louisiana, he promised voters a new bridge if he wins, and in the pivotal Florida Panhandle, he pledged new disaster relief money would flow in a second Trump term.
Trump advisers also point to his popularity among white working-class voters, who consider themselves “forgotten Americans” left behind and mocked by elite insiders. For those voters, many of whom in 2016 cast their first ballots in decades, Trump remains the embodiment of their outsider grievances, their anger stoked by his clashes with political foes and the rest of government (even when his party controls it).
Advisers believe that, in an age of extreme polarization, many Trump backers view their support for the president as part of their identity, one not easily shaken. They point to his seemingly unmovable support with his base supporters as evidence that, despite more than two years in office, he is still viewed the same way he was as a candidate: the bomb-throwing political rebel.
Americans acknowledge Trump is a change agent, but they are divided in their views of that change. Early this year, a CNN poll found about three-quarters of Americans saying Trump has created significant changes in the country, and they split about evenly between calling it change for the better and change for the worse. More recently, a March poll from CNN showed 42% of Americans think Trump can bring the kind of change the country needs.
Lemire reported from New York. Associated Press writer Hannah Fingerhut contributed to this report.
FILE PHOTO: Children walk at the Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo
June 17, 2019
By Lawrence Hurley
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed Republican legislators in Virginia a defeat, leaving in place a ruling that invalidated state electoral districts they drew because they weakened the clout of black voters in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
The justices, in a 5-4 decision, sidestepped a ruling on the merits of the case. They instead found that the Republican-led state House of Delegates lacked the necessary legal standing to appeal a lower court ruling that had invalidated 11 state House districts for racial discrimination.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat and the state’s top law enforcement official, opposed the appeal and argued that the Republican legislators were not entitled to act on behalf of the state in the case. A new political map is being used for this year’s state elections.
“Virginia’s elections this fall will take place in fair, constitutional districts. It’s a good day for democracy in Virginia,” Herring wrote on Twitter.
The Supreme Court’s action let stand a 2018 ruling by a federal three-judge panel that the 11 districts all violated the rights of black voters to equal protection under the law under the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment.
The state’s Republican-led House of Delegates “lacks authority to displace Virginia’s attorney general as representative of the state,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for the court’s majority.
“In short, Virginia would rather stop than fight on. One house of its bicameral legislature cannot alone continue the litigation against the will of its partners in the legislative process,” Ginsburg added.
The court was not split on ideological lines, with Ginsburg joined in the majority by fellow liberal justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor as well as two conservative justices, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch.
The case involved a hot topic for the Supreme Court: a practice called gerrymandering involving the manipulation of electoral district boundaries to marginalize a certain set of voters and increase the influence of others. In this case, the Republican legislators were accused of racial gerrymandering to disadvantage black voters.
In two other major cases from Maryland and North Carolina, the justices are considering whether courts can curb gerrymandering aimed at purely partisan advantage. They are due to rule in those cases by the end of this month.
At issue in the Virginia case was the state legislative map drawn by Republicans after the 2010 national census.
The National Republican Redistricting Trust, a group that backs Republican efforts to redraw electoral districts, criticized the ruling.
“It seeds confusion into a volatile, evolving body of law that demands clarity just as the next redistricting cycle begins,” said Adam Kincaid, the group’s executive director.
New electoral maps will be drawn nationwide following the 2020 census.
Since the Virginia maps that were challenged in the case were drawn, Democrats have made gains in Virginia in both state and federal elections. The current governor, Ralph Northam, and Herring, both are Democrats. Northam has been involved in a racial controversy of his own this year after a racist photo from his 1984 medical school yearbook page surfaced.
“This is a welcome ruling from the Supreme Court – it’s like I’ve always said, voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around,” Northam said on Twitter.
Like other U.S. southern states, Virginia has a complicated racial history dating back to the era of slavery.
The voters who brought the legal challenge accused Republicans of packing black voters into certain state House districts to diminish their voting power and make surrounding districts more white and more likely to support Republicans.
Democrats have accused President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans in Virginia and other states of crafting such legislative maps in a way that crams black and other minority voters, who tend to favor Democratic candidates, into certain districts in order to reduce their overall sway in the state.
(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)
The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, June7, 2019. REUTERS/Staff
June 12, 2019
(Reuters) – European shares pulled back from three-week highs on Wednesday after the United States toughened its stance on trade with China and data from Beijing showed factory inflation slowed in May, deepening fears of a global economic slowdown.
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he was holding up a trade deal with China and had no interest in moving ahead unless Beijing agrees to four or five “major points” which he did not specify.
The pan-regional STOXX 600 index fell 0.45% by 0713 GMT, with the tariff-sensitive technology sector down 0.76%.
Also weighing down the sector was a 1.2% fall in shares of Dassault Systemes after the French technology company agreed to buy Medidata Solutions, a U.S. software company involved in the sphere of clinical trials, in a deal worth $5.8 billion.
Trump also took aim at the Federal Reserve, saying interest rates were “way too high”, ahead of a reading on U.S. inflation that could shift the odds for an early cut in rates.
Italy’s FTSE MIB fell 0.38% and its banking index dropped 0.63% after the European Union moved closer to taking disciplinary action over the country’s growing debt.
However, authorities in Rome made tentative steps to avert a procedure that could saddle the country with large fines and alienate investors.
Axel Springer jumped 12.4% after funds controlled by U.S. private equity investor KKR offered 63 euros a share to buy out minority shareholders of the German publisher.
(Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel and Susan Mathew in Bengaluru)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Brushing back calls for impeachment, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday “it’s not even close” to having enough support in the House, while Democrats pushed forward on other fronts to investigate President Donald Trump.
The House voted 229-191 to approve a resolution that will allow Democrats to accelerate their legal battles with the Trump administration over access to information from the Russia investigation.
At the same time, they’re convening hearings this week on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report in an effort to boost public interest in the findings of the Trump-Russia probe while digging into a legal strategy aimed at forcing Attorney General William Barr, former White House counsel Don McGahn and others into compliance with congressional oversight.
“We need answers to the questions left unanswered by the Mueller report,” Pelosi said on the House floor ahead of voting.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy countered that the Democratic maneuvers are all “just a desperate attempt to relitigate the Mueller investigation.” He called it “an impeachment effort in everything but name.”
Earlier in the day, Pelosi all but ignored questions about impeachment during a policy conference, saying the Democrats’ strategy is “legislating, investigating, litigating” — in that order.
Pressed about Trump, she said: “I’m done with him. I don’t even want to talk about him.”
The House’s far-reaching resolution approved Tuesday empowers committee chairs to sue top Trump administration officials to force compliance with congressional subpoenas, including those for Mueller’s full report and his underlying evidence. They now no longer need a vote of the full House.
The Judiciary Committee chairman, Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, urged his colleagues to support the legislation “so we can get into court and break the stonewall without delay.”
After the vote, Nadler said he would go to court “as quickly as possible” against McGahn, who at the behest of the White House has defied subpoenas for documents and his testimony.
The chairman also said he is prepared to go to court to enforce subpoenas against former White House communications director Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson, a former McGahn aide, if they don’t show up for scheduled interviews this month.
And Nadler added new names to the list, saying he is also interested in hearing from Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt, who served as former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff, and former White House aide Rick Dearborn. Both are mentioned frequently in the Mueller report.
“Either work with us and comply with subpoenas or we’ll see you in court,” said Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., the chairman of the Rules Committee.
House leaders have signaled they will hold off on suing Barr, for now, after the committee struck a deal with the Justice Department to receive some underlying materials from Mueller’s report. Nadler has called these some of Mueller’s “most important files” and said all members of the committee will be able to view them. They include redacted portions of the report pertaining to obstruction of justice. Some staff have already started viewing the files.
However, Nadler said the committee will likely sue for access to the report’s secret grand jury information.
The chairmen of several oversight committees said after the vote that Tuesday’s action extends beyond the Russia investigation into other aspects of Trump’s administration, including their subpoena for the president’s tax returns.
“This is not just about Russia, this is a broad, coordinated campaign to stall more investigations across the board,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the chairman of the Oversight Committee. “We are here in a fight for the soul of our democracy and we will use every single tool that is available to us to hold this administration accountable.”
It’s not clear if that will be enough, though, for the dozens of House Democrats who say it’s beyond time to start impeachment proceedings.
Pelosi has resisted those efforts so far, preferring to build the case in the courts, and in the court of public opinion.
The No. 2 Democrat, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, downplayed the tensions, saying Tuesday he doesn’t get the impression the caucus is “embroiled by this issue and divided by this issue. We have differences of opinion, but I don’t think that we are divided.”
The ramped-up actions this week are intended to mollify some of the impatient members, while also seeking to deepen the public’s understanding of Mueller’s findings.
Mueller wrote in his 448-page report released last month that there was not enough evidence to establish that there was a criminal conspiracy between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia, but he also said he could not exonerate Trump on obstruction of justice. The report examined several episodes in which Trump attempted to influence or curtail Mueller’s investigation.
On Monday, the Judiciary panel heard testimony from John Dean, a White House counsel under Richard Nixon who helped bring down his presidency. Dean testified that Mueller has provided Congress with a “road map” for investigating Trump.
The focus on Mueller will continue Wednesday, when the House Intelligence Committee is scheduled to review the counterintelligence implications of Russia’s election interference, as detailed in Mueller’s report. The president’s eldest son, Donald Trump, Jr., is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Also Wednesday, the Oversight Committee will consider new contempt citations against Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross over the administration’s pursuit of citizenship questions on the U.S. Census.
Republicans have criticized the hearings as a waste of time and have called for Democrats to move on.
Associated Press writer Laurie Kellman in Washington contributed to this report.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Monday refused to credit President Trump for reaching a deal to get Mexico to stop illegal immigration.
Schumer called the accord “nothing more than warmed-up leftovers,” and said Trump had simply backed down on a threat to impose new tariffs on Mexican imports because that is how he normally operates.
“The president stakes out a maximalist position but never clearly defines his objectives,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.
“That way, after he backs himself into a corner, he can use a deal of any kind, even if it’s merely a fig leaf, to justify retreating from whatever misguided policy he’s threatened,” Schumer continued. “Then he declares victory, having done little or nothing to solve the problem.”
Schumer cited news reports claiming Mexico denies having signed a deal with Trump to rein in illegal immigration through Mexico from Central America.
“It’s amazing how this president will just make stuff up,” Schumer said. “He just makes it up and then it’s refuted.”
Trump said the deal with Mexico “will be revealed in the not too distant future.”
Trump criticized a New York Times story reporting there is no signed deal to make any new changes to Mexico’s policy for dealing with the migrants, who are approaching the U.S. border at numbers topping 100,000 per month.
Mexico has agreed to do more to stop the flow of migrants by following a previously negotiated deal with the United States. But any change to asylum laws that the United States is seeking would have to be approved by the Mexican Senate, according to the Times story.
“The agreement that President Trump reached with Mexico contains policies negotiated months ago,” Schumer said. “Nothing more than warmed-up leftovers.”
Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor
Former Vice President Joe Biden reversed his position on the Hyde Amendment Thursday after facing intense backlash from within his own party.
Biden, while speaking in Atlanta, first reaffirmed his support for Roe v. Wade.(RELATED: Joe Biden Gets A Pass From The Media On His Son’s China, Ukraine Ties)
He was noted saying the following at the DNC’s IWillVote Gala in Atlanta, Georgia:
Biden: I support Roe. I support a women’s right to choose under that constitutionally guaranteed provision.
— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) June 7, 2019
But then he took things a step further, saying that the current culture made it impossible for him to continue to support such an amendment. (RELATED: Biden Faces Leftwing Backlash For Sticking By Hyde Amendment)
NBC News correspondent Mike Memoli noted the reversal, tweeting, “NEWS: Biden says that in an environment where women’s health is under assault especially in GOP-led states, he ‘can no longer support an amendment’ that cuts off funding, as in Hyde.”
This was a late addition to his remarks. Teleprompter is set up, but he read these remarks from the podium. Now back on prompter
— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) June 7, 2019
BREAKING: Democrat Joe Biden announces he can no longer support the Hyde Amendment after getting attacked by Democrats over the last 24 hours for supporting it
He blames Republicans for his decision pic.twitter.com/vV1wTD3B3q
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 7, 2019
A number of Democrats had criticized Biden for his support of the amendment, claiming that recent bans and added restrictions in a number of states had turned the Hyde Amendment into a de facto attack on the rights of poor and minority women.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stepped up his claim Trump will not follow through with his threat to impose tariffs on Mexican imports next week.
The president is simply looking for an off-ramp, Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday.
“There are many examples of the president taking a maximalist position before eventually backing off and announcing some different solution,” Schumer said in a Senate floor speech. “But the president needs a way out of his bluster. That may well be true with the tariff issue.”
Schumer first questioned Trump’s commitment to the tariffs on Tuesday. Trump responded on Twitter:
“Can you imagine Cryin’ Chuck Schumer saying out loud, for all to hear, that I am bluffing with respect to putting Tariffs on Mexico. What a Creep. He would rather have our Country fail with drugs & Immigration than give Republicans a win. But he gave Mexico bad advice, no bluff!”
The president is threatening tariffs in an effort to get Mexico to block hundreds of thousands of Central American migrants from flowing into the country and making it to the U.S. southern border.
Lawmakers are hoping high-level talks between a Mexican delegation and Trump administration officials will yield some kind of deal that satisfies Trump enough for him to call off the threat. Trump hasn’t backed off the threat yet.
“So publicly, the president has continued to talk tough on tariffs with Mexico,” Schumer said. “He responded to my statement on the floor with a tweet last night. But ultimately, I continue to believe that he’ll ultimately back off. That’s been his m.o [modus operani].”
Schumer said Trump could help solve the immigration surge at the border by agreeing to a bill sponsored by Democrats that would allow Central American migrants to apply for asylum in their home countries. The measure would also provide significant funding for the countries to combat gang and drug violence that the migrants say they are fleeing.
Trump Tweeted “I kept hearing that there would be “massive” rallies against me in the UK, but it was quite the opposite.” What Do You Think?
Trump calls ‘Resistance’ protests in Britain a ‘flop,’ believes he’s dominate polls if meda were fair
President Trump, in a series of tweets early Wednesday, called out the “corrupt media” for reporting on the paltry protester turnout during his trip to the U.K.and said if there was actually “fair” news … See More accounts about his success in office, he would be dominating in polls. “I kept hearing that there would be “massive” rallies against me in the UK, but it was quite the opposite. The big crowds, which the Corrupt Media hates to show, were those that gathered in support of the USA and me,” he posted. Thousands of Londoners lined the streets Tuesday to protest his visit with the queen, including those carrying a giant baby blimp Trump.
Earlier, Trump sat down with Piers Morgan for ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” and clarified controversial comments last week about Meghan Markle in the Sun British tabloid. Trump again said he wasn’t calling Markle nasty, but rather was just surprised to hear her critical comments about him.
Trump to Schumer: Mexico tariff threat is ‘no bluff’
With Republicans threatening to block his move to impose tariffs on Mexican imports over the migration crisis at the southern border, President Trump blasted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. , for suggesting he would ultimately back down from his plan. “Can you imagine Cryin’ Chuck Schumer saying out loud, for all to hear, that I am bluffing with respect to putting Tariffs on Mexico. What a Creep. He would rather have our Country fail with drugs & Immigration than give Republicans a win. But he gave Mexico bad advice, no bluff!” Trump tweeted. Trump has vowed to impose a 5 percent tariff on Mexican imports next week unless the country does more to stem illegal migration. Lawmakers and business allies have worried publicly that the tariffs would derail the long-promised United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) — a rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that Trump had promised to replace. All sides, including officials from Mexico meeting with Trump negotiators in Washington this week, have remained hopeful that high-level talks would ease the president away from his threat.
Dems and Barr ready negotiate after ‘overbroad’ subpoena requests
Hours after the Department of Justice (DOJ) slammed House Democrats for planning a contempt vote against Attorney General William Barr — and charged that Democrats had privately admitted their subpoena requests were “overbroad” –House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler announced late Tuesday that he is open to negotiating with the DOJ “without conditions.” The turn of events reopened the possibility that Barr’s contempt vote may be postponed or canceled, if both sides return to the negotiating table. Nadler, however, pointedly refused to cancel the planned contempt vote prior to beginning any new negotiations, as the DOJ had demanded.
‘Coward of Broward’ paying for alleged shooter’s sins?
Lawyers for a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High resource officer have vowed to fight the charges he faces for failure to enter the school during the 2018 mass shooting. Joseph DiRuzzo III, lawyer for Scot Peterson, said in a statement: “We will vigorously defend against these spurious charges that lack basis in fact and law. Specifically, Mr. Peterson cannot reasonably be prosecuted because he was not a ‘caregiver’, which is defined as ‘a parent, adult household member, or other person responsible for a child’s welfare.’” Peterson has been charged with seven counts ofneglect of a child, three counts of culpable negligence and one of perjury after a 15-month investigation, according to a news release from Florida authorities. The charges carry a combined potential prison sentence of nearly 100 years for the officer blasted by many critics as the “Coward of Broward.”
Rumors of Jussie Smollett’s return to ‘Empire’ squashed
Following a Variety magazine report that claimed Jussie Smollett might be returning to “Empire” for its sixth and final season, the show’s co-creator and executive producer — Lee Daniels — immediately shut down any speculation. “This is not factual. Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire. -LD,” Daniels tweeted, instantly dispelling any rumors. Smollett’s “character, Jamal Lyon,was written out of the final episodes of Season 5 of “Empire.” In May, Fox announced that its hit drama would end after Season 6 and that there were still no plans to bring back Smollett’s character.
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President Trump fired back at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer after the New York Democrat said Trump is bluffing and will not impose tariffs on goods from Mexico.
“Can you imagine Cryin’ Chuck Schumer saying out loud, for all to hear, that I am bluffing with respect to putting Tariffs on Mexico. What a Creep,” Trump tweeted, adding he was not bluffing on the threat.
Can you imagine Cryin’ Chuck Schumer saying out loud, for all to hear, that I am bluffing with respect to putting Tariffs on Mexico. What a Creep. He would rather have our Country fail with drugs & Immigration than give Republicans a win. But he gave Mexico bad advice, no bluff!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2019
Schumer said in a speech on the House floor on Tuesday, “Frankly, I don’t believe that President Trump will actually go through with the tariffs. President Trump has a habit of talking tough and then retreating, because his policies often can’t be implemented or don’t make sense … so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if President Trump doesn’t follow through on these tariffs, either.”
Trump announced in a tweet if Mexico is unable to stop a majority of illegal immigrants and illegal drugs from entering the U.S., then a 5% tariff will be imposed on all goods from Mexico.
In a statement released by the White House, Trump said he will impose the tariffs by using his powers in the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Companies who relocate to the United States will not have to pay the tariffs.