Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the latest to find himself outside the revolving door of the Trump White House. CIA Director Mike Pompeo will replace Tillerson, according to reports.
Trump treats his White House as a reality TV show. He treats national security as a TV reality show. The number of firings, resignations, etc., of the “best people” is staggering. The number of positions not yet filled, numbering in the hundreds, is very troubling.
The federal government employs 2 million civilian workers nationwide, but many positions at the top of the food chain remain empty a year into the Trump presidency. Of more than 600 key jobs filled by presidential nomination, more than half of them are currently vacant awaiting confirmation or have no nominee.
We are in crisis. Our government is in crisis. Our national security is in crisis. The man at the top thinks he is running a TV reality show.
I must say it again. I have no other explanation. He thinks this is all about him.
“Jesus always started out by going and being with a certain group of people,” says Conor Lamb as we’re winding down hilly back roads to the Washington County Gun Show.
Jesus, Lamb tells me, tried to get to know people as people before he tried to win them over with arguments. He “wasn’t asking people where they stood on abortion before they came and sat down with them.”
Lamb, the Democratic candidate in a neck-and-neck special election on March 13, has to hope the people of Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District will likewise listen to what he has to say before judging him by his party affiliation.
Described as a “square-jawed33-year-old Marine Corps officer who resigned from his job as a federal prosecutor in Pittsburgh to run, has a chance to upend the district’s politics—as long as he can avoid being labeled a liberal without discouraging the district’s not inconsiderable Democrat base from turning out. A devout Catholic, Lamb is pro-union and pro-gun, backs bipartisan deals for fixing Obamacare and the nation’s infrastructure, wants more job training and less college debt, and says he’s pro-fracking but pro-environment, too. And he’s betting that this mix of economic populism and moderate social politics can win the predominantly blue collar district.”
And I couldn’t be happier for him. Or for Pennsylvania’s 18th, which, currently, begins northwest and west of Pittsburgh, south to the state line, and explodes east into Westmoreland County.
Let’s see what the district looks like after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is done redrawing it.
A former top aide to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign will plead guilty to fraud-related charges within days — and has made clear to prosecutors that he would testify against Paul Manafort, the lawyer-lobbyist who once managed the campaign.
The change of heart by Trump’s former deputy campaign manager Richard Gates, who had pleaded not guilty after being indicted in October on charges similar to Manafort’s, was described in interviews by people familiar with the case.
Gates will change his plea to guilty within the next few days, according to the report.
Gates, 45, who is married with four children, does not appear to be well positioned financially to sustain a high-powered legal defense.
“He can’t afford to pay it,” said one lawyer who is involved with the investigation. “If you go to trial on this, that’s $1 million to $1.5 million. Maybe more, if you need experts” to appear as witnesses.
Video of Trump being booed at #NationalChampionship game. For those saying that’s not “booing,” I can assure you that tens of thousands of people cheering doesn’t sound like a low, consistent rumble drowning out chants of “USA.” pic.twitter.com/Kg25lN1xAu
The backlash to his release into the community crescendoed when Donald J. Trump invoked Ms. Steinle’s killing as he campaigned for president. Mr. Trump rallied national support for his hard-line immigration agenda, which ultimately helped to catapult him into office.
In a major speech on immigration in August 2016, Mr. Trump argued that “countless innocent American lives have been stolen because our politicians have failed in their duty to secure our borders and enforce our laws.”
Mr. Trump then named several young people who he said had become victims of policies he considered failures. Among those he named was Ms. Steinle, who Mr. Trump said had been “gunned down in the sanctuary city of San Francisco, by an illegal immigrant, deported five previous times.”
“And they knew he was no good,” Mr. Trump said of the man who had shot her.
Mary Pat Christie, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s wife, was nabbed during a “statewide crackdown on distracted driving,” according to NJ.COM:
A statewide crackdown on distracted driving ordered by Gov. Chris Christie’s attorney general earlier this year led to a surprising catch in New Jersey’s first lady, Mary Pat Christie, NJ Advance Media has learned.
To her credit, unlike others with influence in Trenton, the first lady did not play the “Do you know who I am?” card after being pulled over, dash cam video of the traffic stop shows.
As it turns out, how the first lady wound up getting that ticket is perhaps more interesting than why.
After New Jersey traffic fatalities jumped 8 percent in 2016, state Attorney General Christopher Porrino requested and received $1.2 million in federal grant money to launch a campaign against texting and other distracted driving that was behind the rise.
NJ Advance Media reports Mary Pat Christie was stopped while driving with a cellphone in her hand on April 10 in Bernardsville by a police officer assigned to the grant-funded program that targeted texting and other distracted driving.
She didn’t identify herself as Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s wife. But she did tell the officer she wasn’t making a call. The officer told her she could not have the phone in her hand while driving.
The officer told her she was getting a ticket because he was on the distracting driving grant detail.
According to the preliminary report, Charlottesville officials did not implement many recommendations after the Virginia Fusion Center concluded “that participants were planning to be aggressive/violent,” and despite state analysts’ “concerns of mass casualty event, including (a) car attack.”
Counter-protester Heather Heyer was killed when a car, allegedly driven by white nationalist James Alex Fields, plowed into people opposing the “Unite The Right” march. Fields is charged with second-degree-murder, hit and run, and several counts of malicious wounding.
A woman was killed.
Why was this ideologically-driven attack called terrorism?
CNN reports, “A federal grand jury in Washington, DC, on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources briefed on the matter.”
And Donald Trump can tweet all he wants. But the charges are coming Monday.
More from CNN:
On Friday, top lawyers who are helping to lead the Mueller probe, including veteran prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, were seen entering the court room at the DC federal court where the grand jury meets to hear testimony in the Russia investigation.
Reporters present saw a flurry of activity at the grand jury room, but officials made no announcements.
Shortly after President Donald Trump abruptly fired then-FBI Director James Comey, Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel. Mueller took the reins of a federal investigation that Comey first opened in July 2016 in the middle of the presidential campaign.
Justice is coming for Donald Trump. And it will be blind.
He may think himself capable of shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue in New York and getting away with it.
So far as we know, that’s fiction.
Maybe a dream Trump yearns for.
But these “high crimes and misdemeanors?” Well, we’re about to see exactly what is there.
A business associate of President Trump promised in 2015 to engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, that he said would help Mr. Trump win the presidency.
The associate, Felix Sater, wrote a series of emails to Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, in which he boasted about his ties to Mr. Putin and predicted that building a Trump Tower in Moscow would highlight Mr. Trump’s savvy negotiating skills and be a political boon to his candidacy.
“Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Mr. Sater wrote in an email. “I will get all of Putins [sic] team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”
“Our boy?” Is Donald Trump really some group’s “boy?” And what do they want from him in return?