House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) probably aren’t going to say anything about it, according to the two congressional leaders’ aides.
Max Phillip, McConnell’s chief of staff, said it’s the Majority’ Leader’s intent not to say much about President Trump’s tweet comparing his nuclear button to the nuclear button of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. “Would he plan to comment on that anytime soon?” Phillip said. “I wouldn’t expect that.”
Phillip said there’s always a temptation to say something when the President’s son is accused of treason by a person who was the President’s top aide just a short while ago, but the Majority Leader will probably not address it. “You have to think about what you remark on and what you don’t remark on, and I think the Majority Leader will probably choose not to remark on that,” he said.
John David, Ryan’s chief of staff, said he expects the House Speaker not to weigh in on allegations that President Trump is trying to quash the independent counsel’s investigation into collusion between his campaign and the Russians, America’s long-time enemy. “Do you say something every time a president is accused of acting against the interest of his country?” David said. “I think what the House Speaker wants to do is focus on the legislative agenda of this Congress.”
David said he would be surprised if the Speaker decided to say something about the growing number of reports that the President’s top aides don’t think he’s fit for the office he holds. “Is it worthy of comment that the President’s two top economic advisors, his one-time chief of staff, and even the President’s chief foreign policy and military advisors question his mental state? I don’t know. But I suspect the Speaker probably won’t comment on it.”
The two congressional leaders are planning a full agenda for the 2018 legislative session, their aides said, so they probably won’t be commenting on the country’s growing alienation with its international allies, the drop in the country’s standing among people around the world, the debasement of its institutions, and the growing chaos as the country founders in the face of disasters, both natural and man-made. “I can’t speak for Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell, but I expect they won’t be commenting on anything unless it pertains directly to this year’s legislative agenda, which I know they’re both very excited about,” Phillip said.
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Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who blamed his wife Margaret for his alleged illegal use of $250,000 in campaign contributions on personal expenses, says she’s also responsible for his saying climate change isn’t real, woman who are raped shouldn’t be allowed to take a morning after pill, and that men in the military shouldn’t have to take showers with transgender recruits if they still have “the girl stuff” on them. He also blamed his wife for his defense of Rep. Greg Giaforte (R-Mont.), who in 2016 was convicted of body slamming a reporter at a campaign event, and for his defense of Donald Trump’s toxic personality by saying that while Trump is an asshole, “he’s our asshole.” Hunter also blamed his wife for his opposition to same-sex marriage, making health insurance harder to get for people who don’t work at jobs where health insurance is a benefit, and for his support of vaping in closed spaces. More.
Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy says he’s proud of his legacy on issues of fairness to women, minorities, and the LGBQT community, which is why he’s throwing it all away by giving the Republican president and Congress the chance to choose an arch conservative for his successor. “Had I waited, Democrats might have reclaimed the Senate and forced a moderate jurist to replace me and I couldn’t have that knowing the importance of my legacy on fairness issues,” he said. “As it is, I’m almost guaranteeing my work will be undone by my replacement.” Kennedy, a libertarian-leaning jurist appointed by President Reagan in 1988, was the court’s swing vote, siding with conservatives on economic issues but showing a progressive streak by siding with liberals on social issues like abortion, gay rights, and women’s issues. More.
President Donald Trump spoke at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland today to show that there are still men who are willing to stand with him at a podium, and there are probably some women willing to do it, too. “As you can see by the people who are standing behind me at this moment, there are, and I expect will remain, men and probably women who are willing to associate their physical body with mine in a way that we expect from our elected leaders,” Trump said. More.
President Donald Trump today said he wants to put the partisan bickering behind him and focus on policy goals both sides can agree on, like infrastructure investment. “It’s important for the country that we work together,” he said at a White House breakfast with Republican and Democratic leaders to welcome in the new year. “Americans want us to come together and I plan to do that—with or without the Democrats.” Trump said it would be nice if the Democrats were part of the effort to be bipartisan, but he’s not counting on it. “Frankly, we can do it without them,” he said. “We have shared goals. We want better airports. We want first-class airports, the best airports in the world. We’ll get those whether we have help from the Democrats or not. We’d rather work together.” More.
Pence Not Allowed to Meet Alone With Trump Any More After What His Mouth Was Caught Doing in Last Cabinet Meeting
The staff of Vice President Mike Pence have extended his rule about never meeting alone with women to include Donald Trump out of fear he’ll act inappropriately with the president. ‘This is just a cautionary measure that we decided should be in place after we caught the vice president’s mouth acting inappropriately with the president during the last cabinet meeting,” says Pence’s chief of staff, Nate Avers. The last cabinet meeting was held the day Congress passed its sweeping tax reform bill and Pence was caught on camera using his mouth on Trump in a way that made onlookers blush. “I’m deeply humbled to be your vice president and to be able to be here,” the vice president’s mouth was caught saying. “I want to thank your outstanding team. I want to thank you for seeing through the course of this year an agenda that truly is restoring this country. More.
Republican voters across the country say the tax returns of Donald Trump that no one has seen make it clear he will personally take a big financial hit once he signs tax reform into law. “You’ve got to hand it to the president,” said Joe Carter, a retired accountant in Biloxi, Miss. “Based on the tax returns he’s refused to share with the American people, he’ll lose millions of dollars from the bill that he himself is going to sign. What a selfless act on the part of our president. Not too many people would of that, but he’s doing that for us.” Since the race between Richard Nixon and John F, Kennedy in 1959, presidential contenders have made their tax returns available so the public can get a picture of their finances and analysts can determine if the laws they sign as president benefit them personally. More.
President Donald Trump this morning says hell probably lie about it, although he’s not sure if he’ll use the lie he’s been planning to use or a different lie, including one he hasn’t thought of yet. “We’ll see how it goes when we get to that point,” Trump told reporters outside the White House. “One thing I think I’ve made clear is, I don’t like to give away my plan. I like to keep people guessing.” Trump said he will probably lie later this week given the decision he made last week. “You know, we have to deal with the fake news like you wouldn’t believe,” he said. “I’m just going to see what the expedient thing to say is, and, frankly, I don’t know what that will be yet—or maybe I do. Maybe I don’t want to tell you.” He said part of what he says might be truthful. “Maybe there’s an expectation I’ll lie completely,” he said. “We just don’t know, but there could be some truth to what I say. More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says the trial balloons he’s been floating about retiring after tax reform passes have nothing to do with his plans to run against Donald Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination. “I am not planning and will not plan to offer Republican voters an alternative to the crazy man in the White House today,” Ryan said. Ryan said there’s no truth to the rumor that he would seek to give an alternative to Republican voters who don’t want to see Trump reelected but also don’t want to see a Democrat take the White House. “I know there’s speculation that I would put myself out there as a safe vote for Republicans who don’t want another Roy Moore-type debacle in 2020, but that is not the case,” he said. More.
Corporations and wealthy individuals say they’ll pour their millions of dollars in cuts they stand to get from tax reform into the reelection fight of Republicans whose seats are now at risk from angry middle-class voters whose tax increases will pay for the bill. “We told the GOP they needed to pass tax cuts for the wealthy or they could forget about calling us again for political contributions,” says one billionaire who stands to save millions from tax cuts. “Now that they’re poised to deliver, we understand they need help. There are a lot of people who will want to retaliate by voting out of office anyone who voted for the tax cuts. What we’re saying is, we’re putting our new money where our mouth is.” According to polls, voters are angry that they’re facing tax hikes to pay for the cuts to corporations and the wealthy. One voter who responded to a poll was so angry she couldn’t see straight. More.
Republican lawmakers in the Senate say they urgently must pass tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy before the end of the year because of pressure coming from Russia Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. “Would it be better to slow down and better think through our tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy? Of course,” says John Thune (R-S.D.), the Senate whip. “Right now our own analysis is showing a $1 trillion addition to the budget deficit even after projected growth in the economy. So, if we had more time we could craft changes that address that and still give our wealthy donors what they want. Unfortunately, time is a luxury we don’t have.” That’s because Mueller’s investigation is winding down. More.
Republican lawmakers in the United States Congress say they’re flabbergasted they couldn’t pull out a win yesterday by passing a bill that no one wanted and that would make the lives of Americans worse. “Who would have thought that a bill that strips health insurance away from 24 million people, raises the premiums for everyone else, and allows insurance companies to pay for less care couldn’t generate enough votes to pass?” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said last night after pulling the plug on his signature health care reform bill. Ryan said he’s stunned that his fellow Republicans didn’t want to commit political suicide by making the lives of their constituents worse by publicly voting “yea” for his bill, called the American Health Care Act. More.
McConnell: ‘Have to do it’Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Congress has little choice but to censure President Donald Trump for accusing his predecessor, without evidence, of conducting surveillance on him during the 2016 campaign. “There has never been a greater debasement of the presidency than what we have seen in the last two weeks,” said McConnell, who as recently as this weekend joined President Trump at a campaign-style rally in Louisville, Ky. “For one president to accuse another of what amounts to a criminal act, and to do so even though all of the country’s considerable intelligence resources are at his fingertips, is to perpetrate one of the greatest violations of our nation’s trust we have ever seen.” More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the decree by President Donald Trump to institute martial law in the United States “to protect Americans from foreign and domestic enemies” is an unfortunate necessity given the state of the world, but he took issue with the “hasty and sloppy” execution of the law. “Should the Administration have put out guidance earlier to minimize confusion? Yes, I think it could have,” Ryan said. “The order was clearly drafted in haste—I get that, given the threats we face from people who want to harm American liberty and freedom—but the people on the ground that must carry it out should have had detail instructions. The result was the confusion and unnecessary mistakes that characterized the rollout.” More.