John T. Bennett

Trump and Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown — Strange Company on Climate Change?
President says his views, those of Brown and Gov.-elect Newsom, ‘not as different as people think’

President Donald Trump on Saturday stopped just shy of saying he believes climate change is a legitimate scientific phenomenon, a statement that likely would not sit well with his conservative base and most GOP lawmakers.

“We have different views but maybe not as different as people think. Things are happening. Things are changing,” he said aboard Air Force One in California, flanked by Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom.

Trump Heading to Mississippi to Give Hyde-Smith a Runoff Boost
Senator has drawn national headlines for controversial comments

President Donald Trump will make an eleventh-hour attempt to keep a Mississippi Senate seat in Republican hands later this month when he headlines two rallies there the day before a runoff election.

His campaign organization announced Saturday the president will hold two rallies on Nov. 26 on behalf of Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. He will be in Tupelo at 5 p.m. and then in Biloxi three hours later.

Trump Casts Himself as Pelosi’s Speaker Savior
‘I can get Nancy Pelosi as many votes as she wants,’ president claims

President Donald Trump on Saturday said he can twist enough House Republican arms to give Nancy Pelosi the necessary votes to become speaker.

The California Democrat publicly says she has ample support within her own caucus to secure the gavel. But all indications are a floor vote could be close, meaning Republicans could opt — for a list of reasons — to put her over the top.

Trump Says He’s Giving Mueller Questions a Personal Touch
‘I’ve answered them very easily,’ the president says

President Donald Trump implied Friday that he — and not his legal team — will be personally answering written questions from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

“I’ve answered them very easily. I’m working on them,” he told reporters during a bill-signing event in the Oval Office.

Awkward Moments from Donald Trump's Veterans Day Do-Over
VA secretary managed to out-Trump embellishment-prone Trump

ANALYSIS | President Donald Trump got around Thursday to commemorating Veterans Day on American soil, four days after the actual holiday and after as many days holed up in and lashing out from the White House.

Trump did speak Sunday at a rain-soaked Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial in France, where U.S. soldiers who died in World War I are buried, and he visited graves there. But he canceled a Saturday visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial because of bad weather, later blaming the Secret Service.

Saudis Face Reprimand From Trump and Potentially Congress Over Khashoggi Killing
Senior adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman among those targeted

The Trump administration has slapped sanctions on a senior aide to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and 16 others in connection to the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Treasury Department announced the penalties Thursday morning, just a few hours after the Saudi government announced it would seek the death penalty for five of 11 individuals indicted there over the luring of Khashoggi to a diplomatic facility in Turkey that ended with him being killed in a violent confrontation.

Despite Evidence of Chaos, Trump Says White House ‘Running Very Smoothly’
But president ignores advice by lashing out at Special Counsel Mueller

Despite evidence to the contrary, President Donald Trump on Thursday denied chaos has returned to the West Wing — then immediately fired off a broadside against Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Trump was visibly agitated during a weekend diplomatic trip to Paris, including frustration with aides who advised that him canceling a Saturday trip to a cemetery where nearly 2,000 U.S. soldiers who died in World War I are buried would not become a major news story. It did and Trump reportedly let his staff know about his frustration.

You’re Reassigned! Trump Does Not Fire Key Adviser Under Fire
Mira Ricardel, deputy of National Security Adviser John Bolton, will stay in administration

Rather than firing a White House national security adviser that clashed with his wife, President Donald Trump instead is reassigning her.

“Mira Ricardel will continue to support the President as she departs the White House to transition to a new role within the Administration. The President is grateful for Ms. Ricardel’s continued service to the American people and her steadfast pursuit of his national security priorities,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Eager for Lame Duck Win, Trump Backs Prison Reform Bill
Members of both parties, Jared Kushner negotiated plan for months

Eager for a legislative win in the lame duck session, President Donald Trump on Wednesday endorsed legislation that would alter prison and sentencing policies as he tries to show he can push bipartisan bills through Congress.

Trump had been reluctant for months about whether to endorse the bill, which would include criminal justice changes backed by members of both parties in the House and Senate. His son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, has been working with members of both parties to craft the measure and scored a big win with the presidential endorsement.

Possible Trump-Macron Split Fuels European Power Vacuum
Bromance burned bright at first, but presidents spent weekend trading barbs

Donald Trump is pushing away one of his few close allies, French President Emmanuel Macron, as experts warn of an emerging European power vacuum and some GOP lawmakers defend the U.S. president’s latest brash move.

The two presidents have little in common but quickly became unlikely allies. Trump is a businessman and former reality television star. Macron was a philosophy major who became a finance and economic wonk. A bromance developed, and Trump feted Macron during an official visit that included a private dinner at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate and an elegant state dinner at the White House.

U.S. Aware of All North Korea Nuclear Work, Trump Says Despite Report
President responds to report about alleged deception by Kim Jong Un

President Donald Trump on Tuesday denied that North Korea is moving ahead with its nuclear weapons program despite a pledge from Kim Jong Un to freeze all such work.

Citing satellite images, the New York Times reported Monday that Kim is continuing work at sites he promised to Trump would cease while the two leaders — and, sometimes, their staffs — try to strike a denuclearization deal.

Trump-Macron Bromance Shows More Signs of Fading
U.S. president offers French counterpart mocking lecture on securing Europe

Are President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron headed for a Trans-Atlantic breakup?

After Trump’s rocky and controversial visit to Paris, which included some less-than-warm body language toward his younger French counterpart, the unlikely bromance appears to have hit choppy waters. Many U.S. lawmakers — Republican and Democrat — have warned Trump to avoid alienating close allies and want him to end a nasty trade flap with the EU. 

Trump Predicts ‘Deal-Making,’ Many Fights Ahead With Democrats
First up, both sides face border funding test in lame-duck session

President Donald Trump appears ready to make some deals — except when he’s threatening Democrats with “warlike” tactics.

Despite losing the House and several governorships in states that could be key for Trump’s 2020 re-election prospects, the president used a press conference last week to send widely divergent messages to lawmakers about just how much he wants to get done in the lame-duck remainder of the 115th Congress and after the 116th is seated in early January.

The Border Wall Funding Fight Could Lead to Another CR, or Partial Federal Shutdown
Penn Ave Report — connecting Congress and the White House at the intersection of politics

Woman Charges Trump Motorcade as He Celebrates End of WWI in France
President was not harmed

A woman charged President Donald Trump’s motorcade as it carried him along Paris’ Avenue des Champs-Élysées for a World War I Armistice ceremony. He was not harmed.

The woman was quickly apprehended by French security officials and Trump continued to the event in his heavily armored Cadillac limousine, known colloquially as “The Beast.” The protester appeared to have written “fake peacemaker on her body,” a play on his characterization of many media outlets as “fake news.”

Trump to Award Retiring Orrin G. Hatch Presidential Medal of Freedom
Mitt Romney won retiring Utah senator’s seat

Donald Trump will award retiring Sen. Orrin G. Hatch the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House announced Saturday.

The Utah Republican is among a group selected for the honor that includes late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, rock music legend Elvis Presley, former NFL star quarterback Roger Staubach, baseball legend Babe Ruth and others.

Donald Trump’s Trans-Atlantic Tweetstorm on Air Force One
President said he was focused on ‘the world.’ He spent hours attacking domestic foes

President Donald Trump assured reporters as he left the White House Friday morning for Paris he was “thinking about the world.” Only, he wasn’t.

The president and first lady Melania Trump boarded Marine One just before 9:30 a.m. and lifted off to link up with Air Force One a few minutes later. By 10 a.m., the executive jet was wheels up for a diplomatic trip to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Flake Interested in Own Future, Not Protecting Mueller Probe, Trump Says
Arizona Republican has not ruled out challenging Trump in 2020

President Donald Trump lashed out Friday at retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, accusing the Arizona Republican of putting his own possible presidential ambitions ahead of actually protecting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Flake said Thursday that he and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons would try to call up legislation designed to protect Mueller when the Senate returns for the lame-duck session next week. In a tweet about the bipartisan bill, Flake said, “After the firing of The AG, it is more important than ever to protect the Special Counsel.”

Three Things to Watch When Trump, Putin Land in Paris
Analysts: ‘Trump is operating from an assumption that he can bully our allies’

Three days after Republicans lost control of the House, President Donald Trump departed Friday for a diplomatic weekend in Paris that will put him face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin as Democrats with their newfound House majority prepare to explore that relationship more deeply.

Trump campaigned on warming relations with Moscow after things chilled under former President Barack Obama, and kept up that hope for much of his first year in office. But lately, even the 45th president has shown with Putin, expressing doubt that things will get better anytime soon. Trump’s administration has repeatedly implemented sanctions and other tough-on-Russia policies that have further chilled relations.

Trump Claims No Mueller Probe Chats With Acting AG Whitaker
Sessions replacement has blasted Russia probe in the past

President Donald Trump on Friday claimed he has never discussed special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russia’s 2016 election meddling and possible coordination with his campaign with acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

“I didn’t speak to Matt Whitaker” about the ongoing Justice Department probe before naming him to the post, Trump said.