Review Category : Politics

Trump signs bill to temporarily avert government shutdown

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump signed a a short-term measure Friday to keep the government funded for another week, a move that gives lawmakers more time to reach a deal on a larger spending package.

Congress approved the spending stopgap measure earlier in the day as House members prepared to leave Washington without a vote on the GOP health care bill, denying President Trump a major legislative victory in his first 100 days in office.

The spending bill capped off a frenzied week on Capitol Hill that underscored the trouble Republicans have had fulfilling both the most basic functions of governance and implementing their ambitious agenda with GOP control of both the White House and Congress.

“One hundred days of broken promises,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., quipped Friday morning.

Democrats, who have railed against GOP efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, had threatened to vote against what is called a continuing resolution to fund the government should Republicans move forward on the health care bill vote.

On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed the threat, predicting Democrats would be blamed for a partial government shutdown.

Appropriators are finalizing a $1 trillion-plus spending deal, and negotiations continue over natural disaster response funding and funds to address Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.

The measure is expected to contain funds for border security technology, but not funding for the construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, which Trump had initially demanded Congress include in the bill.

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Trump blames Obama for not vetting former national security adviser Michael Flynn

ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump is blaming former President Barack Obama for not fully vetting Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn after it was revealed that Flynn received payments from foreign governments without approval from military officials in 2014.

In an interview with Fox News released Friday, the president said that Obama officials bear responsibility for the oversight — not his own administration, which tapped Flynn for the post.

“He was approved by the Obama administration at the highest level. And when they say we didn’t vet, well, Obama, I guess, didn’t vet, because he was approved at the highest level of security by the Obama administration,” Trump said. “So when he came into our administration, for a short period of time, he came in, he was already approved by the Obama administration and he had years left on that approval.”

Flynn resigned from the post in February.

Both the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Oversight Committee say Flynn may have broken the law by accepting the payments for giving a speech to Russian state television and lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government. Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said in a statement that “by all appearances” Flynn violated that law, and asked the secretary of the Army to “make a final determination” on whether Flynn broke it.

The Defense Department’s inspector general has launched an investigation into Flynn. Documents also show that Flynn was warned against receiving payments from foreign governments without congressional approval by the Defense Intelligence Agency.

“These documents raise grave questions about why Gen. Flynn concealed the payments he received from foreign sources after he was warned explicitly by the Pentagon,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, the top Democrat on the oversight panel, in a statement.

Flynn maintained a top secret security clearance even after he was pushed out of his Obama administration role at the Pentagon in 2014.

Trump also said that he was “disappointed” in how Republicans handled major issues like health care and tax reform.

“I’m disappointed that it doesn’t go quicker,” Trump said. “I like them a lot. I have great relationships, don’t forget most of them I didn’t even know. But many of them, like the Freedom Caucus, came and I see them all the time, ‘We love our president, we’re doing this for our president.’ You look at that, you look at the moderates, it’s the same thing. I’m disappointed. I’ll tell you Paul Ryan’s trying very, very hard. I think everybody is trying very hard. It is a very tough system.”

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President Trump’s 10 most liked tweets during his first 99 days in office

Ida Mae Astute/ABC(WASHINGTON) — Over the past 99 days, President Donald Trump has used Twitter for a variety of purposes: to celebrate his inauguration; share baseless claims; send condolences; praise his administration; shoot down reports; and attack his critics, the media, the judiciary, protesters and the intelligence community, among others.

Since assuming the presidency, Trump has tweeted more than 470 times. The president has received an average of 98,190 likes per tweet and 20,902 average retweets per tweet. His most favorited tweet amassed about 82,000 likes.

Here are 10 of Trump’s most liked tweets, some of which are also his most retweeted posts, from his first 99 days in office:

1.

Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don’t always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2017

Trump’s most popular tweet was on Jan. 22, in response to the Women’s March on Washington and its associated protests the day after Trump was inaugurated. This was also Trump’s most retweeted tweet. The marches, which took place in several cities in the U.S., were for promoting women’s rights, but some marches focused on Trump and his treatment of women. Earlier that same day, Trump tweeted about the protesters, asking “Why didn’t these people vote?”

2.

THANK YOU for another wonderful evening in Washington, D.C. TOGETHER, we will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/V3aoj9RUh4

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 21, 2017

Trump’s second most liked tweet includes a video of him and first lady Melania Trump dancing to “My Way” at the “Freedom Ball,” one of three inaugural balls for Trump that night.

3.

It all begins today! I will see you at 11:00 A.M. for the swearing-in. THE MOVEMENT CONTINUES – THE WORK BEGINS!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2017

Trump tweeted this on the morning of his swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20. Trump’s third most liked tweet is also his third most retweeted tweet.

4.

What an amazing comeback and win by the Patriots. Tom Brady, Bob Kraft and Coach B are total winners. Wow!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 6, 2017

In a historic victory, the New England Patriots came back from being 25 points down in Super Bowl LI and beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime. Trump counts team owner Bob Kraft, quarterback Tom Brady and Coach Bill Belichick among his friends. This tweet was also his second most retweeted post on Twitter.

5.

MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2017

He tweeted out his campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” while he was at Mar-a-Lago. The tweet came the day after Trump’s first immigration ban was blocked by a federal district judge. This tweet also received about 57,000 retweets.

6.

Everybody is arguing whether or not it is a BAN. Call it what you want, it is about keeping bad people (with bad intentions) out of country!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 1, 2017

Trump signed an executive order Friday, Jan. 27, calling for the temporary halt of immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries and barring the refugee program for 120 days.

7.

Hope you like my nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for the United States Supreme Court. He is a good and brilliant man, respected by all.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 1, 2017

On Feb. 1, Trump announced Neil Gorsuch, a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals from Colorado, as his pick for Supreme Court nominee. During the campaign, Trump promised to nominated a conservative judge to the bench to replace the late Antonin Scalia.

8.

HAPPY PRESIDENTS DAY – MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2017

As Trump was wishing his followers a “Happy President’s Day” along with his campaign slogan “Make America Great Again,” several “Not My President’s Day” protests were taking place in dozens of cities across America. The protests were intended to send a message to Trump, opposing his agenda.

9.

SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017

Trump was lashing out against a panel of judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that ruled to keep a restraining order against his travel ban. The three-judge panel’s unanimous decision rejected the Department of Justice’s bid to quickly reinstate Trump’s executive order after a Washington federal district court judge had blocked it nationwide a week before.

10.

Christians in the Middle-East have been executed in large numbers. We cannot allow this horror to continue!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2017

Trump’s immigration executive order has been criticized as a religious ban, since immigration is barred from predominantly Muslim countries. On the same day that Trump signed the controversial first version of his travel ban, Trump told the Christian Broadcasting Network that he will give Syrian Christian refugees priority. Trump’s tweet seemed to be an attempt to justify his prioritizing of Syrian Christians. While Trump’s tweet points to the Syrian Christians that have been killed by ISIS, his tweet ignores the larger Muslim population of Syrians that are more frequently the victims.

Here are some of Trump’s most retweeted tweets:

Iran is playing with fire – they don’t appreciate how “kind” President Obama was to them. Not me!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2017

After Iran conducted a failed ballistic missile test, a violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution, Trump tweeted that Iran was “ungrateful” of the nuclear deal reached with the Obama administration and cautioned them that he would be tougher.

The media has not reported that the National Debt in my first month went down by $12 billion vs a $200 billion increase in Obama first mo.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2017

Trump has been none too happy with the way the media has been covering his presidency, particularly what he considers to be his successes. According to PolitiFact, Trump’s tweet is misleading because it’s “a gross misrepresentation of the state of the debt and the role the new president had in shaping the figure.”

January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2017

Trump sent this out on Inauguration Day. As a candidate, Trump promised to shake up Washington and be a populist president.

If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017

Milo Yiannopoulos, the controversial Trump backer who was a Breitbart News editor at the time, was scheduled to speak at the University of California at Berkeley, but his appearance at the college was canceled after protests turned violent. Trump took offense over the canceled speech and seemingly threatened to pull funding from the school.

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President Trump hints at Elizabeth Warren as possible 2020 opponent

Alex Wong/Getty Images(ATLANTA) — President Trump said Friday he envisions Sen. Elizabeth Warren as a possible opponent in the 2020 presidential race.

During an address at the National Rifle Association leadership conference, Trump took a dig at the Massachusetts Democrat, whom he regularly calls “Pocahontas” in what many see as an offensive reference to her previous claims that she has Native-American ancestry.

“I have a feeling that in the next election you’re going to be swamped with candidates but you’re not going to be wasting your time,” Trump said at the NRA event in Atlanta. “You’ll have plenty of those Democrats coming over and you’ll say, ‘No, sir, no thank you. No, ma’am. It may be Pocahontas. Remember that? And she is not big for the NRA, that I can tell you.”

Warren has been regularly critical of Trump both during the campaign and since he took office. When Warren was pressed on her political future in a recent NBC interview, the senator brushed off speculation about any presidential aspirations.

“I am running, in 2018, for senator from Massachusetts,” she said on The Today Show April 18.

Trump also today mentioned another former rival, but this time it was someone in the audience. Trump gave Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a shout-out and acknowledged their rocky history.

“We’re also joined by two people that, one that I loved from the very beginning, one that I didn’t like and now like and like again. Does that make sense? Senator David Perdue and Senator Cruz. Like, dislike, like,” Trump said, describing his changing relationship with Cruz. “Where are they? Good guys. Good guys, smart cookies.”

Cruz was one of the final Republicans to drop out of the presidential race, and he was booed at the Republican National Convention when he gave a speech but intentionally didn’t endorse Trump.

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President Trump ‘proud’ to be 1st president to address the NRA in 34 years

ABC News(ATLANTA) — President Trump said he is “proud” to follow in the footsteps of “our wonderful Ronald Reagan” by speaking at a National Rifle Association event in Atlanta on Friday.

“In the history of the organization and today I am also proud to be the first sitting president to address the NRA leadership forum since our wonderful Ronald Reagan in 1983,” Trump said.

Friday’s meeting at the NRA’s Leadership Forum isn’t Trump’s first speech to the gun rights group. He was endorsed by the NRA in May and spoke at their convention at the time.

“Only one candidate in the general election came to speak to you and that candidate is now the president of the United States standing before you again,” Trump said of himself during his speech.

“The eight year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end. You have a true friend and champion in the White House,” Trump said.

His appearance Friday marks the first time that a sitting president has addressed the group since former President Reagan did so in 1983.

The NRA is known for their sizable lobbying operation and by raising money for — and against — candidates. The group made over $52 million in donations to candidates during the 2016 election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. They spent $30.3 million in support of Trump, the CRP reported.

Trump campaigned on the pledge to support and protect the Second Amendment, which he said during his May NRA appearance, was “under a threat like never before.” He pointed to his then-rival Hillary Clinton as the basis for that threat.

“Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment, not change it; she wants to abolish it,” Trump said at the time, although Clinton had never made such claims.

“The Second Amendment is on the ballot in November. The only way to save our Second Amendment is to vote for a person you know: Donald Trump,” he said.

Trump has noted that his two eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, have been longtime members of the NRA.

At Friday’s speech, Trump stressed their love of shooting.

“I can tell you, both sons, they love the outdoors. Frankly, I think they love the outdoors more than they love by a long shot Fifth Avenue, but that’s OK,” Trump joked.

After starting the speech by reviewing the state-by-state wins on election night, Trump talked about the work that he has done on behalf of gun owners. He talked about various appointments he has made, including the nomination and eventual addition of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, as well as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that hundreds of protesters and gun control advocates gathered near the convention site this morning. Part of the protest featured a “die-in,” where 93 people will lie down in a local park to represent the number of people who die from gun violence every day, the paper reports.

There will be another protest on Saturday, and Rep. John Lewis of Georgia is scheduled to attend. Lewis and Trump have a turbulent history. Lewis did not attend the inauguration and said he did not see Trump as a “legitimate president.” Trump returned the favor by criticizing the civil rights leader, saying that he was “all talk, talk, talk — no action or results.”

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Democrats bash Trump’s 100 days, with an ‘F’ from Sen. Chuck Schumer

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Prior to government funding votes on Capitol Hill Friday morning, House and Senate Democratic leaders criticized President Trump’s first 100 days in office, attacking his plans for health care, taxes and foreign policy.

“One hundred days of broken promises,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said. “One hundred days of handouts to the richest in our countries.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “The swamp is murkier than ever after his 100 days.”

The New York Democrat took aim at the last, frenzied week of the Trump administration, calling it a “metaphor for how poorly the president has done.”

“It’s chaotic, it’s ineffective, it’s impulsive,” he said. “It’s as if the president suddenly realized he’s approaching his first 100 days with next to nothing to show for it.”

Schumer said he doesn’t believe Trump is improving on the job.

“There are occasional small things but, overwhelmingly, when you look at how he’s performed … it’s an ‘F,'” he said. “He has not accomplished much, and then he compares it to, like, Franklin D Roosevelt. It’s astounding.”

Pelosi said Trump’s one success has been mobilizing people against his agenda.

“He has proven to be one of the best organizers the Democratic Party has ever had,” she said.

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President Trump makes heavy use of executive orders despite past criticism

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — President Trump signed his 30th executive order Friday morning and the sixth this week, directing a review of off-shore drilling, an apparent sign of the White House’s last-minute sprint the 100th day mark (which Trump called “ridiculous”).

But he’s not done yet. A White House official told ABC News Friday morning that two more executive orders are expected Saturday, likely upon the president’s arrival in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for a rally that evening. The orders are expected to be directed in some form towards trade.

The White House, earlier this week, lauded the president’s use of the pen, saying he “has accomplished more in his first 100 days than any other President since Franklin Roosevelt,” though this claim has been disputed by historians.

And a measure of this success was comparing the number of executive orders he signed to that of previous presidents:

– President Obama signed 19 executive orders during his first 100 days. – President George W. Bush signed 11 executive orders during his first 100 days. – President Clinton signed 13 executive orders during his first 100 days. – President George H.W. Bush signed 11 executive orders during his first 100 days. – President Reagan signed 18 executive orders during his first 100 days.

It’s a striking admission from a party historically critical of the expansion of executive power. Republicans in Congress had gone as far to create a “task force” in February of 2016 to “study the impact the increase in presidential and executive branch power has had on the ability of Congress” and look for legislative approaches to “restore the proper balance of powers.”

Trump himself, has slammed the use of executive orders as an example of weak leadership and inability to work with Congress, and most of that criticism was directed at a president who had Republican majorities in Congress opposing him.

On CBS’s “Face the Nation” in August 2015, Trump said: “The leadership is what you have to do. I don’t like executive orders. That is not what the country was based on. You go, you can’t make a deal with anybody, so you sign an executive order… So now [Obama] goes around signing executive orders all over the place, which at some point they are going to be rescinded or they’re going to be rescinded by the courts.”

In further remarks in December 2015, Trump described Obama by saying, “I don’t think he even tries anymore. He just signs executive actions.”

Even prior to launching his bid for the presidency, Trump weighed in on the subject, writing on Twitter in July 2012, “Why is @BarackObama constantly issuing executive orders that are major power grabs of authority?”

Why is @BarackObama constantly issuing executive orders that are major power grabs of authority? This is the latest
http://t.co/4IVBckTE

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2012

So far, more than half of Trump’s orders call for reviews of Obama-era regulations, including Dodd-Frank, federal control of education, and Obama’s use of the Antiquities Act to designate federal monuments. Three others have been met with setbacks in the judicial system, including two of the president’s travel bans and the order involving stripping federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities.

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House passes bill to temporarily avert shutdown

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The House approved a short-term measure Friday to keep the government funded for another week, a move that would give lawmakers more time to reach a deal on a larger spending package.

The measures now heads to the Senate for approval.

The move comes as the House prepares to leave Washington without a vote on the GOP health care bill, denying President Trump a major legislative victory in his first 100 days in office.

The end of the frenzied week on Capitol Hill underscores the trouble Republicans have had fulfilling both the most basic functions of governance and implementing their ambitious agenda with GOP control of both the White House and Congress.

“One hundred days of broken promises,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., quipped Friday morning.

Democrats, who have railed against GOP efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, had threatened to vote against the continuing resolution to fund the government should Republicans move forward on health care, in an effort to pressure the majority.

On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed the threat, predicting Democrats would be blamed for a partial government shutdown.

Appropriators are finalizing a $1 trillion-plus spending deal, and negotiations continue over natural disaster response funding and funds to address Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.

The measure is expected to contain funds for border security technology, but not funding for the construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, which Trump had initially demanded Congress include in the bill.

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Donald Trump is first president to address the NRA in 34 years

ABC News(ATLANTA) — President Donald Trump is following in the footsteps of former President Ronald Reagan by speaking at a National Rifle Association event.

Friday’s speech, at the NRA’s Leadership Forum in Atlanta, won’t be Trump’s first talk to the gun rights group. He was endorsed by the NRA in May and spoke at their convention at the time.

But his appearance later Friday marks the first time that a sitting president has addressed the group since Reagan did so in 1983.

The NRA is known for their sizable lobbying operation and by raising money for — and against — candidates. The group made over $52 million in donations to candidates during the 2016 election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. They spent $30.3 million in support of Trump, the CRP reported.

Trump campaigned on the pledge to support and protect the Second Amendment, which he said during his May NRA appearance, was “under a threat like never before.” He pointed to his then-rival Hillary Clinton as the basis for that threat.

“Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment, not change it; she wants to abolish it,” Trump said at the time, although Clinton had never made such claims.

“The Second Amendment is on the ballot in November. The only way to save our Second Amendment is to vote for a person you know: Donald Trump,” he said.

Trump has noted that his two eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, have been longtime members of the NRA, and during the May speech, he said that “they have so many rifles and so many guns, even I get concerned.”

During the second presidential debate, Trump promised to appoint Supreme Court justices that will “respect the Second Amendment and what it stands for and what it represents,” and said that the list of 20 judges that he released as possible picks all fit that bill. Judge Neil Gorsuch, who he later nominated and has since been appointed to the Supreme Court, was on that list.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that hundreds of protesters and gun control advocates are reportedly gathering near the convention site this morning. Part of the protest will feature a “die-in,” where 93 people will lie down in a local park to represent the number of people who die from gun violence every day, the paper reports.

There will be another protest on Saturday, and Rep. John Lewis of Georgia is scheduled to attend.

Lewis and Trump have a turbulent history. Lewis did not attend the inauguration and said he did not see Trump as a “legitimate president.” Trump returned the favor by criticizing the civil rights leader, saying that he was “all talk, talk, talk — no action or results.”

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On Michael Flynn, AG Sessions says vetting can’t ‘catch everything’

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions said “you don’t catch everything” in reference to the Trump team’s vetting of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Flynn, who was fired early in his tenure by President Trump, is under scrutiny for his dealings with Russia, including whether the former Army lieutenant general violated the law by accepting payments from foreign governments.

“We need to do a good job of vetting, but that’s a complex issue and I’m not sure anyone could be expected to find that,” Sessions told ABC News’ Amy Robach live on Good Morning America Friday.

“I’m comfortable that they’re working hard to do vetting. But it’s obvious that often times you don’t catch everything that might be a problem,” Sessions continued. “I don’t know the facts of this case; maybe there’s an explanation for it.”

Sessions’ comments came one day after the White House appeared to try shift blame to the previous administration for the Trump transition team’s approval of Flynn’s security clearance.

Flynn was the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under former President Barack Obama, but he was forced out of that role after two years and ultimately retired.

“His [security] clearance was last reissued by the Obama administration in 2016 with full knowledge of his activities that occurred in 2015,” press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Thursday afternoon.

President Trump announced the appointment of Flynn as national security adviser in November 2016.

The president fired him in February after it was revealed that he allegedly misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of conversations Flynn had with Russia’s U.S. ambassador.

Documents released in mid-March showed Flynn was paid a total of $56,200 in 2015 by three Russian firms owned by or closely tied to the Russian government.

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