Posts tagged with "Fox News Sunday"

Republicans shrug off Trump ’24 bid: ‘The excitement’s just not there’

November 29, 2022

The former president is not bending the GOP to his will the way he used to. Donald Trump’s lackluster campaign announcement on November 15 was one thing. His real problem is fast becoming the collective shrug Republicans have given him in the week-plus since, reports Politico.

Far from freezing out potential competitors, Trump’s announcement was followed by a slew of potential 2024 contenders appearing at the Republican Jewish Coalition conference in Las Vegas over the weekend, where at least one Republican who previously had said she would defer to Trump if he ranformer U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley—now said she is considering running in a “serious way.”

A super PAC supporting Trump’s chief rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, plans to begin airing TV ads in Iowa on Friday, December 2. And even the news that Elon Musk was lifting Trump’s ban on Twitter wasn’t breaking through.

The morning after the former president’s account was reinstated—a development once viewed as a significant lift to Trump’s candidacy—Fox News Sunday spent more time talking about the ticketing debacle surrounding Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour.

“The people talking about [Trump’s campaign announcement] in my circles, it’s almost like it didn’t happen,” said Bob Vander Plaats, the evangelical leader in Iowa who is influential in primary politics in the first-in-the-nation caucus state and who was a national co-chair of Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign in 2016. Donald“That, to me, is what is telling, where people believe we probably need to move forward; not look in the rear view mirror.”

Ever since he steamrolled through the 2016 presidential primary, and even after his defeat four years later, Trump had bent the GOP to his will—reshaping the party’s infrastructure in Washington, D.C., and the states to serve his interests, tearing down Republican dynasties, and hand-picking congressional and statewide nominees.Se

Now, leading Republicans are no longer cowering before Trump, and for the first time since he rode down the escalator in 2015, many aren’t listening to him at all. They are dodging questions about Trump’s candidacy, or openly defying him by rallying around DeSantis—even though the Florida governor is not yet, as Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming declared, the “leader of the Republican Party.

“There’s a significant number of people out there who really are opposed to him, and I don’t think will change their minds over the course of the next two years,” said Tom Tancredo, a former Republican congressman and anti-illegal immigration crusader from Colorado who called Trump “one of the best presidents we’ve ever had.”

He added, “You can’t deny that that’s a problem for him … I’m worried about his electability, surely.”

However, Trump may still be the frontrunner to win the GOP nomination. In a Politico/Morning Consult poll this week, Trump was still running 15 percentage points ahead of DeSantis among Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents. If a wide field of more traditionalist Republicans split the primary vote in early nominating states, as they did in 2016, Trump could still cut through his competitors with less-than-majority support.

“His unique selling point is, ‘I did this, I fixed the economy, I gave you the Abraham Accords, I kept peace, I fixed the border with no help from the Washington politicians,’” said one Republican strategist close to Trump.

Trump’s path, the strategist said, is to remind Republicans what they liked about his presidency, and to emphasize that, unlike his competitors, he has “done it before.”

What Trump also has done, however, is lose—and drag the GOP down with him. Following a midterm election in which Republicans failed to retake the Senate, the GOP is desperate for a win in 2024. And while presidential primaries are always colored to some degree by concerns about electability, the earliest stages of the 2024 contest, as one longtime GOP operative in Iowa put it, are “just about winning.”

Research contact: @politico

White House lights into Manchin after he crushes Biden’s megabill

December 21, 2021

Senator Joe Manchin struck a decisive blow to President Joe Biden’s sweeping social and climate spending bill on Sunday, December 19—igniting a bitter clash with his own party’s White House, reports Politico.

Biden left negotiations with Manchin this week thinking the two men could cut a deal next year on his sweeping agenda. Then the West Virginia Democrat bluntly said he is a “no” on the $1.7 trillion in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

“If I can’t go home and explain to the people of West Virginia, I can’t vote for it. And I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t. I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there,” Manchin said. “This is a no on this piece of legislation. I have tried everything I know to do.”

Those comments prompted an immediate war with the White House, which took personal aim at Manchin for what officials saw as a breach of trust.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki released an unusually blunt statement saying that Manchin’s comments “are at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances.”

In announcing his opposition, Manchin raised the same concerns about the bill that he’s had all along: inflation, rising debt, and a mismatch between the package’s ten-year funding and its shorter-term programs, Politico noted. But until Sunday, Manchin had never taken a hard line on the legislation. In the past week, he’s spoken directly to Biden several times, with the president and other Democrats furiously lobbying him to support the bill.

With an evenly split Senate, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) needs every Democrat to go along with the legislation, which only requires a simple majority vote. That dynamic gives Manchin enormous leverage over Biden’s agenda—allowing him to single-handedly sink a priority that Democrats have spent much of the year working on, Politico says.

Manchin’s rollout on Fox News infuriated Democrats Sunday morning. Psaki said that the senator had brought Biden an outline of a bill similar in size and scope that “could lead to a compromise acceptable to all.”

“If his comments on FOX and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the president and the senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate,” Psaki said. “Just as Senator Manchin reversed his position on Build Back Better this morning, we will continue to press him to see if he will reverse his position yet again, to honor his prior commitments and be true to his word.”

And while the centrist senator’s staff informed White House and Democratic aides about his forthcoming blow to Biden’s agenda, some Democrats were steamed that Manchin himself hadn’t called Biden or Schumer.

“Manchin didn’t have the courage to call the White House or Democratic leadership himself ahead of time,” fumed one Democrat familiar with internal conversations.

While tempers flared on Sunday, the White House began privately and hastily exploring ways to keep the legislative initiative alive. A White House official told Politico that he believes there are critical elements of the social spending bill that must get done. They plan to continue talking with Manchin and to urge him to honor his previous commitments.

The official added that now may be an opportunity to revisit a concept of the bill that included fewer programs but was paid for over more years — an option that moderate House Democrats and party leaders such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) had pushed for previously.

Centrist New Democrat Coalition Chair Representative Suzan DelBene (D-Washington) said in a statement Sunday that including fewer programs in the legislation but for longer durations “could open a potential path forward for this legislation.”

Research contact: @politico

Parler reappears with help from Russian-owned security service

January 20, 2021

Parler—a social network similar to Twitter to which then-President Donald Trump fled after he was tossed off his @realDonaldTrump feed for bad behavior—has reappeared.

Early in January, Parler also was taken down—by big tech companies Apple, Google, and Amazon after it was used by members to send messages inciting violence at the U.S. Capitol. However, its website is back  up—powered by a hosting service from DDoS-Guard, a Web security service that is owned by two Russians, according to a report by The Boston Globe.

“Our return is inevitable due to hard work and persistence against all odds,” CEO John Matze wrote in a new post—the latest since Amazon Web Services stopped hosting the site and it was banned from Apple and Google’s app stores. “Despite the threats and harassment not one Parler employee has quit. We are becoming closer and stronger as a team.”

According to the Globe, public data associated with the Parler.com domain name shows that one of the Internet servers it directs visitors to is routed via DDoS-Guard. Another server, specifically for routing Parler.com e-mail but not website content, is an Outlook.com address, operated by Microsoft.

A spokesperson for DDoS-Guard said the company was not hosting Parler and declined to comment on what services it was providing to the social media app. It confirmed it did store customer data as part of its offering.

On Sunday, January 17, Apple CEO Tim Cook defended Apple’s decision to delist the Parler app despite complaints from critics that the move impinges on free speech.

“We looked at the incitement to violence that was on there,” Cook said on Fox News Sunday, adding, ”We don’t consider that free speech and incitement to violence has an intersection.”

Parler’s domain name is now registered with Epik, a website services company based in Sammamish, Washington, according to public records made available by Internet regulator Icann. Epik is also the domain registrar for Gab, another less restrictive social networking site popular with the far right.

Most of the features on Parler.com appeared to remain down early Tuesday, the Globe reports—besides statements from Matze and other employees. Members are unable to log in or post messages and the app is still unavailable in the Apple or Google Play stores.

Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Epik said in a sprawling statement on its website from JanIuary 11 that it’s had “no contact or discussions with Parler in any form.” The statement also addressed propaganda, breakdowns in civil society, and editorial malfeasance on the part of “major media owners.”

Before its ban, Parler—which has less restrictive terms dictating what members can post and was endorsed by some Republican lawmakers and media figures—had seen a surge in users as Twitter and Facebook banished outgoing President Trump along with users and groups that supported the violence.

Research contact: @BostonGlobe

 

Trump and GOP mount coordinated campaign to portray Biden as ‘senile’

March 11, 2020

The president has settled on a schoolyard strategy to take out his likely general election opponent, Politico reports.

Indeed, President Donald Trump—for whom bullying is second nature and an oft-chosen first line of attack—stood before about 500 of the Republican Party’s biggest benefactors at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Friday, March 6, and raised a topic few in the audience expected (even of him): Joe Biden’s mental capacity.

Trump walked the donors through a list of Biden’s recent verbal stumbles, such as his recent declaration that he was running for Senate and his assertion that 150 million Americans had been killed by gun violence since 2007.

The president—who is 73 years old, compared to Biden’s age of 77—questioned whether the former vice president had the mental stamina to sustain the rigors of a general election campaign.

Then, he appeared to give donors permission to leak his remarks about Biden to the media. “I would hope you not repeat that,” Trump said sarcastically according to an attendee who spoke with Politico.

With Biden emerging as the likely Democratic frontrunner, Trump has launched an organized, near-daily campaign to stoke misgivings and misinformation about the former VP’s mental acuity. The president has been bolstered by a conservative echo chamber flooding social media with video clips highlighting Biden’s gaffes.

The effort provides a window into how Trump — who’s been dogged by questions about his own mental fitness — regularly picks apart his political opponents, Politico said, noting that the POTUS “has an unmatched ability to zero in on his foe’s biggest vulnerability or insecurity, and through sheer repetition, bake it into the public consciousness.

“It’s similar to the tack Trump used in 2016 against Hillary Clinton, whom he tagged as ‘low energy,’” the political news outlet said. He also suggested she didn’t “have the stamina” to be president.

Former Clinton advisers see a replay of that campaign, and warn that Biden needs to take the attacks seriously.

“He’s not responding to the threat strong enough, because it is absolutely a problem now and [is] going to be a problem” going forward, said Philippe Reines, a former top Hillary Clinton adviser who prepped her for the debates with Trump. “You have to defend yourself, because that stuff absolutely sticks.”

To date, Biden only has laughed off the attacks. During a recent appearance on Fox News Sunday, the former vice president was asked to respond to a clip of Trump saying that he would “be sitting in a home someplace” if elected.

“Is that the stable genius saying that?” Biden shot back.

Research contact: @politico

Pelosi: Trump told Russia about ISIS raid before informing leaders of Congress

October  29, 2019

To whom does the U.S. president owe fealty—the U.S. Congress or the Russian Politburo? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) revealed on October 28 that President Donald Trump told Russian leaders before he informed senior members of Congress about the U.S. military raid that ended in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the commander of ISIS.

“The House must be briefed on this raid—which the Russians but not top Congressional Leadership were notified of in advance—and on the Administration’s overall strategy in the region,” she said in a statement responding to the Saturday night operation. “Our military and allies deserve strong, smart and strategic leadership from

According to a report by the Huffington Post, on Sunday morning, Trump announced in a press conference that Baghdadi died in northern Syria after being chased into a dead-end tunnel with three of his children. The four were killed by a suicide vest he detonated.

But according to Representative Adam Schiff (D-California), Trump never gave him or other members of the “Gang of Eight”―a bipartisan group of lawmakers comprising the most senior members of Congress, including Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York)―a tip-off beforehand.

Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, is prosecuting the impeachment inquiry.

Although Schiff praised the accomplishment, according to the HuffPost, he noted that communicating such developments with lawmakers is key in the event that complications arise.

“Had this escalated, had something gone wrong, had we gotten into a firefight with the Russians, it’s to the administration’s advantage to be able to say ‘we informed Congress,’” he said.

Trump acknowledged to reporters that he notified only “some” congressional leaders because he “wanted to make sure [the raid was] kept secret” because “Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before.”

The president said he contacted Senators Richard Burr (R-North Carolina)—who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee—and his own chief apologist Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) before his announcement.

During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Vice President Mike Pence defended Trump’s handling of the matter, and avoided answering host Chris Wallace’s queries about why Pelosi was not given a heads-up, the Huffington Post said.

Presented with the question repeatedly, Pence refused to offer a direct response, focusing only on the military feat.

Research contact: @HuffPost

Kudlow gets castigated by president after telling truth about tariffs

May 16, 2019

Truth-teller Larry Kudlow is in the administration doghouse this week. Donald Trump reportedly castigated his chief economic adviser after Kudlow contradicted the president publicly on Fox News Sunday—saying everyday Americans would be hurt by tariffs the extra $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods that the White House imposed on May 10, The Hill said.

An unidentified White House official told The Washington Post that the president and Kudlow spoke after the aide’s talk show appearance.

“Trump called Larry, and they had it out,” said the official, according to the newspaper, which added that two other sources described the exchange as cordial.

Other sources recounted that Trump repeatedly told Kudlow during the conversation  “not [to] worry about” the consequences of tariffs on U.S. businesses.

Kudlow’s remarks contradicting the president came during an interview with Fox News host Chris Wallace, who pressed him about the impact of tariffs.

“In fact, both sides will pay in these things, and of course it depends,” Kudlow told Wallace.

“The Chinese will suffer [gross domestic product] losses and so forth with respect to a diminishing export market and goods that they may need,” Kudlow added.

Trump, however, has publicly defended his trade strategy, writing on Twitter that there is “no reason” U.S. consumers should feel the effect of tariffs.

Their [sic] is no reason for the U.S. Consumer to pay the Tariffs, which take effect on China today,” he said on Twitter. “This has been proven recently when only 4 points were paid by the U.S., 21 points by China because China subsidizes product to such a large degree. Also, the Tariffs can be completely avoided if you [buy] from a non-Tariffed Country, or you buy the product inside the USA (the best idea).”

Research contact: @thehill

As Trump government shutdown persists, 800K workers wonder when they will see paychecks

December 26, 2018

Don’t hold your breath: A partial government shutdown remains in effect after funding expired for roughly 25% of the federal government—affecting 800,000 employees—when the clock struck midnight on December 22. It is anybody’s guess when it will end, but chances are it won’t be soon, according to a report by CNN..

The president’s incoming Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on Fox News Sunday that “it is very possible that the shutdown will go beyond [December] 28th and into the new Congress.”

A spokesperson for incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told CNN on Sunday, “If Director Mulvaney says the Trump Shutdown will last into the New Year, believe him—because it’s their shutdown.”

Negotiations between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration over the President’s demands for $5 billion for a border wall have so far not yielded an agreement, making it likely that the shutdown will continue until after Christmas.

Indeed, the Senate adjourned on December 22 with no deal to re-open the government—and the next actual session is not scheduled until December 27. Lawmakers can travel home for Christmas and won’t have to worry about being called back to vote until a deal can be reached, but GOP leaders told senators that if there is no deal by Thursday, they would not have to return for that session, sources have told CNN.

Both House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Schumer have said that the new Democratic-controlled House of Representatives will pass a bill to stop the shutdown if it lasts into the new Congress.

“If President Trump and Republicans choose to continue this Trump Shutdown, the new House Democratic majority will swiftly pass legislation to re-open government in January,” the Democratic leaders said in a joint statement after the shutdown started.

According to the CNN report, House Republicans passed a spending bill that included an additional $5 billion for the wall last week, but the legislation is considered dead on arrival in the Senate where Democrats have said they would not support it. Any spending bill needs at least some Democratic votes to pass in the Senate.

Vice President Mike Pence proposed spending $2.5 billion on border security, including the wall, in a stopgap spending bill during meetings on Friday night and Saturday afternoon with Schumer, three sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

Several of the sources said there were policy additions and restrictions included in the proposal to try to bridge the gap. But Democrats said the number and the details tied to it aren’t acceptable.

Following the Saturday meeting, a Schumer spokesman said, “The Vice President came in for a discussion and made an offer. Unfortunately, we’re still very far apart.”

Key parts of the federal government have been impacted by the shutdown, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, the Interior Department, the State Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Despite the fact that the Justice Department will be impacted, special counsel Robert Mueller’s office will be able to continue working. The SCO “is funded from a permanent indefinite appropriation and would be unaffected in the event of a shutdown,” a Justice Department spokesperson told CNN previously.

Typically in the event of a shutdown, some federal employees deemed essential continue to work, but their pay is withheld until the shutdown is over, while other federal employees are placed on furlough, meaning they are effectively put on a leave of absence without pay. Congress can move to order that furloughed employees be paid retroactively after a shutdown is over, though that is not guaranteed.

An estimated 800,000 federal employees may be impacted by the partial shutdown, CNN said—either by having to work during it while their pay is withheld until it ends or by being furloughed.

More than 420,000 government workers are expected to work without pay in a partial shutdown, according to a fact sheet released by the Democratic staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee. That estimate includes more than 41,000 federal law enforcement and correctional officers. In addition, more than 380,000 federal employees would be placed on furlough, according to the fact sheet.

Research contact: @ckmarie