REPUBLICANS

Trump Ramps Up Attacks on DOJ, FBI Ahead of Memo Release

At the RNC meeting, the president criticized Democrats, the media, and Kasich.

Feb. 2, 2018, 11:19 a.m.

“The White House signaled on Thursday that President Trump would allow a secret memo written by Republican congressional aides to be made public, despite fears from some in the West Wing that it could prompt the resignation of the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, and lead to another crisis for the administration.

“Mr. Trump, who had a brief window to block the memo’s disclosure on national security grounds, was expected to tell Congress on Friday that he had no objections and would probably not request that any of its substance be redacted, according to a senior administration official.

“The president’s eagerness to see the document made public pitted him against his own top national security officials, who have warned that it omits crucial context and that its release would jeopardize sensitive government information. The memo is said to accuse federal law enforcement officials of abusing their authorities in seeking court permission to surveil a former Trump campaign adviser.” (New York Times)

Meanwhile, on Friday morning, Trump tweeted: “The top Leadership and Investigators of the FBI and the Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans - something which would have been unthinkable just a short time ago. Rank & File are great people!” (Twitter)

WHAT TRUMP SAID. “Trump told aides and confidants he believed the memo would vindicate his claim early last year that the expansive Russia investigation overseen by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was a ‘witch hunt.’ He had long expressed frustration, both publicly and privately, with his Department of Justice and, specifically, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who is supervising Mueller’s work.

“The president said he thought the release of the memo would help build a public argument against Rosenstein’s handling of the case, according to people familiar with the discussions. Trump suggested to aides and confidants that the memo might give him the justification to fire Rosenstein—something about which Trump has privately mused—or make other changes at the Justice Department, which he had complained was not sufficiently loyal to him.” (Washington Post)

RNC MEETING. “Trump delivered remarks to the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting Thursday night at Trump International Hotel … his second speech to members of his own party in the same day. … The president criticized Democrats and the ‘haters’ who still watched his State of the Union address two nights earlier. The president said he is trying to push a deal on immigration, but Democrats are stonewalling on a deal over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. ‘The Democrats are AWOL. They’re missing in action,’ Mr. Trump said.

“Mr. Trump said all Democrats do is resist, taking a jab at the ‘resist’ movement opposing him. The president also mentioned how well he thought his State of the Union address had gone Tuesday night, saying even the ‘haters’ gave good reviews in ‘fake’ polls.’” (CBS News)

Trump also “tore into Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a GOP rival and potential 2020 primary challenger. … The president mocked Kasich, who is being termed-out of office and fell short in the 2016 GOP primary, and described him as one of his loudest and most relentless critics.

“At one point in the meeting, Trump brought onstage Bob Paduchik, who the president selected to serve as Republican National Committee co-chair after overseeing Trump’s successful 2016 campaign in Ohio. One person who was in attendance recalled the president heaping praise on Paduchik for helping him win the critical swing state, where he’d faced opposition from the governor. The president recounted the Ohio campaign and how he ultimately won the state.” (Politico)

Meanwhile, “media was escorted out of the RNC’s meeting.” (Politico)

WORTH NOTING. “Ada Fisher, a Republican National Committeewoman from North Carolina, says it’s ‘racist’ to seek to bar immigrants from Africa and Haiti. Fisher complained about … Trump’s reported ‘shithole countries’ comment during a private breakfast for committee members.” (CNN)

IOWA SPIN. “‘Reagan was my all-time favorite in my lifetime,’ said Iowa Republican National Committeeman Steve Scheffler of the iconic conservative president. ‘At least until now.’

“The RNC, and the vast majority of the GOP base, stood by Trump through the enormously controversial Comey firing and his equivocating responses on racist activity in Charlottesville, though the RNC passed its own resolution condemning white supremacy. But signs of a strong economy and the passage of a top Republican legislative achievement have made the party more enthusiastically dedicated to this unpopular president than ever.” (McClatchy)

MAINE. The Maine Republican Party’s “executive director says he’s paying back thousands of dollars he owes in state income taxes. Maine Revenue Services has placed a pair of tax liens totaling about $11,300 against Jason Savage for not paying income taxes in 2013 or 2014.” (AP)

TRAIN CRASH. The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating an Amtrak train crash in Virginia carrying dozens of Republican congressmen, said it appears to have been an accident. (AP)

What We're Following See More »
AVOIDS SHUTDOWN WITH A FEW HOURS TO SPARE
Trump Signs Border Deal
19 hours ago
THE LATEST

"President Trump signed a sweeping spending bill Friday afternoon, averting another partial government shutdown. The action came after Trump had declared a national emergency in a move designed to circumvent Congress and build additional barriers at the southern border, where he said the United States faces 'an invasion of our country.'"

Source:
REDIRECTS $8 BILLION
Trump Declares National Emergency
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

"President Donald Trump on Friday declared a state of emergency on the southern border and immediately direct $8 billion to construct or repair as many as 234 miles of a border barrier. The move — which is sure to invite vigorous legal challenges from activists and government officials — comes after Trump failed to get the $5.7 billion he was seeking from lawmakers. Instead, Trump agreed to sign a deal that included just $1.375 for border security."

Source:
COULD SOW DIVISION AMONG REPUBLICANS
House Will Condemn Emergency Declaration
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

"House Democrats are gearing up to pass a joint resolution disapproving of President Trump’s emergency declaration to build his U.S.-Mexico border wall, a move that will force Senate Republicans to vote on a contentious issue that divides their party. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said Thursday evening in an interview with The Washington Post that the House would take up the resolution in the coming days or weeks. The measure is expected to easily clear the Democratic-led House, and because it would be privileged, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would be forced to put the resolution to a vote that he could lose."

Source:
MILITARY CONSTRUCTION, DRUG FORFEITURE FUND
Where Will the Emergency Money Come From?
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

"ABC News has learned the president plans to announce on Friday his intention to spend about $8 billion on the border wall with a mix of spending from Congressional appropriations approved Thursday night, executive action and an emergency declaration. A senior White House official familiar with the plan told ABC News that $1.375 billion would come from the spending bill Congress passed Thursday; $600 million would come from the Treasury Department's drug forfeiture fund; $2.5 billion would come from the Pentagon's drug interdiction program; and through an emergency declaration: $3.5 billion from the Pentagon's military construction budget."

Source:
TRUMP SAYS HE WILL SIGN
House Passes Funding Deal
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

"The House passed a massive border and budget bill that would avert a shutdown and keep the government funded through the end of September. The Senate passed the measure earlier Thursday. The bill provides $1.375 billion for fences, far short of the $5.7 billion President Trump had demanded to fund steel walls. But the president says he will sign the legislation, and instead seek to fund his border wall by declaring a national emergency."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login