Posts tagged with "NBC’s Meet the Press"

Senate Democrats put McCarthy in shutdown squeeze

September 26, 2023

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is ramping up the pressure on House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) to avoid a government shutdown by moving first on a stopgap funding bill that will pass the Senate this week, a few days before the September 30 deadline, reports The Hill.

The Senate’s plan is to send the bill to the House and put pressure on McCarthy to bring it to the floor for a vote it would pass with bipartisan support if given the chance, said senators who are calculating how the endgame will play out.   

But Republican and Democratic senators admit they don’t know what McCarthy will do, and some GOP senators are worried about “sticking our necks out” if the stopgap is doomed to fail in the House.

“McCarthy’s made the decision to shut the government down. Period. Stop,” Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) said, previewing the rhetorical offensive Senate Democrats will launch against McCarthy this week.

The Senate is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 26, to take the first in a series of procedural votes that will tee up the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, which Schumer will use as the legislative vehicle to pass the continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open.

McCarthy showed growing frustration with conservative rebels on Saturday, September 23, when he told reporters that hard-liners in his conference “like to stop everything, and then they turn around and say it’s your fault you’re not getting anything done.”  

He complained last Thursday that some “individuals” just “want to burn the whole place down.” 

McCarthy’s exasperation with the obstructionists in his conference has given senators hope that he may be willing to steamroll those conservative critics by bringing a Senate-passed bill straight to the House floor.

Some Democrats expressed cautious optimism on Sunday that a government shutdown can be avoided.

Assistant House Democratic Leader James Clyburn (South Carolina) told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that a shutdown “is not a foregone conclusion.

“And I don’t think we’ll get to that point. I certainly hope not,” he said.

Research contact: @thehill

Trump claims judge overseeing New York case ‘hates’ him. His lawyer says it isn’t true.

April 4, 2023

On Sunday, April 2, f Donald Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, said he doesn’t believe the judge who oversaw Trump’s indictment is biased—contradicting days of the former president’s attacks in which he declared that the judge “HATES ME,” reports The Washington Post.

On Friday, Trump claimed on his Truth Social account that Juan Merchanthe New York Supreme Court justice who’s overseeing the criminal proceedings—had treated Trump’s company “VICIOUSLY” in a tax fraud case that wrapped up in January and had “railroaded” the former CFO for the Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg, into pleading guilty.

But Tacopina, speaking Sunday to George Stephanopoulos on ABC News’s “This Week,” waved off the criticism. “Do I think the judge is biased? Of course not,” Tacopina said. “How could I subscribe to that when I’ve had no interactions with the judge that would lead me to believe he’s biased?”

When pressed about why his client was saying the opposite, Tacopina said, “You’re interviewing me, George, right?” and added, “I’m his attorney, but I’m myself. I’m not his PR person. I’m not a spokesperson. He’s entitled to his own opinion and, what he’s been through, quite frankly, I don’t blame him for feeling the way he feels.”

Trump is expected to appear before Merchan for an arraignment Tuesday. His indictment remains under seal, which means the specific charges are not known. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has been investigating a payment made before the 2016 presidential election to Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress, to keep her from publicly discussing a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump years earlier.

Tacopina told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that, when Trump makes his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon, “We will very loudly and proudly say, ‘not guilty.’” The Washington Post reported Friday that the former president plans to fly to New York on Monday before surrendering ahead of Tuesday’s arraignment. And Trump’s 2024 campaign announced Sunday he will speak Tuesday night from Mar-a-Lago, his Florida home, shortly after 8 p.m. (EDT).

Republicans continued to echo Trump’s attack on the legal system Sunday—calling the indictment an unprecedented attack on a political leader that may lead to legal or even physical retaliation. The escalating rhetoric also came as one former district attorney warned Sunday that Trump’s public statements and social media posts could lead to more serious charges than what he is facing now.

“I would be mindful of not committing some other criminal offense, like obstruction of governmental administration,” Cyrus R. Vance, the former district attorney for Manhattan, told NBC News’s “Meet the Press.” “And I think that could take what perhaps we think is not the strongest case, when you add a count like that, put it in front of a jury, it can change the jury’s mind about the severity of the case that they’re looking at.”

James M. Trusty, a lawyer representing Trump in the federal case over his handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and in a Georgia case about alleged interference in that state’s counting of votes in the 2020 election, said Trump’s indictment in Manhattan is “political persecution.”

Research contact: @washingtonpost

Sununu on Trump: ‘Thank you for your service, we’re moving on’

March 7, 2023

Former President Donald Trump won’t become the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in 2024, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu (R) predicted during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, March 5.

“He’s not going to be the nominee, that’s just not going to happen,” Sununu said, according to a report by Axios—adding the GOP is looking for fresh leadership.

“Thank you for your service, we’re moving on,” he said. “I just don’t believe the Republican Party is going to say that the best leadership for America tomorrow is yesterday’s leadership. That doesn’t make any sense.”

“We want the next generation, the next big idea, and that’s what we’re going to deliver.”

Sununu added that he believed that ,if the election were held now, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) would win both New Hampshire and Florida.

Trump has repeatedly attacked DeSantis, whom he fears is the only candidate who could last with him in a long, bitter campaign for the 2024 GOP nomination.

Sununu also spoke about the need for the Republican Party to attract independent voters and the next generation of “potential Republicans.” He said, “Republicans cannot win without Independents. It cannot happen.”

 Others agree with him: Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) announced on Sunday that he is not running for president in 2024, saying the GOP “must move on from Mr. Trump.”

“There are several competent Republican leaders who have the potential to step up and lead,” Hogan wrote in a New York Times opinion essay.

“But the stakes are too high for me to risk being part of another multicar pileup that could potentially help Mr. Trump recapture the nomination,” he added.

Sununu acknowledged last month that he is “definitely thinking about” a 2024 bid for president, himself. Sununu did not acknowledge a potential run during Sunday’s program and noted that he hasn’t ruled out running for re-election as governor.

Research contact: @axios

NYT: Electoral College votes in key battleground states for Biden without any surprises or defections

December 15, 2020

The Electoral College continued voting on Monday afternoon, December 14, in Joe Biden as the president-elect—and that President Donald Trump has said will nudge him further toward leaving the White House.

By early afternoon, electors in some of the battleground states that Trump had contested—among them, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Arizona—had voted, with no surprises or defections, The New York Times reported.

Concurrently, the Supreme Court in Wisconsin rejected yet another lawsuit from the Trump campaign, ending the last current legal hurdle in that state.

Despite palpable tensions across the country, wrought in large part by the rhetoric of the president, the Times opined, the Electoral College process appeared to be proceeding smoothly.

“It’s not just out of tradition but to show folks, especially now more than ever, our system works,” said Governor Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, a Republican, in opening remarks before the state’s four electors cast their ballots for Biden.

The schedule on which the electors were due to vote nationwide was largely determined by individual states. California, the state with the most electors, will most likely push Biden past the 270-vote threshold needed to win the presidency when it votes at 5 p.m. (ET).

Nevada’s six electors all cast their votes for. Biden, as expected, holding their ballots in front of the camera during the virtual meeting, and voters in Pennsylvania cast their ballots, giving 20 electoral votes. The states are two of five that some of the president’s closest allies in the House are eyeing to challenge on January 6 in a final-stage effort—all but certain to fail, The Times averred—to reverse Biden’s victory.

Despite the definitive defeat in the Electoral College, Trump has remained defiant—spending his weekend attacking the Supreme Court for rejecting a Texas lawsuit against four battleground states; and issuing more baseless accusations about the election from his Twitter account. The president has shown no indication he intends to concede the election.

The vote will largely remove any cover for Republicans in Congress who have refused to acknowledge Biden as the president-elect. In providing Trump the room to dispute his loss, Republicans in Congress presented the Electoral College vote as the new marker for when a presidential victory should be recognized.

“Everything before Monday is really a projection,” Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, December 13.. “If the president loses, and it appears that he will when the electors vote, he should put the country first, take pride in his accomplishments, congratulate Joe Biden and help him off to a good start.”

Research contact: @nytimes

He’s all in: Former congressman Joe Walsh announces primary challenge against Trump

August 27, 2019

Former congressman Joe Walsh (R-Illinois) announced on ABC’s This Week Sunday that he would challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 primary—becoming the third Republican to go up against the POTUS, after former Massachusetts Governor William Weld and former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford announced they were in the race during April and August, respectively.

According to a report by The Washington Post, Walsh, a talk-radio host, was elected to Congress in 2010 as part of the conservative Tea Party wave and served one term. He has described himself as an immigration hard-liner and said he would not challenge Trump from the center but from the right and on moral grounds.

“I’m going to run for president,” Walsh told ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, charging that the president is “incompetent,” “a bigot” and “a narcissist.”

When Stephanopoulos pushed back, pointing out that Walsh, himself, had a long history of racist and controversial statements, the new candidate said, “I helped create Trump, and George, that’s not an easy thing to say,” noting,  “I went beyond the policy and the idea differences and I got personal and I got hateful. I said some ugly things about President Obama that I regret.”

Like another Republican who recently turned on Trump— former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci—Walsh would not be averse to invoking the 25th Amendment in order to remove the “unfit”  president from office. He told Stephanopoulos that the amendment should be  “looked at” because “we’ve never had a situation like this. You can’t believe a word he says.”

Meanwhile, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld welcomed Walsh’s entry into the race, saying on NBC’s Meet the Press, “It’s going to be a more robust conversation. Who knows? The networks might even cover Republican primary debates.”

Research contact: @washingtonpost