While Republicans continue to modify the way they interact with President Trump, “it is not clear what a meaningful, sustainable divorce” from the president “could even look like.”
“The most extreme remedies, like impeachment, remain nonstarters in Republican circles. The party has likewise declined to embrace any formalized censure against the president, an option pushed Wednesday by House Democrats — though last month’s sanctions on Russia, passed against the administration’s wishes, were a notable bit of bipartisan defiance.
“Among Republicans, though, the next steps are complicated by the president’s ramshackle legislative strategy: The White House has effectively outsourced its agenda to its partners in Congress.” (New York Times)
AND SENATORS AREN’T HAPPY. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said that Trump “lacks an understanding of the character of the nation and that the White House needs to make ‘radical changes’—otherwise, he fears for the country.
“‘The president has not been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful,’ Corker told members of the media after speaking to Chattanooga’s Rotary Club Thursday. ‘And we need for him to be successful; our nation needs for him to be successful. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or Democrat … The world needs our president to be successful.’” (Nooga)
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee “is not prone to outspoken outbursts and thinks carefully before delivering his analysis. So his critique that the President has not shown sufficient stability, competence or understanding of the character of the country that he leads was devastating.”
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) “was another Trump ally who had been wrestling with a painful political and moral dilemma. But he also broke ranks Thursday, saying he could not defend the ‘indefensible’ in the wake of Trump’s comments about the alt-right rallies in Charlottesville.”
Adding fuel to the fire, “James Murdoch, the 21st Century Fox CEO and son of Rupert Murdoch, who is one of Trump’s close informal advisers, wrote a withering email denouncing the President’s reaction to the White Supremacist rally and the violence it sparked.” (CNN)
OBSERVING ALL THIS. “Journalists and analysts have fallen in the habit of declaring almost every week in this presidency the worst yet. Perhaps befitting a president unlike any of his predecessors, this is a journalistic trend never seen before.
“This is the 30th week since Trump was sworn into office. A neutral ranking of those weeks would show that 20 have been bad for the president, while only four weeks have been positive for him. The other six weeks were neither good nor bad.” (National Journal)
What We're Following See More »
"Trump is set to sign a presidential memorandum at the White House later today that tasks the Department of Education to devote at least $200 million of its grant funds each year to so-called STEM fields...And on Tuesday, Trump’s daughter and advisor, Ivanka, is expected to head to Detroit, where she will join business leaders for an event unveiling a series of private-sector commitments — from Amazon, Facebook, Google, GM, Quicken Loans and others — meant to boost U.S. coding and computer-science classes and programs."
"Anthony Weiner was sentenced to 21 months in prison for exchanging sexually explicit messages with a 15-year-old girl, capping the spectacular fall of the former congressman whose self-destructive behavior wrecked his career and marriage and played a role in the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign. A tearful Weiner told U.S. District Judge Denise Cote that 'the crime I committed is my rock bottom.'"