Will Pence hop on his hog this weekend?
As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump received a hero’s welcome at last year’s annual Rolling Thunder rally on the Mall for the POW/MIA cause. This year, President Trump’s first foreign trip will prevent him from being on hand, but some of the administration’s top guns may be there in his stead.
Rolling Thunder President Joe Bean said he “can guarantee” Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin will be “riding with us. We have other secretaries who will ride but don’t want to be mentioned.”
When pressed, he said: “Is Pence around? Yes he is. Does the vice president ride? Yes he does. The secretary of Defense, he rides.”
Throughout the years, he said, security concerns usually keep Washington’s top officials coy until the last minute. “When all these black Suburbans pull in, then you know something’s happening,” said Bean.
Bean said his organization has had a great relationship with Trump and his people “even before he got into the office … and we still do to this day.” In fact, in Rolling Thunder’s 30-year history, he said they’ve had good relationships with just about every administration—except President Obama’s.
Schiff: Obama too timid on Russian meddling
Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has not been shy about criticizing President Trump. But he briefly turned his fire towards President Obama Wednesday, saying his administration did not adequately respond to Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.
Asked at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters if he had any regrets about how Obama publicized Russian hacking last year and whether the president should have been more forceful in his comments, Schiff responded, “Yes and yes.”
Although the Obama administration received intelligence last summer that Russians were trying to meddle in the election, it didn’t release a statement until October and waited to impose sanctions until December.
“I understand the reasons why the administration was loath to be more proactive,” Schiff said. “But I didn’t think that was the right decision at the time, and I think it’s even more clear now that it wasn’t. I think they were worried about being perceived as having an impact on the election.”