President Trump tweeted his condolences to the family of John McCain, the former prisoner of war, presidential candidate, and long-time U.S. senator from Arizona who passed away this weekend. But at an appearance at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa this morning, Trump slammed McCain as a Republican senator who let his side down by dying. “He’s attracting all these glowing tributes because he died,” Trump says. “I like people who don’t die, I hate to tell you.”
Trump went on to say that McCain was the last, or maybe the second to last, senator to toe the Republican line on health care, tax cuts, and border security. “Nobody knows that,” Trump said. “McCain was upset once because I pointed that out, and I said, ‘Why? For telling the truth?’ See, you’re not supposed to say that somebody was the last or second to last at something because you’re supposed to be very nice. But, folks, I’m trying to make America great again.”
Critics jumped on Trump’s remarks as further proof of his inability to act presidential. “The president had every opportunity to recognize John McCain’s contribution to our country but instead he took issue with his absence from life,” said Steve Schmidt, a former Republican campaign consultant who has become outspoken against Trump.
Another critic, who asked not to be named so he could speak freely, says he certainly thinks Trump is capable of acting heroically on behalf of America. “I like people who are captured,” this person said, “if their name is Donald Trump.”
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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.
Gerald Hastings of Harvard University says House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said the stupidest things yesterday at a hearing his committee held jointly with the House Oversight Committee to look at political bias by FBI Russia investigator Peter Strzok. But Yale Political Science Professor Alfred Knowlings said House Oversight Committee Chair Trey Gowdy (R-Okla.) said the stupidest things by far and in fact came across as an idiot based on the stupid things he said. “Trey Gowdy is supposed to be one of the smarter members of the House Republican majority but based on the embarrassingly stupid things he said at the hearing yesterday, it’s hard to see him as any better than the dumbest, most moronic member of the House,” Knowlings said. More.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a former Ohio State University wrestling coach who’s been under fire since accusations emerged that athletes were groped by the team doctor and he did nothing about it, says he had no knowledge of the groping he was told about during his years there. “Had I known about the groping that the students told me about before and after practice, I would have done something,” Johnson told CNN this morning. Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach at the university from 1987 to 1995. He was elected to Congress in 2007 and has emerged as one of President Trump’s fiercest defenders. He’s being talked about as a replacement for retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). More.
Retiring Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) says he plans to be a thorn in President Trump’s side before he votes to confirm Trump’s pick to replace retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. “Because I’m not running for reelection, I can take brave positions without repercussions at the polls, which is why I’ll make a lot of noise until I give Trump what he wants,” Corker says. Retiring Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) is in a similar position. “I have a history of standing up to Donald Trump until I sit down to vote for what he asks for,” Flake says. “I think it’s important for all of us who worry about the health of our democratic institutions to wag our finger in the president’s face before we hand him more power.” More.
Calling its passage a national security priority because lawyers are refusing to defend President Trump against mounting accusations against him, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) introduced a bill requiring lawyers to register with the Selective Service and be prepared to serve in a new White House Office of Criminal Defense for an unspecified term. “It’s unacceptable that our president cannot assemble a team of lawyers to defend him and his office against the growing investigation over his campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia and the increasing number of lawsuits against him by women he’s allegedly harassed or had affairs with,” said Ryan. The United States has not required conscription of any kind since the Selective Service was ended in the mid-1970s, after the Vietnam War, but times have changed, Ryan said. More.
The House Intelligence Committee released its long-awaited report on whether Russia intervened in the 2016 presidential election on behalf of Donald Trump and concluded that, while there were errors of judgment by Trump campaign officials, there was no collusion with Russian attempts to tamper with the election. It also recommended measures to protect future U.S. elections against tampering, and also recommended the redeployment of remaining Russia funds to investigate still-open questions about the 2012 attacks on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya, and the culpability of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “There remain unanswered questions about Secretary Clinton’s negligence and misconduct in the days and weeks leading up to the horrific attack on the United States,” the report says. More.
House and Senate leaders, concerned recent moves by Donald Trump could cause lasting damage to the United States, say it might be necessary to remove the President from office before he’s given due process because going through impeachment and then a vote to remove him would take too long. “We like taking his office first and going through due process second,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters after meeting with a bi-partisan group of leaders from the House and Senate. “Think of a crazy person holding a gun. You want to take the gun first and give him due process later.” McConnell said lawmakers don’t have a lot of time because the President is about to launch a trade war, which is expected to lead to retaliatory measures from many countries, including many allied countries, and the midterm elections are coming up and the President has yet to order action against efforts Russia has already taken to destabilize the process. More.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Trump), brushing the dust off his suit from the exploding memo his staff wrote on FBI bias against Donald Trump, says he’s ordered several new explosive devices to discredit the Mueller investigation into Trump Russia collusion. “I have several orders pending with Acme Corp. that I’m confident will bring down this charade of an investigation,” Nunes said this morning. Among other things, Nunes said, he expects to get a delivery by as early as Monday that will show the Deep State connections of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller . . . . More.
The mother of John Thune (R-S.D.), the third-ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate, says he needs to put some meat on his bones so he doesn’t blow away when a strong wind kicks up. “Is he getting enough to eat?” his mother says. “I bet he’s not eating breakfast.” His mother says she sees him on TV and she can tell he probably didn’t eat the potato rolls she sent him last week. “His aunt brought those rolls home from Pennsylvania,” she says. “The man she bought them from was very nice. The rolls were good. He should eat them instead of letting them get stale.” More.